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Monday, February 22, 2016


Usually, many diet/cleanse books are released close to the Christmas period so as not to be dominant in people's minds, but are there if you need them or go looking for them. The latest and the newest are the most successful in sales...I am certainly not guaranteeing that these books work, although most authors would promise some kind of "change". Here is the latest that turned up on my doorstep ---
10.THE TACO CLEANSE (The Experiment, 2015, 226 pages, ISBN 978-1-61519-272-4, $17.95 US soft covers) is by four people: Wes Allison, Stephanie Bogdanich, Molly R. Frisinger, and Jessica Morris. They introduced the Taco Cleanse in 2014 at a vegan month of food by eating tacos for 90 meals in 30 days. Of course it is all good fun...But you do get 75 vegan tacos, made with corn or flour, and even waffle tortillas. Many vegan knockoffs of hot dogs, mayo, cheese, and the like. Useful for many parties, give it a try....the parties, not the cleanse...Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois and some metric measurements, but there is no table of equivalents. Quality/price rating: 86.
11.SCARED WHEATLESS (Whitecap, 2015, 200 pages, ISBN 978-1-77050-244-4, $29.95 CAN paper covers) is by Mary Jo Eustace, a Canadian chef and TV personality (He Said, She Said and What's for Dinner?). Both she and her daughter were diagnosed with a pair of autoimmune diseases, and had to be come "gluten-free". Her book has straight forward recipes for some food allergies, gluten intolerance, and for replacement of commercialized foods. She's got 96 recipes, a well-developed pantry, tips and advice. It is all arranged by course, with specifics of pasta, sauces, quinoa, snacks, salads, veggies, soups and desserts. Typical preps, one to a page, include "Merry Christmas" quinoa, rosemary balsamic hummus, potato pancake breakfast sandwiches, chicken salad wraps, chick pea stew with feta and honey, hoisin pork with lettuce folds, and mushroom arugula frittata.
Preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric and avoirdupois measurements.  Quality/price rating: 87.
12.THE ANTI-INFLAMMATION COOKBOOK (Chronicle Books, 2015, 192 pages, ISBN 978-1-4521-3988-3, $27.95 US hard covers) is by Amanda Haas, culinary director for Williams-Sonoma, with Dr. Bradly Jacobs, an integrative medicine physician-educator and book author. Inflammation is a naturally occurring response, but chronic inflammation can lead to heart disease, diabetes, IBS, and more. Haas, a sufferer and a recipe developer, along with Jacobs, has developed a diet made with anti-inflammatory foods. After identifying the food, they develop the ant-inflammatory kitchen: organic versions of the "dirty dozen" that absorb the most pesticides; some specific foods (avocados, brassicas, citrus fruits, dark chocolate, dried chiles, eggs, fish, green tea, lily family, herbs, mushrooms, legumes, oils, quinoa, seeds, tree nuts and sweet potatoes. No-nos include alcohol, corn, coffee, dairy, nightshades, sugar, salt, gluten. In this opening chapter, then, the authors describe the pantry needed. Chapter contents begin with basic recipes and make aheads, breakfasts and smoothies, appetizers and snacks, veggies, legumes, meats, and desserts. Preparations have their ingredients listed in mostly avoirdupois measurements with some metric, but there is no table of equivalents. Quality/price rating: 87.
13.AUTOIMMUNE COOKBOOK: Idiot's Guides (Alpha Books, 2015, 224 pages, ISBN 978-1-61564-866-5, $21.95 US paper covers) is by Amari Thomsen, RD, founder of Eat Chic Chicago and magazine writer on nutrition subjects. Here she has 120 preps for auto-immune protocols, using quick and simple cooking techniques. Recipes avoid all the problem foods such as grains, dairy, eggs, nightshades, and sugars. Like the book above, the arrangement is by course with apps, soups, stews, mains, sides, salads, and desserts. At the end, there are meal plans (no page references) and shopping lists, good for six weeks. Lots of colour photos. Preparations have their ingredients listed mostly in avoirdupois measurements with some metric, but there is no table of equivalents. Quality/price rating: 87.
