The Plantpower Way: Whole Food Plant-Based Recipes and Guidance for The Whole Family by Rich Roll and Julie Piatt is an excellent resource for those of you starting out on a vegan journey. Many books in this niche try to meet a similar need to educate, inspire, and provide a practical resource as well. The Plantpower Way does this in a manner that is very accessible and useful.
The personal biographies of both Rich Roll and Julie Piatt are interesting and inspiring. So much of their fame in the plant-based book industry has resulted from their desire to "go against the grain." Like myself, Rich Roll came across a plant-based, "plant-powered," lifestyle later in life and has seen miraculous results. He has gone on to become an endurance runner, and has performed at the Ultraman Triathlon. For the uninitiated (like myself), the Ultraman is a a three-day race covering 320 miles on the big island of Hawaii, including a 10-kilometer ocean swim, more than 260 miles by bike and a double marathon run. He entered this with only 6 months of dieting the vegan way, and resulted in an 11th place finish. He has competed in many other athletic events such as Ironman. In 2009, he was named as one of the 25 Fittest Men in the World by Men's Fitness Magazine.
Within this context, it is easy to see why many people would be attracted to Rich Roll. He has a personal story that is a testament to what a person can do as a result of a plant-based lifestyle.
The Plantpower Way is meant to serve as a starting point for those of you looking to enter into this style of living, but who might feel lost in the process. After all, we're not all going to be the next Rich Roll (and some of us are probably not aspiring to be super athletes). But, what we can learn from his experience is beneficial regardless.
Out of all the things this book provides, there are 2 components that really stick out to me.
First, the physical appearance of the book is significant. It is a relatively large book, and is fundamentally meant to sit on your coffee table both for reference and to serve as a conversation starter. If you struggle with conveying why a plant-based lifestyle is valuable to friends and family, having this out to start the conversation will likely be a useful resource.
In conjunction with my first thought, the second is the high quality photos included of family, friends, and the food itself being referenced. The book does a great job of not just discussing healthy foods and laying out recipe ideas, but it presents the food in such an aesthetically appealing manner that it is hard not to get a sensation of hunger from them. This is a powerful psychological tool, especially for those just starting to transition into a plant-based lifestyle, but still looking for food that looks good (and more interesting that just eating a carrot by itself) and tastes good. As our vision plays a large role in determining what is appealing for us to eat, it is a no brainer that this would be a very attractive component of this book given that the photos included are done so right.
As I've said, as a 101 starting guide for plant-based living, it's hard to deny why The Plantpower Way would be viewed as attractive: because it is! If you are just getting into the lifestyle, or are just interested in Rich Roll and his family and their inspiring personal stories, than this is a must own.