Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Joy Bauer's Food Cures

The title is a mouthful... Joy Bauer's Food Cures: Eat Right to Get Healthier, Look Younger, and Add Years to Your Life  It is a huge book (more than 500 pages) and I was trying to figure out how best to describe it here.  But before I do that, let me introduce you to Joy Bauer for those of  you who don't follow NBC's The Today Show.   Joy is their nutrition expert.  She is also the nutritionist for the New York City Ballet,  co-host with Florence Henderson for RNTVs Good Food-Good Deeds, columnist for Woman's Day Magazine, author of two diet cookbooks, her own web site... The list goes on.  

When I was approached to review this book, I had my doubts... since the only "diet" I ever found good for me was The South Beach Diet... and even then, I followed most of the principles... but none of the portion sizes- no wonder it took as long as it did to lose the 20 pounds.

So when I received the book, I was skeptical, but the cover intrigued me... it wasn't just about losing weight... although, let's face it, no matter what ails you, being overweight does not help... it offered much more than simple (oxy-moron) weight loss.  
"Eat right to get healthier, look younger and add years to your life
  • Lower cholesterol
  • Relieve Arthritis
  • Boost memory & mood
  • Drop pounds
  • Manage Diabetes & migraines and more!"

Naturally, before actually doing any real reading, I did some flipping through the book and found two recipes I just had to make.  
Who could resist these Gingery Pumpkin Muffins  .... no matter what your condition?  They're actually in the chapter on arthritis and here's what Joy had to say about them...
" I call these Muffins with a Mission?  Enjoy one as a midday snack or couple with an egg, fat-free yoghurt or glass of fat-free milk for a balanced breakfast.  Either way, it's win-win - just 131 calories and created to help ease the aches and pains of arthritis."

And being a meat eater, I had to try Skinny Shepherd's Pie, which my Honey thought was better than any he'd eaten (which obviously includes my own), and I had to agree.  He liked his with the cheese topping, I preferred mine without, but we both thought it delicious.

Now that I've whetted your appetites... a little about the book. Since many of her clients (60%) consider weight an issue, it seems logical that chapter one is about weight loss, not to mention that being overweight is often a symptom of serious medical conditions.  I thought I'd share her some of her top tips for thinking like an nutritionist which is primarily common sense, but it never hurts to repeat some of them here:

  • Preplan meals as much as possible
  • Purge your home of unhealthy food
  • Load up on vegetables
  • Eat 2+ servings of fresh fruit daily
  • Choose whole grain over white
  • Don't forget breakfast & eat within 90 minutes of waking
  • Fill up on fibre
  • Aim for 3+ services of calcium rich food daily 
  • Eat every 4-5 hours
  • Exercise every day
  • Curb your calories after 8PM
  • Be patient with yourself (I like that one the best)
What I love most is the organization of the book: (Losing weight, Looking great, Living Long & strong which has chapters on cardiovascular disease, arthritis, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, vision, & memory, Feeling good (with chapters covering mood, migraines, PMS, insomnia, IBS, Celiac disease and cancer prevention).  

Each chapter is introduced by what affects that condition - especially which foods affect the condition from those you should eat, like antioxidants like Vitamin C , E, Selenium... for healthy looking skin;  and what are the best foods for each.   The format may be the same throughout the book, but the facts, tips, guidelines are very specific to each.

Every chapter has a 4 step program:  1) Start with the Basics; 2) Your Ultimate Grocery List; 3) Going above & beyond; 4) Meal Plans ... and of course ... delicious recipes!

Bottom Line:  A great reference and resource book to have on your shelf - for the generally delicious recipes and even more importantly, for the focus on very specific medical conditions you or your loved ones might encounter.  It's always shocking to hear from a doctor that we now suffer from X and have to dramatically change our life style, especially our eating habits.  Where do we begin?  How do we know which of the foods we currently eat are good or bad?  Or do we just throw the baby out with the bath water?  This book really makes it much easier to make the transition and calm our fears.   

No comments: