ARC REVIEW: No Excuses Detox – by Megan Gilmore

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Title: No Excuses Detox
Author: Megan Gilmore

Genre: Non Fiction, Cookbooks, Health
First published: February 21st 2017
Publisher: Ten Speed Press
Finished reading: November 4th 2016
Pages: 208
Rating 3,5qqq

*** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by Netgalley and Ten Speed Press in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! ***

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I actually read this cookbook by Megan Gilmore last November as part of the promise to myself to start eating healthier, but I haven’t published my review before since No Excuses Detox is actually going to be published recently next month. The cover and promise of quick, affordable and delicious food recipes that will make it easy to follow a healthy lifestyle every day had me sold straight away. This cookbook focuses on showing everyone that it is doable to start changing your eating habits and that there are literally ‘no excuses’ to be posponing the change. No Excuses Detox talks about the most common excuses and shows a wide variety of recipes that will please even the most complicated eater. I do admit I wasn’t convinced by everything that was talked about in the introduction and I think some of the points were a bit too complicated to be called simply ‘no excuses’. That said, the recipes are without doubt excellent and I liked that the author showed just how cheap a healthy meal can be. I have quite a few marked and I will be looking forward to try out more.

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In this cookbook, the author presents a collection of 100 recipes that are both quick to prepare, affordable, delicious and family-friendly. These recipes will make it easy to follow a healthy lifestyle every day and convince even the most complicated eater. Recipes for traditional comfort food favorites have been altered to make them both healthy and still taste as good as their counterparts. It also gives answers to all most common excuses for posponing a change, and shows that being ‘too busy’, ‘healthy food is expensive’ and ‘healthy food probably won’t taste good’ are no excused to stick to a healthy diet.

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I always enjoy browsing cookbooks for more healthy recipes, and No Excuses Detox was without doubt a little goldmine. I don’t agree with everything that is said in the introduction about the common excuses, but I did enjoy the different recipe chapters. From budget and family-friendly recipes to variations of your favorite comfort food; if you are looking for a book that might help you start eating healthier, this one is worth the try.


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ARC REVIEW: But My Family Would Never Eat Vegan! – by Kristy Turner

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Title: But My Family Would Never Eat Vegan!
Author: Kristy Turner

Genre: Non Fiction, Food, Cookbook
Expected Publication: November 15th 2016
Publisher: The Experiment
Finished reading: September 28th 2016
Pages: 336
Rating 4qqq

One thing to keep in mind (and to remind your family members) is that your vegan version is not going to taste like chicken (or whatever food they like and/or are expecting). Mostly because it’s not chicken. That’s the whole point.

*** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by Netgalley and The Experiment in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! ***

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I have to be honest when I say is that I will probably never be a vegan. While I have been eating less meat and more vegetarian/vegan dishes during the last few years, I could never give up meat altogether (and more importantly: CHEESE!!). Still, I always love browsing vegetarian and vegan recipes, especially since I’m always trying to prepare them at least two to three days a week. But My Family Would Never Eat Vegan! turned out to be a little goldmine. Not only are the personal bits and recipe introductions hilarious, but the recipes themselves are easy to understand and follow. I’m not sure if I will be able to actually prepare all of them as some ingredients are not easy/impossible to buy down here in Argentina, but I am looking forward to try my hands on quite a few of them soon. I loved the chapter division as well; tackling a different group of ‘difficult’ relatives and friends in each one. My favorites were probably the easy weeknight solutions, ‘meat and potatoes’ eaters, kids chapter and desserts. Thank you Kirsty Turner for giving me so many new recipes to try! I will be looking forward to the reactions of my ‘guinea pigs’.

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Going vegan is a highly personal decision. But once you made your choice, what happens when you dine with the rest of your family and friends? A lot of people are skeptical when it comes to vegan food and cooking vegan can present its own challenges. With this new cookbook, even the most skeptical relatives will be begging for seconds. Each chapter tackles a different group of people to convince and they all have a variety of recipes to choose from. From elaborate vegan dinners, easy weeknight solutions and special ‘child-proof’ recipes: But My Family Would Never Eat Vegan! deals with them all with easy-to-follow and delicious recipes.

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Even though I’m not a vegan myself, I can still see myself preparing quite a few recipes mentioned in But My Family Would Never Eat Vegan! The recipes are easy to follow and most of them have ingredients that won’t be too difficult to get your hands on. The personal experiences and funny introductions to the chapters and recipes made me want to read each and every recipe. Hilarious! I also appreciated the information about different ingredients and how to prepare them in the beginning of the book. All in all definitely a cookbook to keep in mind even if you’re not a vegan.

BOOK REVIEW: Eating Animals – by Jonathan Safran Foer

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Title: Eating Animals
Author: Jonathan Safran Foer
Genre: Non Fiction, Philosophy, Health, Food
First published: 2009
Finished reading: December 4th 2014
Pages: 341
Rating 4,5

“Isn’t it strange how upset people get about a few dozen baseball players taking growth hormones, when we’re doing what were doing to our food animals and feeding them to our children?”

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This is not a book about vegetarianism like the title Eating Animals might suggest. Nor am I are vegetarian or will I ever be; I enjoy eating meat too much to give it up all together. But this non fiction book by Jonathan Safran Foer sure left me thinking about my choices when buying and eating meat. In Eating Animals, he tells us about his three year investigation of what is REALLY going on in the meat industry. Safran Foer decided to investigate after his son was born; he wanted to make sure he was making the right choices for his kid. And after what he found out, he became a vegetarian. Says enough about the results, right? Safran Foer mixes facts with parts of his memoir focused on food, and is able to show us perfectly why he decided to stop eating meat all together. I respect his decision and I will definitely be more careful when buying meat. Eating Animals is what you call a ‘heavy’ read with a strong message, but definitely worth reading! The investigation is focused on the US meat industry, but without doubt the results apply to other countries as well.

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Safran Foer starts his story by explaining to us why he wanted to start his investigation in the first place. Food has always been important in his family. He already had some vegetarian experiences during college, but when his son was born he started to ask himself more and more why we do eat animals. We associate food with certain memories, and while he has some precious memories involving meat, he wanted to make sure including meat in the memories of his child would be the right thing.

The meat industry isn’t the same as a hundred years ago. Before, animals were raised and cared for at family farms, and in general had a relatively good life at those farms. But with the population and the meat demand increasing over the years, things changed. The so-called factory farms were born, and animals were treated more and more like mere objects. Torture, genetical manipulation, cruelty…The chickens, pigs, cows and other animals of today in general don’t have a happy life at all. Deprived of all basic humane living standards, those poor creatures in general suffer ever single day of their short life at factory farms. And the situation at slaughterhouses is not much better. Unnecessary cruelty during slaughter is a thing so common that even family farms that don’t want their animals to suffer have a hard time finding ‘proper’ slaughterhouses. Animals at factory farms are injected with hormones and are genetically manipulated so they grow faster while eating less. Hormones we later ingest when we eat their meat… And that is only the start of possible health risks and consequences of the current meat industry.

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Eating Animals is without doubt an interesting read that really makes you think about where your food really comes from. It is not a light read and people with a weak stomach might not enjoy it. Otherwise it is definitely recommendable to both vegetarians and those who enjoy their meat like me, but want to know how to make better choices when buying and eating animal products.