The Anti-Anxiety Cookbook: Calming Plant-Based Recipes to Combat Chronic Anxiety

Image of The Anti-Anxiety Cookbook: Calming Plant-Based Recipes to Combat Chronic Anxiety
Release Date: 
August 20, 2019
Skyhorse Publishing
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“Specific therapies and medications can help relieve the burden of anxiety, yet only about a third of people suffering from this condition seek treatment.”

Not all cookbooks are created equally. The field of plant-based cookbooks might have hit a saturation point. How many different recipes can a cookbook author create that have not previously been read or tested? Authors of vegan cookbooks need to appraise new and innovative ways to market their product.

One of the latest plant-based cookbooks on the market is Jennifer Browne’s Anti-Anxiety Cookbook. It appears that eating vegetables is the cure all for all medical conditions! Jennifer Browne deserves credit, however, for being inventive and researching foods that provide calming effects. But when all is said and done, it is the plant-based diet that achieves these results.

Jennifer Browne offers recipes that support and sustain our bodies and minds. This is no different from other plant-based cookbooks whose focus is eating foods that achieve the greatest benefit to our health. The foods she suggests are familiar to those who follow a healthy vegan diet. It has been said before. Eat lots of grains, greens, omega fatty acids, and plant-based proteins. Stay away from animal proteins “which can mess with us!”

Perhaps what the reader of this book learns is that specific foods can help diminish stress and anxiety. Magnesium, for example, can reduce feelings of stress. Magnesium is found in leafy greens such as spinach and kale. Legumes, nuts, seeds and whole grains also contain magnesium. Zinc and B vitamins also help lessen anxiety. Avoiding caffeine, alcohol, processed foods, and artificial sweeteners can have similar effects.

One’s mental health is vital to living a healthy lifestyle. Changing one’s diet does help, but it also takes time. Jennifer Browne’s goal is to supply the reader with an abundance of nutritious foods that will “make you glow from the inside out—body, mind, and soul.” This is once again a rehash of books that already appear on the marketplace.

The author does not dismiss the use of medication. Of course, western medicine should not be ignored, especially in a crisis. She distinguishes her recipes from other die-hard, plant-based options by including occasionally cheese, butter, and free-range eggs.

There are several chapters that the reader might find beneficial. A chapter on cleansing one’s body is informative. The author explains the reasoning behind cleansing and its benefits. She includes a template for how to perform a one-day cleanse. It appears that it might require a lot of will power and fortitude to complete this day.

The chapter on juicing is illuminating. If juicing is something the reader has considered in the past, this chapter explains the reasoning behind juicing and offers a variety of juice combinations that allows one to obtain their allotment of fruits and vegetables. This chapter is followed by a chapter on smoothies that have suddenly become the new normal for those individuals who are too busy to sit and eat a meal. The smoothie combinations, however, are enticing and worth trying. A fan of peanut butter would enjoy the Chunky Monkey Smoothie.

The cookbook continues with chapters on breakfast that offer recipes for muesli, pancakes (renamed banana walnut comfort cakes made with quinoa flour), and oatmeal, which is dressed up with peaches and coconut.

Many of the “Mains” offer a variety of creative twists. The Black Bean Tacos with Slaw add sunflower seeds. The Spaghetti Gone Green includes asparagus as well as spinach and real parmesan cheese. There are other main recipes that are familiar. Marie’s Thai Curry is a menu item at most Thai restaurants.

The “Sweets” chapter has many easy to make suggestions to satisfy our cravings. Usually made with dates or brown rice syrup, these cookies and bars are also healthy and free of refined sugar.

Stress and anxiety are difficult to prevent. Our busy lifestyles, bombarded by social media and today’s political angst, make anxiety difficult to avoid. If eating a combination of foods is beneficial to alleviating that stress and anxiety, then this is a cookbook to examine. If medication is the preferable route, then that is another option.

There is one crucial matter to remember. Changing one’s diet is not an immediate fix for illness. It takes time and energy. It takes time cooking in the kitchen. Is there time in this busy life to do that?