A heart-of-the-matter handbook that shortcuts one to reasons that give motivation to make dietary and lifestyle changes for the better.
This book is a set of essays and recipes that put forth simple summaries for various topics, quietly presenting the fabulous "secrets" to health that are proven methods applied and documented over thousands of years' of formal practice and teaching in Yoga. These good tips for health and healing include recipes for oil and clay maintenance of the skin which really work in my experience and that of many other of my friends who discovered Yoga in 1974.
Think of how itchy dry winter skin feels in the northeast winter weather, and find the relief in the easy and self-nurturing sesame oil essay in this book. One gets youthful effects on the body from this weekly habit, and I and a friend found it relieves joint pain, muscle stiffness in the shoulders and neck.
The Healthy Vegetarian is deceptively humble because it was written and published at a small press, without much PR marketing and Hollywood flash. I am surprised to be the first one to review the book as it has been around for a while, but it is really the flip-side of the secret of success that Dr. Dean Ornish has enjoyed in his New York Times Best Sellers.
I began my studies of the vegetarian diet in 1973, and saw Ornish as a colleague in Integral Yoga International since 1974 with the author, my teacher Sri Swami Satchidananda, to whom Ornish also attributes his success when he speaks to the home-crowd in Integral Yoga.
I taught gourmet international vegetarian cooking in New York at the Integral Yoga Institute and saw the evolution of this book while Dr. Ornish frequently stopped in at the Institute to show the clinical documentation of the healing effects of the vegetarian diet in his work with heart patients who previously needed bypass surgery.
In Australia during 1996 I found an overwelmingly positive response to vegetarian/Indian food when I cooked on scholarship for my studies in sustainable design at Tagari Farm, Tyalgum, northern New South Wales with the meat-eating group led by Bill Mollison and visiting semi-vegetarian, one vegan, students.
The food I served over several weeks using my version of recipes in "The Healthy Vegetarian" and other recipes I invented with what food came from the garden created a unanimous excellent assessment of the food from the group in residence and students. It was the only course in the Farm's history with no complaints about food in the closing critique by students.
Sandra McLanahan, MD is another person who participated in this book's creation. I have known Dr. McLanahan since 1974 and it is heartening to see someone like her who "walks her talk" - she is healthy, full of energy, creative and artistic, beautiful and compassionate, humorous, brilliant, and can cite clinical documentation for all the good things in this book, the Healthy Vegetarian.
I hope this little book is discovered by those who would like a more relaxed body and peaceful mind to enjoy over a delicious lunch.