There is a movement taking place on our planet; a movement that has an increasing number of people understanding the healing power of food and its potential to impact the quality of our life. This movement is the Forks Over Knives movement that started in 2011. We now have the support of many resources within this movement, with the most recent being The Forks Over Knives Plan. In this review I will share about this new resource and how it can help you harness the power and potential of your daily food, as a healing and preventative mechanism for optimal wellbeing.
In 2009, Brian Wendel connected with Drs. Alona Pulde and Matthew Lederman, as well as other leading whole-food, plant-based experts to create what would become one of the most influential documentaries related to health and nutrition thus far. In 2011, this documentary, entitled Forks Over Knives was released and captured the attention of many. From health professionals to citizens from all walks of life, there was a buzz in the air about the remarkable power of food. This was no new diet; this was a new paradigm and way of understanding and applying the power of nutrition. Over the following years the movement continued to gain popularity as people were experiencing profound changes in their weight and health, and follow-up resources were created.
In 2014, Drs. Alona Pulde and Matthew Lederman released a new book associated with this movement: The Forks Over Knives Plan. This book features step-by-step guidance and 100 recipes to enable each individual to transition their diet over the course of a four week timeframe. Like the initial documentary, it is my pleasure to support this resource as I know firsthand its potential when it comes to positively transforming the quality of our health and life. Below I will share what you can expect from this new resource and how it can help you on your wellness journey.
About the Authors
The Forks Over Knives Plan is written by Dr. Alona Pulde and Dr. Matthew Lderman, two classically trained MDs who have seized the power of nutrition for healing and prevention in their practice and personal lives.
Dr. Alona Pulde is a board-certified practitioner of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine and Family Medicine Physician specializing in nutrition and lifestyle medicine. She has worked hard to integrate the best of both fields into her practice and today unites these two powerful and synergistic healing approaches. Dr. Pulde received her Doctor of Medicine from Albany Medical College and her Masters degree in Traditional Oriental Medicine from Emperor’s College. She is also the lead author of the book, Keep It Simple, Keep It Whole: Your Guide to Optimum Health.
Dr. Matthew Lederman is a board-certified Internal Medicine physician with an avid interest in the field of nutrition and lifestyle medicine. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Biology at The University of Michigan where he graduated with distinction. He received his Doctor of Medicine degree at Temple University School of Medicine and completed his residency in Internal Medicine at The University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. After initially practicing as a hospital-based Internist, Dr. Lederman quickly switched his direction towards the field of nutrition and lifestyle medicine, having had the honor of learning from some of the greats in this field. He also coauthored the popular book, Keep It Simple, Keep It Whole: Your Guide to Optimum Health.
About the Content
The Forks Over Knives Plan is currently available in hard-cover and Kindle form. It is composed of 3 parts, 7 chapters, and 100 recipes. The content is well laid out and written in a friendly, clear, and easy to read style, with lots of cited research and personal quotes from people whose lives have been transformed by this eating plan. Here is an overview of the three parts:
Part 1: Eating the Forks Over Knives Way
This parts contains three chapters that share each of the doctors’s stories and why their medical practice has turned to healing people with nutrition; the science and research that confirms the power of whole, plant foods; what constitutes a whole-food, plant-based diet; and how to approach various lifestyle considerations in light of this plan.
Part 2: Welcome to Your Four-Week Transition
This part contains four chapters, each one dedicated to one week of the forks over knives meal plan. Week one is focused on breakfast and how to deal with protein. Week two is focused on lunch and how to deal with calcium. Week three is focused on dinner and how to deal with fats. Week four is focused on fine tuning the program and how to deal with carbohydrates. This part also provides the reader with a specific grocery list to follow, colored images of several of the meal recipes, and special focus sections that address common concerns.
Part 3: The Recipes
This part includes 100 recipes, divided into various sections like breakfast, soups and stews, casseroles, amazing grains, and desserts.
The ultimate goal of this program is simple: to leave you energized and free from debilitating chronic conditions so that you can spend less time in the doctor’s office and more time with the people who are important to you, engaged in the activities you enjoy.
