Book Report: The Healthiest Diet on the Planet by Dr. McDougall + Bonus Recipe


Dr. McDougall has done it again! You know who he is, right? A pioneer in the field of plant-based nutrition, prolific author, and the director of a 10 day residence program that helps people get off their meds, get healthy, and change their lives. He is an inspiration!

In his latest book, Dr. McDougall lays out “the healthiest diet on the planet.” And, no it’s not paleo (please.) All you have to do is read the subtitle and you will understand: Why the Foods You Love – Pizza, Pancakes, Potatoes, Pasta, and More – Are the Solution to Preventing Disease and Looking and Feeling Your Best!

So bring it on! Bring on the pasta, potatoes, rice and bread because a high starch diet is the key to good health, to living longer and to losing weight. This is why eating a vegan, plant-based diet is so amazing! Because I have permission to eat, wait for it, CARBS! And I have to say that I always feel a little sad for people who avoid bread and pasta because they think it is “bad” but happily eat animals. They have it totally backward!

Here it is, the healthiest diet on the planet:

  • 70 to 90% starch (pasta, potatoes, rice, bread)
  • 10 to 20% non-starchy vegetables
  • 5 to 10% fruit
  • 0% meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy, and vegetable oils

Pretty straightforward. But if you need a visual, there is a red light/yellow light/green light section that explains what to eat, what to eat in moderation, and what not to eat. And in case you need a big reminder about what to avoid, the red light section is pretty explicit: say no to foods that are poison. That’s animal products.

Plus, there are 64 recipes by Dr. McDougall’s wife Mary including Almond French Toast, Baked French Toast (which is covered and refrigerated overnight so breakfast is super easy!), all kinds of bowls, soups, salads, cheezy baked macaroni (there is always mac ‘n cheese in a vegan/plant-based book!), and chocolate fruit fondue.

I love this book because because it’s simple. It’s for anyone who has health issues, anyone who is suffering from a disease of affluence like heart disease or diabetes, or anyone who wants to lose weight and feel great. Dr. McDougall is one of the originals in this movement, a pioneer, and a great teacher. This book is a candid, really useful tool and would make a not-so-subtle gift for someone who needs to know how to change their diet and get healthy!

I got permission to post this recipe for Harlequin rice. It is full of vegetables – the rainbow – and super simple to make.

Harlequin Rice
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 4

2 1/4 cups vegetable broth
1 onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup chopped green onion
1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
1 cup uncooked brown basmati rice
1 (4- ounce) can chopped green chilies
1 (4- ounce) jar chopped pimientos
1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 cups packed chopped spinach
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Place 1/4 cup of the vegetable broth in a large pot with the onion, bell pepper, green onion, and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables soften slightly, about 3 minutes. Add the remaining broth, the rice, green chilies, pimientos, corn, parsley, and cumin. Cover, bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for about 45 minutes, until rice is tender. Stir in the remaining ingredients and cook for 2 minutes longer.

Excerpted from “The Healthiest Diet on the Planet” by Dr. John McDougall and Mary McDougall, reprinted with permission from HarperOne, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. Copyright 2016.

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