Carbs are Good for You – The Starch Solution (book review)

washed-fresh-potatesI have tried different ways of eating a vegan diet and I never stick with one way for too long.  I decided to get Dr. McDougall’s book and read it and I am glad I did.

I put off buying The Starch Solution, written by Dr. McDougall, because I was turned off by the title of the book.  Curiosity finally got the best of me and I bought the book.

I learned that I should never be biased towards a book because of the title, because it just might be the book that I need that helps me make changes that stick.

You should read The Starch Solution if you want to eat the foods you love, regain your health and lose the weight for good.

About The Starch Solution

The Starch Solution: Eat the Foods You Love, Regain Your Health, and Lose the Weight for Good! is a book written by John A. McDougall, MD and Mary McDougall.

Price:  $26.99 US / $31.00 CAN – Hardback

Pages:  348

The Starch Solution is based on a simple swap:  By fueling your body primarily with carbohydrates rather than proteins and fats, you’ll feel satisfied, boost energy, and look and feel your best.

The Starch Solution is based on the latest scientific research.  Dr. McDougall, lays out an easy-to-follow plant that teaches you what to eat and what to avoid, how to make healthy swaps for your favorite foods, and smart choices when dining out.  You will also find a helpful weekly menu planner and recipes.

The Starch Solution will help you shed pounds, improve your health, save money, and change your life.

About the Author of The Starch Solution

John A. McDougal, MD, has coauthored many bestselling books with his wife, Mary and is featured in the documentary and book Forks Over Knives.  He runs the McDougall Live-In Program in Santa Rosa California, he cares for patients and teaches medical doctors and students to avoid drugs and surgery by using food to cure common diseases.

Topics in The Starch Solution

Part I:  Healing with Starch

Chapter 1.  Starch:  The Traditional Diet of the People – You learn the importance of starch and how every group of people throughout history has eaten starch (potatoes, rice, corn legumes, sweet potatoes, millet, sogrghum, barley, oats, wheat, and rye), as the center of their diet and it dates back to 13,000 years ago.

Chapter 2.  People Passionate about Starches are Healthy and Beautiful – You learn that people who eat a diet revolved around starches are not overweight and have very low incidences of health problems. You also learn that eating starch does not turn to body fat and that it satisfies the appetite.

Chapter 3.  Five Major Poisons Found in Animal Foods – You learn the poisons that you should avoid that are found in animal foods.

Chapter 4.  Spontaneous Healing on a Starch-Based Diet – You learn about people who are healed from heart disease, inflammatory arthritis, and from cancer.

Chapter 5.  The USDA and the Politics of Starch – You learn that the USDA has two policies that limit the nation’s consumption of starchy vegetables and grains.  You also learn that the USDA is promoting vegetables at the core of a healthy diet, but it took the USDA time for acknowledgment.

Chapter 6.  We are Eating the Planet to Death – You learn how raising animals for food have an impact the environment.

Part II:  The FAQs about Food

Chapter 7.  What Friends Ask:  Where Do You Get Your Protein? – You learn that experts agree that 40 to 60 grams of protein is plenty and that plant proteins easily meet the need.

Chapter 8.  When Friends Ask:  Where Do You Get Your Calcium? – You learn calcium is good, but you don’t need so much.  You also learn that dairy products cause other serious health hazards.

Chapter 9.  Confessions of a Fish Killer – You learn fish is not as healthy as others claim.  You also learn plants make all omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.  There is no reason why you need fish oils.

Chapter 10.  The Fat Vegan – You learn that a vegan can be fat, especially if he/she eats a diet based on the wrong foods.

Chapter 11.  Just to Be on the Safe Side:  Stay Away from Supplements – You learn that supplements can cause imbalances.  The only supplement that Dr. McDougall recommends is Vitamin B-12.

Chapter 12.  Salt and Sugar:  The Scapegoats of the Western Diet – You learn that humans have taste buds for salt and sugar.  You also learn that some foods that have a low glycemic index, are not healthy.

