Have you visited the Plantalicious Shop? It is open all hours! Come on in and take a look…

Do you love shopping?

I do!  I’m always up for a bit of retail therapy.

One of the things when I first started eating Plantalicious was that I did not have a lot of resources.  Recipes, books that explained the benefits of a plant-based lifestyle etc., Over the weeks, and months I have discovered lots of great resources: DVD’s, books, cookery books as well as ingredients and equipment.  Very often friends and followers would ask me for advice on this and that or what book to buy as a gift, or what blender I use.

So…I created the Plantalicious Shop – It contains many of the books and resources that I have used as well as links to more unusual ingredients that you may not be able to get on your high street.  My shop only stocks and sells things that I have either used and want to share with you or things that I recommend.  In fact, I think I own all of the items listed.  I also provide some information too to help you in your choices and to explain why I use the item.  The shop sells the items via an “Amazon Affiliate” relationship so your items are sent from Amazon and I get a small percentage which goes towards running Plantalicious and you pay the same as if you had bought the items on Amazon directly. The transaction is safe and secure just as any Amazon purchase.

A few items that I would like to highlight are:

  • ReThink Food – I recently did a review of this wonderful book that empowers you to take control of your health destiny- see here
  • The Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease Cookbook – The Esselstyn’s are an amazing family.  Following on from the work of Dr Esselstyn his wife Ann Crile Esselstyn and daughter Jane have recently published this book.  The book answers the question of “how do i…Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease?” – the answer is simple, you cook and eat these Plantalicious recipes.
  • The Happy Pear Cookbook – The Flynn brothers cookbook from their wonderful shop and restaurant in Greystones in Ireland.  Not all the recipes are Plantalicious but their food is so good and they just make vegetables and fruit sing.  They also run a brilliant course – The Happy Heart to reduce cholesterol.  Buy the book and take the first step towards managing your health, reducing your cholesterol and enjoy delicious food at the same time.
  • If I had a £ for every time I am asked about blenders, I would be a wealthy man – This is the mother of all blenders – it is not cheap, but it is the best investment you will every make for your kitchen and your health – Its a Vitamix
  • Finally, the book that started me on this amazing journey to health – The China Study, by T. Colin Campbell – If you have not read it – now is the time.  It will change your life, as it did mine.

So next time you need some Plantalicious support or inspiration or are in the market for a blender, head over to the Plantalicious shop and bag yourself a bargain that is not only good for your wallet but also for your health.

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Book Review – Rethink Food, by Shushana Castle and Amy-Lee Goodman

So many people trivialise diet and the link between what we eat and our health.  Friends, colleagues, personal trainers, that chap down the pub even Dr’s and specialists deny that there is a link between our well-being and what we stuff down our throats every day to feed ourselves.


Well, now there is a book that helps you fight back with the assistance of over 100 Doctors – real qualified Dr’s not quacks or people with an axe to grind, plus a bunch of elite althletes and 8 world renowned nutritionists. This small global army provide evidence based arguements for how a plant-based diet can not only prevent but reverse a range of chronic diseases.


The book uses a format whereby each one of contributors provides an article or small chapter on their personal perspective.  Some reviewers do not like this format as it does lead to some repetition, but in my opinion, they are missing the point as the repetition is there to drive home the message of the book that a plant-based way of eating not only deals with the symptoms of many chronic diseases but actually the causes.  This is something that traditional medicine fails to do every day for many millions of people while the pharmaceutical industry’s profits grow in proportion to the obesity epidemic that we are seeing in so many developed countries around the world.


The material in this book debunks many of the myths around nutrition and health as well as the down right lies and falsehoods that have been propagated by the meat and dairy industry over the years.  Think about – “Milk for strong bones” or should that be “Milk for osteoporosis”; “Meat the ultimate and only protein source” or should that be “we need much less protein and can get all we need from a plant-based diet”.


Critics will say that the book does not provide any counter arguements to it’s viewpoint.  Again, I think that is the point of this book.  There is so much conflicting and confusing information about the link between the food we eat and our health.  This book brings together so many who have come to their conclusions through scientific research as well as personal experience to present a cohesive and compelling collection of evidence that is (almost) impossible to refute.  I’m not suggesting for a moment that scientific research should stop and that we are at some kind of nutritional nirvana but this book proves for once and for all that there is a growing and significant body of evidence of the positive effects of adopting a plant-based diet.


I started reading it with a casual attitude and found that I could not put it down as expert after expert laid out their perspective and personal experience before me.  It is written in a most approachable style and language such that you do not need any kind of specialist knowledge to understand what is being said.  In fact it is suitable for anyone.


I have one small niggle that the Kindle version does have a somewhat confusing layout, which needs improving and can be a little confusing at first as some paragraphs are broken around others.  I have encountered this in other kindle books so it is not unique to Rethink Food, but if it were addressed it would make it a easier to read and improve the flow.


This book is one that I shall buy and give as gifts to anyone who is either interested in or sceptical about the efficacy of plant-based nutrition and how it can help to improve human health, prevent and reverse many chronic diseases faced by society today.

