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 Post subject: Re: The Abundance Diet by Somer McCowan
PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2016 1:31 am 
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Drunk Dialed Ian MacKaye
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Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 2:26 pm
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vijita ! I really recommend this book. I've never followed the plan or made all the things in one day, or anything like that. I just treat it as a regular ol' cookbook -- with SUCH delicious results! I love so many of the recipes in the book!

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 Post subject: Re: The Abundance Diet by Somer McCowan
PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2016 4:51 pm 
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BAD PASS
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Location: NW Indiana/Chicago
I just got this for Kindle and am excited to go through this thread to see what everyone else likes from it. I have a trip planned at the end of June and wanna do a little bit of a workout/eating plan until then.


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 Post subject: Re: The Abundance Diet by Somer McCowan
PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2016 2:49 pm 
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Memorized Veganomicon

Joined: Sun May 29, 2016 8:24 am
Posts: 97
KrisB wrote:
1strangegirlbygolly! wrote:
WHAT THE HELL IS A FUNERAL POTATO? why is it called something so off-putting? could it sound ANY more unappetizing? is it just me?!


This makes me think of the South. i think this is a thing in the American South and Midwest. There's a whole range of comfort food casseroles that people bring to gatherings like post funeral meals...cheesy broccoli and rice casserole comes to mind too.

Anyway, I made this today because, well, cheesy taters and cauliflower. It's really tasty!


We eat this dish in the South, but we call it "potato casserole." I think Funeral Potatoes is a Utah/LDS culture thing and their version is a little different from ours. I have to admit that I grew up absolutely loving it so I'm excited to try this recipe for a healthier version.

Anyways, to weigh in on the diet book vs cookbook of healthy recipes, I would say that this book is definitely not as useful as a cookbook as AFR is. The diet info is not really scientific, more like "This worked for me, so try it." There is a greater diet info:recipes ratio, plus this book has a ton of smoothie recipes and some healthy dessert recipes, with just a few meal recipes, while AFR wastes no space on smoothies, snacks, apps, etc, and features almost exclusively food you would eat as/in a meal. However, there are enough recipes that I'm interested in to justify the $6.49 kindle price for me. I would say the main dish section specializes in Americana comfort food that happens to be extremely heavy on the veggies - I have cookbooks that show me how to throw together a super healthy stir fry, curry, or stew, but not so much a cheesy casserole, which is the only reason why I kept this one.

I bought it open to but not invested in the meal plan, and found that the meal plan really will not work for me at all, even for a week. My issues with it, basically:
-Very little protein for breakfast and often dinner. Many recipes have no significant protein component, especially the smoothies. I know opinions vary but I need protein at breakfast.
-Not much warm or solid food during the day. You get a smoothie for breakfast and a soup and salad for lunch. The dinners look pretty hearty but I want something warm and chewable before dinner!
-The soup and salad pairings make no sense to me. You're supposed to eat a black bean burger salad with lentil soup, falafel salad with quinoa tabbouleh with quinoa minestrone, tofu egg salad with tofu laksa...the ingredients are redundant and the flavors often don't match at all.
-The prep time would absolutely not be doable for me without doing most of it on the weekend meal prep day. (The above redundancy would make sense if you were actually making all this food the day of eating it but there's no way most people could. Unless most people are skipping off to make homemade crackers for their afternoon snack and bringing mini food processors to work to whir a quick salad dressing.)
-Despite that time and effort, you're still eating really basic and repetitive food like smoothies, salad, soup, crackers, casseroles with no side dish for dinner, etc. You could use the same basic smoothie-soup-salad template with a fraction of the prep time (say, by making two versatile dressings and some mix-and-match salad ingredients instead of three entirely different salads with dedicated dressings) or you could use the same amount of prep time and eat gourmet, varied meals. I mean, you make an applesauce snack cake and eat only one portion the entire month.

I definitely wouldn't give someone this book as an introduction to a plant-based diet, I think they would find it time-consuming, boring, and unsatisfying. I'm sure you could work around all of my complaints above, but that kind of defeats the purpose of a meal plan.


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 Post subject: Re: The Abundance Diet by Somer McCowan
PostPosted: Sat Mar 18, 2017 4:11 pm 
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Can't Dance, Isn't Part of Revolution

Joined: Sat Oct 23, 2010 10:16 am
Posts: 148
Location: Detroit
Before the PPK goes dark, I want to give this book the praise I think it deserves. I bought it a year ago and it has become my most used cookbook since (surpassing AFR and Vcon). I've made every smoothie, salad, soup and dinner recipe in the book and almost all have been amazing. There are two ways to use the book, so I'll comment on each separately:

Following the meal plan: I originally got the book to have a structured way to drop a few pounds and detox after months of really unhealthy eating (and a lot of alcohol...). As written, the meal plan would have been a ton of prep work. I live by myself and have no problem eating leftovers or soggy salad, so I made the four-serving recipes for a particular day, then ate that over the next four. That method took about three hours of prep every four days (plus a trip to the grocery store). I would have a smoothie for breakfast, the salad around 11, the soup around 3, then the dinner when I got home. I calculated the nutrition facts for most recipes and found that the days (I skipped snacks the and desserts) were ~1400 calories. I combined that with exercise and lost 13 pounds in 28 days (for reference, I had 20-25 to lose). It was a fair amount of work to prep, but ultimately what I needed to get back into cooking and eating healthy. The recipes were varied and satiating enough that sticking to it wasn't a horrible struggle, and I have very low willpower. I was really craving some chewy white bread by the end, though! If you don't mind leftovers, I would definitely recommend that approach for 1-2 people, otherwise I think the prep would be overwhelming.

A year after the initial 28 days, I still use this cookbook all the time! I am fortunate enough to live in a place where I have tons of decadent vegan options and I go out to eat or order delivery/carry-out quite often. When I cook at home, I want it to be healthy, balanced, and nutritious, so these recipes are perfect. I actually use this book much more than AFR, because so many AFR recipes need to be combined with others to make a full meal.

As others have mentioned, there is some unfounded health advice in the book that I just ignored. I've been vegan long enough to instinctively gloss-over all the "gluten is poisoning you" "soy is giving you tumors" ramblings. This book is probably not the best choice for someone transitioning or curious about veg-cooking. The recipes are easy and well written and very omni-friendly, but call for a ton of ingredients. After twelve years, I had accumulated most of them, but it might be overwhelming and cost prohibitive for a newbie.

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