Top positive review
A program that can help us restore good health. Why not give it a try?
Reviewed in the United States on January 17, 2019
I finished reading the book 2 days ago and, because I sincerely acknowledge its valuable content, I'd like to share a review before you make any commitment.
I’ll divide it in 3 parts. First, I'll write thoughts about to whom I’d recommend reading it. Then, I’ll share a brief summary from each chapter. Last, I’ll express personal strategies to comply with the program.
If you haven’t had the opportunity to read any of the 2 previous Plant Paradox books yet, and would like to understand the program and hopefully give it a try, you are in the right place: this one piece will cover all. It’s a short, comprehensive, and actionable book. As Gundry says, the present book focuses on practical matters, specially for those who have a busy life and think the program is impractical.
If, however, you’ve already read any of the 2 previous books and are satisfied [or perhaps not] with what you've learned, please, save your money for the upcoming book—The Longevity Paradox. In fact, since I believe it’ll be groundbreaking, I’ve already pre-ordered it. Having said that, if you’re like me, who, even after reading and researching details over again, enjoy learning new findings over time, then this book here, in fact, brings new perspectives on how to interpret previous concepts.
If I could summarize the book in a few words, I'd say that it’s a revised edition of the classic program, where the content is laid out in a succinct and more practical way to be implemented. In other words, I sincerely believe Gundry’s main objective here was to make it easier, walking us through the program, step by step.
[Chapter 1] It’s a primer on lectins. We learn what the heck lectins are; the food sources high in lectin; the effects of consuming foods high in lectins; how lectins influence our weight; as well as the 7 deadly disruptors that damage our gut and immune system. It’s important to highlight them. They are:  broad spectrum antibiotics;  non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs;  stomach acid blockers;  artificial sweeteners;  endocrine disrupters commonly found in plastics, personal care products, and household cleaners;  genetically modified foods and the herbicide roundup; and  over exposition to blue light specially in the evening.
[Chapter 2] Here we learn the details of the program itself: how it sets apart from other programs; how it can restore our health issues; how it can benefit those who wish to lose weight; and also about the 4 rules for success. I fell in love with them when I read the previous book, and will share here with you:  what you stop eating has far more impact on your health than what you start eating;  pay attention to the care and feeding of your gut buddies, and they'll handle the care and feeding of you;  fruit might as well be candy; and  you're what the things you're eating ate.
[Chapter 3] Now we delve into the 30-day challenge, where we learn the details of the 3-phase challenge—why, what, and when to eat during these phases—explained in an easy and comprehensive format. At the end there is a section on intermittent fasting.
[Chapter 4] This chapter starts with a list of the foods we'd want to stock our kitchen, and a list of those we'd want to avoid because they're either high in lectin or detrimental to our overall health. Then Gundry explains the details of certain foods we’d want to eat frequently due to their benefits. Some examples are: almonds, avocados, cassava flour, cauliflower rice, coconut, eggs, nori seaweed, and extra virgin olive oil. He then shifts gears towards the common pitfalls we habitually fall while choosing our food. Also, he shares common stores [such as Costco, Trader Joe's, Amazon, Thrive Market, Walmart] where we can purchase high-quality food without spending extra money when compared to what we’d spend following the Standard American Diet. Finally we find a description of Gundry's favorite kitchen equipments and how we can take advantage of them.
[Chapter 5] Here is where we learn practical strategies to start the program, making it easy to overcome resistance such as having a family to take care, demanding work schedules, stress, and so forth. Gundry shares ways to simplify our grocery list, notes on how to be more realistic towards our goals, as well as a handful and well-explained strategies to prepare our meals by maximizing the quality and taste while saving time. He finishes up with many suggestions on how to choose, prepare, and store ready-to-go snacks and meals whenever we need.
