Category Archives: book review

Books about Whole Food Plant-Based diets, nutrition, fitness and health

Delicious Vegetarian Main Dishes by Jennifer S. Larson with Photos by Brie Cohen

I’m not sure when I begin to cook. I know I was young'; probably 7 or 8. My one childhood cooking memory is making brownies follow the recipe in the Betty Crocker’s Cookbook for Boys and Girls.

When I was 8 (maybe 9) my Grandma sent me a cookbook for Christmas. I couldn’t wait to try it out. The first recipe I tried was for brownies. Trust me, I have never tasted a better brownie before or since!

That cookbook was the first in a collection of cookbooks that I  either don’t have or rarely even look at any more. These days I do Google search when I want to figure out what to cook. My current collection has 10 cookbooks I can’t bear to part with.  Betty Crocker’s Cookbook for Boys and Girls is one of them.

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Integrative Wellness Rules: A Simple Guide to Healthy Living by Jim Nicolai M.D.

Have I mentioned it’s cold here? The perfect time to catch up on my reading and the explanation for why I have reviewed so many books lately. Last weekend I read Integrative Wellness Rules by Dr. Jim Nicolai. I found it so impressive that I just have to write a little about it.

You may recognize Jim Nicolai’s name especially if you know about Andrew Weil, M.D., Integrative Wellness Center (Miraval) in Tuscon. Dr. Jim is the medical director at of the Miraval Health Spa and Wellness Center. (more…)

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The Diet Dropout’s Guide to Natural Weight Loss by Stan Spencer

Reading recipe books and diet and advice books are part of my job these days. Thankfully, I get a lot of advance reader copies for review. Most of them I read or at least skim through, sigh and toss aside. Every now and then I actually find one I am wildly enthusiastic about. This is one.

At the end of last year when I received this very thin volume entitled The Diet Dropout’s Guide to Natural Weight Loss.  I rolled my eyes and tossed it aside. I mean really!  Who isn’t a diet dropout?!  And why the cutsie title? (more…)

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I Quit Sugar!

At least once a week someone asks me how in the world I  quit sugar. I can’t tell you how many people talk to me about quitting sugar in any given week. They have read Sugar Blues. They know it is an addiction. They can tell me all the reasons they should quit. But the actual quitting? That is a whole other thing! Most people try (and fail)  many times before they actually do it.

I know I did! I decided to quit eating sugar 30+ years ago. It was one of those obvious sort of decisions. I was in terrible and chronic pain and finally at the point I was willing to do ANYTHING to feel better. So when this very old chiropractor told me that my pain would be considerably less if I quit sugar, I did it. At least for a few days. . . then for a week and then a couple of weeks. You get the idea. (more…)

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Dr. Mao’s Secrets of Longevity Cookbook: Eating for Health, Happiness, and Long Life

I’m one of those lucky people who gets an advance reader copy of many new books. I get to read and review them before they are even published! For a reading addict, it doesn’t get better than that.

Last week I received a copy of Dr. Mao’s latest book:  Dr. Mao’s Secrets of Longevity Cookbook: Eating for Health, Happiness, and Long Life. The cookbook is the latest in his “Longevity” franchise which include: The Secrets of Longevity, The Secrets of Longevity Eight Week Program and the The Secrets of Longevity Eight Week Diary. (more…)

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Spinach For Breakfast

spinach for breakfastEvery now and then I come across a book that makes me smile. This one has a full title that is almost as long as the slim 46 page book: Spinach for Breakfast:  How to live longer for all ages, particularly for 65 and older . It is written by Sam Almond. whose earlier books have been about trading financial instruments like Contracts for Difference (CFD) and Options.

Sam is 86 years young. He diets and exercises his way to fitness and health and says he “enjoys life to the full.” (more…)

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Forks Over Knives and T. Colin Campbell

The movie Forks Over Knives
features the work of Dr. T. Colin Campbell.  He is a pioneer in studying the effects of nutrition on long-term health. He is also the Jacob Gould Schurman Professor Emeritus of Nutritional Biochemistry at Cornell University.

If you know his name it probably because he is best known as the co-
author of The China Study (2004), one of America’s best-selling books about nutrition.

Those are some very dry facts and a rather poor introduction to a man who is an incredible contributor to the health of our nation and the world. (more…)

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Forks Over Knives – The Cookbook: Over 300 Recipes for Plant-Based Eating All Through the Year

forks over knives the cookbookThe new Forks Over Knives Cookbook arrived last week. The author Del Sroufe, is the man behind meals shown in the Forks Over Knives film.  The book is actually a collaboration between Sroufe and well-known Plant-Based chefs: Julieanna Hever, Judy Micklewright, Isa Chandra Moskowitz, and Darshana Thacker.

With 300 recipes to choose from, it is a good solid introductory collection of  vegan, low-fat cooking techniques and recipes. An added bonus is that many of the recipes are also gluten-free.

(more…)

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In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan

I read this book a few years ago (when it first came out). At the time I was impressed by it’s common sense and simplicity. Last week I was in a used bookstore and found a copy for a dollar. I brought it home and reread it.  I was impressed all over again!

In Defense of Food is an engaging look at food and the food industry.  Pollan writes well and had me captivated within minutes.  For the record, I never intended to do anything more than skim, but I ended up engrossed and read every single word – again!  It was a journey that alternatively amused and enraged me. (more…)

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Eat and Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness by Scott Jurek

What makes Scott run? This was my overwhelming question when I picked up “Eat and Run.”

Admittedly, I have great fascination with people who push their limits – Olympic athletes, Prima Ballerinas and Rodeo Riders. There is something about using your mind and body to achieve excellence that inspires awe, respect and incredulity!

I have intense curiosity about the psychological makeup of such people. I want to know what makes someone willing to suffer cramps, black toenails, chaffing, and dehydration for a sport? Are they trying to outrun their psychic pain> Are they extremely obsessive-compulsive types? Or are they  “just crazy”? Probably a little of each! (more…)

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