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 Post subject: Re: The Abundance Diet by Somer McCowan
PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2015 8:13 am 
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So far I have enjoyed everything I have made:

Cheesy Potato Bake
Pizzas (although they are not really)
Cowboy pasta
Laksa
Quinoa minestrone
Hearty Lentil soup
White bean and kale soup (the name escapes me)
Cookie bites
Most of the salads
And all the smoothies but the Apple Pie (something about the fibre/pectin in the apples makes it 'woolly')
Cheesy crackers
Artichoke dip
Oil free hummus (not really hummus)

To make it more manageable, I have been only making 2 soups and 2 salads and 2 snacks for the week and that's been fine. I have been cooking on Sunday and it has taken me 2-3 hours but then I have soup, salad and snacks for the week.

I wouldn't use the shopping lists as I found I shopped for 2 people on the first week and had too little of some things and too much of others. I would decide the recipes from the eating plan and make your own list.

Mat.

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 Post subject: Re: The Abundance Diet by Somer McCowan
PostPosted: Sun Aug 30, 2015 3:33 am 
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My partner and I are following the plan as written just to take our mind off of planning a bit this week. I have cut some corners (buying crackers instead of making my own, for example), but we're hoping to do a lot of prep today so that it's all sorted for the week.

I shopped from the list, but only for this week. I'll see what I'm left with to decide if I want to do that again. We'll see.


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 Post subject: Re: The Abundance Diet by Somer McCowan
PostPosted: Sun Aug 30, 2015 7:18 am 
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Cool, I also didn't use gluten free flour in the cracker and other recipes because I am yet to be convinced of the science.

Let me know how Desdemona's tofu feta works out as the one from the book is a bit dull.

Mat.

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 Post subject: Re: The Abundance Diet by Somer McCowan
PostPosted: Sun Aug 30, 2015 9:16 am 
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I was among those who tried Somer's cheeseball recipe for a party to great omni acclaim, so I have no problems believing the rest of her recipes are also delicious. But I too am a bit thrown by the claims about losing weight. Do the recipes contain nutritional information (specifically, calories)? I went through the "look inside" preview pages on Amazon, and didn't see a recipe page included there...


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 Post subject: Re: The Abundance Diet by Somer McCowan
PostPosted: Sun Aug 30, 2015 1:23 pm 
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dandykins wrote:
I was among those who tried Somer's cheeseball recipe for a party to great omni acclaim, so I have no problems believing the rest of her recipes are also delicious. But I too am a bit thrown by the claims about losing weight. Do the recipes contain nutritional information (specifically, calories)? I went through the "look inside" preview pages on Amazon, and didn't see a recipe page included there...


No, there's no nutritional info.

Mat, I too am not convinced of the "gluten is evil" stuff, but I wanted to give some of it a try since I eat my fair share of gluten stuff anyway!

My boyfriend and I have been cooking all day. I think it's not feasible to cook the whole week's worth of lunches and snacks in one day. It's just too much. However, I think if you prep a little bit one day (say chopping) and then do assembly another day (maybe on a Sunday) then you can do that.

I have everything prepped for the dinners. That was my big concern since I'm usually exhausted when I come home from work.

Also, a whole quart of a smoothie for one person?! That's a lot! I think I'll be drinking one half for breakfast and bringing the other to work.


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 Post subject: Re: The Abundance Diet by Somer McCowan
PostPosted: Sun Aug 30, 2015 1:37 pm 
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pickledtreats wrote:
dandykins wrote:
I was among those who tried Somer's cheeseball recipe for a party to great omni acclaim, so I have no problems believing the rest of her recipes are also delicious. But I too am a bit thrown by the claims about losing weight. Do the recipes contain nutritional information (specifically, calories)? I went through the "look inside" preview pages on Amazon, and didn't see a recipe page included there...


No, there's no nutritional info.


Thank you! That is helpful for me to know. This is rather disappointing - while I'm sure the recipes are absolutely delicious, the idea that people automatically lose weight by adopting a plant-based diet with no regard to the calories they're consuming is really problematic. It sets up unrealistic expectations around a vegan diet, which can also contribute to "failed vegans" - that is, people who give up on a vegan diet because they don't see the benefits they were promised. Many of the health-food fads - e.g. cashew-based sauces, coconut oil, etc. - are very calorie dense, and while they are excellent in moderation, calorie budgets allow a person to better determine what is a moderate amount to consume.

Ginny Messina has written a couple of excellent blog posts about this issue. Here's an excerpt from one:

Quote:
Vegans are less likely than omnivores to be overweight or obese on average, which is a nice selling point for veganism. In general, our diets are somewhat lower in fat and much higher in fiber—two important factors for weight management.

But not everyone loses weight when they go vegan, and promising people that they will is unfair. There are plenty of vegans who struggle with their weight. Some overweight vegans feel guilty about their body size because they believe that they aren’t a good advertisement for veganism. But anyone who makes an effort to embrace habits that honor the rights and welfare of animals deserves to feel proud. Veganism is a lifestyle based on a set of beliefs about animal use and there is room for everyone to be a good role model. That doesn’t mean that health is unimportant or that we shouldn’t strive to eat in a way that reduces risk for chronic disease. But, for whatever reason—and there is a lot about weight control that we don’t understand—some people, vegan or not, struggle more than others with weight.

There is plenty of research on how to lose weight and, for the most part, the formula is pretty straightforward: Move more to boost your calorie needs; eat less to decrease your calorie intake. Dietary approaches that allow you to “eat all you want without counting calories” nearly always achieve this by restricting food choices. But diets that restrict too many foods often don’t work well for long term maintenance. - See more at: http://www.theveganrd.com/2011/04/weigh ... momNS.dpuf


I will probably still get the book, and again, I KNOW I will enjoy the recipes. I just wish the marketing was a little more aligned with the content. There are plenty of great attributes of Somer's recipes to extol without resorting to blanket advertising claims.


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 Post subject: Re: The Abundance Diet by Somer McCowan
PostPosted: Sun Aug 30, 2015 2:19 pm 
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dandykins wrote:
pickledtreats wrote:
dandykins wrote:
I was among those who tried Somer's cheeseball recipe for a party to great omni acclaim, so I have no problems believing the rest of her recipes are also delicious. But I too am a bit thrown by the claims about losing weight. Do the recipes contain nutritional information (specifically, calories)? I went through the "look inside" preview pages on Amazon, and didn't see a recipe page included there...


No, there's no nutritional info.


Thank you! That is helpful for me to know. This is rather disappointing - while I'm sure the recipes are absolutely delicious, the idea that people automatically lose weight by adopting a plant-based diet with no regard to the calories they're consuming is really problematic. It sets up unrealistic expectations around a vegan diet, which can also contribute to "failed vegans" - that is, people who give up on a vegan diet because they don't see the benefits they were promised. Many of the health-food fads - e.g. cashew-based sauces, coconut oil, etc. - are very calorie dense, and while they are excellent in moderation, calorie budgets allow a person to better determine what is a moderate amount to consume.

Ginny Messina has written a couple of excellent blog posts about this issue. Here's an excerpt from one:

Quote:
Vegans are less likely than omnivores to be overweight or obese on average, which is a nice selling point for veganism. In general, our diets are somewhat lower in fat and much higher in fiber—two important factors for weight management.

But not everyone loses weight when they go vegan, and promising people that they will is unfair. There are plenty of vegans who struggle with their weight. Some overweight vegans feel guilty about their body size because they believe that they aren’t a good advertisement for veganism. But anyone who makes an effort to embrace habits that honor the rights and welfare of animals deserves to feel proud. Veganism is a lifestyle based on a set of beliefs about animal use and there is room for everyone to be a good role model. That doesn’t mean that health is unimportant or that we shouldn’t strive to eat in a way that reduces risk for chronic disease. But, for whatever reason—and there is a lot about weight control that we don’t understand—some people, vegan or not, struggle more than others with weight.

