As promised...

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Book reviews!
(plus a great giveaway!)

Here are some books that I've been reading lately as a part of my summer reading list

Meals That Heal Inflammation

I had the pleasure of meeting Julie Daniluk at the Total Health Show back in April and her book, Meals that Heal Inflammation has been a wonderful resource. Julie lays out the foundation of causes for inflammation, information on allergies/sensitivities, and provides the reader with a ton of recipes that align with the information presented.

You've already seen some of these recipes sneaking into my menus: raw key lime pie, amaranth porridge, baked pears and quinoa porridge. I love her breakfast recipes - they are so yummy! I also appreciate that they generally make two servings, which is enough for me on two days or enough to share with Joey. All of the recipes are simple, with easy to follow instructions, accessible ingredients and can be enjoyed by anyone whether they have inflammation concerns or not. I'm not a huge fan of the pictures in the book, but I'm not docking any points for that! I really enjoyed meeting Julie and am excited to experiment with more of her recipes.

Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-free Living

I had been wanting to read this book for awhile and was incredibly pleased when I "won" a copy in Ange's Bid for a Cause. It is a fantastic resource for vegans, lactose intolerant or those looking for more information on removing dairy from their diet. Alicia has created a comprehensive resource full of essential information and a ton of recipes which will leave the reader wondering why they ever needed dairy in the first place!

She provides great information on reasons we cut dairy out, where dairy can be hidden as well as tips on dining out, travelling and milk alternatives. So far I've made a dairy free pesto (which turned out more like a pate, but was still good) and an eggplant cannelloni (filled with faux ricotta) which was delightful. I look forward to trying more recipes and using this book as a reference in the future. If you're looking to cut dairy out (or already have!) I highly recommend that you pick up a copy of this book. Alisa also has a great site with lots of information, resources and recipes.

Writing Diet

I love Julia Cameron.

Most people are familiar with her book "The Artist's Way" and I know countless actor/creative friends of mine who have gotten into the ritual of writing the morning pages. In her years of helping others, she noticed a strange phenomenon among participants in her programs: they were losing weight. By unleashing their creativity and finding their inner artist, participants were shedding pounds left, right and center. The Writing Diet discusses strategies for losing weight by unleashing our inner creative being.

I feel like this book would have been more useful to me when I was still actively trying to lose weight. While I enjoyed her "tools" (morning pages, journal, walking, the 4 questions, culinary artist dates, and the body buddy) and found them to be useful, much of the other information included seemed redundant with other things I've personally read/studied.

Julia is not an expert in weight loss (nor does she claim to be). While the information was relevant, I didn't find any of it to be groundbreaking or innovative. That being said, I think there's a lot of good stuff in here for people in the beginning stages of their journey or people who find journalling to be a helpful tool. I enjoyed that the book focused on the "emotional side" of weight loss, which also providing some tips on the eating and exercise elements and I know that there are people out there who would benefit from reading it.

Bitter Is The New Black

I told you how funny "Such A Pretty Fat" was
and this book did not disappoint. It cracked me up. If you're looking for a great book to read on the subway or at the cottage, this is the book for you. (It will help clear your head from the other "serious" books you might be reading!!)

Giveaway time!
(Didn't see that one coming, did you??)

Because I want to share the book love, I'm giving away my copy of "The Writing Diet".

To win - leave me a comment telling me about your favourite book or cookbook of all time. Blogging about this giveaway will give you another entry (just leave me a comment to let me know that you've done this)

Comments must be received by Wednesday August 5th at 9:00pm EST.

I will pick one winner via random number generator. Contest open to Canadian & US Residents.

Good luck & Happy reading!


Meghan (Making Love In The Kitchen) said...

I am a huge fan of Go Dairy free and Alisa, the delightful author. I may be biased though (did you notice the comments on the back cover?)

Ashley Gibson said...

I loved that your comment was on the back cover!! It made me like it even more.

nikbis said...

Well you KNOW I'm entering this contest :)

Wow how much do I need help with this particular issue.

Thanks for the reviews, I'm going to check out Such a Pretty fat as soon as I'm done Certain Girls.

39 To Go! said...

My "all time" favourite book is a two part answer. Firstly, Patch Adams' book "Geshundheit". I read this book when I was 17 when I was really starting to embrace positive thinking and natural healing. It's a really amazing book.

Secondly is, "You Can Heal Your Life". It really helped me when I lost my way last year.

Em said...

My favorite cookbook is my mother's 1954 (I's old) Betty Crocker cookbook. It might not always have the healthiest or easiest recipes, but it's got some great memories. And with a little effort, the recipes can be modified to accommodate certain needs.

Thanks for the great blog and giveaway!


Anonymous said...

I have lots of great cookbooks, but the one I'm attached to right now is my Cooking light fresh food fast book. I love that is super simple ingredients but the food looks and tastes delicious!

The Crazy Woman Inside Me said...

An interesting book selection. It’s taken me years to learn what foods to avoid for inflammation, and dairy was a biggie. Giving up all dairy was really tough for me because it’s probably my favorite “comfort food” group. But the results of getting it out of my system have been nothing short of phenomenal!

I’ve always loved Julia Child cookbooks and enjoy reading them almost like novels because of the witty way she wrote about the foods and recipes. And I second Karmagirl’s picks above. They’re wonderful books!


♥AbbeyMaybe said...

My favorite BOOK.
--> Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister by Gregory Maguire. I realize it's not food related. He's a genius. It beat out every other book by him, and I'm in love with each one.

My favorite cookbook?
My nana's. She made it. Everything reminds me of her. It's perfect.

♥AbbeyMaybe said...

also- blogged about it!

Food Coma said...

I love jemima j by Jane Green.

SH said...

I loved Cameron's The Writing Diet and just blogged about it yesterday(!). I love happy coincidences like this.

Danielle said...

I love Moosewood Restaurant's Low-Fat Favourites.

niki said...

My favorite cookbook is 'cooking for the rushed'
It couldn't be a better book to keep me organized. Weekly grocery list is so perfect. Plus there is a summer cooking for the rushed that is based around the BBQ! Love it.

Unknown said...

Hey!! One of my fav cookbooks for fun chic cooking is called Cheap and Easy by Alexis Kanfer. There are some super simple recipes that are yummy, unique and healthy!! Hurrah!

Nachos said...

It's no surprise that my favourite cookbook is ReFresh by Ruth Tal & Jennifer Houston.

I'm very critical when I try new recipes and I always have ideas on how to improve them. I have been let down in this way by so many books, but ReFresh is one that I keep coming back to because:

a) The recipes are healthy and refreshing (as opposed to comforting and heavy)
b) The ingredients are all easy to find
c) The reipces are vegan &
d) The end result is never a let down! I don't make the dishes and think "I would change this and that next time" etc.

Unknown said...

I love giveaways! My all-time favorite book has to be "Eat, Pray, Love," by Elizabeth Gilbert. I read it right after I went to Italy, so I basically blew through the section on her travels in Italy VERY fast. I love the book.

Also, I just finished Bitter is the New Black a few weeks ago. Loved it!

frustrated artist said...

Hey favourite cookbook is Recipes from Pasquale's kitchen which I bought for myself the year I got married, 1984 and have been using ever since. Pasquale was an Ontario personality and was one of the first to have a cooking show (along with Julia Child, of course)

My favourite novel is A Year in Provence by Peter Mayle which is part fiction, part travel book, part cookbook and whole lot of fun. Whenever I read that book (and I've read it a few times) I'm transported to France. It's also a wonderful summer read, if you're looking.

Take care, Lillian

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