The Greenprint is the book I wish I had when I started eating plant-based.
I wasn’t planning on doing a book review, but I find The Greenprint: 22 Laws for the World’s Most Powerful Diet to be such a useful and practical tool, now that everyone’s talking about eating plant-based on some level. I listened to author Marco Borges being interviewed on a podcast either earlier this year or late last year, added The Greenprint to my book list, and put a hold on it at the library. By the time it was in my hands, I’d completely forgotten what it was supposed to be about.
The first thing that caught my eye was the endorsement and introduction by Jay-Z and Beyonce, arguably the most famous plant-based eaters in the world today. Their challenge for concert tickets made it seem like they were both vegan, but it’s not actually true. Nonetheless, props to Borges for riding their train and getting their intro.
Just over half of the book is a detailed explanation of the 22 Greenprint Laws, which I’ve included below. The rest is a plan on how to put the laws into action (in three tiers), and then recipes. I started cooking plant-based with Alicia Silverstone’s The Kind Diet, but I find the ingredients in The Greenprint a lot more accessible than Silverstone’s. I copied four of the recipes, so I’ll give a shoutout if they end up in my vegan staples series.
I also like how Borges includes sample recipes for each of the three tiers of transition to a plant-based diet; I think that changing habits is what gets people scared about moving toward eating vegan. I didn’t do it in one fell swoop, and that was my key to success. I don’t think anyone would want to go cold turkey anyway, as it’s not only difficult to change habits right away, but may also cause stress in the body. (Although some may argue that physical stress for the body is good.)
I’d like to share some of the most interesting tips from the book that I didn’t know — and I’ve been on this journey for over a decade.
- Law #4: Water is Life Fuel – This is a universal law for everyone, no matter your diet. I didn’t realize that water was so crucial to a high-fibre diet, which is key for digestion. It also helps the joints, spinal fluid & the brain, prevents cancer, flushes toxins, helps blood flow, and improves the skin.
- Law #6: Take Care of Your Mind – Eating plant-based reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s disease by 53% according to Alzheimer’s & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association.
- Law #7: Fast for Health and Longevity – Coincidentally at the time I read the book, I listened to a podcast in which the interviewee was talking about the benefits of intermittent fasting. Borges recommends fasting in the evenings a few times a week for 16 hours after dinner (eg. 6pm – 10am). Even though I’ve only fasted for 24 hours once in my life (for a charity campaign), I feel like I’m about 4 hours away from doing this on weekdays as I typically don’t eat between dinner (7-7:30pm) and breakfast the next day (7:30-8am).
- Law #12: The World Doesn’t Need Us to Survive – This was by far the most impactful chapter for me, as it summarizes all the environmental and health reasons to go vegan. If you don’t read the entire book, just copy this chapter and show/tell that information to your network.
- Law #21: Bring Mindfulness to Eating – Mindfulness is a buzzword that has come up not just in media but also in conversation. Someone pointed out that my knitting and aspiration to learn to garden are both mindful activities. It reminded me that cooking wasn’t an enjoyable task for me when I was early in my plant-based journey, but now it can be a mindful activity, especially when you’re very conscious of the meal your ingesting, the same way we’d savour some delicious ice cream or chocolate. Removing time limitations on my cooking and eating has vastly improved not just my cooking, but my enjoyment of it.
If you read Borges’ The Greenprint, let me know what you thought!