UnDiet: Eat Your Way to Vibrant Health

Author: Meghan Telpner
Publisher: McClelland & Stewart
Book Publication: 2013

With its bright colours, modern design, and cheerful conversational writing style, UnDiet: Eat Your Way to Vibrant Health ain’t your grandmother’s cookbook. As its title says, UnDiet isn’t about dieting and calorie counting, it’s more about lifestyle and attitude. The book might be short on recipes, but it’s long on advice, insight, and suggestions, and reads more like an actual book than a cookbook.

Unlike many recipe books devoted to healthy dining, author Meghan Telpner writes in bright bold letters that calories don’t count because all calories are not created equal. UnDiet also offers advice on everything from how to hydrate yourself properly (including what to add to your water to make it pop in a non-soda pop manner), what blood sugar levels are, and what exactly happens in your body when you eat something like a medium order of French fries. She also includes helpful food preparation tips such as how to prepare enough onions for a week of meals, all at once.

The book also has a few non-diet features, such as basic home cleaning ingredients made from natural components, best home-cleaning concoctions, and how to store produce for super freshness.

In total, the 256-page UnDiet features 40 recipes, including “Sun-dried Tomato and Bean Hummus,” “Lemon Lentil Vegetable Soup,” and “Love Me or Leave Me Cinnamon Rolls” which are made with brown rice and buckwheat flours. All the recipes are gluten-free and most are also dairy-free and vegetarian. Some of the recipes aren’t just for eating – the Avocado Chocolate Cupcake Frosting recipe can also be used as a facial mask!

Rather than being contained in one section, the recipes are scattered throughout UnDiet as Telpner uses them to support the book’s various themes such as what is real food, dealing with cravings, and how to eat to get the most out of your meals.

UnDiet features an eight-week transition program for those who wish to make the leap to this new lifestyle, which looks easier than it probably is as it’s covered in a two-page spread, followed by a two-page spread for the seven-day meal plan, complete with two snacks a day (including the page number for the featured recipes in the meal plan would have been helpful.)

UnDiet is peppered with Telpner’s DIY adventures and anecdotes, which are amusing and insightful. The author was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease in her mid-20s and after listening to doctors for several years, she felt that their advice wasn’t working for her. So Telpner decided to tackle her health herself. She embarked on a program of acupuncture treatments six days a week for three months (which got her chi flowing, helped her to relax, and accelerated the healing of lesions in her intestines), took up yoga and meditation, and learned how to cook: “most profoundly, she discovered that room in her home called the kitchen.” Eventually, Telpner became symptom-free and remains symptom-free from a disease considered as incurable by conventional western medicine. She also became a Certified Nutritionist and blogger who currently offers online culinary courses, and is now a published author. For those who wish to try before they buy, Telpner’s blogging website (www.MeghanTelpner.com) features more than 200 recipes.

As mentioned, UnDiet doesn’t have a lot of recipes, but it makes up for this with a refreshing approach to taking command of your health.


Victoria Moorshead is an editor and writer, and a former staff member of Vitality Magazine.

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