Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Mainstreet Vegan - A Review

"I've long said that I can judge the state of my psycho/spiritual fitness by how willing I am to wash lettuce.  I think this is all about self-esteem.  How much do we really, really believe we're worth today?....The more convinced you are that you deserve a splendid life, the more likely you are to eat top-notch food."
Victoria Moran, Main Street Vegan

I finished this book in about 1.5 days.  Granted, one of those days was a travel day, flying from San Francisco to Chicago.  You know how it is though.  If a book is tedious and not engaging you're just going to start to nod off during the flight, making it seem longer than it already feels.  On the other hand, if the book is awesome, you find yourself enraptured in the author's words and the flight was too short because you want the time to finish the book!  That's how I felt anyway, reading Main Street Vegan by Victoria Moran.

I've read my fair share of diet books, lifestyle books, vegan books, and cookbooks. I am pretty picky about them.  I won't recommend something I think is mediocre.  I want to give someone the best when they ask for guidance.  This is one of those books that I would recommend without a second thought. 

The tone is so down to earth and understanding.  There is no "preachy" vibe about it and it carries you through the process of going (or thinking about going) vegan very smoothly.  She provides facts without dumping numbers and study after study on you, but she also provides philosophy and the gift of new ideas.  After each main section she treats us to a little story about her life and a recipe related to it.  All of the recipes are very user-friendly, simple and tasty.

When she does get into more of the details about the Vegan diet, she does so gently and eloquently.  Again, he writing style is very easy to follow and the ideas are good for wrapping your mind around if this isn't your normal way of thinking (us Vegans can be a bit quirky sometimes!).

One of the things I get really, how shall I say this, pissy about is when an author doesn't quite give all the facts about the validity of a claim.  My favorite example in most vegan diet books is Food Combining.  This is the idea that certain foods should be eaten alone, like fruits, and others can pair only with specific others, for optimal digestion due to differing digestion times.  There is really no scientific backing to this idea and if a diet book states it likes it's truth, I lose confidence in that author immediately. What else are they not informing the public about?  Most people who will read these books will believe what they read and not do further research.  Victoria Moran explains this subject perfectly.  She simply states that some people claim that it helps, but it doesn't have much science to back it up.  Simple and easy to understand while still being honest and informative.  Sometimes I think that authors worry that too many grey areas will discourage people, and that may be the case in the diet book world, but I feel like the author thinks I'm a capable thinking being who can take the truths and do what I will with them.

She has great messages throughout, guiding people on how to be good vegans (and really just good people).  Be good examples by showing the bounty of a vegan diet, the compassion of vegans, the deliciousness that is vegan food, and the acceptance that everyone needs to take their time bettering themselves.  Just like the quotation on the top implies, as people realize that they are worth everything and more, they will begin to naturally treat their bodies better.  If they choose to become knowledgeable about how to do that, they will often tend toward a plant-based diet and compassionate lifestyle.

So, go read it!  It's awesome on so many levels.

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