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Book Reviews

We review The Abundance Diet from Summer McCowan

Book Review:
The Abundance Diet

Somer McCowan
review by Marla Rose

With the warmer time of year finally here, I was really excited to see The Abundance Diet show up at my doorstep for review. Published by Vegan Heritage Press and written by Somer McCowen of the popular blog, Vedged Out, The Abundance Diet is a 28-day plan designed by Somer based off a weeklong healthful-eating challenge she created on her blog that drew participants from around the world. The Abundance Diet is the plan in book form and stretched to 28-days, including everything you need to know to make it easy. With an emphasis on whole plant foods, Somer’s wellness plan emerged from her exploration after being diagnosed with pre-cancerous cells in her colon and severe ulcerative colitis. Prescribed an intense steroid by her doctor, Somer began gaining weight rapidly, nearly 100 pounds in nine months. After her brother recommended watching Forks Over Knives, though, things clicked into place for Somer and now, three years after she adopted a whole foods diet, her ulcerative colitis is in full remission and VedgedOut.com was born.

A generous, fifteen chapter book, The Abundance Diet walks readers through getting started, the plan itself (like helpful shopping lists), two great chapters on fitness and maintaining the benefits of the diet beyond 28-days and eight chapters of recipes, including ones on Green Smoothies, Main Dishes and Desserts. Including helpful sections on useful kitchen tools, how to cut grocery bills, a glossary of ingredients to become familiar with and advice for staying motivated with an exercise plan, The Abundance Diet is a very useful book that extends far beyond recipes by including the know-how that brings maintaining a healthful life within reach. This would be a useful book any time of the year but with its emphasis on whole, fresh foods, it is especially practical for the mild months ahead.

I enjoy Somer’s approach to recipes because they are simple to make - though they will require some chopping, which, let’s face it, cannot be wholly avoided if you also want the benefits of plants in your diet - but also rich in flavor, colors and textures. The recipes are also nutrition-dense while not sacrificing taste. The recipes are all vegan (of course!), light on oil (glancing through, I think I only saw one recipe with a tiny amount of oil), gluten-free and free of processed ingredients. From heartier fare, like her Chiles Rellanos Casserole Bake with Smoky Chipotle Enchilada Sauce and Veggie Patch Sunday Morning Omelets to main salads, like Falafel Salad with Quinoa Tabbouleh and liquid nutrition, like her ChocoNana Green Smoothies, Somer makes healthy eating fun and delicious. The salad, salad dressing, juice and smoothie recipes will be especially useful for anyone wanting to maximize nutrition though it is not without indulgence (recipes include cashews and coconut milk) so even those not trying to lose weight will find the recipes enticing.

With stunning food photography throughout, clear recipe instructions, a great variety and helpful guidance from the beginning to the end, this is a beautiful and useful book. I highly recommend The Abundance Diet.

2013-2015, Vegan Street

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