Book Review - 10 Steps to Healthy Eating

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

With my Crohn's diagnosis, my focus has really shifted from not only maintaining my weight, but ensuring that I'm choosing foods that will nourish my body and promote healing. I've been seeing a naturopath and her suggestions have been incredibly helpful and insightful and I'm really starting to look at food in a different way. In the next couple of weeks I'm going to be doing food sensitivity testing to determine which foods I should be including and/or eliminating from my diet to help my gut stay happy!

With all that being said, I'm really trying to gather as much information as possible about food and healthy eating. As I'm sure you've come to learn, I really enjoy reading books on these topics, especially when the author's principles align with Weight Watchers. I was incredibly pleased to see references to the Weight Watchers program as early as page 12 of Leslie Beck's book 10 Steps to Healthy Eating. Leslie has a number of books out there and is one of Canada's leading nutritionists. I decided to purchase this book once I read what her ten steps were:

  1. Get ready to change your diet permanantly
  2. Eat enough protein
  3. Choose the right carbohydrates
  4. Eat more fruits and vegetables
  5. Choose healthier fats and oils
  6. Boost your vitamins and minerals
  7. Eat more often
  8. Don't forget about fluids
  9. Control your weight
  10. Be active every day

She goes into detail on each step and provides useful insight, information and examples to the reader. In the first section she talks about the importance of setting goals and getting motivated about changing the way you eat. She talks about enlisting support and setting goals that are specific, measurable, attainable and realistic. At the beginning of each chapter there is a little quiz for the reader to test your knowledge and also quickly dispell some of the myths and preconceptions of each category (including True or False - eating carbohydrates causes you to gain weight in Chapter 3) She provides relevant examples for each topic which allows for easy adoption of the principles into the readers life (like charts on the fiber, cholesterol and calcium content in various food examples). At the end of each chapter she gives a list of tips, summarizes the key ideas in the chapter and how to include them in your lifestyle.

The book also includes a recipe section with recipes from the Canadian Living test kitchen. I haven't tried anything from the book yet, but it looks like there are some interesting recipes included along with a nutritional breakdown for each.

There was a quote in Chapter nine that explains Leslie's philosophy:

Everything you do to lose weight must be everything you do to keep it off

This guiding principle is something that I continue to tell my members on a weekly basis - it doesn't end when you get to Lifetime. There is no save button when you hit your goal weight. You need to imagine doing the things that you are doing right now for the rest of your life!

I'm very happy that I purchased this book and have learned a lot from it. I look forward to applying some of Leslie's ideas and I'm sure I will reference this book in the future. Be sure to check out her website as there is information about her other books, articles about nutrition, recipes, cookbook reviews and of course information about Leslie's nutritional consulting.

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