Drs. Alona Pulde & Matthew Lederman, The Forks Over Knives Plan
When I first watched Forks Over Knives, back in 2011, I was already well into living and teaching based on the whole-food, plant-based foundations. What that film did for me is first and foremost offer conclusive validation that I was on the right track in my personal and professional approach. It was, simply put, music to my ears! Secondly, I was overjoyed to know that now there was a resource that can help people understand the power of wholesome plant foods in an enjoyable video format. Since then, I have been happy to share about the forks over knives movement and support its mission.
It was therefore wonderful to learn about this new book, The Forks Over Knives Plan, which is another fantastic resource. Its most powerful aspect, I feel, lies in the fact that it provides people with a comfortable and specific place to start when it comes to transitioning their diet. The book is super easy and friendly to read; there are no long or complicated scientific overtones. It gets right to the point in addressing key nutritional concerns and how we can turn our health around by changing our diets.
The forks over knives plan is neither about counting calories nor nutrients. It is also not about willpower, portion control, or deprivation. It is about eating real, whole plant food for nutrient density, and enjoying life. The plan actually encourages you to eat, and in fact eat lots, but of the right foods. The forks over knives plan revolves heavily around managing hunger and cravings. Nearly every section addresses this on some level. You can rest assured that the guidance and the recipes are all poised at leaving you and your tastebuds fully satisfied.
What I find so powerful about the plan is that it teaches people about their food, to really understand our food and its role in the creation of our health. This is an approach that I highly resonate with as I know the powerful transformations that can occur when people actually understand the connections between their choices and the resulting consequences, and are equipped with the right information. You will learn what to buy, how to stock your kitchen and even some specific cooking techniques. You will also learn the basics about nutrients to feel confident that if you are eating the forks over knives way, you will be covered for the nutrients you need. What you shouldn’t expect from this book, however, is a focus on the quality of the food when it comes to things like organic, genetically modified or similar considerations. It is clear that the authors want to empower people to take the first and most important first steps that pave the way to good health in the simplest and straightforward way possible. While I would have personally loved to see at least some focus with respect to the quality, not just the type, of the food, I completely understand how important it is not to create an overwhelming environment by needing to pay attention to or make too many changes at once.
Personally, I can fully relate to the approach taken by the authors when it comes to taking those first steps to make the transition from an animal-food and/or a processed-food based diet. It is exactly where I was back in 2006, when dairy was still one of the main staples of my diet. I was guided by the thinking, of course, that I was doing my body good. As I learned on both a personal and professional level, one by one things began to change; my approach to nutrition and my meals reflected the very essence of the forks over knives plan. And it felt amazing! For myself, however, I did not want to stop there but to continue to optimize my nutrition for the highest level of healing and prevention that felt most in alignment with my needs and understandings of health and nutrition. I always recommend the same to others as well: take things step by step, as you may be ready, but never stop learning, growing, and moving forward.
With respect to the recipes in the book, you can be sure that they will provide ample ideas to meet all of your needs. Whether it comes to breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, or desserts, you will find something delicious with which to nourish your body. Most of the recipes are cooked or baked dishes that are based on various starches and beans and vegetables. The recipes range from very simple ones, with only a few ingredients, to more complex ones that require multiple steps. Most importantly, perhaps, is that the ingredients are pretty much all very common and should be very easy to source. Once you stock your kitchen well, you should have an easy time putting together the majority of the recipes. I have not personally tried any of the recipes yet, as these days in my creative kitchen adventures I prefer to work spontaneously with my food, but I can attest that they definitely sound delicious, filling, and very nutritious. It will be fun to try some of them as my creative inclinations guide me.
It is always a pleasure to support and promote efforts that help individuals on this planet lead the healthiest and happiest lives they can. I feel especially strong about this when the efforts also take into account our modern challenges, like the state of our environment, and ethical issues, like compassion for all animals. So even though the forks over knives plan does not allude to these areas, you can feel good knowing that by helping yourself, you are in fact helping our entire planet.
If you are struggling to lose weight or desire to reverse or heal some condition, this book is for you. If you are ready to move past the eating habits that are creating stresses and suffering in your life, this book is for you. If you are ready to lead a higher quality of life and enjoy the richness of life in all of its glory, this book is for you. This book will help put your health right back where it belongs: in your hands. This book will equip you with valuable tools to know how to navigate within this new dietary landscape and build a solid nutrition foundation to set up your health for success.