Chef Del Sroufe was compassionate towards animals. But — as he confesses in his cookbook Better Than Vegan: 101 Favorite Low-Fat, Plant-Based Recipes That Helped Me Lose Over 200 Pounds — he was astonishingly cruel to his own body.
At his highest weight and lowest emotional point, 6-foot-3-inch Sroufe reached 475 pounds. The strictly vegan diet he consumed for four years while operating a vegan bakery accounted for 200 of them.
When weight-related chronic fatigue, depression, knee problems and foot pain finally caught up with him, Sroufe reached out in desperation to Dr. Pam Popper. A personal friend and founder of the Wellness Forum, she encouraged him to remain vegan, with two important changes:
He should eat only whole, plant-based foods.
He should cook with a minimum of fat and no oil.
The chef’s astonishing results after improving the quality of his diet? “I gained more than 200 pounds on a vegan diet swimming in oil, and I lost more than 200 pounds on a vegan diet without oil.”
Thrilled with the transformation, he put his experience as a chef to work as Dr. Popper’s co-owner of the healthy, plant-based food delivery service Wellness Forum Foods.
Since then, Sroufe has authored or co-authored a number of vegan cookbooks. They include Forks Over Knives – The Cookbook, reviewed here.
I enjoyed this cookbook’s tongue-in-cheek humor almost as much as its mouthwatering recipes. Of his kiwi-, strawberry-, apple- and blueberry-topped Big Fat Breakfast Pizza, Sroufe teases:
“Do not share with anyone who criticizes you for making pizza for breakfast.”
Like reading Better Than Vegan, the Big Fat Breakfast Pizza promises to be a real treat!