Inspiration from a Lifelong Vegetarian
– Writing and Photos

high res PFD coverIn her new book The Perfect Formula Diet, Janice Stanger, Ph. D. says vegan cuisine is the way to go, as long as care is taken to eat unprocessed whole foods. She shares her past personal struggles with weight issues, depression, and health problems.

In 1995 when her daughters decided to become vegans, Stanger, a San Diego resident, began researching nutrition, analyzing over 1,000 studies. Today she claims perfect health and weight through a whole foods diet consisting of six groups of whole, unprocessed “perfect foods”  including vegetables; fruits; beans and potatoes; whole grains; nuts and seeds; and herbs and spices.

“Perfect foods are rich in nature’s goodness with an irresistible variety of tastes, aromas and colors,” Stanger writes.

She recommends a diet that is by volume 1/4 vegetables, 1/4 fruits, 1/4 legumes (beans and peas) and/or potatoes, and 1/4 whole grains. To this should be added nuts and flax seeds. She says eating only whole foods can be difficult so people can set aside 5 percent of their calories for “vegan junk food.” One example would be consuming 2-3 ounces of dark chocolate per week, which is actually known for having health benefits. Stanger is concerned, however, about the many vegans who overdo processed and unhealthy foods, leading to many health problems and overweight. PETA outlines some of these vegan yet not necessarily nutritious items here.

Putting her years of research to the task, Stanger explains the protein misconceptions that often arise for those interested in the vegan and vegetarian diets and also delves into how diet relates to chronic illnesses and how the body “interprets inflammation as an emergency.”

I like the helpful tips for those transitioning to the Perfect Formula Diet: plan for eating at home and out, be patient with yourself and others, try different recipes, and other insights. For those interested in surrounding themselves with delicious vegan cuisine that nourishes the body and soul, this book is definitely worth reading.