Well in a no-preparation run it's really about adjusting your strategy to what you find.
I absolutely agree and that's a huge reason is enjoy this game so much. But given a certain level and a certain class, some ways work out easier than others and if you find yourself having trouble, why not just try to get a little bit lucky and go for the runs with higher success propabilty. Restarting whenever contained by plants might be relying a little bit too much on luck. This will happen all the effing time. When included, i will desecrate Earthmother's altar repeatedly just for those effing plants.
For strategies i personally i don't think going the magic path fits the monk very much in this level (except Halpme), since you get burned all the time (or poisoned, but getting burned seems better for a monk). So i go all-conversion with the orc monk (surprise, surprise!), which works out fine
On god choices:
Found MA? In the pure melee path MA is actually really helpfull. I use her as an additional source of piety, since she doesn't require to slay monsters for it. I worship her exploring using up mana with fireball, wall buster, lemmisi or regen fighting (healing, death protection, first strike, damage enhancement) on the way. At 100 piety i convert. It's worth it, especially if worshipping a hard to please god (GG, Dracul). Desecrate later, if needed.
Glowing Guardian: Quite useful for monks and quite useful for orcs. Do some exploring which requires hitting the shrubbery before and get cleansed on worship. Worship him on early levels only, get poisoned and burned before every levelup from plants or to reach exact piety scores. Further adjustment can be done by converting small items. If going melee only that's foremost mana potions, but one or two wisp gems are are disposable if in dire need. He feels much more like a liabilty this version, but with all the burn and poison plants it's quite doable to get the 155 piety to get all the boons and leave him.
Tikki Tooki: That's quite a jackpot. Tikki's Edge will help get ahead of the annoying Naga's and it's your another way than midas' gloves to more sophisticated items. Needless to say Poison is probably the best boon in fighting living bosses. Also it grants piety on plants (as does dodging plants), which is something i should probably post in the bug thread. TT can be taken very early (lvl2) in order to abuse Tikki's edge or later on for just the poison. If you plan on doing so keep 5 low levels around.
Dracul: Having some lifeleach and high resistances is usefull. Mana and resistances higher than max not so much. If you have an indulgence the potion restriction becomes a little less harsh and bloodswells were always fine in boss battles, so why not? Desecrating is a very valid option on level 1 though. Do it before dealing the last blow to leveling up, because having 5hp is quite annoying.
Taurog: He just fits the monk so well. In this particcular level, Skull**cker, Armour, Shield, Boots, is the priority of items. Taurog should either massively enhance your early game or allow you to make use of your potions in the boss fight.
Item choices are limited with the money unless you get TT or midas. Top priority are conversion points. In case of GG the obvious spoon for piety. If you get very unlucky a potion isn't half bad.