There is plenty of research on how to lose weight and, for the most part, the formula is pretty straightforward: Move more to boost your calorie needs; eat less to decrease your calorie intake. Dietary approaches that allow you to “eat all you want without counting calories” nearly always achieve this by restricting food choices. But diets that restrict too many foods often don’t work well for long term maintenance. - See more at: http://www.theveganrd.com/2011/04/weigh ... momNS.dpuf


I will probably still get the book, and again, I KNOW I will enjoy the recipes. I just wish the marketing was a little more aligned with the content. There are plenty of great attributes of Somer's recipes to extol without resorting to blanket advertising claims.


The weight loss stuff annoys me and while her story is very inspiring and I'm happy that this helped her get healthy, I worry that folks will buy into it thinking they will get the exact same results. I bought it for the meal planning aspect and to jump start this first month of school when I tend to be super stressed.

All that said...a lot of the recipes are turning out pretty tasty! The quinoa minestrone is good and the cashew sour cream is a nice addition to things (I have a double recipe in the fridge now). The falafels are okay - a bit dry, but salad dressing should fix that. I prepped all the ingredients for the Mexican casserole and the nacho sauce smells good (I blended it ahead of time so I only have to put it together).

Maybe I'm not used to eating this much, but it seems like a lot of food for two people!


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 Post subject: Re: The Abundance Diet by Somer McCowan
PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2015 4:19 am 
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Well I can tell you (and of course this is anecdotal) that I have been following her eating plan probably 90% for 3 weeks and I have lost 6lbs so something is happening. I suspect it is having a pretty much fat free breakfast. And I am a cynical fork, so wasn't expecting anything.

BTW Laksa needed 3 times as much red curry paste for me. Carrot cake waffles were delicious.

Mat.

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 Post subject: Re: The Abundance Diet by Somer McCowan
PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2015 2:45 pm 
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matwinser wrote:
Well I can tell you (and of course this is anecdotal) that I have been following her eating plan probably 90% for 3 weeks and I have lost 6lbs so something is happening. I suspect it is having a pretty much fat free breakfast. And I am a cynical fork, so wasn't expecting anything.

BTW Laksa needed 3 times as much red curry paste for me. Carrot cake waffles were delicious.

Mat.


Thanks for the tip on the laksa!

Okay, after day 1, here is my first reaction: That is a lot of food for a school teacher to be expected to eat in one day. I barely have time to eat a small lunch let alone a snack and a soup and a salad! That said, having all the food really helped me. I didn't eat as much as I should have (I have trouble remembering to eat and easily get overcome by stress at work...vicious cycle!), but what I did eat was yummy. I like the spinach artichoke dip! It's like my favorite one, but not as crazy since that one includes a shitton of vegan mayo and a whole tub of Tofutti. Haha.


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 Post subject: Re: The Abundance Diet by Somer McCowan
PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2015 9:29 am 
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matwinser wrote:
Well I can tell you (and of course this is anecdotal) that I have been following her eating plan probably 90% for 3 weeks and I have lost 6lbs so something is happening. I suspect it is having a pretty much fat free breakfast. And I am a cynical fork, so wasn't expecting anything.


6 pounds! Wow, that's awesome. I've been uninspired in the kitchen lately and meaning to lose a few pounds, maybe I should check this book out. The recipe reviews seem quite positive here!


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 Post subject: Re: The Abundance Diet by Somer McCowan
PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2015 10:35 am 
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Just bought it. The recipes look pretty delicious. I'm most excited about the meal plans. I have a huge test in October and I'm planning to study my asparagus off this month, so it'll be nice having my meals prepped and ready to go.


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 Post subject: Re: The Abundance Diet by Somer McCowan
PostPosted: Sat Sep 05, 2015 8:00 am 
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We followed the plan this week, but figured out that the dinners are light because you eat so much during the day. Since it's hard for me as a teacher to eat the soup and salad and snack at work, we're moving the salad to being an early dinner side with the main dish portion. I think that we'll just be taking soup and snack to work this week. We'll see!

