September 16, 2010

Three Things Thursday: Good Reads

When I first made the switch to cleaner eating, I was a sponge searching for information and I did what a lot of people do...I read anything I could get my hands on. Anything to help the S in the ISFJ in me!

So I headed to the library started off with Pollan, worked my way over to Jillian, picked up some cookbooks, got some new cookbooks from my fam as prezzies, went online, found message boards anything and everything to find other people that had the same enthusiasm as my new found discovery of food.  Actual food!  So today I bring you Three Good Reads from my adventures in forsaking franken-food for real food.

1. The Omnivore's Dilemma, Young Reader's Edition. Michael Pollan is clearly the go-to it-boy when it comes to writing about, documenting and being a change agent for back to basics real food.  Between Food, Inc., In Defense of Food, and the quite funny, but oh so true, short and sweet Food Rules, you cannot go wrong with anything with Michael Pollan's name on it.  I particularly enjoyed the Young Reader's edition of the Ominvore's Dilemma.  It was basic enough for me to read after a crazy day at work, but not condescending in any way.  I loved the graphs, pictures and facts. They kept me engaged and stuck with me months after reading it. It took me time to watch Food Inc.  I wasn't sure I was ready to, and if you are like me in that respect, having a book that you can pick up and put down when you are ready to helped.   I bet after you read this, though, you will want to go out and see Food Inc. and devour all of Pollan's other books.

2. Master Your Metabolism. I am not a fan of diet books. I think they are a total waste of money and hype. And this one looks and is marketed right out there with all the diet books lined up at your local grocery store.  That said, it came recommended to me by a fellow WeWa kickass chica, I did pick it up (at the library!).

What I liked about this book was that I related to it instantly.  I lost all this weight (Like Jillian) eating franken food and was obsessed about "fat" in my diet - Fat makes you fat right?  Wrong.  And when it came to keeping it off, I had to either eat so little or workout like mad-woman to keep the pounds off.  And the minute I would stop eating Lean Cuisines, insta-gain. Like her, diet cokes were my beverage of choice.  4-8 a day. Yikes!  In the book she goes through her own transformation, shares a lot of the same ideas as Michael Pollan but relates it back to hormones and how your body processes food.

The organization of the book was a little all over the place. For example, I couldn't tell you what the 3 diet secrets are as advertised on the jacket cover. And I also am not a fan of....this worked for me so it must work for you too...mentality that was throughout the book. But in the end, I do think she has some good ideas, and she got me thinking not just about the food I make, but also what I make it in (i.e. plastics, teflon, cleaners, etc.)

3. More with Less. When it comes to food, I am very grateful for all that we have.  There is something about experiencing this gratitude and grace when I think about all the animals, people and plants that are involved in providing this food that I am about to put into my body.  When I look at it that way, I do want to do more with less.  I want to leave as little a mark as I possibly can.  I like this particular cookbook because it has recipes, but also stories, passages, feelings and memories about the recipes that people share.  I think I also like this book because every once in awhile I come across a recipe that I completely remember my mom making for us and it brings me to a whole new level of gratitude.


Tammy said...

If you want to become a vegan, I would recommend "Eating Animals" by Jonathan Safran Foer. If not, I would avoid that book. :/

I couldn't get through Master Your Metabolism. It was too all over the place for me.

Just Jo said...

More with Less! I have that book and have literally read it cover to cover, even though it's a cookbook. It's actually part of a 3 cookbook set and I'd highly recommend the other two. The next one is "Extending the Table" and has a great international focus. Perfect for when you want to try some new flavors and experience some new cultures in your kitchen. And the last one, which I'm pretty sure you NEED, is "Simply in Season". It is divided by the 4 seasons and features produce that is in season each time of the year. Oh, it's great. I think every CSA should include one in their initial delivery.

I've had "The Omnivore's Dilemma" on my list for a long time but I'm afraid to read it. I really just need to suck it up and get to it. Having a conscience isn't always easy. :(

Kathleen said...

Good info, Jo, re: one of a trio. I have "Extending the Table," (available for loan to the Z-team) but I didn't know about "Simply in Season." I now know what I will ask "Santa" to get me for Christmas. (Are you reading this, Christy?? Hint, hint.)

Just Jo said...

As you may have noticed, I love it! They recently came out with a new one, "Saving in Season". It explores the many ways to preserve your fresh, local yummies for later when they aren't readily available. It's a great addition for any kitchen.