[Chapter 6] This is the one chapter that sets it apart from his previous books. Gundry addresses concerns we may face when dealing with specific needs such as tailoring the program for kids, parents, vegans, as well as for patients in extreme medical conditions. He doesn’t leave behind special recommendations for those on ketogenic diet. I don’t have kids yet, but I love the section about preparing kid-friendly meals. At the end of the chapter we find a short section about the importance of good sleep and hydration, as well as considerations on supplements.
[Chapter 7] This is a no-brainer 30-day meal plan, with all meals outlined. More than that, there is a weekly prep plan for each one of the 4 weeks. Recipes are found in the following chapter.
[Chapter 8] In terms of recipes, I’ve only had the chance to try two of them. The Salmon Avocado Bowl was delicious, which is made with avocado oil and cauliflower rice. The second recipe, which I tried yesterday, was the Sage and Mushroom Soup. Well, it’s aromatic and works perfectly as an entrée for cold evenings. Easy to prepare.
Although I’m fortunate to be in good health, I've been feeling better than ever after deciding to embark on Gundry's low lectin program late in 2017 after reading the main Plant Paradox book twice. I say twice because it was during the second read that I absorbed the details, and committed to try it out for the initial 6-week program. Not only my skin looks brighter, but I also have more energy during the day and my digestive system has worked smoother since I took the leap and adopted this lifestyle.
At first, the program Gundry proposes looks both daunting and difficult to comply. Even though I’d been following a combination of other similar protocols during the last couple of years from figures such as Joseph Mercola, Mark Hyman, Valter Longo, Chris Kresser, and Frank Lipman, having to make only small adjustments such as removing darling foods high in lectin such as cashews, eggplants, pumpkins, tomatoes, cucumbers, and bell peppers was a difficult task. After all, Gundry added the lectin factor—a protein produced by certain plants used as a defensive strategy that can trigger a cascade of damaging effects on our health.
It took me over 10 years to fully comprehend my ways to keep unnecessary inflammation away while getting more energy. That journey started most probably because I’ve been fascinated about the impact of good nutrition on physical performance and the joy of sharing meals we prepare with loved ones.
I say all that because, choosing to give it a try, you will be jumping ahead decades of unbiased clinical and experimental researches. Although these experts I mentioned above are all brilliant, in my humble opinion Gundry’s program is the latest refinement.
That said, I'd like to share with you a strategy to ease the transition towards any diet you intend to try. First and foremost, we could think not as a “diet” but as a “lifestyle” instead. Besides creating a healthy and positive habit, we could embrace it as part of our own personal values. It doesn’t matter exactly where we’re right now as long as we vow to move the needle towards a more meaningful lifestyle.
For that, changes in our current diet can be done all at once or can be refined over time. Personally speaking, specially in terms of eating habits, I'd consider taking the time to create a strong and lasting connection with our choices—specially these days we’ve been emotionally and physically attached to food. For example, during the first week you could remove from all of your meals a group of detrimental foods such as sugar and artificial sweeteners while making sure to include at least two tablespoons of a high-quality extra virgin olive oil every day. Keep adjusting on a weekly basis while you get familiar with the program chosen until you take the leap and commit fully to the program. In this case, Gundry proposes an initial 30-day challenge. After all, what’s 30 days when we are supposed to live beyond 80 years given the right conditions?
Last, some people may claim that this lifestyle is expensive. Looking from distance it does look pricey. But trust me, it can be easily done spending less money than the Standard American Diet. I appreciate how thoughtful Gundry was to write the section “Food Shopping Tips and Tricks” where he shares notes on how we can take full advantage of Costco, Trader Joe’s, Thrive Market, Amazon, Walmart, and local farmers market. Besides that, throughout the book Gundry mentions specific brands to look for.
I’ve been on Phase 3 for over a year now. Finishing the book, I decided to come back to Phase 1 and follow the 30-day challenge, starting this coming Monday. It’ll be a positive reset.
Well, it turned out to be a long review. I hope it helps you in some way.
Take good care,