The smoothies are good, but I'm definitely ready for the snack when my 11 am break hits.

We're liking everything so far. Really good flavors.


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 Post subject: Re: The Abundance Diet by Somer McCowan
PostPosted: Sat Sep 05, 2015 10:02 am 
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I think I'm going to buy this for myself as a birthday present.

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 Post subject: Re: The Abundance Diet by Somer McCowan
PostPosted: Thu Nov 05, 2015 11:50 am 
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The recipes in this book don't really appeal to me but I finally tried something, the lightened up African Stew and I loved it! Using the PB2 instead of peanut butter was surprisingly good and it added a ton of veggies to my day.

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 Post subject: Re: The Abundance Diet by Somer McCowan
PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2016 7:47 pm 
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Lately, I thought it would be nice to have a menu plan figured out for me and this book was $6.50 on Amazon so I figured why not?

I guess I should've done the kindle preview because I didn't think there would be talk about toxic food and also some questionable advice and information. I'm not sure if I would've bought the book knowing that.

So I skipped over all that. My grocery bill wasn't actually that much for a few days worth but partially because I had coupons, shopped at Wegman's, didn't buy anything organic and bought store brand. I already had some big ticket items like cashews. One thing is the recipes can be pretty time consuming.

So far, I've tried:
1) Apple pie smoothie... does not taste like apple pie but isn't bad
2) Quinoa minestrone - This is actually pretty good, seems like it took me forever to cut all those carrots and onions but was tasty and filling
3) Quinoa tabbouleh and falafel salad - I cheated a bit here, I actually had store falafels so I used those otherwise this would've taken a while to make. It was really good though
4) Hot artichoke dip - good but I'll never make it again. Took a long time to make because I had to make the moxella, the sour cream and then the dip.
5) Roasted tofu and Vegetable Stir-fry with garlic ginger sauce - This is really good and not too time consuming except chopping all the veggies. The tofu could've used something more than tamari though, perhaps sriracha or maybe even just some garlic. I did add extra garlic to my sauce though.

I'll also say beyond things taking time, a lot of dishes are used and I mean a lot. The good thing is I'll have leftovers and won't have to cook for a couple days. I'm not sure how far I'll go with this but I'll report back on other things I make.

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 Post subject: Re: The Abundance Diet by Somer McCowan
PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2016 8:03 pm 
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have you all seen Bianca's blog "vegan crunk" this month? She is doing the whole 28-day meal plan from the Abundance Diet and blogging about everything she's made. I've made (and loved) so many recipes from this book, and reading her blog has given me lots of ideas about which other recipes I want to try next!

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 Post subject: Re: The Abundance Diet by Somer McCowan
PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2016 8:35 pm 
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I think I saw a post on FB or Instagram from her which is why I went to look at the book anyway

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 Post subject: Re: The Abundance Diet by Somer McCowan
PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2016 8:45 pm 
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I just got this. Next week I'm home all week so I'm doing to do week one.

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 Post subject: Re: The Abundance Diet by Somer McCowan
PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2016 8:57 pm 
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ameyfm wrote:
have you all seen Bianca's blog "vegan crunk" this month? She is doing the whole 28-day meal plan from the Abundance Diet and blogging about everything she's made. I've made (and loved) so many recipes from this book, and reading her blog has given me lots of ideas about which other recipes I want to try next!


I'm loving Bianca's blogging of the Abundance Diet! I bought this book a while ago and haven't made anything from it yet. I want to try some recipes from it, but everything I'm reading seems to suggest they're quite time-consuming.


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 Post subject: Re: The Abundance Diet by Somer McCowan
PostPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2016 7:43 am 
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kidsdoc, I think part of it is because if you are following the plan, it is very time consuming because each day you make:
-soup
-salad (may involve cooking and includes salad dressings)
-dip (may involve cooking)
-main dish

Some days there is breakfast which involves cooking and dessert.

The first day, I spent 3 hours in the kitchen making just the day 1 recipes. But because it is just me and my husband and he isn't eating everything I'm eating, I had leftovers.

I made the Mexican casserole last night and it was good and took about 30 minutes to put together between chopping, sauteeing and blending.

I've also had a few more of the morning smoothies including:
Tropical Colada Green Smoothie (pretty good)
Razzleberry Lemonade Green Smoothie (pretty good)
Choconana Green smoothie (my favorite so far)

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 Post subject: Re: The Abundance Diet by Somer McCowan
PostPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2016 8:08 am 
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kidsdoc wrote:
ameyfm wrote:
have you all seen Bianca's blog "vegan crunk" this month? She is doing the whole 28-day meal plan from the Abundance Diet and blogging about everything she's made. I've made (and loved) so many recipes from this book, and reading her blog has given me lots of ideas about which other recipes I want to try next!


I'm loving Bianca's blogging of the Abundance Diet! I bought this book a while ago and haven't made anything from it yet. I want to try some recipes from it, but everything I'm reading seems to suggest they're quite time-consuming.

I'm glad you guys pointed this out. I was interested in that book, but wow, does that look like a lot of cooking. I love to cook but with my work schedule and placing work outs as a high priority, I'm not sure I could fit all that in.


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 Post subject: Re: The Abundance Diet by Somer McCowan
PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2016 8:18 pm 
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So I haven't been following the diet but I have made a few more recipes:

Lightened up Laksa - This is good but oddly, seemed like it could use more veggies. Every other recipe is packed full of veggies but this felt a little light on veggies. Also, it needed a bit more red curry than 1 tbsp, I thought. It was also a fairly light meal, while some of the other soups have been very filling, this is one that would be good accompanied by a salad or something else.

Cheesy Cauliflower and Potato Bake - My husband liked this but I had a couple issues with it. For one, there was no dedicated protein source (beans, tofu or other). So I added some white beans to it. Secondly, I found it to be a bit plain? Like it needed something. It definitely needed some pepper. We added some hot sauce but it was also something I would've preferred as a side to something else rather than a main.

And a note on time, both of the recipes were fairly quick. I used pre-cut matchstick carrots for the Laksa so all I had to do was throw them in.

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 Post subject: Re: The Abundance Diet by Somer McCowan
PostPosted: Sun Feb 07, 2016 10:12 am 
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So reporting back on a couple more dishes.
"Cowboy Special" One-Pot Pasta - I'm a fan of one pot pasta ever since I discovered it last year. For this, I think it could've actually used a bit more veggies. I actually used regular old pasta instead of brown rice pasta though.

Creamy White Bean, Potato and Kale Soup with Mushroom "Sausage" - I have made a version of this soup throughout the years, previously when I wasn't vegan and after I was. I think AFR has a version. My cannellini beans were unusually firm so the broth wasn't as thick as it should've been. I think it would've been slightly better if I had blended at least some of the beans in the blender with the cashews. I also doubled this recipe because I figured we'd like it. We definitely do but I just wish it was slightly thicker but again I think that has to do a bit with the beans I bought. I also wished for some diced up tofurkey italian sausage as well in it.

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 Post subject: Re: The Abundance Diet by Somer McCowan
PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2016 6:30 am 
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1 last recipe review for now as I'm not sure if I'll make another recipe in the book for a while. I made the corn chowder but decided to use soy milk (I don't buy almond milk) and added a can of cannelini beans to the cashew blend. It was quite good and pretty pantry friendly, especially since I just happened to have cilantro from another recipe. It was also wasn't too time consuming to make either.

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 Post subject: Re: The Abundance Diet by Somer McCowan
PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2016 6:45 am 
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I made Somer's quiche that was posted on Kittee's and Amey's blog last night and it was stunning. If that's a good example of all her recipes I think I might get this book! Thanks for the helpful comments about the "diet" aspect. I don't care about following a diet, but a book full of good recipes is fine by me!


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