A review by leahsbooks
Joyful, Delicious, Vegan: Life Without Heart Disease, by Sherra Aguirre

sad slow-paced

1.0

Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book. I am providing my honest opinion voluntarily.

I had expected this to be more of a cookbook, but that wasn't really what this was at all.

While I can understand and respect the role that diet plays in a person's life and health, and how the author has made significant changes in her own health as a result of dietary changes, I was super disappointed in the overall book. It came across as very "New Age," which isn't necessarily bad, but some of them definitely had me scratching my head. "If I have heartburn, I first look at what may be contributing to the problem." This didn't sound so bad, so I kept reading, especially since I struggle with daily heartburn that 100% is not related to my diet. But the next sentence said "Then I allow myself to feel empathy and love for the cells that make up my esophagus and digestive tract. I put the discomfort I feel in the context of the greater distress they must feel." HUH? 

The value of eating healthy is well-known, but I really got strong anti-medication vibes while reading this. As someone who depends on medication to live, I was especially sensitive to this message. The author also endorses a radical diet, and justifies this based on 2 doctors, but both of them were controversial figures without well-founded studies backing their claims. Sorry, but while I do follow a vegan diet, and always strive to add more whole foods to my diet, a program that pushes 30-day detox cleanses, followed by a raw vegan diet that eliminates all nuts and oil just doesn't sound appealing. 

This was proven when we finally got to the recipe section. It made up less than 12% of the entire book, and even at my hungriest, not one of the recipes sounded remotely appealing. Maybe they could have intrigued me more if there was a single picture included? But not one photo of this food that was touted as colorful and appealing was added to the text. 

At the end of the book there was a list of sources, but there were only 3 that involved peer-reviewed journals. The rest basically equated to websites that have no proven validity, and authors of diet books. Because they *always* tell the truth, right? I'd suggest passing on this one and sticking to actual valid, scientific information if you want to learn more about the benefits of a vegan diet (yes, cooked vegetables are still nutritious, despite what this book repeatedly insists), and picking up a cookbook or blog-hopping to find some appealing vegan recipes that are full of whole foods.