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Healthy Foods: An Irreverent Guide to Understanding Nutrition and Feeding Your Family Well Paperback – May 1, 2001

4.5 out of 5 stars 46 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"...common-sense, practical and helpful information, beautifully wrapped up in her entertaining, humorous and easy-to-read style. I recommend Healthy Foods heartily!" -- Vickilynn Haycraft, co-author of Naturally Healthy Living: Real Food for Real Families

"Leanne Ely has combined family-friendly recipes, sound nutritional advice and warm-hearted fun--creating a book that belongs on every family's shelf." -- Deborah Taylor Hough, author of Frozen Assets: how to cook for a day and eat for a month, Frozen Assets Lite & Easy and A Simple Choice

From the Author

As a nutritionist, I felt it was important to give family's a heads up on what constitutes good nutrition without putting additional spin on a very basic, but ever evolving science. Knowing what I do about nutrition and being a former caterer, I must admit to being discouraged when it came time to cook for my own family. The whole wheat recipes I found were disastrous: heavy, thick and almost inedible. Other "healthy" recipes had strange ingredients and no flavor. I sought to remedy that with this book: give families what they want: good, solid information about nutrition and then familiar family recipes that show the reader how to use this nutritional information without sacrificing what they love. I feel I have accomplished that with this book (and for the children, with the unit studies that accommodate the book).

Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Champion Press (WI) (May 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1891400207
  • ISBN-13: 978-1891400209
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,960,420 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Leanne Ely is a certified nutritionist and the host of SavingDinner.com. Her syndicated column, 'The Dinner Diva,' appears in 250 newspapers nationwide. She writes a popular 'Food for Thought' column on the ever-popular FlyLady.net website, and hosts 'The Dinner Diva' radio show on Blog Talk Radio. Ely also writes her own e-zine, Healthy Foods and is the author of several books, including the recent Body Clutter, which was a New York Times bestseller. She lives in North Carolina with her two teenage children.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
"Quality nutrition can only come from quality food. Quality food is defined as less processed, more natural, more basic foods-like fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, etc. Easy stuff to get at the market. There are however, concerns that we are necessarily, having to deal with in this 21st century." ~Leanne Ely

Need a recipe for Pesto or want to learn to make healthier French Fries? How did mom make those mashed potatoes anyway?

Well, Leanne Ely has the answers and had created a cute cookbook filled with over 100 family-approved recipes.

If your kids are hungry for pizza and there isn't a frozen pizza in sight, you might enjoy making the Pizza Muffins. If you keep a bottle of spaghetti sauce around, some mozzarella cheese, various toppings and mixed grain English muffins in the kitchen, you will have an easy-to-prepare snack.

The first thing I noticed in this cookbook was an ingredient called "sucanat." If you are wondering what this is, well, I was too. I found the answer on pg. 51, where the author also lists, kamut flour, carob and whole wheat pastry flour. I was then sent to the glossary for explanations.

The glossary is not where you'd expect it to be, it is on page 59. Ok, so it is that natural cane sugar I've seen in health food stores! All the other ingredients seemed pretty normal to me, still, you might want to find a health food store in your area or most grocery stores seem to have an isle of natural foods. If you want to shop online, there is a resource section at the back of the book.
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Format: Paperback
I have tried many of the recipes in this book and have yet to find a dud. The pistou soup is warm and filling; the rubber chicken is easy to prepare, delicious, and frugal; and I have never made an easier or tastier pizza crust than the Kneadless Pizza Dough. Even my picky family has raved over everything I've prepared from this book. Leanne's style is unpretentious and her advice is practical. I had to get over the need to have exact measurements (she occasionally refers to using a 'blob' or a 'little bit', basically relying on you to adjust for your own tastes). It is well worth the time to read the first chapters about general nutrition, written in an easily understandable form and chock full of important advice. Her chapters on food allergies and eating disorders could be lifesavers. This cookbook has quickly become the most favored one on my shelf, and I'm sure I'll have to get another one eventually because this one will be tattered and covered with food stains. It's that good.
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Format: Paperback
You want to serve your family a nutritious meal but the children only want burgers and fries. Your son drowns everything on his plate in ketchup and your daughter gets chronic stomachaches. They eat too much or absolutely nothing. What in the world do you do? Leanne Ely, C.N.C., nutritionist, had problems feeding her children and was determined to find out how to help them and herself.
"Healthy Foods" is filled with easy to digest information on nutrition that suites the needs of children as well as adults. She doesn't try to sell you on a new diet or product that doesn't work. Instead, she provides clear facts along with her own opinions and observations, which are clearly labeled as such. She provides lots of useful links to websites with dietary information for further research. In her playful way, she also provides tips to get your kids to try new foods. How about cutting up food and letting your child pick up the pieces with toothpicks?
Mrs. Ely has come up with over 100 family tested recipes to choose from. These recipes are designed to be un-intimidating and good for you. Everything from snacks to breakfast, lunch, and dinner are covered. Recipes are very simply and use easy to find ingredients, though you may need to go to a health or natural food store for some. Some may take offense to the occasional use of processed foods used here and there but they are kept to a minimum and they are the more health conscious varieties.
I don't have children but I do want to eat right. I also have days were I don't want to cook anything too adventurous. I was impressed with the quality of the information she provided and in the way it was presented. Her guidelines are just that, "guide" lines. You need to make the necessary adjustments to suite your family's lifestyle and needs.
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Format: Paperback
This is by far the best cookbook I own, and it has become my "cooking bible." Ever since getting married 3 years ago, and learning to cook, I have bought cookbook after cookbook trying to find a few that fit my healthy lifestyle, yet don't go overboard with the nutritional jargon. As a Registered Nurse with a bachelors of science degree, I have much knowledge in the area of nutrition and how important healthy eating is to one's energy levels, disease prevention, etc. I was constantly disappointed with cookbooks that only provided one or two interesting recipes. This cookbook has it all...from great-tasting food (REALLY tasty recipes) to excellent and interesting nutrition information that anyone can adapt to their lifestyle. This week I made the chocolate Mama's PMS cake, Apricot oatbran muffins, Enchilasagna, smoothies, broccoli soup and they were all fabulous. I literally went through my cookbook collection and donated almost all my other cookbooks to the library. I've also adapted Leanne's suggestion to use whole wheat pastry flour in place of white flour and Sucanat (evaporated cane juice) instead of white sugar, and of incorporating more protein into meals (in addition to complex carbs). This book has changed my life and given me more energy. By the way, my husband loves the food from this book, too (we don't have kids yet).
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