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I've had this cook book for quite a while now, since I had to rethink my diet due to health and dietary issues - can't have one without the other it seems!
I wasn't drawn to this book because of it's 'Dr' element and I'll happily leave aside any discussion on Gillian McKeith, who appears to be the Marmite of the nutrition world: the truth is, I was drawn to this book because, out of all of those in my price range that I picked up in the bookshop, this one seemed to be, at the same time, the most understanding of my nutritional quandry and the most easy to understand and use. I'll explain why ...
* There's enough background, but not too much, on both where Dr. GM is coming from in terms of nutrition and on the basic principles of having a healthy food philosophy. I had already returned to the bookshelf tomes that seemed to have more intro and principles to follow that it offered in recipes and solutions. Although this book does offer guiding principles, these are in fact very simple and very sensible, although one is a little too anecdotal for my liking, but it does make the point that if you are serious about your health then a positive change can be achieved if you stick to the main principles. I especially liked the guide on not getting fixated on weight, as I know that being hung up on this issue can quickly negate any positive effects that a healthier diet can be starting to achieve.
* The principle on starting with a body check and a detox is a sound one and these are very clearly explained in the book, are easy to follow and do of course include the suggestion that a radical diet change should be discussed with the GP - sound advice indeed. I also particularly liked that the self- check for areas of your health immediately offered you points of reference for recipes in the book to help address the issue, so that you could get started in small steps immediately if you wanted.
* The section to help you get organized to start the revamp of your diet is also useful, but did have one glaring ommision where I was concerned (see my even better if comments below)! However, there are lots of useful lists as to what might be needed to create a basic, healthy store cupboard.
* The book also offers good general overviews on useful herbs, different teas and their uses as well as spices and natural flavourings that could be used - vital if you are withdrawing salt-laden convenience foods from your diet.
* There's also a useful menu plan before you get to the recipes themselves, which is a great starting point. I quickly adapted this to fit the fact that I'm a vegetarian and have food allergies, but this wasn't too difficult as the book offers lots of alternative recipes. In fact, the thing this book did get me doing was making home-made soups in advance and taking them in a flask to work , something that has made a real difference to my health and energy levels.
* Recipes are sectioned out and include:
- juices & smoothies
- salads and lunch boxes
- main meals
- quick bites
- stocks, sauces and dressings
This generally covers most meal areas and additionally covers most of the basics for organising your workday lunches so that you don't have to compromise on your good work with the diet by having to get a soggy canteen sarnie. The 'fresh start' approach that comes through from the getting organised section earlier in the book certainly does help to actually get you into the routine of doing this.
As a veggie, I found that the recipe section was not too heavily weighted towards meat eaters and does include a lot of veggie options, another reason why I chose to buy this one rather than others that were available around a similar price range.
Recipes are colourful, clearly set out, instructions and quantities are all very clear, whilst there are plenty of images and blank areas on pages for scribbling your own notes about substitutions you make etc (doesn't everyone do this or is it just me)? No problems here at all - as a cookbook this gives you everything you need.
* The book's a useful worktop / shelf size, easy to grab for reference. The only thing is that because it's softback and the spine's not overly wide, it's a bit tricky to keep the book open where you want in when following recipes - I usually have to put a tin on one side to stop it flipping shut!
* Finally, although I know that some people have an issue with Dr. GM's general tone and turn of phrase, I think that for this book the tone of her narrative is right (if just a little anecdotally heavy and wearing in places). For a book like this, I feel her slightly bossy tone is needed to instil confidence and a sense of purpose when making what can be really dramatic changes to your diet (and lifestyle).
Even better if:
Taking the idea that someone might buy this book because they want to effect positive change where their health / diet is concerned, I was surprised that, whilst the early guidance recommended speaking to your GP, it didn't include a note on speaking to your family or others in the household. Particularly as a busy wife and mum, I couldn't really make the adaptations I needed without tweaking everyone else's diets and meals in some ways (as I wasn't about to cook three or four different dinners a night) so speaking to your family, for support on those off days if nothing else, would seem to me to be a vital step.