14.OPTIMUM NUTRITION: Idiot's Guides (Alpha Books, 2015, 320 pages, ISBN 978-1-61564-884-9, $19.95 US paper covers) is by Stephanie Green, RDN, and culinary writer. It's a basic guide-book for the consumer on nutrition, and how to get the best possible values. There is a discussion on how foods affect one's physical and mental health, ideas on filling the diet with whole foods, how to deal with cravings and bad eating habits, and some ideas on how to deal with food labels and conflicting claims. There is a just a handful of recipes scattered though the book. Quality/price rating: 87,
15.MEDITERRANEAN PALEO COOKBOOK: Idiot's Guides (Alpha Books, 2015, 208 pages, ISBN 978-1-61564-861-0, $21.95US paper covers) is by Molly Pearl, author of other Idiot's Guides on paleo foods and other materials on paleo food in general. Here the stress is on the Mediterranean, a sort of combo paleo/Med diet, with the benefits of both. 100 preps are pulled together, using those paleo foods which are part of the Med diet: fresh produce, lean meats, good fats, natural ingredients. For those, one would need the Med herbs and spices to reduce inflammation and lower chronic risk. It is all in the planning and the breakfasts. Arrangement here is by course. Great colour photos. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents even though nutritional data is given in metric. Quality/price rating: 87.
16.REAL PALEO FAST & EASY (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2015, 320 pages, ISBN 978-0-544-58264-4, $29.99 US paper covers) is by Loren Cordain, Ph.D., generally acknowledged as the expert on the paleolithic diet. His book has a range of speedy dishes, using flash cooking and microwaves. The subtitle indicates more than 175 recipes can be ready in 30 minutes or less. It is arranged by type of flesh, beef and bison through pork, lamb, poultry, fish and shellfish, to eggs and smoothies. Veggies and fruits are part of many dishes. At the end, he has a paleo pantry, divided as to kitchen shelves, cool storage, refrigerator, and freezer. The recipes use paleo convenience foods such as salt-free canned tomatoes and frozen veggies. As well, he has a series of paleo condiments and spice blends, both types of food one can make in advance for storage. Good photos. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents. Quality/price rating: 86.
17.THE STEVIA SOLUTION (Familius, 2016; distr. Raincoast, 170 pages, ISBN 978-1-942934-06-6, $19.95 US paper covers) is by Caleb Warnock, author of many gardening and cook books. He also owns Here he gives a good presentation of what stevia is all about: no-calorie, no-carb, no-chemical, all-natural healthy sweetener. It is great for sugar reduction and low Glycemic Index ratings. But stevia has its problems (no bulk, no browning, no immediate sweet flavour on the tongue). It's slight bitterness is a direct result of using too much at one time, which is very possible since only the smallest amounts are used and must be used precisely (e.g. 1/32 of a teaspoon fore a cup of coffee). He clarifies the different styles of stevia available, saying that price should be a guide; it is expensive. So one pound of organic stevia should sweeten over 10,000 coffees – for under $100. Read all about it here. You can grow it at home in good climates; you can convert stevia powder to a number of different fruit bases called for in his recipes. There are major tips on how to convert classic desserts, and a presentation of syrups, jams, frostings, cookies, brownies, cakes, pies, and drinks. He's got 70 pages on stevia and 100 pages of recipes. But unfortunately, preparations have their ingredients listed only in avoirdupois measurements, and there is no table of
metric equivalents. Quality/price rating: 90.
18.THE GOOD LIVING GUIDE TO MEDICINAL TEA (Good Books Skyhorse, 2015, 216 pages, ISBN 978-1-68099-061-4, $14.99 US hard covers) is by Jennifer Browne, Vancouver author of Happy Healthy Gut and Vegetarian Comfort Foods. Here she explores the medicinal properties of teas made from herbs, spices, fruits, and barks. Many have proven to be effective for common ailments such as minor pains, high blood pressure, insomnia, stress, digestive problems, coughs. In some cases they can help fight off and reduce cancerous cells, heart disease, fibromyalgia and dementia. She's got details on 50 medicinal herbs (anise to yerba mate) followed by 50 ailments (divided into acute, chronic and random) such as
allergies (use eyebright, feverfew, lemon balm) or depression (use ginseng, hawthorn, lavender, lemon balm, st.john's wort) or hair and nail health (use horsetail and rosemary). All the preps call for eight ounces of water. She concludes with a list of extensive references. Quality/price rating: 89.

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