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I was very disappointed in the book. She talk more about herself and her eating Disorder. I was looking for a book that would help that would help me get started on plant base and healthy eating routine. So I don't feel this book is for me.
I bought this book largely for the recipes after watching Chef AJ talk on YouTube about how cutting out fat and nuts helped her finally lose the weight she needed to. I was very disappointed to see almost every single dessert recipe contains 2 cups of nuts. Also, she uses the McDougall diet which I love, so why recipes for cauliflower "rice" and "NOtatoes" when we should be eating plenty of rice and potatoes on this way of eating?
So there were things I liked about this book but a lot I didn't. Chef AJ does share her personal struggle, some parts may be familiar to a lot of people. And I understand that sometimes people can come through their personal struggles through what you could consider less than ideal means. I cringed a bit at the description of the Optimal Health Institute but Chef AJ didn't harp on wheatgrass enemas or alkalinity so I pressed on. I liked that Chef AJ said she didn't know 'who was right' and came up with her own mixture of how to approach eating. I do like that she seemed to be a bit more forgiving than others who seem to insist that everything must be organic and not come from a package. Telling you to buy frozen cherries at a grocery store seems like a good thing. I get to the recipes and I'm not sure what I expected. I kind of expected at some point to be given guidance on how to utilize the recipes. She mentions her green smoothie a few times and I look at the recipe. First of all, the recipe doesn't specify how many servings and is a large amount of calories. Maybe if you are coming from a place where you are trying to switch from eating a crappy breakfast, it might be an option. As someone who has been eating similarly for many, many years and struggles with obesity, it is just too many calories for me. There are some of the recipes I plan to try but I also wasn't too impressed with the recipes from looking at them on paper. I think I would've rather been given a template of how to eat for a week, utilizing the recipes (and other ingredients). I tend to eat more simply so I don't use a lot of recipes as well.
I watched a video where she gives a seminar about how she lost her weight, and I saw this book placed in the video. They shouldnt put this book there to be honest as that is what is misleading us. I feel misled too. The book is a good vegan book but I was expecting it to be soy free, SOS, GF, nut free, oil free and following the startch solution, as the diet she states she follows, so this book is really not good for me and what I was looking for.
I feel misled. I just watched a video where she stated she lost the rest of her weight by removing nuts and seeds completely from her diet in conformance with McDougalls Maximum Weight loss plan. Great. Went to buy her latest book because I could use some more recipes which follow this and it was full of nuts! Not just as decoration, but as base ingredients for the recipes. I can't use any of these recipes, due to the fat content and I dislike nuts. What a total waste.
I had heard a lot of hype about this book so I bought it and was not terribly excited after reading it. This may have been because I had read many books on the same subject of plant-based whole foods eating and garnered considerable information elsewhere. I felt like I didn't learn anything new here and actually preferred the presentation of similar information in books like Dr. McDougall's Starch Solution, The China Study Cookbook, Forks Over Knives Plan and cookbook and several similar websites. Some of Chef Aja's recipes sounded interesting but I have located those in other books, particularly in The China Study Cookbook., I mailed Chef Aja's book to my daughter thinking she may find it more interesting than I. She hasn't read it yet so I am unsure of her take.
I like Chef AJ, I've watched most of her videos on youtube and really like the crowd she runs with (Julieanne Hever, Alan Goldhamer, Doug Lisle). I've been making the transition from vegan to salt, sugar, oil free vegan in the past few months and finally ordered her book after listening to her episode on the Rich Roll Podcast. So all that to say, I really wanted to like this cookbook because I love the work that Chef AJ is doing and I'm really seeking some quality vegan SOS free cookbooks but the truth is it's just not that helpful. The book touts '100 recipes without sugar, oil and salt' but in reality, about half of the recipes are for sweets and desserts, the other half is mostly salad dressings and soups. She often substitutes one ingredient (eggplant for lasagna noodles for example) and counts it as a whole new recipe. There are really about 8 actual distinct entrees and 12 sides.
Regarding the desserts and truffles, almost everything uses date paste. While dates are a whole food, the approach of using dates in the place of a refined added sugar instead of moving away from added sugar in general and focusing on the fruits themselves reminds me of the earlier vegetarian cookbooks where they substituted tofu for the meat and every recipe still revolved around the tofu. How about some recipes like baked pears, banana ice cream, berry compote, instead of 10 different recipes around date paste with different toppings?
Again, really wanted to like the book to support Chef AJ but this one just felt like it was padded with a lot of filler recipes (baked tortilla chips, really?) Hoping her next book will be much more focused on the savory meals instead of desserts and fruity smoothies.