The Great American Detox Diet: Feel Better, Look Better, and Lose Weight by Cleaning Up Your Diet - Alex Jamieson First off, this isn't a "diet" this book expects a complete lifestyle change - forever. It's not a quickie fix cleansing so with that said on to the review.

I didn't learn anything new from this book probably because I've read too many books & seen too many scary documentaries on the sorry state of our food system but it did get me motivated to work my way back to a veggie lifestyle and attempt to cut down on the sweets and caffeine overload that gets me through the day.

This book is a good starting point for anyone interested in improving their health and seeking an alternative route to expensive medications and doctor visits for things such as pre-diabetes and borderline high cholesterol. She outlines the horrors of our current over processed, over medicated and often times just plain dirty food system but also goes into the dangers of plastic, even going so far as to say your rugs may be toxic. She is a bit contradictory in that at one point she says always keep a ton of water bottles in your car because it is so important to stay hydrated and then in a later chapter says that leaving plastics in the heat are a big no no because the toxins leach out into the water. So, are we supposed to keep glass containers sloshing around the back of our vehicles and where can I find these glass bottles of long ago? The thought of these breaking and leaking everywhere terrifies me because I store my bookcrossing books in the hatch of my car! Also, are we supposed to carry around heavy glass jugs while hiking, biking, walking? I felt she went a bit alarmist at times but take from it what you will.

My husband has already started this plan and quit everything cold turkey. He's a little nuts, if you ask me. He had a headache on day 1 but is feeling much better now and has lost a bit of weight. He's braver or crazier than I because I'm not doing that. I fear for my mental health. In all honesty, if I were to follow all of her recommendations I don't think I'd find life worth living. I can live without the meat, the animal products, the added salt and possibly without the cheese but the thought of never eating sugar or my drinking morning coffee or red wine is just too depressing to consider. I'm going to try it for 8 weeks to cleanse my system but I'm taking it slow as the book suggests. I may have to stay holed up in my room in order to spare my family the misery I'm sure to cause them all.

I do like the addition of the "mental detox" bits as most books of these sort ignore the mind and spirit in favor of the body. She mentions stress relievers and kindnesses you can do for yourself to help take your mind off of all you are giving up. I'll have to put these to the test.

The recipe section at the very end of the book at first glance looks very ho-hum. None of them call out to me to give them a try which disappointed me because I expected some great stuff from a vegan chef. I handed my husband a pad of sticky notes and told him to stick a note on every recipe he wanted me to try and he only tagged two pages. He kept saying, "I don't know what half of this stuff is". I may change my mind after I make a few but for now "Vegan with A Vengeance" & Vegan Planet offer many recipes that fall within this program, or are easily modified, so I'll use those instead (but my beloved Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World cookbook will have to be hidden for awhile, sob). For what it's worth I also handed him the Vengeance book and he used up the entire pad of notes before handing the book back to me and telling me to make anything from it, so many of the recipes sound good.