So, I'd recommend this book if you are looking to revamp your diet into a more health-conscious one or for if like me, it's already fairly healthy but medical issues mean that you need to seek out more appropriate foods to include regularly within your diet.
Gillian Mckeith, you either love or hate her. On TV, she is so arrogant, domineering and demanding. Yet she have help the people involved to lose weight, she is obviously doing something right.
Gillian Mckeith book, You are what you eat, is an easy to follow guide book that not only address the problem of obesity, she also touches on other health problem like constipation, lethargy, bloated stomach, health and skincare.
The layout of the book is very colourful. Every page is coloured and the pictures of fruits and vegetables make them look very delicious. Her advice is simple and easy to follow.
The part that I like in the book is identifying our health situation by looking at the outlook of our tongue, our stool , our itchy bum, dandruff on the scalp, veins on our face and even our finger nails. The book identifies the bad food and the good food. Bad foods like sugar, overcooked vegetables, ready meals, refined food and more accelerate our aging process, cause weight gain and make us lethargic. Good food like raw vegetables, freshly cooked meals, unprocessed food, good fats and more lift our mood, reduce stress, boost our vitality and gives us a healthier heart.
There are also recipes that we can follow for a healthy diet though some of her recipe seems strange and look funny.
Gillian Mckeith may not be my favourite face on TV but her book is definitely very informative and helpful. You are what you eat is a must read for those who want to have a healthy body and for those who want to lose weight naturally.
Stool Samples at the Ready!
"YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT COOKBOOK" by Dr Gillian McKeith
I bought this book during one of those 'self improvement' turns that I take once in a while. I thought that buying this book might shove me in the right direction towards eating more healthily and taking care of myself. However, on the whole, I was rather disappointed by this book. It is the sort of book you buy whenever you start your New Year's Resolution Diet but soon leave it to fester at the back of your bookshelf.
In order to understand where this book is coming from, I believe it is necessary to give a quick rundown on the programme from which it originates. The book has been written by Dr Gillian McKeith, presenter of the Channel 4 TV Series "You are What You Eat". I have never been an avid viewer of this particular programme. To be honest, I have only ever watched it when there hasn't been anything else worth watching on the box. Anyway, I have watched the programme enough times to understand the format and therefore the raison d'etre for this book being produced. Each episode features an amiable, but less than svelte, member of the general public. They are met by the extremely skinny Dr Gillian McKeith who arrives at their house and lays out their entire food consumption for the past week on a table. She then chastises them on how unhealthy it all looks. Matters deteriorate from thereon as Dr McKeith requests the poor participant to provide a stool sample (thankfully not on camera) which is sent to the laboratory to be analysed. Next, Dr McKeith provides the participant with a meal planner consisting of lots of fresh fruit, vegetables, nuts etc. Miraculously the participant manages to turn around their eating habits by following the healthy meal planner and within weeks their waistline and entire life has been improved beyond all known bounds.
Of course, on buying this book, I secretly wished that I too would soon become a paragon of virtue in the food department. I longed for my skin to glow and for my trousers to fall off my waist as they were too loose. I could hardly wait to get started on the route to my new life. Unlike most participants on the TV series I'm not obese (though would admit to being perhaps a bit cuddly) nor do I live on a constant diet of junk food. However, I thought this book would still be helpful to me as it would kick-start my healthy eating habits and perhaps help to make my waistband a little less constrictive.
