Saturday, December 29, 2012

Cookbook Review: 30 Day Vegan Challenge

This book spent less than a year on the bookshelves, which is really too bad. It has a lot of excellent reviews, so I'm not sure why it came off the shelves in such a short time. I managed to get an e-book version from my local library. I had been reducing my meat intake for about a year, became vegetarian, and then read this book. I first read it cover to cover, and then I used it for my first 30 days of being vegan as a guide.

The days are split into different topics to help educate the new vegan on many aspects of lifestyle choices, nutrition, and animal rights. The challenge lies firmly in the ethical vegan camp. Yes, there are health benefits to becoming vegan, but it's for the animals that Colleen Patrick-Goudreau challenges people to become vegan. 

There were many full color photos of the food, many recipes, and a guide at the end of the book for suggestions of what to eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the 4 weeks of the challenge. 

I tried many recipes in this book. Some were good, some were not. The levels of difficulty ranged from easy to difficult. Unfortunately, Ms. Patrick-Goudreau does write on the assumption that you have been cooking for yourself for some time and can throw stuff together with a just a skeleton of an idea of a recipe. This may or may not work for some people.

About a year after this book was published, Colleen Patrick-Goudreau started a multi-media program by the same name, The 30 Day Vegan Challenge. It's a fantastic program and worth the cost. I began during an initial offering of $20. I think the regular price is $35. For all the recipes you get, the support, and guidance, if you are vegetarian, this is worth taking a look, if you are considering going vegan, this is worth taking a look, and if you are related to someone who is vegan, this is worth taking a look.

The topics by day are:

Upon Sign-up – Welcome Message from Colleen
- Day 1 – Taking “Vegan” Out of the Box
- Day 2 – Stocking a Healthful Vegan Kitchen
- Day 3 – Reading Labels
- Day 4 – Getting to Know the Grocery Store
- Day 5 – Eating Healthfully Affordably
- Day 6 – Trying New Foods
- Day 7 – Making the Time to Cook
- Day 8 – Starting the Day off Right: A Bevy of Breakfast Ideas
- Day 9 – Eating Out and Speaking Up
- Day 10 – Packing Lunches
- Day 11 – Rethinking Meat Cravings: Fat and Salt Taste Good
- Day 12 – Discovering there IS Life After Cheese
- Day 13 – Cutting out the Middle Cow and Getting Calcium Directly from the Source
- Day 14 – Plant-Based Milks
- Day 15 – Putting to Rest the Great Protein Myth
- Day 16 – Better Baking without Eggs
- Day 17 – Strong Like Popeye – Increasing Your Iron Absorption
- Day 18 – B12 - A Bacteria-Based (Not Meat-Based) Vitamin
- Day 19 – Finding Abundant Options while Traveling
- Day 20 – Skipping the Middle Fish: Getting Omega 3s from the Source
- Day 21 – Keeping Things Moving with Fiber
- Day 22 – Demystifying Tofu: It’s Just a Bean
- Day 23 – Special Considerations for Particular Groups
- Day 24 – Eating by Color
- Day 25 – Eating Confidently and Joyfully in Social Situations
- Day 26 – Finding Harmony in a Mixed Household
- Day 27 – Compassionate Fashion: It’s Cool to Be Kind
- Day 28 – Understanding Weight Loss – Part One – Calorie Reduction
- Day 29 – Understanding  Weight Loss - Part Two – Calorie Expenditure
- Day 30 – Keeping it in Perspective: Intention Not Perfection
- Wrap Up and Reflection

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