Part III:  Living the Solution

Chapter 13.  Practicing the Starch Solution – You learn about the foods you can eat and the foods you should avoid.  You also learn how to set up your kitchen and pantry.

Chapter 14.  The 7-Day Sure Start Plan – You learn the rules and have a 7-day menu plan to get you started.  You also learn how you can achieve maximum weight loss.

Chapter 15.  Our Favorite Recipes – You get recipes for starting the day, salads, dressings, burgers and wraps, soups and stews, main dishes, sides and desserts.

Final Thoughts

I have eaten meals following Dr. McDougall’s recommendations and I was amazed how long a meal carried me.  When I realize that 3-4 hours have passed and I am not hungry, then it must be something to this diet.

The Starch Solution is an excellent book.  I appreciate Dr. McDougall including the research and studies, which helped me understand things better.

I also appreciate Dr. McDougall including the testimonies of others who have had success following the starch-based diet.

If you are having a hard time following a vegan diet, this book will help lay the foundation for you.

Forget about what you hear others say about carbs making you fat, because how will you know if something works or does not if you do not try it.

The Starch Solution will help you understand how you can eat a healthy vegan diet, without giving up the foods that you enjoy.  I encourage you to read this book because I am confident that you will find it beneficial.

Image courtesy of Simon Howden /

When What You Believe Matters: I Believe (book review)

Do you know that what you believe matters?  If you do not think that what you believe matters, just keep reading.

I was asked to read and write a review of Dr. Eldon Taylor’s book, I Believe and that is what this article is about.

My goal is to inform you about I Believe and to share some take home points with you that I got after reading, I Believe.

Why You Should Read This Review and I Believe

You should read this review to learn more about I Believe.  This review will help you understand why what you believe matters.

If you are on a journey of personal and/or spiritual growth, then I Believe is a good book for you to read.  I Believe will help you reflect on who you are, as well as help you focus on why what you believe matters.

A Positive Attitude Makes Life Better

Before I tell you about I Believe, I have to tell you that this is not the kind of book that I would normally read.  However, I am glad that I had the opportunity to read this book, because I learned more about myself.

There are many golden nuggets in this book, but one that stays with me is that we must be positive about every situation in our lives, be it good or bad.  I am the first to admit, that it is very hard to have a positive attitude about something that you perceive as bad.  I have come to the realization that things are not as bad as we perceive them when we have a positive attitude.

Sometimes, I am not very optimistic about my daughter reaching certain milestones (I am a realist, I guess that is the scientist in me).  When I am optimistic and believe that certain milestones are possible, those little things happen when I least expect it.  However, when I do not have a positive attitude, it takes longer for me to see progress.

All I am saying is that after reading I Believe, I understand how important it is to have a positive attitude about everything in life, even the smallest things, because it makes you feel good and of course there is less stress.

The Book – I Believe:  When What You Believe Matters!


“I Believe reveals the importance of choosing your every life belief and the effects these choices have on the quality of your life—affecting areas that may surprise you in ways you have not thought of. From influencing how long you will live and how your DNA expresses itself to what you will allow yourself to see and hear, I promise that you will be astounded at the many consequences for every belief. It’s like a spider web that continually builds upon itself often trapping us where we don’t want to be. The book also comes with a CD featuring Eldon’s patented InnerTalk technology.”

I Believe has 26 chapters and they are listed below:

  • Chapter 1:      The Power of Belief:  Who am I?
  • Chapter 2:      Don’t Take Yourself Too Seriously
  • Chapter 3:      Be Honest with Yourself and Embrace Your Flaws
  • Chapter 4:      Integrity Inviolate
  • Chapter 5:      Who Am I?
  • Chapter 6:      Life and Pain
  • Chapter 7:      Love and Cruelty
  • Chapter 8:      The Gods of Science
  • Chapter 9:      Attached to Un-attachment
  • Chapter 10:    Enlightenment
  • Chapter 11:    Trying, Losing, and Persisting
  • Chapter 12:    Goals and Ambitions
  • Chapter 13:    Competition
  • Chapter 14:     Instinct and Intuition
  • Chapter 15:    Afterlife and End of Life
  • Chapter 16:    It’s Never Too Late
  • Chapter 17:    Balance
  • Chapter 18:    What’s Wrong with This Picture?  The Law of Attraction
  • Chapter 19:    Frolic and Folly
  • Chapter 20:    Blessings and Resolutions
  • Chapter 21:    Falsophrenia
  • Chapter 22:    Peace
  • Chapter 23:    The Value of Mortality
  • Chapter 24:    Relationships
  • Chapter 25:    The Mind-Body Believe System
  • Chapter 26:    I Believe in You

Take Home Points

When I read a book, I usually underline or write down golden nuggets.  Below are a few of the golden nuggets from I Believe:

“I believe that life is an experience, and we’re here in part to “taste the chocolate.” p.  44

Charlie’s Dream “He’d learned these things:  knowledge is not necessarily wisdom, experience is not always a kind teacher, and passion is sometimes a poison that betrays whatever value there is to be in experience and knowledge.”  p.  121

Reflection questions (Blessings and Resolutions) that Dr. Taylor asks you to think about.  “Do you believe love is the great equalizer?  We often receive our greatest blessings in what we give.  Our highest purpose is probably in how we serve.  Why don’t you try this for yourself if you haven’t already?”  p.  144

“The greater the expectation the greater the effect.  In other words, building a strong belief creates the foundation for the result.”  p. 173

“In short, the power of your belief is absolutely enormous and has long-standing consequences for your health and wellness.”  p. 175

“You’re a miracle and the spark of the Creator exists inside you.”  p. 182

Final Thoughts

I Believe is an easy read, but it took time for me to get into the book.  The reasons it took me longer to get into this book are:

  1. Not the kind of book that I usually read, but I enjoy reading period.
  2. Had a slight religious tone, but on the other hand I had to guess about the religion of the author.  I wasn’t sure if I was reading something that was new age or not and I’m still not sure.
  3. I stated that it was an easy read, but there are some big words that I had never seen.  You might need a dictionary, but do know that the book is not loaded with big words.
  4. I had an electronic version of this book and I am the type of reader who likes to have a book in hand.  I haven’t crossed over to reading books on electronic devices and I don’t think I ever will.

I Believe is an easy read and the chapters are short.  There are reflection questions at the end of each chapter for you to answer relating to the chapter.

Each chapter provides helpful information.

I enjoyed reading this book and I felt like I was having a conversation with Dr. Taylor.

I recommend this book to anyone who is on a personal growth journey.  You will definitely look at your life and what you believe in a new light.

It is a great eye opener on how belief plays a big role in everything that we do and everything that happens in life.


Author:  Dr. Eldon TaylorI Believe: When What You Believe Matters!

Price:  USA/CAN  $16.95 | UK 10.99

Pages:  211

Disclaimer:  I was provided an electric version of I Believe for free for a review.  This is an honest review and I was not paid for this review.

A Cattle Rancher Who Won’t Eat Meat: Mad Cowboy

Do you find it challenging to stay on a plant-based diet?  Get inspired and motivated from a Mad Cowboy who went from being a cattle rancher and a meat and potato man to being vegetarian.

Why You Should Read Mad Cowboy

Reading Mad Cowboy opens your eyes to how cattle are raised, how cattle ranching has affected the land and the environment, and the health of people.

The goals of my review of Mad Cowboy are:

  1. To inform you about the book.
  2. To share with you key points in the book that provide information about cattle ranching
  3. Inspire you to read more books that help solidify your commitment to eating a plant-based diet.

Eye Opening About My Land

Mad Cowboy opened my eyes to how cattle ranchers started out raising cattle the natural way.  The cattle ate a natural diet and the land naturally replenished itself, because of crop rotation, which resulted in the environment staying in tact.  The land was less polluted and more fertile than it is today.