The book is divided into an introduction, twelve chapters and then Dr McKeith's final words:
-The Introduction entitled "My Story"-
This consists of just two pages in which Dr McKeith tells us how she managed to get to grips with her eating habits. She explains that she is not a great cook, referring to the fact that when she was young she managed to create a "Towering Inferno" in her kitchen from burning a piece of toast. In telling this tale she says that "my toast had caught fire and the flames had spread to the counter tops and wall. I was terrified". I hate to admit that I lost a little bit of confidence in Dr McKeith on this her very first page; I have burnt many a slice of toast but never to such dramatic effects. Once her brother has sorted out the toast fire for her, she goes onto mention that when she was twenty-something, she lived in Spain and "survived on a diet of Spanish eclairs, paella, chocolate and sangrias" (now the woman is talking!). On her return to Britain she found that she was chubby, had bad skin and was listless and de-motivated. Her first attempt at creating a 'McKeith diet' consisted of her eating nothing but pork luncheon meat and bread for eight weeks (is this woman mad?). After this eight week diet she recalls that she felt terrible and that it was this degeneration that was a key motivating factor in her embarking on a new healthy lifestyle. I may just be an old cynic but I was disappointed that Dr McKeith's story didn't ring very true and wasn't very inspirational. I like books that give you an introduction that leaves you wanting more and enthuses you to follow the author's lead.
The remaining twelve chapters cover the following topics:-
- Food Philosophy-
This chapter covers Dr McKeith's philosophy on food and eating and is just the same sensible advice we all are aware of, eg don't follow fad diets and don't become fixated on your weight.
This chapter includes four quick quizzes regarding your present diet and your general state of health.
This chapter outlines the basic food items and equipment you will need to follow the cookbook. The list includes herbal teas, nuts, tofu and the like. Most ingredients are well known but I had never heard of "Amaranth" (it is a grain) nor "Miso" (fermented soyabean paste) or Dulse (a seaweed vegetable) so a visit to a local health shop is required to follow many of the recipes.
-Juices & Smoothies-
The Smoothies are quite simple and most sound appetising. I tried the "Sexy Starter" which is basically strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and a banana blended up. It was very tasty. However the Juices mostly sounded pretty vile eg Beetroot Bliss for the Liver which consisted of carrots, celery, cucumber and beetroot blended....might be bliss for your liver but what about your poor taste-buds.
The breakfast options range from the very simple ie "Fruit Simpling" which is merely a bowl of selected fruits to the bizarre "Miso Barley Soup". I am sure I am yet to meet the person who would wake up and say "Ah Miso Barley Soup for breakfast - by jove, it's good to be alive!".
There are eighteen soup recipes in this chapter and I made quite a few of these recipes. I tried the "Butternut Squash and Sweet Potato Soup" and the "Warming Split Pea Soup". Both were quite appetising. I was intrigued by the recipe for "Sleepy Lettuce Soup" which Dr McKeith claims will help put you to sleep, but not intrigued enough to make it.
-Salads & Lunch-boxes-
These recipes range from "Warm Red Lentil Salad" to "Cucumber, Dulse and Avodaco Salad". Dulse is a seaweed vegetable. As with many of the recipes in this book, most of the ingredients are fresh vegetables that you would have in your weekly grocery but then there is an added ingredient such as "Dulse" or "Buckwheat Groats" that you would have to shop for specifically.
The Main Meals chapter was, in my opinion, the redeeming feature of this book. It contains 37 recipes, most of which are easy to make and many of which are both enjoyable and nutritious. In particular, the "Chickpea Burger" recipe is the pearl lurking within this book. This is the only recipe that I currently still use from this book and is a great hit with kids. However, the "Mushroom Stroganoff", "Hearty Lentil Stew", "Haricot Bean Loaf" and "Baked Salmon with Spinach and Leeks" are all very healthy and yet quite edible. In particular vegetarians will find these recipes as very good as 28 of the 37 recipes cater for them.
This chapter contains recipes for when you don't have much time to cook and includes recipes such as "Stir Fry Vegetables with Arame" (that's seaweed to you and me), "Quick Tofu" and "Buckwheat Salad".
This chapter is supposed to provide the healthy alternative when you are reaching for a packet of crisps. It mainly includes spreads and dips; into which you are presumably meant to dip your healthy carrot and celery sticks. I will confess it now, by the time I had reached this Chapter my health kick resolution was waning fast and I was craving a Mars Bar.