I urge you to read this and to buy it for those you love and care about as this book proves for once and for all that a small change in your diet at any age can have a significantly positive effect on your health and well-being.


By the way – and surprise, surprise, you can buy this book in the Plantalicious Shop for the same price as on Amazon.  Click here…

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A Day with Dr Esselstyn at the Cleveland Clinic – Notes from Carol Hagan

Here are Carol Hagan’s notes from her day at the Cleveland Clinic with Dr Esselstyn:

Dr. Esselstyn and his wife are the most kind and giving people.  Why do I say that?  Dr. Esselstyn contacts each of the patients in the session 10 days before the session to review their health history and to “get in touch with the nuances of what brings them here.”   He stated: “I believe the only way we can show our respect to patients is to treat them with integrity and invest our time in them.”  And I saw evidence of that in how he related to everyone.

What is so potent about seeing his message in person is that he takes a different tact than I saw from Dr. Neal Barnard in our Food for Life training.  By contrast, Dr. Barnard takes a
direct but softer approach because he doesn’t want to alienate any of the participants.  He wants to keep a crack in the door so they’ll walk through.  Dr. Barnard encourages people switching to whole-food plant-based eating to go, initially, with look-alikes until they can make the jump to full-on plant based nutrition. So you will see Dr. Barnard recommend veggie burgers, soy dogs,and some prepared health foods to get the process of change started in as gradual a manner as is required by the patient.   Dr. Esselstyn is by contrast fully committed to
his “Moderation Kills” stance.  (For details see: )  He wants you to jump into the deep end right away and eschew all oils, animal products, caffeine, and refined foods immediately.

Dr. Esselstyn really hits hard the point that each time you take in animal products, processed oils, salt and sugars that you are injuring your endothelium, (effectively the thin layer of cells on the wall of your blood vessels – see –  ). He hit hard the idea that even if you eat healthy during the week and cheat on the weekends, that’s still 1/3 of the year that you’re accruing damage to your endothelium, creating sticky blood, exacerbating production of plaques and hastening rupturing plaques and foam cells. The statement he made was “instead of a major stroke, you’ll still have a stroke. Instead of early onset dementia you’ll have later onset dementia. Etc.” Point well taken.

Ann, his wife, is equally as forceful in her commitment when she teaches about cooking.

Here are some key points that Carol noted:

  • Eat 6 small servings of greens throughout each day (raw or cooked), every single day.
  • Water is drink of choice. He wasn’t big on a glass of wine now and then but he takes it on a case by case basis. Decaf coffee appears to be okay to drink.
  • Supplements – He says he is going to revise his manuscript in terms of supplements. He now advocates taking only B12 because if you are eating on this food plan you are getting your nutrients in the quantities that your body needs. Your body will extract it as it is needed.
  • HDL does not need to be as high as we had recently thought.  If you are eating healthfully your body will find its own set point on what a healthy HDL level is.
  • He does encourage vitamin D if you’re unable to get outside to get sun exposure.
  • Exercise on a daily basis is strongly encouraged.
  • 1 T flax or chia seeds daily for healthy omega fats.
  • Changes in nutrition can positively impact heart issues in as few as 10 days.


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Carol Hagan’s Lunch at The Cleveland Clinic with Dr Esselstyn

Ann Esselstyn demonstrated how to make this fantastic collard green sushi. She’ll have a cookbook coming in September.


Lentil and butternut/carrot/ginger soup was served in kale lined bowls.


Fruit was served with citrus, mint and ginger garnishes. Who would not enjoy this?


Veg wraps were part of the lunch fare for patients learning how to eat plant based meals.


And finally out guest writer with Ann and Dr Esselstyn:



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Pictures from Carol Hagans day with Dr Esselstyn at the Cleveland Clinic

Carol shared some pictures from the start of her day with Dr Esselstyn –

Ann Esselstyn preparing for the day:


Some suggested resources to support your plant based journey:



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Heart Attack Proof – The work of Dr Esselstyn – Guest Posts from Carol Hagans

Carol Hagans and I met on Twitter.

She is going to spend today observing Dr Esselstyn  – see – working with a new group of patients.

For those who do not know Dr Esselstyn and his pioneering work – Please click on the link above or buy his book or check out videos of him on You Tube etc.,  Such as this one –

If you know anyone who is either suffering from heart disease or who is at risk – then share this with them – You would be doing them a favour!

Dr Esselstyn is one of my personal “Food Heroes” who has shown us that we can take personal responsibility for our health through our dietary choices and change our health destiny.

I asked Carol is she would be willing to her experiences of her day at the Cleveland Clinic  with us here on Plantalicious.

Here is her first post –

It’s almost time to drive to Lyndhurst Campus of Cleveland Clinic to learn from Dr. Esselstyn. More soon!

I’m just as excited as she is – I only wish I could be there too, but I hope that through Carol we will get a sense of how Dr Esselstyn works with his patients to help them Prevent & Reverse Heart Disease.


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