What better time to think about what you’re eating and your health than during the holidays. For those of you who celebrate, Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on all that you’re thankful and grateful for. Being a breast cancer survivor, I am reminded daily of my blessings including having my health. Cancer taught me to rethink what I was putting in and on my body as well as the thoughts I was engaging with in my head. Cancer also gave me the gift of a new outlook on life including my lifestyle and diet.
The 2011 film Forks Over Knives has been one of the most profound films on the vegan and plant based diet movement. Unlike other “vegan” films, this film focuses on the hard medical facts of the many benefits of eating plants in their whole natural form. The documentary focuses on scientific research showing that leaving meat, dairy, eggs and highly refined foods off your plate can prevent and sometimes even reverse disease. I have heard many anecdotes and stories of friends who switched to a plant based diet after watching the convincing film. In fact, my own sister who is a Registered Nurse found the film so convincing that she went plant based (for a short time) after watching the film. In my opinion, there’s not much one can doubt after learning the many health benefits, not to mention the environmental or ethical benefits, of a plant based diet.
Authors Dr. Alona Pulde and Dr. Matthew Lederman, both featured in the Forks Over Knives documentary, have created a new book called The Forks Over Knives Plan: How to Transition to the Life-Saving, Whole-Food , Plant-Based Diet which focuses on creating a healthful transition to plant based foods through a step-by-step plan over a course of four weeks. Each person transitions to new things at their own pace and on their own time. For me, I cut out sugar, wheat, dairy and eggs practically overnight after learning of my breast cancer diagnosis, but for others, it may take more time. The Forks Over Knives Plan is set up to help make the needed steps to change one’s diet over a well thought out and planned month. Whether you’re a newbie to the plant based foods movement or just want to eat healthier to promote wellness, The Forks Over Knives Plan is a great book to review and add to your collection. Here’s the rundown on the book:
- Week 1 you’ll start with breakfast, learning how to stock your refrigerator to help support this new way of eating.
- Week 2 you’ll move on to lunch, and learn the basics of meal planning to keep you on track.
- Week 3 you’ll reimagine dinner, and find out how to combat cravings. And by …
- Week 4 you’ll master all the tricks and tips you’ll need for the long haul, including how to eat on the go and how to snack healthily.
The three hundred page book book also includes over 100 recipes which will keep anyone on track for a healthy lifestyle. I decided to try one of the delicious recipes from the book, the Multigrain Pancakes (page 141).
Multigrain Pancakes with Fresh Berries (makes about 12 pancakes)
1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup cornmeal or other whole-grain flour
1/4 cup rolled oats
1 tablespoon aluminum-free baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 3/4 cups unsweetened, unflavored plant milk
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup, plus more for serving if desired
1 cup fresh berries or sliced strawberries, for serving (I used bananas as that’s what I had)
Apple butter for serving (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit
2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, oats baking powder, salt, cinnamon & nutmeg until well combined. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and add the plant milk, applesauce & maple syrup. Gently fold the ingredients together just until incorporated. Do not overmix; the batter will be lumpy.
3. Heat a griddle or a large nonstick pan over medium heat until a few droplets of water dropped in the pan jump & sizzle.
4. Spoon 1/3 cup batter for each pancake onto the pan until no more will fit. Cook 3 to 4 minutes until the edges look dry and bottoms are crisp and lightly browned. Using a spatula, turn the pancakes over and cook for 2 to 3 minutes more. Transfer the pancakes to a heatproof platter and place in the oven to keep warm. Repeat with the remaining batter.
5. Serve the pancakes topped with fruit (I used banana since that’s what I had handy) and a little maple syrup or apple butter.
And now for the fun part, the GIVEAWAY! I am giving away one copy of The Forks Over Knives Plan to one person (US residents only). To enter, please:
1. Sign up for my blog: www.cowgirlsandcollardgreens.com/sign-up
2. Share a comment below as to what you find most intriguing about The Forks Over Knives Plan and why it would make a great addition to your cookbook collection.
That’s it! A random winner will be chosen on Tuesday, December 2, 2014 at 12:00pm PST and will be contacted via email. If you prefer to purchase your own copy of the book click here.
As always thank you for tuning in. Wishing each of you a compassionately delicious plant based Thanksgiving!
All photos courtesy of Faye White Photography