I might just end up making this a book club Tuesday, after all….
Every week…er…almost every week, I review a book on Badger Girl Learns to Cook. All the books deal with food and cooking in some way. To view past book reviews, check out the Badger Girl Book Shelf.
So I can’t blame Manatee this time. He bravely left my kindle at home when he left for his business trip. I have another excuse this week. Yesterday I was up to my elbows in boxes.
No, we did not recently move and our wedding was almost two years ago. We are just crazy box people. We have an obscene amount of storage space and recently we realized that maybe we should actually start storing real stuff there instead of empty boxes. So with 1 and 1/2 box cutters, my brave mother and I spent countless hours breaking down boxes.
Manatee owes me. And my mom. Big time.
But don’t worry, he knows it.
More about The Great 2012 Basement Project later. For now, I have a book to review. I have been teasing you with this book for months and now it’s finally here: The Perfect 10 Diet by Dr. Michael Aziz.
After reading other books on diet and nutrition, I kept coming back to this book. This one that Manatee found, read, and then wouldn’t leave me alone until I read it. Aziz identifies 10 key hormones in the body and his theory is that if we keep these hormones in balance, we will live healthy and happy lives.
He also suggests that many of our problems from anxiety to infertility to diabetes to just about anything wrong with your life stems from a hormone being off balance. What imbalances our hormones? Fake food. Our bodies don’t know how to make sense of processed foods. He advocates whole foods, full fat dairy, healthy fats, and reduced carbohydrates.
Finding the Balance
I loved and hated this book.
I wish I could give you a clear cut yay or nay, but I can’t. On one hand, I hated it. He goes on and on about all of these hormones and to be honest, it’s kind of over my head. And when I do try to wrap my mind around it, I get paranoid. If I eat this, what will happen to my estrogen? If these hormones are so touchy, what do I eat to make sure I maintain a perfect equilibrium? It’s enough to drive a person crazy. Or maybe I should say, it’s enough to drive a perfectionist crazy.
I also couldn’t stand the snazziness of the writing. Want to look great and have more fun in bed? Really?! Is that we have come to? There was a lot of eye rolling when I read this book. Part of me is embarrassed to be recommending it to people.
On the other hand, I loved this book. When you strip away all of specifics, the heart of the book makes all the sense in the world. Fake food is just that, it’s fake. Our body doesn’t know how to process processed food. Give it some fakey low-fat, 100 calorie food and what the heck is that? It gets shuffled off, knocks hormones out of whack, and probably will stored be as fat. The human body is a delicate balance and if a hormone gets out of whack, chaos ensues. Give the body something natural and it can use everything in that food.
Yes, I rolled at my eyes at Aziz, but above anything else, I do respect him. I see why he has to ‘sell’ his work and more importantly, I respect that he is not afraid to make people uncomfortable.
He has to go into detail about the hormones because that is his premise. Duh. And as long as you are not an extremist like me, you probably won’t freak out about perfectly balancing your hormones. He does do a good job of maintaing a persuasive, accessible, conversational tone. This is actually what Manatee liked the best about the book. And by the way, he liked this book waaaaay better than In Defense of Food. For Manatee, this was much more accessible and enjoyable to read.
And if you give either of us a glass or two of wine and then ask us about influential books, you will have a hard time shutting either of us up about this book. Manatee may even give you my kindle so you can read it. That is how passionate he is about this book.
And if he does do that, then please give me back my kindle. No matter what Manatee tells you, it’s not okay.
This is one of my favorite quotes and I think it does a good job of demonstrating his voice:
“Many think they eat healthfully, but in reality, they do not, since they eat processed food. Look at the ingredients in the salad dressing…and ask yourself why on earth you would put that poison in your mouth. Do you think your body is going to say, “Great, I love artificial colors.” Of course not. Your body can’t recognize the food. Instead, it will secrete leptin, the hormone that controls satiety, to let you know that you still need to eat. You’ll feel hungry, and you’ll overeat.”
When you let go of the hormone speak and skim through the jazzy sales-y pitches, this book is worth its weight in gold.
Of all of the diet books we have read, this is the one that has impacted us the most.
This book is the first one that got us to start cutting back on wheat.
This is the book that helped make us realize scientifically how clean eating affects our body.
This is the book that made us embrace healthy fats. We eat a spoonful of coconut oil before we work out in the morning. And we both are slimmer, stronger, and healthier than we have ever been.
This is the book that made up pass up any and all forms of low-fat foods. If we eat dairy (which is rare), we eat it full-fat.
Here is another quote that does a good job of explaining the beauty of fat:
“Many people fear that eating too much fat will make them fatter, and they believe that they’re better off eating more carbohydrates. But there is a built-in safeguard when we eat natural fats: they do not trigger exaggerated insulin secretions. A stable insulin level promotes satiety, so our bodies do not crave an overabundance of food.
Here’s an example: Avocados are a virtually perfect source of dietary fat, but how many avocados can you eat at a time? On the other hand, given the same level of hunger, how many cookies can you eat?“
I am going to pull an Aziz and include a personal testimonial on why this works. In short, I am going to hit you over the head with reasons why this way of eating works.
As you know Manatee and I follow a clean eating diet. We don’t eat processed foods. In general, we do not get sick. I can’t even remember the last time I was sick.
This past weekend my mother came to stay and I have to admit, I let go of my food principles and branched out. I didn’t eat my apple a day. I snacked on cookies and this amazing chocolate cupcake that I bought for my mother (ri-ight….). In short, I ate some typical junk food. I still had a salad a day so it wasn’t a complete binge but it was definitely not my regular diet.
After two days, I woke up with a cold. Since my body has gotten use to real food, it couldn’t handle the processed stuff anymore.
Our bodies function better with whole foods.
End of story.
What book has had the biggest impact in how you approach food? Or just simply tell me what you are currently reading.
And I would love to hear any good natural cold remedies. I hate being sick.