Deviant Eater

Musings on becoming vegan and the changing perspectives it brings.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Book review - The Vegan Planet

This cookbook was one of the first I purchased when switching to a Vegan diet. It was simultaneously recommended by a friend, and selected from many choices at the bookstore by my wife. It was a happy coincidence to see it recommended after we had purchased it - and I have to second the recommendation given to me, that this is a cookbook for anyone, not just vegans.

For the first few months of cooking as a vegan, this cookbook provided almost every recipe that I made. While I had a few failures along the way, they were few and far between, and by and large, those that failed are something that I will try again (except for one recipe for sauerkraut and tempeh that was just not for me).

If you want to try an interesting variety of food, from many different cultural influences, then I would recommend trying this book. The recipes are easy to follow, have accompanying commentary, and often have a sidebar that goes into more detail about some of the more esoteric ingredients. For example, there is a seitan roast that requires wrapping in yuba. I wasn't familiar with yuba, and there was an explanation that it is the skin that forms on top of cooked soybeans, and is available in a variety of forms in most asian supermarkets (I wasn't familiar with seitan either, and there is a good recipe for that provided as well).

It's hard to go wrong with this one.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Book review - Eat to Live

One of the first books I read when I started thinking about changing my diet was Eat to Live. I'm not sure where I read about it first, but it may have been on Steve Pavlina's personal development blog (he has a series of posts there about being vegan, which was another major influence on getting me started).

While reading that book, I realized how bad the choices I was making really were. The books focus is on increasing the ratio or nutrients to calories in your diet, and where that ratio gets off kilter in the typical diet. Needless to say, the diet I followed previously was very unhealthy.

I would recommend this book to anyone looking to find more justification to change the balance of their meals to something more healthy. While I have not tried to apply the strict diet detailed in that book, I believe that it can still be an interesting guide on better choices. This book is not vegan - but many of the principles in this book can be accomplished through healthy vegan choices.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

An introduction to this new blog

Back in September 2005, I found myself deciding to become a strict vegetarian. A number of factors lead to my considering this lifestyle change. My family's health history isn't a great one (including obesity, heart disease, cancer and adult onset diabetes), I'm getting on towards full adulthood (or whatever you call the mid-thirties), and I was conscious of my own growing weight problem. I felt like I had to make a change if I wanted to be able to enjoy my later years in life, and starting now became a pressing concern for me.

This blog will be a place for me to share my observations about making a radical change from meat eater to plant eater, both physically as well as ethically (something I never expected going in).