The Flexitarian Diet: The Mostly Vegetarian Way to Lose Weight, Be Healthier, Prevent Disease, and Add Years to Your Life - Dawn Jackson Blatner On a whim, I decided one day to try this New Age vegan diet thing for about a week to see how I like it. It seemed like an appropriate--and the easiest--time to pursue a vegan diet as it's summer and there's no better time for fresh produce than now. Plus, it's beach weather.

So I tried it for a week.

It was not fun.

On principle, the prospect of cutting out whole food groups makes me nervous. No meat, fish, animal byproducts (cheese, milk, eggs, etc.) at all? OMG, who are these people and how do they do this??

[b:The Flexitarian Diet|4066949|The Flexitarian Diet The Mostly Vegetarian Way to Lose Weight, Be Healthier, Prevent Disease, and Add Years to Your Life|Dawn Jackson Blatner||4114047] offers a more "middle ground" perspective on going vegan (or vegetarian). The idea revolves around adding more into your diet, rather than taking out. I can eat more now? Sign me up!

In practice, the idea is simple: consider your normal diet, and add in more plant-based foods. To make room for the increase in greens, you will gradually eat less meat and animal byproducts. According to the book, plant-based foods are the healthiest things you can eat and incorporating more into your diet will result in tremendous health benefits. You can still enjoy that steak dinner, but make it a splurge, rather than a regular. On other days, replace meat for legumes and tofu as a source of protein.

Over half of the book contains recipes for easing into and maintaining this sort of lifestyle. The recipes are very simplistic, often needing just a handful of ingredients, and very easy to make. Good when you're in a rush, not so great when you're trying to impress a dinner crowd.

What did bother me about this book was that the writing was repetitive, the ideas weren't super groundbreaking, and there were no pictures. *gasp* I kind of regret paying for a book whose ideas could be explained just as easily with Google searches, and also for the very tame recipes. It's as if the author couldn't decide whether to make this a diet book or a cook book, so instead decided to make it both by cutting out some vital parts.

Overall, though, I think the author makes a lot of valid points for switching over to a plant-based diet, and I like that her book acts as a bridge between a meat-based diet to a plant-based diet. 3 stars for motivating me to eat more greens, though I strongly suggest you flip through the book first before buying. In my opinion, it would be more worth your time (and money) to keep the flexitarian idea in mind and search the Internet for good vegetarian recipes.