First thing’s first. I’m not a vegan, have no desire to be a vegan and have no major moral or ethical problems with eating meat. However, I do like tasty, healthy food and enjoy hearing advice from top-level Obstacle Course Racing (OCR) athletes. So, I picked up World’s Toughest Mudder (WTM) Champion Deanna Blegg’s (co-creator of BlegMits…read the Xtreme review here and the Lyte review here) and Amanda “Turbo” Steidle (creator of the supplement line Turbo Superfoods) book “Veganise Me Now: Let health be your motivation for change, not sickness”.
Here’s a quick rundown of what I thought:
Beginning of the Book:
My favorite part of the book was actually the first couple of pages. The book starts off with the story of both Deanna and Amanda. If you aren’t familiar with these two amazing Australian athletes and entrepreneurs you should be.
Deanna’s endurance resume is deep besides winning WTM, she is also an elite Adventure Racer with a robust OCR string of wins and podiums. This is all after her diagnosis with HIV/AIDS. Her story is so interesting I would buy a book on just her life of adventures alone. Add in a fight with cancer in the middle of all her racing and it takes her mental toughness to a new level. As if that wasn't enough, she came back to World's Toughest Mudder after defeating cancer and finished 4th as a 48-year-old racing women half her age. #amazing
A Lifestyle, Not a Diet:
While I anticipated a bunch of recipes, the book went beyond my expectations providing not only recipes but advice on how to make a lifestyle change. Included in this list of lifestyle changes are recommendations for eating out at restaurants, creating shopping lists, adjusting your household cooking utensils/tools/equipment, “veganising” your panty, growing your own food, what your cravings might mean, and much more. I liked how they recognized the importance of many of these aspects and identified it as a lifestyle change. It makes the other recommendations in the book much more sustainable, which leads to consistency and success.
To further drive home the point of sustainability, Deanna and Amanda take you deeper into the Vegan lifestyle by providing meal plans and examples of their day. There is a total of four weeks each showing seven days of breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. My favorite part of the meal plan was when Deanna showed how she fits the Vegan lifestyle into a realistic schedule. Deanna’s is obviously heavily focused around fitness, but the concept can easily be applied to someone with a desk job.
The majority of the book is largely filled with recipes that both Amanda and Deanna use. Even as a non-vegan, they look delicious. The recipes look so good, I want them to move into my house and become my personal chef. You can check out some of the variety of foods that they offer vegan options for in the picture at the bottom of this article. You'll find there are plenty of options to choose from. Each recipe includes what ingredients you will need, instructions on how to make it and a mouth-watering picture.
I would give this book 5/5 stars despite my lack of interest in the Vegan lifestyle. I don’t 100% buy of the health benefits of being Vegan, but I will acknowledge it works for lots of people. Regardless of what diet/lifestyle you choose, people often find success with picking a plan to follow. This plan (whether it be vegan or not), is usually an improvement on however that person was eating before. This, in my opinion, is one of the reasons you hear so many people claiming their diet/lifestyle works so well. If you want to go Vegan to make that improvement, you'll find this book is a great guide to success.
I love seeing athletes tell their story (which this book does) and reach outside of the OCR community (which this book also does). It is a great gift for a friend, family member or coworker regardless of how much they like bacon. Check out the book and show some support to the athletes within our community and pick up her book. It is available in both hard copy and digital. While I prefer the hard copy, however digital can be nice because it is always accessible via your phone.