This chapter includes recipes such as "Lovers Passion Fruit Delight" which merely consists of strawberries with passion fruit pulp poured over and garnished with a mint leaf. The only, what you might nearly call naughty, treat is a "Carob Fudge Brownie". This recipe includes dates, raisins, carob powder and various seeds and nuts. The Brownies were quite edible and unquestionably healthy. However, the sweetness of the dates and raisins merely increased the urgency of my need for a real sugar fix!
-Stocks, Sauces & Dressings-
This chapter contains recipes such as "Vegetable Stock", "Egg-free Mayonnaise" (made from tofu - if you were wondering) and "Home-made Tomato Ketchup".
-Dr McKeith's final words-
In this chapter Dr McKeith leaves you with two thoughts. Firstly that when you prepare your food you should impart it with thoughts of love and kindness. To quote Dr McKeith:- "Even if you don't feel so positive before preparing a meal, then take a few moments out to shift your mood". That is not a problem. I'm am all for a bit of good karma when cooking. Secondly she tells you to "feel" the energy of your fruit and vegetables when you are shopping for food to make sure that you are buying the produce which is screaming out to you "I'm healthy food". This rule I found impossible to follow as I couldn't hear the screams of the healthy food a the fruit and vegetable counter above the holler of my toddler declaring his need for a packet of chocolate buttons.
The book is perhaps handy to have on your bookshelf; in order that you can dip into it once in a while to find a very healthy recipe. I have made the Chickpea Burgers on a few occasions. I think the major problem with this book is trying to find the willpower to choose the healthy option recipes which it contains instead of the unhealthy options you would prefer. So if you are on major diet mode or still in New Year's resolution frame of mind then this book would give you one or two extra recipes to add to your repertoire. However, the recipes do not entice you enough to make you want to eat them on a regular basis. To give the book a fair appraisal I compared it to other diet books I own that contain recipes for healthy low calorie eating. Even comparing this book against that category of cookbooks I found that many of the recipes in this book lacked flavour and "appetite appeal". You would also have to shop specifically for most recipes unless your store cupboard holds a supply of Buckwheat Groats, Dulse sea vegetables, miso paste, Chinese root daikon, alfafa sprouts and carob - in which case you are laughing!
No doubt anyone who has a very strong willpower would find this book most helpful in assisting them to eat healthily on a regular basis...mind you anyone with strong willpower probably wouldn't need this book in the first place. For mere mortals, who are prone to falling off the chocolate chip cookie wagon fairly frequently, this book is unlikely to help keep you on the straight and narrow. I think in order to give you an incentive to keep eating these recipes you must require two things:- firstly the humiliation factor of knowing that the whole of the Great British Public will be gazing at your last week's menu laid out on a table and secondly, that a laboratory scientist is waiting for your stool sample to analyse. As I was not subjected to either of these important criteria I returned to my normal eating habits within ten days of buying this book.
© First published by me under the name of smilesarefree on Ciao UK on 7 March 2008.
Ive never really been concerned about my weight - its just never caused any issues for me. But towards the end of last year, probably October time, I realised that Id piled on quite a few pounds and that I didnt really feel comfortable with myself. I was no longer happy with my appearance and no item of clothing could succeed in making me feel better about myself.
As a result, I got on the scales and I can honestly say that I was ashamed of myself. It was the heaviest I had ever been! But the strange thing is, it was such a gradual weight gain that Id hardly even noticed.
I decided that I had to take action and do something about it. Luckily, my hubby also agreed that his weight had spiralled too, and he would gladly support me, and join me, in a campaign to lose weight!
My next problem was choosing how to tackle the situation. I have never been a follower of fad diets so I didnt want to start on the Atkins diet or anything similar to that. So I was a bit stumped really....until the solution landed in my office at work. The bookman arrived and in his box of goodies was You Are What You Eat by Dr. Gillian McKeith. And for the small sum of £5 too. This book usually retails at approximately £12.99 so at less than half price it was certainly worth a look!
The book accompanies the Channel 4 series of the same name and Id seen a few episodes before. Some of the results that she has managed to achieve with her patients have been great. All the talk of poop and watching the colonic irrigation scared me off a bit though so I cant say I paid much attention to the stuff she was saying.
Having a quick flick through the bright and colourful pages, I liked the snippets that I read (and the appetising food photography featured throughout) so I decided to give it a whirl. After all, I had nothing to lose....except excess pounds!
At this point Id like to say that You Are What You Eat is not a diet as such - its a lifestyle. Buying that book has got to be one of the best decisions Ive ever made....
The opening pages get off to a super start with an introduction featuring the inspirational story that originally spurred Dr. McKeith into becoming a food freak. She realised just how powerful food is and made the decision to learn more so she could pass her knowledge onto others. Shes certainly taught me well!
The theory is that the food we eat acts like fuel - it gives our bodies the energy they need to function well. The You Are What You Eat plan is basically an exploration of the significant relationship between food and health, teaching us to make the connection that good food choices equal good health and poor food selection results in bad health. Sounds like good old common sense but theres a bit more too it than that.
The book is divided into convenient chapters - simple to follow and easy to refer to. The modern layout and the manner in which it is written is also easy to understand.
One of the first sections you come across is a real eye opener. It selects certain popular foods such as fish and chips, burger meals and tikka massala, and provides a nutritional analysis. This includes the equivalent amounts of fat and sugar in simple terms - spoonfuls of sugar and blocks of lard! We all know that eating an Indian takeaway or a Big Mac meal is far from healthy but we try not to think about it. Seeing the facts and figures printed in black and white has the immediate effect of informing the reader just how harmful these everyday foods can be. Eating badly can inflict so much harm on your body. Its a well known fact that poor diet effects your immune system but did you know that low nutrients in a diet puts enormous strain on the liver?
In You Are What You Eat Dr. McKeith educates the reader about the foods that are good for you and more importantly, why. This also includes the abundance food list. Im not going to tell you every single one as it does in the book but here are a selection of foods that you can eat in unlimited amounts...
In contrast, she also highlights the foods that are bad for you, giving the reasons why. These are called The Nasties and it is recommended that you either delete these completely or significantly cut them down.
Some of the healthy foods dont sounds particularly appetising but its surprising how delicious they can be. Its about retraining your tastebuds!
As you read the book it can perhaps seem a bit daunting but there are encouraging real life success stories featured. These are from some of Dr. McKeiths past patients, including a few that actually appeared on the TV show. Reading about the achievements of others really gave me the push I needed to take the book seriously.
The further I read into the book, the more I realised just how unhealthy I was, and I could associate myself with a lot of the things I was reading. Aswell as putting weight on, I had also been feeling miserable in general. I couldnt sleep properly and this was making me really lethargic throughout the day. Im sure my hubby would agree that I was also being rather moody!
I never even considered that these factors could be the result of what I was eating! It turns out that food has the most incredible influence on your emotional, mental and physical state. Healthy food choices can make you feel great, aswell as look good. There are so many benefits from eating well....it can boost your thinking power, reduce stress, lift your moods and make your body so much healthier. On the other side of the coin, eat badly and this can cause weight gain, accelerate the aging process (!!!) and cause digestive problems.
Basically, bad food acts as a catalyst for other ailments and complaints....some of which are easily noticeable. You Are What You Eat has a really interesting section on the most common body signs. These are signs to look out for on your own body that can tell you whats wrong with your diet!
Cracks, sore areas and a yellow coating on the tongue are all indicators of nutritional deficiencies. Similarly, ears, hands, eyes and mouth can be examined to pinpoint the origin of certain ailments. We all get the odd zit but I never knew that the location of pimples and spots on your body signifies congestion and organ imbalances in specific areas. For example, spots on the forehead are linked to the intestines. In the book youll find detailed listings along with suggested solutions to try to rectify these various problems, aswell as many others.
Youll even find yourself examining your poop. How disgusting I hear you cry but its true. You wont be able to stop yourself as you learn that it can provide an insight into the way you treat you body....
Foul smelling? - Poor digestion
Pellets? - Congested liver
Runny? - Exhausted spleen
These are absolutely fascinating to read but its even more amazing when you start to eat properly and any small ailments you may have had (like cracked feet, dandruff, puffy eyelids) start to disappear!
Theres so much information in this book that you couldnt possibly read it and not learn something from it. In fact its quite difficult to write about because of this. I could rave on about it for ages!
On top of the things Ive already mentioned there are also lots of other section....top energy foods; food combining (because different foods have varying digestion rates); food intelligence test; additional tips for healthy skin, hair, nails, teeth and gums; information on foods labels and colourings/preservatives; seven day kick start plan; numerous recipe ideas; how to combat stress, constipation (a healthy body empties its bowel twice a day!), excess gas, eczema, even PMS!
Its a fabulous book and if you take the time to make some changes you will start to feel the benefits almost immediately, eventually transforming your whole sense of well being. Its easy to follow in the sense that theres no point scoring, calorie counting, red/green days or starving yourself. Its not a diet of restriction and youll find that you end up eating a much wider variety of foods than you imagined.....and you can eat as much as you like!
A huge bonus is that cravings will disappear because the things that you do eat will be nourishing your body in the correct way.
The ideas are also suitable for the whole family, although I can imagine it may be difficult to persuade younger family members to change their eating habits and ditch the Turkey Twizzlers!
Dr. McKeith says:
Do much of what I tell you most of the time
....and I can tell you that its guaranteed to work. Following the plan properly requires a certain amount of commitment but if you stick to it, the results are definitely worth it. The emphasis isnt on losing weight but on being healthy. Losing pounds is just a positive side effect - and it will happen!
Over a period of about 6 months Ive shed 2 stone in weight and I can honestly say that I really feel fantastic - and not just because of my new, slimmer figure. Ive got so much more energy than I used to have but yet I sleep more soundly at night. I seem to be more positive about my life and overall, Im a much happier person!
Im not saying that Im a complete saint and strictly adhere to Dr. McKeiths advice - far from it. Its working for me because I allow myself to slip occasionally. She does recommend a 20% window of naughtiness when you let yourself have the odd indulgent treat and this is great for me because Ive always loved my food. Chocolate, pizza, chips. Indian, Chinese, ice cream....anything bad for me! Its been difficult to reduce my intake but it means that when I do allow myself to have something naughty, I enjoy and appreciate it so much more!
Generally, Ive adapted the advice found in the book to suit me. I only buy foods that are available in my local supermarket, for example. Ive never ventured into a health food shop in my life. The occasional detox and colonic irrigation is also recommended to thoroughly cleanse yourself and rid your body of toxins. This isnt a necessity though and its not something that Ive tried...yet. I wouldnt be opposed to the idea though.
The main change that Ive made is giving up ciggies. I have also cut out alcohol to an extent although I still have a good drinking session every once in a while. I suppose you wouldnt have to go as far as this though and Im sure a lot of you wouldnt even contemplate giving up cigs and alcohol!
The point is, you dont necessarily have to make dramatic changes to your lifestyle for the You Are What You Eat plan to work. Even a few small changes can have impact and make a big difference.
So why not read the book for yourself? Its full of facts - educational and informative but yet written in a friendly tone. At the end of the day, a bit of effort is so worthwhile and if youre a bit unsure, you can ease yourself into it gradually. Start by introducing new foods and omitting The Nasties one by one.
Go on, give it a try....and remember, you are what you eat!
I have just been sat here for a few minutes thinking of a snappy title to give this review and then I realised this book doesnt need some catchphrase to sell it. This book speaks for itself and it really has changed my life.
First of all, let me tell you how I came to hear about Dr Gillian McKeith and her book. It was Sunday afternoon and I was driving home. Dr Gillian was doing a radio interview to promote the TV series on channel 4 at the time. I soon became transfixed to what she had to say and her advice seemed to make so much sense. I work shifts, so had never actually watched the show at this stage and regretted missing it. Fortunately, I have Channel 4 broadband, so I watched every episode on my day off back to back and found them fascinating. I now knew what the Buzz was about this show and had to get the book to find out more.
Before I can talk about the book I need to let you in on Dr Gillians philosophy and why it works. First of all, this is not some faddy diet that cuts out major food groups or limits what you can eat. In actual fact you are encouraged to eat In Abundance. The key to what I call an eating plan is, as the book suggests, what you eat. The dangers of unhealthy eating are made very clear (In one section bad meals are converted into spoons of sugar and block of lard) and it soon becomes clear the types of food that are Dead of nutrients and the sort of food that is full of life.
The book itself is split into bright, colourful sections. The various chapters cover everything from combating specific health problems to a self-check of your body, which is a real eye opener. Is your tongue furry? Are your poos the right colour? You are opened up to a brand new set of exciting foods as the chapters go on and by the end you are so enthusiastic you begin to think why havent I always ate like this. Then its of to the health food store (Which have done great from this show) to stock up on Sunflower seeds and Quinoa (Read the book) and then to get my juicer.
Finally, let me tell you about me. Im not fat and have no apparent health problems. However I plodded through life with a negative outlook and could never be bothered to do anything. I was always tired and could go month without fruit or veg. 2 months after reading/following this book I am a changed man. I am always full of energy, happy and ready to enjoy life. I swim, I go to the gym, I do yoga and I have even been promoted at work. I not the sort of person to hype things up, this is the real deal. I life has turned around. For about £8 (If you get it from a supermarket) what have you got to loose??
I recently bought the book ?You Are What You Eat? which was issued in conjunction with the programme recently shown on at 20.30 on Tuesday evenings on Channel 4. I had missed the first couple of programmes but, after insistence by my daughter that I should watch, I begrudgingly did so and then became hooked on the programme. Hunting around the shops trying to find a book was hard as most shops had sold out but I managed to buy one from W H Smiths at £12.99 only to find it being sold at £9.99 at Borders bookshop. It can be purchased from Amazon.co.uk for, I think, £7.99 + P&P but there was a 7-14 day delivery time and I wanted the book immediately! The book is highly colourful and easy reading and Dr Gillian McKeith, a nutrionist, promises that if you follow her rules then you will be slimmer, healthier and happier. The book is not only about losing weight but actively tries to encourage us all to think about the rubbish food that we stuff down our faces. Gillian has research food for many years and knows what she is talking about and actually she does talk a lot of sense. As eating is one of the main activities of our lives then we should really start to treat our bodies with respect and not keep giving ourselves food that isn?t of any real nutritional value. The book got my attention immediately as I read about the lady with cancer who had been given two weeks to live ? every bone in her body was riddled with cancer and she could hardly breathe, let alone walk. The hospital had sent her home to die but a friend started to spoon feed her an esoteric diet (also called macrobiotic) which incorporated natural vegetarian foods like brown rice, seeds, seaweeds, green vegetables, beans and lots of soy or ?miso? soups. The lady regained her strength after one month and within two months no longer felt ill and
the hospital checked her and her cancer had gone. Now if that story is not inspiring to eat healthily then I don?t know what else is. Gillian is of the firm belief that the food we put into our bodies is our medicine and if you put the wrong kind of medicine into the body then energy levels will decrease, sex drives can disappear and fat is the outcome. ?Poo? is mentioned quite a lot and Gillian can tell the state of a person?s health just by looking at their poo. Poo is usually a taboo subject but what she says makes sense. If you don?t eat enough fibre then food can stay in your intestines for weeks and become bad creating smells. She also looks at people?s tongues and can tell the state of their health from this body part also. It is absolutely fascinating to watch the programme and read the book. She describes the top 5 troubles of most of her patients: Continual tiredness PMS and other hormonal aliments Stress Weight struggles Digestive problems She addresses each of these issues and let us know how to tackle the problem and overcome it with the food that we eat. Then she talks about detoxing our bodies and looking at our external appearance. She always advises her patients to have a colonic irrigation before embarking on her health regimen (regimen is a favourite word for Gillian). Did you know that the walls of our colon can have approximately 8-14lbs of rotten food inside it? Isn?t it a horrible thought. That is why she insists on the colonic irrigation. I know a couple of people who have had this done for medical reasons and they have all said that they felt great afterwards. Well, getting rid of up to a stone of rotten food from your body is just great! I might even try it myself. Gillian gives a quick 7 day eating plan for beginners to get started but her book is ful
l of very good information and for most common complaints she has a good eating plan to rectify them. There are also some recipes at the back of the book to get you started on the programme and, at first glance, they don?t look too appetising but her website: www.drgillianmckeith.com is also a mine of information too. One of her chapters called The Next Level explains what to do after reading her book and she also recommends further stages of advancement once we understand food and its components and which foods are good for various complaints etc. She informs us what we should look out for in things such as sweeteners, colourings and additives and which ones could be carcinogenic. This was a real eye opener for me and really made me think that, although I thought I ate quite healthily, I wasn?t eating healthily enough. The book is full of information on lots of fruit and vegetables and how our body needs them, and how they aid digestion. Gillian advocates eating lots of raw, green leafy vegetables, pulses, beans, miso soup and fresh fruit. She introduces the reader to vegetables they may have not heard of previously, I know I certainly hadn?t heard of some of the veg and pulses eg. quinoa (pronounced keen-wa) which can be used for a breakfast cereal. Aduki beans is another favourite of Gillian?s. Gillian also tells us that we should never really drink or eat anything that is either really hot or very cold. Our digestive system copes easier with warm food and drink and that we should all try and eat raw vegetables more often or, if we cook our vegetables, only cook them for 3 mins. I cooked a whole load of green veg last night for myself for 5 minutes and they were wonderful. So much tastier than the usual 15-20 minutes cooking time I do. Another no-go area is dairy products, instead of milk she advises using soya milk or rice milk
. I actually bought some rice milk at the weekend and it looks very watery and has quite a strange taste, I can only liken the taste to a nutty flavour but it is OK. The rice milk is made from brown rice so is extremely healthy. As I am following the Slimming World eating programme I realised that I could also incorporate a lot of the suggestions from this book. I am introducing it gradually into my food regimen but I can tell you that I am actually enjoying my food more. I have bought a juicer and now have a juice drink each day, have introduced bean casseroles and am eating lots of fresh, raw salads and vegetables. I did buy quite a lot of vegetables from Salisbury market last week which were wonderfully, fresh, cheap and wholesome. Let me tell you that the celery actually had soil on the base! I haven?t seen that for quite some time and the taste was lovely ? much better than the very clean versions I usually buy from the supermarket. This book has definitely made me think more about the food I eat and has taught me to start trying to be a bit more adventurous with my food. Who would have thought that a bean casserole would be ready and waiting for me tonight after my Slimming World class! I now look at pre-packaged food and think that there is no actual nutritional value in it whatsoever. If at all possible, I will try and buy organic food in future though it is quite expensive but, as the programme and the book says: We Are What We Eat ? if we owned a beautiful car would we put sawdust into it instead of petrol? No, we wouldn?t dream of it, so why do we do it to our bodies? I thoroughly recommend all of you to buy and read this book and set yourself a new goal to eat more healthily. You don?t have to follow everything Gillian advises but, if you do just a little bit of it
, then you will start to feel better.