It has been many, many months since I first met Meg Wolff, a seriously health-conscious blogger who writes about diet and nutritional issues on her blog, Becoming Whole 2; The Huffington Post; and her titular site, Meg Wolff. It was, like several million connections in this age of ferocious technology, an online introduction. It was in the early days of launching My Legume Love Affair, a monthly bean-centric food-blogging event which I created to highlight the health benefits, beauty, and marvelous global diversity of every sort of seed and pod bean, as well as other comestible legume plant products. Meg had contributed two fine recipes to the event: a simple navy bean soup, and a vegan chili. Little did I know how much Meg embraced the plant-based meals which I have continued to celebrate from all far corners of the world. Little did I also know the reason for her commitment to what some would consider a radical change in diet: Meg Wolff had been visited not once, but twice with cancer.
"Health is not valued till sickness comes." - Dr. Thomas Fuller, English physician, 1732.
“ Tell me what you eat and I will tell you what you are. - Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, Lawyer, politician, epicure, gastronome, 1826.
"…. man is what he eats.” - Ludwig Andreas von Feuerbach, German philosopher and anthropologist, 1863.
"Ninety per cent of the diseases known to man are caused by cheap foodstuffs. You are what you eat." - Dr. Victor Lindlahr, American physician and health movement pioneer, 1923.
“First and foremost is improving the way you eat.” - Meg Wolff, cancer survivor and macrobiotic nutrition advocate, 2010.
Cancer is among the most terrifying diagnoses, haunting not only those who have the misfortune of learning that they have the disease, but also the medical community. Men and women of science have made truly remarkable inroads against its ravages, and yet they still have their work cut out for them in terms of understanding its causes and identifying those who might be most vulnerable. Developing new treatments to eradicate or slow the disease's progression are equally challenging in making a positive change for patients whose quality of life and very longevity are at stake.
Meg, after enduring the loss of her leg to bone cancer, and her breasts to a radical mastectomy when the cancer returned, decided to take it upon herself to search for answers that were far away from the traditional treatments of chemotherapy and radiation, both of which did not leave her with a particularly hopeful outlook for future years of disease-free happiness.
Twelve years later, Meg has more than survived the illness which doctors predicted would take her life in a matter of months. Meg is thriving now, because she had nothing whatsoever to lose by adopting a plan for a plant-based diet, eschewing animal proteins and fats; sugars and other dubious sweeteners; and conveniently processed foods which taste great when you are stressed and in a hurry to be fed, but do not properly nourish.
From this simple, yet radical dietary and lifestyle change, Meg has written A Life in Balance – Delicious Plant-Based Recipes for Optimal Health. With an emphasis on Asian ingredients which have proven to benefit the longevity of women on the Pacific Rim, Meg presents recipes which embrace whole grains; vegetables, herbs, and fruits; legumes; seaweeds; natural sweeteners; and soy products.
Many of the recipes are not particularly difficult to prepare. “Squashed Adzuki,” a mash of four easy-enough-to-find ingredients, will be making its debut on my table very soon. Meg also presents dishes from such notable authors as Rip Esselstyn, creator of the popular 28-Day Engine 2 Diet; and Rory Freedman of the Skinny Bitch series of cookbooks. With so many varied dishes, there is no reason to be bored. The cookbook even presents some very unique and satisfying recipes for the sweet tooth in you. Yes, you can have your treat and eat it, too.
You will not find lard-laden pie crusts, nor high fructose corn syrup in any of Meg's bountiful offerings, but what you will discover between the pages of innovatively delightful recipes are those little precious life lessons on stress reduction (the stress which is often responsible for our poor eating habits), a greater appreciation for life's miracles, and the possibility that you may find yourself quoting Rabbi Harold Kushner:
"One of the most sublime experiences we can ever have is to wake up feeling healthy after we have been sick."I am very pleased to be able to offer a giveaway of Meg's lovely new book, A Life In Balance - Delicious Plant-Based Recipes for Optimal Health. To be eligible to win, please leave any sort of comment on this post. Anonymous comments must include a contacting email address. I will assume all shipping charges no matter where the winner globally resides. All I request is that you read and cook from it in good health. Comments for the pool of entrants will be collected until 11:59 p.m. New York time, a week from today, December 15. The playing field, at my insistence, is level. The winner will be selected through a random drawing. My family and personal friends are not eligible to win. Even if you have won a previous prize from MLLA, you are still eligible to win this happy, healthy cookbook. I will announce the winner on December 16.
F.T.C. Notice - I received a review copy in addition to a giveaway copy (at my request) from the author and publisher. I am glad to promote this book and would have done so even if I wasn't afforded a copy to give away.