“The Plant Based Solution” by Joel Kahn
I have been a vegetarian for about 15 years. At almost 33, that sounds crazy, but it’s true. I gave up meat because I simply didn’t enjoy it anymore, and I was trying to focus on a healthier lifestyle. More recently, as my lupus and rheumatoid arthritis have stabilized, I have been able to make more of a connection between what I eat and how I feel. That prompted me to pick up “The Plant-Based Solution” by Dr. Joel Kahn.
I was interested in learning more about a fully plant-based diet and what it would mean for me to go from being vegetarian to vegan. For me, vegetarianism is old hat at this point; veganism is a whole other story. I also wanted to read about this concept from someone who is local to the area — I can imagine that it’s a whole lot easier to be vegan in California than it is in Michigan (but I suppose so are a lot of things).
“Lifespan is determined by about 10 percent genetic makeup and 90 percent lifestyle” (119).
Dr. Kahn starts out the book discussing his Jewish upbringing and how keeping kosher taught him early on that eating requires mindfulness, and that we all make an insane amount of food choices everyday, even if we don’t necessarily think about it.
He provides the results of a myriad of scientific research studies that have proven that a plant-based diet reduces the bad — chronic disease, heart attack, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, etc. — and increases the good. And these studies are presented in a digestible manner. You don’t have to have an MD degree or a Ph.D. to understand.
Dr. Kahn also provides real-life examples of patients he has encountered who have cured themselves of or prevented themselves from acquiring illnesses “simply” by eating what he calls a WFPB (whole-food, plant-based) diet. For someone who was stricken with multiple chronic illnesses at a young age, it’s appealing to me to attempt to heal myself in a natural way. Knowing that I have the power to do that is both exciting and frightening. As Dr. Kahn suggests, “Food is medicine.”
“I teach patients that our genes load the gun, but our lifestyle pulls the trigger” (122).
The book also outlines a 21-day meal plan with recipes for getting started with a plant-based lifestyle. I will definitely be coming back to that to try some of the recipes — or maybe all of them.
If “The Plant Based-Solution” does not convince you, check out Kahn’s GreenSpace Cafe in Ferndale. I absolutely love the food there. I always leave feeling full and satisfied, but not gross. In fact, I love it so much, that’s where we are having our wedding next year!
Recently, another location, GreenSpace & Go, opened at 14 Mile and Woodward in Royal Oak. I totally fan-girled it and went the day it opened. If you’re looking for healthy food fast, it’s the place to go.
While I haven’t committed fully to going vegan yet, “The Plant-Based Solution” was a great starting point to learning more about a plant-based diet and the potential benefits that can come from it. Even though my decision to become a vegetarian was personal and not political, Dr. Kahn suggests reasons why it should be, including reducing our individual carbon footprints.
And it gives new meaning to the old adage, “You are what you eat.” I’ll tell you, I’d rather be a cucumber or a tomato than a cow any day.
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GreenSpace Cafe is Kosher Michigan certified.
For more information, visit:
Kahn, J. (2018). The Plant-Based Solution. Boulder, CO: Sounds True, Inc.