Thursday, September 01, 2011
If you aren't sure local/organic fruits and veggies and local/organic/patstured meats and eggs aren't worth the hassle or the money, you need to read this book. More than any other, this book revolutionized what I eat and where I buy my food.
Pollan explores the history of three different meals: one produced through large scale industrial farming, one grown on a biodynamic small farm, and one procured through hunting and gathering. He also explores large-scale industrial organic farming along the way. He discusses his own ethical dilemmas and concerns along the way, but the book isn't preachy or pushy.
I really can't say enough good things about this book. If you haven't read it, run--don't walk--to get a copy. It was a bestseller, so most libraries have it on their shelves.
While you are waiting for the library to open tomorrow, here's a talk the author gave at the Google Headquarters. This was actually a talk he gave around the time another of his books--In Defense of Food--came out.
Saturday, August 27, 2011
This book is the diet recommended by the Weston A. Price foundation. It's very similar to a Paleo/Primal diet. The main difference is the WAPF allows the consumption of "traditionally prepared" (sometimes called "properly prepared") grains and legumes. However, they don't encourage a lot of grain consumption for those who need to lose weight.
The book has some great information on the role of saturated fats in our diets, with a heavy emphasis on coconut oil. The first several chapters are well worth reading, but the book gets a little diet book-ish after that. However, I still recommend it and think it would be ideal for anyone interested in learning more about the benefits of coconut. There are also some really fantastic recipes in the back of the book.
Thursday, August 25, 2011
I originally posted this book review on the Paleo Diet team's forum, but I decided I'd put this (and future book reviews) here, as well.
Everyday Paleo by Sarah Fragoso. 2011.
Advertised as three books in one, I was primarily interested in the cookbook section which is a significant portion of the book. This particular book is written primarily for families with children.
The first section is the author's personal story and a very, very basic intro to the paleo diet. There is no attempt to explain the science behind *any* of the dietary recommendations. It just tells you what you should and shouldn't eat. If you already understand the basics of a paleo diet, or you don't make major dietary changes without some kind of scientific justification, you can probably just skip the first section.
The second section is the cookbook section. Fragoso is clearly not a foodie, but there are some decent homestyle recipes here. My family liked the Better Butter Chicken, but weren't as excited by the Grilled Lamb Burgers (way too much onion). The Puerto Rican Beef was okay, but I probably won't make it again. We're trying the Steak Dijon tonight and a couple of the other recipes later this week.
The third section was a guide to exercising at home. I'm not too interested in lifting weights at home, so I skipped most of this section.
Overall, it was an okay book if you are part of the target audience. I was primarily looking for recipes and found 10-15 I'm looking forward to trying. I got my copy from the local library and I don't plan to purchase a copy, but I could definitely see recommending it to someone who understands all the ins and outs of a paleo diet but is interested in learning about feeding a paleo diet to the whole family. I would not recommend it to someone who doesn't know anything at all about the paleo diet.
Have you read this book? What did you think?
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
So much has changed since my last blog post here on Spark. Right after I was elected leader of my TOPS group, my husband was offered a transfer/promotion and we moved to a new state. So, I transferred to a new TOPS group and I've continued attending here in our new home.
I've also continued tweaking my diet. After reading Why We Get Fat by Gary Taubes and considering my own personal history with tracking, I decided to quit counting calories and/or points. I no longer track in any way at all. It simply doesn't work for me in the long term because I find it causes me to obsess about food and I stop tracking only to watch the weight creep back up.
Instead, I've switched over to a diet I'd call a cross between Paleo and Eat Fat, Lose Fat (Weston A. Price Foundation). It's a higher fat, moderate carb diet. I eat lots of fruits and veggies, pastured meats and eggs, nuts and seeds, healthy fats (coconut oil, olive oil, butter and ghee). I occasionally (about once a week) eat some properly prepared legumes and even more occasionally (about twice a month), some white rice. I avoid grains--particularly gluten grains, sugar, industrial seed oils, and dairy. I love cheese and have access to pastured and raw milk cheeses, but it's been giving tummy troubles so I'm leaving it our for now. I don't eat any processed foods other than simple things like canned tomatoes that only contain one ingredient plus water (and possibly salt).
So far so good. The food is amazing, my weight loss has sped up quite a bit since I made the switch, and there is no counting necessary. I can definitely see eating this way for life without much difficulty.
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