I am blessed to live on the land that my husband’s grandfather used to raise food.  Grandfather raised cows, chickens and pigs.  He planted crops that yielded very well.

I have had the opportunity of planting a garden in the same area that my husband’s grandfather planted his garden.  The year I planted the garden, my harvest was plentiful.  Check out my tomato harvest.

My husband’s grandfather left the land in good condition.  It is hard to keep the rabbits, deer and other little critters away from the garden.  I am thankful that our grandfather left us land that has life.

A Few Take-Away Points

Old-fashioned farming is a thing of the past.  Sometimes, the easiest and fastest way, may not be the best way.

“Crop rotation was the first principle of the old-fashioned organic method of dairy farming employed by my father, grandfather and great-grandfather.” (p. 52)

The modern-day farmer’s biggest concern is making money as fast as he or she can, by any means necessary.  The farmer is not thinking about the impact he or she has on the land, the environment, or even human beings.

“To make the cattle grow faster, I didn’t restrict myself to merely forcing upon them an unnatural diet of grain.  Like most cattle farmers today, I used hormones to stimulate growth of the animals.” (p. 57)

The Mad Cows and Bureaucrat chapter is one where the author shares when the mad cow disease was first discovered in Great Britain and he also shares how the bureaucrats handled the mad cow scare.

“There had never been (and still has never been) any confirmed cases of BSE (bovine spongiform encephalopathy), brain-waisting disease, in the United States.  But every year about a hundred thousand cows in this country die mysteriously of what is known as Downer Cow Syndrome.” (p. 87)

Think of the money that would be saved if cattle were allowed to eat the natural diet they were meant to eat.  It is hard to believe that the majority of the grain grown in this country is fed to animals, when there are people starving.  This does not make sense.

“…remember it takes roughly sixteen pounds of grain to create one pound of beef.” (p. 125)

“Eighty percent of American grain production is currently destined for the gullets of animals.” (p. 125)

It is a sad day when the ranchers have more say so over land-use policies than the residents.  It is all about the money. 

“The thousand or so ranchers who graze their cattle on public land in Arizona, for instance, have far more say in that state’s land-use policies than its other 3.7 million residents combined.” (p. 136)

Discovering that a cattle rancher goes vegan is hard to believe.  If this isn’t encouraging, I don’t know what is?

“I decided to try to be a vegan.  For a person who hadn’t even heard the term a year before, it was a giant step.  Frankly, I didn’t think I could do it.” (p. 176)

“It took me, therefore, about a year to make the full transition from meat-eater to vegan.  In retrospect, I wish I had become vegan sooner.” (p. 176)

Mad Cowboy:  Plain Truth From the Cattle Rancher Who Won’t Eat Meat

About the Author:  Howard Lyman is the author of Mad Cowboy.  Lyman is a a fourth-generation Montana rancher.  He investigated the use of chemicals in agriculture after developing a spinal tumor that nearly paralyzed him.

Lyman is now a vegetarian, who uncovers the propaganda of beef and dairy interests – and the government agencies that protect them – to expose an animal-based diet as the primary cause of cancer, heart disease, and obesity in this country.

Lyman warns that the livestock industry is repeating the mistakes that led to Mad Cow disease in England while simultaneously causing serious damage to the environment. (back cover of book)

Cost:  U.S.  $14.00 | Can. $16.00

Total Pages:  223

Reading:  Book is an easy read and the author is down to earth.

Final Thoughts About Mad Cowboy

Once your start reading Mad Cowboy, you will not want to put it down.  It is one thing to see how the animals are treated on those videos that get leaked to the public, but it is another thing to learn what goes on behind the scenes in the world of cattle ranching.

If you are a person who cares about the environment, you get a lesson on how the land has been polluted with agricultural chemicals that are used in cattle ranching as well as farming.

I recommend that anyone who eats a plant-based diet, or is considering eating a plant-based diet, read this book.  After reading this book, you will be more determined than ever to eat a plant-based diet.