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SUSHIYUMMY's Recent Blog Entries

Book Review: The Omnivore's Dilemma

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.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MYOWNHERO 8/5/2012 4:02PM

    I just got around to reading it. It's excellent!

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KAKIPOPUP 9/4/2011 3:58PM

    Real food beats edible food-like substances every time -

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CINDYTW 9/1/2011 9:51PM

  I LOVED this book! I read it after I was already seeking out local, organic, fresh food, but it really just made me committed to it all the more. I actually found a chicken farmer that reminds me of the one in the book.

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Book Review: Eat Fat, Lose Fat

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.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JIBBIE49 9/4/2011 1:21AM


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XIXSTAR 8/27/2011 10:43PM

    I often recommend this book to people look to challenge the low-fat methodology and to further explain my reasons for eating as I do. I was working on following a traditional diet based on WAPF suggestions and the food has been good. I am just looking to cut grains back a little further at this point as I found I was still relying on them, even traditionally prepared.

I do agree with the "diet-ish" tone towards the end of the book, but if you've ever read Nourishing Traditions by the one of the same authors, it's nice to see something a little more direct and abrupt since the other book is quite the cooking volume.

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Book Review: Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It

Friday, August 26, 2011

There is a lot of speculation in this book, but the speculation is based in scientific research. Taubes is not a health professional; he's a journalist and he does not intend the book to be a definitive answer, more a call for more research in some very promising areas. I've read some interesting criticisms of Taubes's ideas online and I don't think he has all the answers, but the research he presents is compelling enough to prompt further study.

One of Taubes overarching themes is that saying overweight is caused by overeating is like saying a crowed room is caused by more people entering than leaving. Neither answer addresses the reasons for the change. He also spends a considerable amount of time debunking the calories in vs. calories out model of weight loss. And, there is a lengthy discussion of the problems with the lipid hypothesis of heart disease.

I found this book really interesting and it doesn't read like a diet book at all...until the very end. I think he should have left the "diet" out at the end (it's in an appendix) as I think it detracts from the rest of the book. In spite of that, I'd still feel comfortable recommending this book to anyone interested in nutritional science.

Have you read this book? I'd love to hear other thoughts.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JIBBIE49 9/4/2011 1:18AM

    I've read "Good Calories, Bad Calories" and am amazed at how intelligent Gary Taubes happens to be. He went to Harvard, Stanford (where he received a Master's in AeroSpace Engineering) and then a Master's at Columbia University in Journalism.
This book "WHY WE GET FAT" is an easier book with just the main issues, as the "Good Calories Bad Calories" is a very detailed book with 129 pages of references from his research of five years into writing the book. He is very easy to understand and he did NOT start out with the intention of showing a low carb diet was what we should be following. The research did that of itself.

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CEDARBARK1 8/28/2011 12:55PM

    JustBirdy: very interesting he didn't try to push the second book on you! (Good for him!)

I thought the book was very good; I wish he'd gone more into the different types of fats, because some are indeed more helpful (or harmful) than others. I like the fact he lists his sources, too.

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SUSHIYUMMY 8/27/2011 2:00PM

    That's what I've heard, JustBirdy--although you got it straight from the source. Why We Get Fat is apparently the easier-to-read and shorter version of Good Calories, Bad Calories. How awesome that you were able to go to the Ancestral Health Symposium! I'm thinking about going to the WAPF conference next year, but I'm not sure if I'll be able to swing it or not.

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JUSTBIRDY 8/27/2011 12:46PM

    I haven't read it yet. I did meet Gary Taubes at the Ancestral Health Symposium, and told him I read the whole GCBC from cover to cover, and he told me I didn't need to read the second one.

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KICK-SS 8/27/2011 1:55AM

    I found the book interesting and informative... It basically confirms what I try to follow.

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KERRYG155 8/26/2011 10:13PM

    I've never heard of it, but may have to look it up. Thanks.

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DEBBIEOLMOS57 8/26/2011 10:11PM


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Book Review: Everyday Paleo

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?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

XIXSTAR 8/25/2011 1:37PM

    Thanks for the review.

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BRENDARK 8/25/2011 12:31PM

    Thanks for the info! And the idea of using the library and just making copies. Great!

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More changes.

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.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

XENA47 8/25/2011 3:48PM

    Glad to hear it's going well for you.


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