The McDougall Quick and Easy Cookbook is not just a big book with delicious low-fat recipes that can be prepared in less than 15 minutes, but also an excellent and concise source of nutritional and medical information written by Dr. John A. McDougall, M.D. and his wife, Mary McDougall. Admittedly, I bought the book for the 300 recipes that seemed uncomplicated and flavorful but then became focused on reading the single page tips that address protein, carbohydrates, fats, genetic diseases, acute versus chronic illness, reading labels, and more. That this book was originally published in 1999 gave me pause because it made me realize I didn’t know what I didn’t know. Some books are timeless; this is one of them. Read more
How Not To Die may seem to you a strange title for a book. After all, everyone is going to die eventually. It’s about how not to die prematurely. If there is one takeaway message, it’s that you have tremendous power over your health destiny. The vast majority of premature deaths can be prevented with simple changes in what you eat and how you live. In other words, a long and healthy life is largely a matter of choice.
The market is flooded with books on health and the latest fad diet, most of which have their 15 minutes of fame and then get replaced by the discovery of a new miracle diet. But, here’s the truth. There are four things that greatly affect our health: genetics, the environment, lifestyle choices, and medical care. We have no control over genetics and very little control over the environment but we have a lot of control over lifestyle choices and medical care. Read more
Halloween is that one day of the year when it’s all about the candy from the moment the kids wake up to that serene moment when you tuck their sugar laden bodies into bed. Although most people have to go with the flow and tolerate their kids bringing bags of sugary candy (is there any other kind?) home, there are ways to work around the system and provide trick or treaters (and your kids) with a delicious treat that isn’t loaded with garbage. Read more
Michael Pollan’s New York Times bestseller In Defense of Food belongs on the modern-day shortlist of most eye-opening nutrition books, along with Forks Over Knives, The Third Plate, and The Omnivore’s Dilemma (also by Michael Pollan). All four books contribute a vast amount of information to the conversation on health and diet, with three out of the four written by unapologetic carnivores. Read more
The average adult only eats 15 grams of fiber per day. Women need 25 grams of fiber per day, and men need 38 grams of fiber per day. ~Institute of Medicine, National Institute of Health
Fiber is one of those things that most people under the age of 60 don’t want to talk about because fiber helps move food through the digestive system and youngish people tend to avoid any discussion about indoor plumbing. But, because so much of the food we consume is refined and processed, we need to talk about this issue because most of us are not consuming enough fiber on a daily basis. Read more
The Third Plate is one of those books that fall into the category of “if I read only one book this year, I need to read this.” Written by Dan Barber, the chef and co-owner of Blue Hill, a restaurant in Manhattan’s West Village and Blue Hill at Stone Barns, also a restaurant located within the Stone Barns Center for Food & Agriculture (a four season farm and education center) in Pocantico Hills, New York, The Third Plate is one of the most comprehensive and interesting books linking chefs to suppliers to farmers and producers to seed breeders. Sounds dry? It isn’t. In fact, the book is a page turner. Think Anthony Boudain:Parts Unknown meets Michael Pollan for a four course meal after absorbing the Farmer’s Almanac and telling everyone else in the restaurant about all the magnificent places they’ve visited, the food they’ve tasted, and how that food was grown. Read more
Join the homemade revolution.
One of the most fantastic aspects of adopting a plant-based diet is being part of a rapidly growing community that introduces new products nearly every day along with cookbooks on how to make delicious plant-based food. Years ago, just a few vegan cookbooks lined a shelf at the local bookstore but today the shelves are filled with vegan cookbooks – a testament to the growing popularity of this wholesome, nutritious diet. Read more
Gotta bake bread to break it.
There are four aspects essential to a good cookbook (meaning a cookbook that spends more time on the countertop than on a book shelf).
- First, the cookbook must contain colorful pictures of the finished product. Pictures inspire cooks to take the leap and make the dish and although my finished dish may not look as polished as the one in the cookbook, there is usually a close resemblance (note: all of the pictures below of the finished dishes were made by me).
- Second, the recipes have to call for mostly fresh and easily recognizable ingredients. No strange ingredients that require a special trip to search the aisles of specialty markets are allowed.
- Third, the recipes can’t be too complicated because who wants to spend hours making dishes that everyone devours in 15 minutes?
- And, finally the food has to taste really good as in “delicious, can I have seconds; this recipe is a repeat.” Read more