Thursday, November 29, 2012

Unprocessed by Chef AJ: Book Review & Giveaway!

We're all looking for help in some way or another.  Advice from a family member or a friend.  A film to allow us to escape.  A book to shed some light on a topic or provide valuable information.

We're always looking for a new tool to add to our personal toolbelt, a new skill for our repertoire, a new resource to make sure we have everything we need for our heads, hearts, bodies, and spirits.  

My most recent resource that I added into my life was Unprocessed: How to achieve vibrant health and your ideal weight by Chef AJ.  I've only known Chef AJ for a short time but have learned so much from her, in person and through her book.  She has really worked her way into becoming one of the premier plant-based/vegan chefs and is incredibly accessible with information and recipes.  Currently, in addition to her website, Chef AJ's Healthy Kitchen, where you can sign up for cooking classes, workshops/events, and more, you can find her teamed up with The Plant-Based Dietitian, Julieanna Hever, in the fun and tasty videocasts, "The Chef and the Dietitian," where you can follow the two making recipes from soups to salads to smoothies to dinners to desserts.  It's a big delicious video experience.

So I recently read Unprocessed, and what I love about it is that Chef AJ leads you, the reader, through simple, relatable, easy-to-understand steps to benefit your mindset and journey toward eating an unprocessed, or whole-food, plant-based diet.  Starting with her very own life story - which you'll have to read yourself! - Chef AJ takes us through what easily could be your life experience or your life experience or your life experience.  Let me tell you, I was surprised to find out a lot about what's happened in her life. AJ definitely had to overcome some major obstacles in order to discover her passion, optimal health, and happiness.  Though many challenges were thrown her way, she succeeded - and the value of plant-based eating was definitely at the core of it.

After Chef AJ connects with you, as an author, as a friend, she continues on as a guide, a teacher, and a coach, breaking through the initially-legitimate (but ultimately flimsy) excuses for not wanting to or "being unable" to eat plant-based and unprocessed.  Once you realize "She's right!" and begin to think "Well, what do I do now...?" she swoops in like a superhero(ine), providing all of the basic information on why eating an unprocessed, plant-based diet is best for you - and then helpful tips on how to make it work in your life or your life or your life.  Finally, AJ opens up the vault and you get to cash in on over 100 delicious nutrient-rich and gluten-free recipes!  

That Chipotle Corn Salsa sure looks Smokey!
(courtesy of Forks Over Knives)
Unprocessed is personal, informational, fun, and so helpful in relaying how unprocessed, plant-based eating is valuable for everyone - yes, even you and you and you.  And when you're done, you can jump right in and enjoy with simple recipes that will wow your taste buds and contribute to (and not against) your health.

Here are some favorites that I've tried or that have caught my eye and will most likely end up in my tummy sometime in the near future:

Mmm mmm soup.
(courtesy of Forks Over Knives)

That's only 8.  Which means there are over 92 more for you to enjoy. How to do that?  Well, get the book, of course!  And I'll give you a head start!  

We're giving away one signed copy of Unprocessed to the lucky raffle winner of this last giveaway of the year.  It's super simple - you may already be a pro at this - just go to the Rafflecopter widget below, sign up for free if you need to, and follow the easy directions. The more items you complete, the more raffle entries in your name, the better chance you have at winning!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

All the best and yummiest to you.


  1. I have maybe not the worst eating habits but certainly not the healthiest either. Breaking away from processed food seems impossible, my body is always craving it. Ughhhh! I'm not a veggie lover either. How do I start loving veggies? =0(

  2. Hi Yesenia, Growing up I didn't like vegetables either. They were a plain side dish; not appetizing! Now I like my veggies mixed into my main dish, soups, stews, stir fries, etc.

  3. Hi Steve, I am entering the raffle for Unprocessed by Chef AJ. My relationship with processed food has actually come up quite often this past week because I was to the Quantum Wellness cleanse by Kathy Freston. I eat a lot of processed food because its easy and quick to make such as gardein products, not too mention yummy. While doing the cleanse we were forced to eat more fresh vegetables and prepare more thoughtful meals. It made me realize I need to cut back on the processed foods I eat and need to step up my fresh cooking game! I also lost 3.5 lbs this past week which I partly contribute to eating the more fresh foods.

  4. I really need to get better about eating unprocessed foods. I eat so many convenience foods which takes away some of the health benefits of being vegan. I would love to have this book to guide me in giving up processed foods.