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As a seasoned reader of books that promote a plant-based lifestyle, I found Merzer's book quite refreshing and unique. Not only does he cover in sufficient detail the science-based research pointing to the superior benefits of living this lifestyle for not only us and the animals that are eaten, and for the environment in which we live, but he does this in a very personal and humorous way. When Ed Begley, Jr. on the back cover said this is "the funniest book on diet you'll ever read," I must admit, I anticipated that Ed was most likely exaggerating. I stand to be corrected; it was the funniest and most enjoyable diet book I've ever read. Once starting it, I had trouble putting it down! Also, as always, Chef AJ and friends have created what appear to be some beautiful recipes, which we look forward to trying out in the future. Thanks Glen and Chef AJ!
The author conveys with lots of scientific backup how our American food choices are unnecessarily killing us. The topic is deadly serious. Yet Glen Merzer lays out our current dire situation and the case to improve it with a mixture of tongue-in-cheek comments and laugh-out-loud humor. Never has learning how to save your own life been so much fun. If you or a loved one is suffering from heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure or cancer or would like to avoid having these diseases in the future, get this book. As you learn how to take control of your health, you will enjoy the read. And the recipes in the book by Chef AJ and friends look great. I can't wait to try them.
Merzer writes in an easy to understand style. He is humorous but dead serious as he explains the facts about our health. So many Americans are obese and/or have preventable diseases like heart disease, diabetes, cancer, arthritis, etc. He illustrates the fact that the science proves unequivocally that all these diseases are because of what we eat. The problem is that we are brainwashed by most doctors, nutrition institutions or advisors who have the science but refuse to abide by and tell us the facts. They believe people will not go strictly whole food plant based so they just tell people to eat less red meat or fewer animal products. This, Merzer explains, is why we are the fattest and sickest nation in human history. Thank you for this in depth look at why people are in the dark when it comes to having optimal health devoid of chronic diseases. I just bought 6 more paperbacks to send to my family and friends who still believe eating animal flesh, eggs and dairy are good for us! The recipes from Chef AJ look really great. i loved the Creamy Dill Mustard Potato Salad.
It is important to understand both your psychological and physical interactions with food. This book nourishes both qbody and soul. You will be amazed at how much better you will feel after stoking your personal furnace with high quality foods! I have been mostly vegetarian for many years, and have never come across such easy, interesting recipe suggestions. Thank you for making these important lifestyle changes both simple and delicious!
The author Glen Merzer illuminates the importance of healthy eating as part of his underlying premise that people need to own their health rather than relying on medical mis-information. One of the best features of the book is that he draws upon his own family experiences making the information more relatable. He writes with clarity and humor and provides real insight into the science behind healthy eating. No one can read this book without understanding Glen's central thesis on the centrality of a plant-based diet in promoting health. This volume is an important work for all; for vegans, for those thinking about it and even for those who like more traditional diets.
So let me start out by saying I admire and respect Chef AJ. But this is not her best work. The story by the main author, Glen Merzer, is funny, entertaining and worth the read. I love the part where he told his Mom he was a vegan, and she replied, "what took you so long to figure that out." She goes on to explain her comment in a delightful manner that I will leave to you to read. His wife's story is also great reading.
As for the recipes, well, they are just okay. I've made a few recipes and they are okay... not great, but not horrible. Nothing particularly creative, or that you can't find on the internet somewhere else. My biggest complaint is that too many recipes feature cauliflower as a sub for potatoes. I'm sorry, for me, mashed cauliflower DOES NOT taste or replace mashed potatoes. Nor do they replace the mouthfeel of creamy foods. If it works for you, great! Then perhaps you will like this book.
I heartily recommend Cathy Fisher's "Straight Up Food" (also SOS) over this cookbook. I have never been disappointed by Cathy's recipes. You can try many for free at her website, also called Straight Up Food.
I found Own Your Health to be informative and massively fun and entertaining. I've read MANY plant-based eating books: Colin Campbell's China Study, an every book (or nearly every book) by Dr. Essylstein, Dr. McDougal, Dr. Barnard, Dr. Dr. Ornish, Dr Furhmann, as well as several others, and scores of academic papers (so that I could read the primary sources.) I have a certificate in plant-based nutrition from Cornell; and that work inspired me to get an Masters in Public from IU, which in turn prompted to get into the Masters in Nutrition Science program, while taking IUs full dietetics program for RDs. Thus, I believe I'm modestly qualified to provide an even-keeled assessment. One of the reviewers on this site (for some reason) said that there was some 'anti-Christian' bias in the book. I was very surprised by this allegation. Nothing about Christianity was ever mentioned! ! The only potential 'anti christian' sentiment that i can possibly see is that the author does not question evolution, and instead just takes natural selection as a given. But I don't think most Christians are offended by this, a small subset of them (the ones that take everything literally) might want the earth to only be 6000 years old. But I doubt any of them are offended by the rest of the world who believes otherwise. My guess is that not only did the person who made this slur did not actually read the book at all but rather (most likely) she or he has some ulterior motive for slandering this little work (most likely a sub par author attempting to move up the plant-based rankings by assaulting others.) If you've already read a lot of books (and seen a lot of videos) on plant based eating and are debating whether to buy Own Your Health, i would suggest that you buy it...and here's why: Yes, you're going to be provided some information that you already know...but you're going to be reminded of those plant based concepts (and of their potency) through stories and vignettes that are new to you (i found the chapter on Joanna and her health outcomes to be particularly compelling.) I found Mr. Merzer's narrative on his experience on his transition to be hilarious (his years of experience as a stand up comic really came thru) And this is this the thing, it makes: findings about plant-based eating and health outcomes - a true delight to read. If you're looking for something like the above, buy the book...and just importantly READ IT!
This book solidified my decision to continue with a Vegan lifestyle. There is a lot of good research to support the health benefits. I learned that the reason my cholesterol numbers went back up after the first test of my vegan lifestyle was because I was using too much fat (i.e., olive oil and vegan butter). Now I am eating low fat vegan and the numbers have gone back down into the normal range again. I did not find the recipes all that useful but I have gotten some good information from Chef A.J.'s YouTube postings. If you are not sure about adopting a vegan lifestyle this book can help and for those of us in the lifestyle there is some excellent information.
Was enjoying it until Merzer’s Leftist view of politics was shoved down my throat and continued with insults against those who might believe in God and theology. Shame on you, Merzer! For these reasons - returning it.
This book leads with evidence for the whole food plant based diet. Unfortunately the author chose to bash Christians in the process. His misfortune to be so narrow sighted. There are plenty of us Christians onboard with the whole food plant based diet. However, the book still deserves a 5 star rating. I believe we are a society that does not see ourselves as being accountable for our own health and many would prefer to have the government provide for them, even blind-sighted to the false advertising of what they should eat. Kudos for the outstanding recipes!