I was pretty excited just looking at the back cover of this book, which promises “a plan that is reasonable, easy to follow, and provides a healthy diet for both vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike.” With 171 recipes, three weeks worth of sample menus, and a kitchen makeover plan it sounded promising. Who wouldn’t want to make a change that is easy and offers to help you lose weight, look and feel your best all the time, and not worry about getting or being sick? I thought, “Sign me up!”
Robin Jeep is a gourmet chef and former marketing director for Whole Foods Markets, and creator of Vibrant Cuisine, “a fusion of international cuisines using antioxidant-rich ingredients to delight the palate and bring about wellness.” Dr. Couey is a Professor of Health Studies at Baylor University in Waco, Texas.
My first signal that this plan might not be so “reasonable and easy to follow” came in Dr, Couey’s foreword, where he states, “This diet program is strict, and those who wish to follow it must be motivated to make a complete break from lifelong food habits.” Wait, what happened to easy? And then I saw the recipe for home-made dog food and realized that this was going to be a bit more complicated than I was led to believe.
Jeep begins by telling her story of ill health (fibroid tumors causing horrible abdominal pain), debilitating headaches, and emotional pain. At this point she decides to change her diet and as she healed she was inspired to spread the gospel of health and produce-filled wellness. I use the word gospel intentionally here, as Jeep is not shy about connecting her plan to a life of optimal wellness as outlined in the Bible, including taking a Sabbath day of rest.
Now, I don’t think anyone would claim that eating a wholesome diet including lots of fruits and veggies, wild fish such as salmon, whole grains, and natural oils is not a good idea. Or that relaxation, meditation, gratitude, exercise, and other stress-busting activities can help us function better. Or, for that matter, that such a life plan is crucially important for those with inflammatory-based illnesses. But I wish that these diets weren’t marketed as easy and reasonable for the general public.
I live in a place where I don’t even have access to half of the ingredients in Jeep’s list of what to stock in my kitchen. And considering where I live I do quite well in the nutrition arena. My Ayurvedic Doctor and friend Dr. Swati has informed me that with my Pitta-Vata dosha I need to limit fresh produce as I have a water and air imbalance and live in a water and wind filled climate. She counseled me against raw produce and too much fiber. Sure enough, when I eat less raw food and brown rice I have less gas and feel much better. Who knew?
This book is informative and full of some tasty recipes, but this is not a diet I could live with and certainly will not work for everybody. If you have been told that you should be detoxing and eating a less inflammation-producing diet then give this a try. The changes may be well worth the improvement in your health and energy, as the number of five-star reviews on Amazon.com will attest. I, however, will pass.