TRANSFORMATIVE! That’s what “Eat To Live” is but how does it make it easier for you to be vegan? Because, let’s face it, this is where the rubber hits the road if you are struggling to live an ethical, cruelty free lifestyle amid a veritable sea of carnists.
I could spend lots of time telling you at great length how Dr. Fuhrman is a medical doctor who has devoted his practice and indeed his life to helping you to change your relationship with your food. How his book, “Eat To Live”, skillfully guides you to an understanding of the damage you are doing to your health by consuming the “Standard American Diet” (SAD for short).
These are critically important things but what’s important in “Eat To Live” to you as a vegan is what it teaches you about improving your life and health through the consumption of whole, living, plant based foods.
“Wait a minute”, you say. “I thought being vegan was simply about not eating meat, eggs or dairy. What’s wrong with eating potato chips, french fries, Oreo’s and vegan franks?”
If the sum total of your ambition as a vegan is to eliminate cruelty to farm animals and reduce your impact on climate change. That’ll do it. But why stop with eliminating cruelty to nonhuman animals, aren’t you an animal too? Don’t you deserve to have a healthy, active, long life? Aren’t you important?
Of course you are! When you go vegan, of course, you embrace a totally new compassionate relationship with your food. What “Eat To Live” does is show you how to extend that same compassion to yourself.
Eat To Live A Vegan Book?
Now before you go thinking that Dr. Fuhrman’s book is a “Vegan” manifesto, it is not. For those who choose to do so, he has guidelines for incorporating limited amounts of animal products into a healthy for humans diet. However, he does point out it is not necessary and for the average American carnist the amounts suggested as safe will seem humorously small.
What Dr. Fuhrman does in “Eat To Live” is lay out the case for whole food, plant based nutrition being vastly superior to the preponderance of processed junk, meat, cheese and eggs we in industrialized countries tend to eat. And not only is it superior, he shows you that the SAD diet you are accustomed to eating is actually responsible for reducing the quality and length of your life. He points out that such things as obesity, diabetes, heart disease and some cancers are caused by what you choose to eat.
But “Eat To Live” isn’t a doom’n gloom kind of read, far from it. The entire point of the book is to convince you that if you want the best, healthiest and longest possible life for yourself and your loved ones you need to change your eating habits. He then goes on to share with you exactly how to do that. Both in theory and with a host of delicious recipes to illustrate the theory.
In “Eat To Live” Dr. Fuhrman M.D. calls on his experience in his THRIVING medical practice for success stories to illustrate the dramatic results you can achieve by making the switch to a whole food vegan diet (he doesn’t call it that but we know better, right?). What I like about these success stories vs the standard run of the mill “testamonials” we are all so sick of these days is that these are actual patients of his. In many cases folks who came to him in desperation after exhausting everything that standard medical care had to offer. If they can turn their lives around just by eating their veggies the rest of us sure can!
Now For The Bad Stuff In Eat To Live
The biggest drawback of “Eat To Live” is the other side of its biggest strength. Dr. Fuhrman, as I already said, is a medical doctor and a scientist. His book is rigorously researched and he sites so many sources it boggles the mind. (In fact, so many that it smacks of conspiracy to me that so few doctors have made use of it until now. But that is a rant for another post.) And when he is explaining the relationship between your body, food and disease he tends to err on the side of too much information rather than not enough.
So, even though “Eat To Live” is a relatively short book it is packed with specific technical information when he is explaining how your body works, how the food you eat heals and makes you well or makes you ill.
Now, this is done to convince a VERY SCEPTICAL audience, to be sure. But it can be a little tedious to those already mostly sold on the idea. Just warning you. However when you get into the recipes and such all that falls away and everything is concise, easy to follow and well, yummy.
The only other thing that may be perceived as a drawback is that Dr. Fuhrman has his own brand of spices, dressings and such that he includes in the recipes he offers in the book. BUT he makes it abundantly clear you do not need to buy these and he shares with you the kinds of spice blends, like Mrs. Dash, that you may already have that will work in the recipe just as well.
If you want to live on popsicles and French fries, fine. As long as you are leaving the pigs out of it, have a nut. But if you are looking for a great starting point and guideline to get you on the road to showing yourself and your family the same compassion you are obviously eager to show to your fellow furry, feathered and scaly earthlings, then “Eat To Live” is an excellent roadmap to get you on your way.