Saturday, December 29, 2012

Holiday Reading - Book Reviews

The Starch Solution - Dr John McDougall

The amazing Dr. John McDougall has done it again! Another fantastic book that leads us in the right direction regarding health & wellness. He has a great sense of humour and you see that come through in the book - yet in a totally honest way that makes us THINK. He is obviously highly educated in this area & that shows too.

One of my favourite quotes of his:
"Starch! You can't eat starch! Starch makes you fat! I mean everybody knows that if you eat rice it turns to sugar, and it'll make you obese, and that's why there are 1.73 billion obese Asians living on starch based diets!"

He does quite a bit of 'myth-busting' in this book, showing us our real need of protein & calcium and other nutrients that are often put in the spotlight when talking about a plant-based diet. 

Fantastic sections of the book include a marvellous chapter on protein, where he explores the difference between animal & plant protein and also the huge problem that excess protein is causing our society.

Another great part is the chapter on calcium. Of course the dairy industry wants us to believe that the only way we can get proper calcium is from cow's milk. Yet more and more research is showing just how bad dairy is for humans. He explains the best way of getting calcium & making sure that it is absorbed adequately.

I particularly love the section of the book in which he explains that because the ill-effects of bad food choices are not immediate, people often mistake that for meaning those foods are safe. He goes on to explain how these foods affect our body in the long term.
There is a recipe section in the back of the book (courtesy of his wife Mary McDougall) and also a "7-day sure-start plan" to get you on the right track. The recipes look easy to prepare and delicious. Also some great recipes for turning old favourites into new healthy favourites! I have tried a few of these recipes already & they have been delicious & definitely ones that I will add to my regular collection of cooking.

This book makes vegan eating sound so easy & delicious & nutritious! What more could we wish for?!?!?
Check out Dr McDougall's website here.

My verdict: IT'S A MUST READ! One of the best books I've ever read. Honestly, I would buy a copy of this book for EVERYONE I knew if money grew on trees ;-) 

The Kind Diet - Alicia Silverstone

This book is written using such easy language that it can be picked up and read quickly in no time! But I can't say it was my favourite book ever! I think it would appeal to those who are looking into a plant-based diet but not people who are already committed.

Throughout the book there are quotes that relate to health & plant-based diets. I really enjoyed reading them. Here's one: "He that takes medicine and neglects diet, waste the skill of the physician." - Chinese Proverb. 

The book has a few quick reasons listed as to why choosing plant-based is beneficial for ourselves, the planet & animals. It then goes on to list a few 'nasty foods', followed by a few 'kind foods'. The book details how you can change your diet in steps starting with 'Flirting' then continuing by 'Going vegan' and finally 'Becoming a Superhero'. She emphasises the need of regularly including vegetables and whole grains (not just grain based products) in our diet which is awesome. Personally I think that the superhero plan isn't all that great though as it still allows using oil in cooking, deep fried foods, & pastry - not foods that I would consider to be healthy. I also don't agree with the view that if you are craving fish (for example) that it's ok to not order it yourself but eat some from a friends meal! hmmmmmm......  I guess that leads me back to my point that this book is more aimed for those who haven't yet made a complete commitment to a vegan diet & lifestyle.

The book is half-filled with recipes. I was really looking forward to getting to the recipes but then as I browsed through I was quite disappointed. There were a few recipes that looked nice but nothing really grabbed my attention making me want to start cooking straight away!

All that said, I'm still glad I read it - I would definitely recommend this book to those who are 'interested ' in a vegan lifestyle but haven't yet made a definite decision. I think it would suit teenage girls much more than any other group of readers.

Alicia has a website that she often refers to in the book too - The Kind Life - and it is AMAZING! I enjoy being part of the website much more than I enjoyed the book! So why not sign up & get linked into some of the great information that is on the site.

Dear Fatty - Dawn French

I haven't laughed so much whilst reading a book in years! The comment on the front cover is actually true!!!!! lol
Dawn French is hiliarous! This is her autobiography. If you've ever watched her shows & enjoyed them then I recommend picking up this book for a laugh. But yet it is also very serious in parts as she describes some very painful times in her life. I felt wow-ed that she was so open about sharing these events.
I found it a little long, but easy to keep picking up and follow even if I'd put it down for a few weeks.
Wonderful pictures throughout - adding more to showing just what a character she is!
Fantastic read!

Other reads that I've really enjoyed recently are:


Oink - My Life with Mini Pigs - Matt Whyman

I've always wanted to get a mini pig & this book filled my void for a little while (yes I still want one!). Very funny book & very well written! I found it so hard to put this down! Very light-hearted reading.


The Amazing Life of Cats - Candida Baker

Any cat lover will enjoy this book. Its a collection of stories and if you're a cat owner then you're bound to sit there nodding at all the cat mannerisms! Still reading this book and thoroughly enjoying it.


  1. Dawn French is adorable. The Brits absolutely love her :)
    I would love to read the book by Dr McDougall. It sounds really interesting. I'm going to add it to my Amazon wish list right now.

    1. My wish list is sooooooo long that its devastating lol>
      I'm a big Dawn French fan too - she's so funny!