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Showing 1-10 of 157 reviews(5 star). Show all reviews
on October 25, 2007
Ali is an extremely talented whole foods chef, and master of user friendly recipes, one who definitely should be writing cookbooks. Tom is a walking encyclopedia of up to date nutrition information. If you are going to own one cookbook, this is the one to own. These recipes have benefited my family so much-I don't know what I would have done without them!

My daughter is gluten intolerant, and we also avoid dairy products-this book makes it so easy to eat delicious food, special diet or not-you will eat better than you ever have! Be sure and use the handy pantry list for shopping...I have given several as gifts-always very well received!!!

The chapters are as follows:
Part One: Introduction
1. Welcome
2. How to Use This Book
3. What's up with Gluten, Dairy, and Eggs?

Part Two: Eating Whole Foods
4. The Basics of a Whole Foods Diet
5. Organics, Your Health, and the Planet
6. Diet and Global Warming
7. Making the Change
8. Sample 7 Day Whole Foods Menu

Part Three: Your Whole Foods Kitchen
9. Stocking Your Whole Foods Pantry
10. Essential Cooking Equipment
11. Definition of Cooking Techniques

Part Four: The Recipes
12. Breakfast
13. Fresh Breads & Muffins
14. Soups
15. Fresh Salads and Vegetables
16. Whole Grains
17. Vegetarian Main Dishes
18. Fish, Poultry, & Meat
19. Dressings, Dips, & Sauces
20. Nutritious Desserts
21. Scrumptious Snacks
22. Delicious Drinks

Part Five: Appendix
Measurement Equivalents
Food Allergy Substitution Charts
Hidden Food Sources of Gluten
28-Day Elimination and Detoxification Diet
Introduction Solid Foods to Infants
Useful Resources
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on March 8, 2008
I am a difficult patient
I don't give up
I keep trying
I keep looking for answers
I keep an open mind
I know the answer may come from anywhere
-"chance favors the prepared mind" Louis Pasteur
I collect exceptional physicians
creative, think-outside-the-box docs
I always ask "Why?"
I always ask "How?"
I have high expectations
I don't accept less than 100% function
I expect an answer

Who would have thought the answer was in the food I eat?

Since the late '80's, perhaps for my entire life, I have struggled with physical and mental illness. In 1997, depression, mood swings and debilitating chronic fatigue overwhelmed me.

For ten years my Psychiatrist and my husband kept me alive.

By 2006, I had the mental illness medically controlled and had resigned myself to spending the remainder of my life managing the chronic fatigue by living five hours a day.

Beginning late in 2006, my doctor recommended I look at the food I eat, and find a good Nutritionist. I said, " What? Food cause all the different problems I am dealing with? I find that hard to believe." But, I am always looking for an answer, and I had nothing to lose but a non-functioning life, so I committed to the process 100%.

I was fortunate that the Nutritionist's Elimination and Detoxification process was included in the newly published Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook. The book also included recipes WITHOUT foods I would soon discover made me ill.

Within twelve days of beginning the Elimination and Detoxification process, the mental issues and the fatigue dramatically diminished. When I finally understood how food was affecting me, I said, "All these years I have been working very hard to eat the best food I can...whole grains, organic, locally produced...But I was poisoning myself every day/all day long, each time I ate. I might as well have been eating the dollar bills for all the nutrition I was getting!" The inability to absorb nutrition that was the basis for all my chronic medical problems - Simply, I was malnourished.

March 1, 2008 marks the 16th month since beginning the identification and elimination of foods I react to. I have never before experienced sixteen consecutive months where I have not had the cold or flu. My immune system is now functioning.

I am now off all medications.

There are times when I say, "I don't know who I am any more" because I feel so different.

Different in a good way.

My life is before me now, unknown and inviting.

Thank you, Ali and Tom, for creating this book.
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on October 26, 2007
I was very pleased to see this second edition of the Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook come out, since I have been a loyal fan of the first edition for a year (and my copy is looking very appreciated)!

The reader will find the first eleven chapters of this book filled with well-written current information about why eating whole foods will improve your health and how to make the change. The authors have carefully spelled out how to stock your kitchen, basic cooking techniques and introductions to foods you may not be familiar with.

I have begun using this book as a text for my wellness and nutrition classes. It has been well received by people who know that they should eat better but don't know where to begin.

And the recipes...mmmm, delicious! I own many "health food" and "natural cooking" type cookbooks, and these are by far the most flavorful and simple to prepare recipes that I have found. It's all in the liberal use of the seasonings.

I especially appreciate the gluten free/dairy free options that are a necessity for my family. And I am hooked on "Tom's Fruity Medicine Chest Smoothie"; who ever thought that something that green could taste so good?

Thanks to Alissa and Tom for this gift of fun cooking and better health!
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on September 13, 2009
I didn't realize when I purchased this cookbook that it was primarily a gluten-free cookbook. I read the line on the top about it having gluten-free, dairy-free and egg-free recipes, but my primary reason for getting it was the whole foods aspect. I wanted simple recipes that used local, in season fruits and vegetables. I definitely got much more than I bargained for!

Between this book and the purchase of a Vitamix (highly recommended, even though expensive), I now consume 5 times as many green vegetables as I did before. Being primarily vegetarian, that says a lot. I tended to eat lots of vegetables before, and now I eat lots more. This is good. As a mother of four children, Ali Segersten doesn't really have time to have recipes that take all day to prepare. Most things are fast and yummy, once you get into the groove of cooking like this. I've owned this book for a year and have cooked probably 3/4 of the recipes and some of them are weekly staples (not to mention keeping up with the recipes on their blog). When beets are in season, I can't get enough of the balsamic beets. Who knew beets could be so yummy? I have one toddler (and feel as if I have four) so cooking healthy food has to be fast. I also want her to grow up with healthy eating habits.

Without even having a clue about it, I've probably been gluten sensitive my entire life. Pregnancy seems to have triggered it to be more noticeable, since I started having digestive problems after the birth of my daughter (and a bit during pregnancy too, though it's hard to sort out what's normal with pregnancy and what could have been sensitivity to gluten). I've heard of dairy allergies, and all sorts of other allergies, but gluten? Who is allergic to gluten? Well, it turns out a lot of us are. Now I know about all kinds of new grains like teff, sorghum, millet and quinoa. Even if you're not sensitive to gluten, these are great grains to experiment with! Yes, I will agree with others that lots of these foods are more expensive. However, if you're not eating meat, consuming dairy or buying lots of prepackaged foods, the cost balances itself. A box of cereal is sometimes $5. You can get a good sized bag of quinoa for that price and quinoa will certainly win on the nutritional front.

My copy of this book looks as if I've owned it for 10 years. I write notes in the margins, book mark things, star favorite recipes--it's practically the only cookbook I ever use anymore. I easily use it more than once daily. In addition to being a well-written cookbook, their blog is fantastic. With all of the other 5 star reviews, I felt I probably didn't need to add my two cents, but just in case someone needs 38 positive reviews instead of 37 to buy this cookbook, this is my two cents to add.
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on January 8, 2011
I have had this cookbook for just a week, but I am really enjoying it. After reading the other reviews, I felt like trying the 28 day detox and elimination diet, which is described in the book and also on the author's website [...], was going to be the perfect plan to help me kick my caffeine and sugar addictions. The book advocates eating whole foods for a variety of reasons: to help prevent and fight disease, increase energy, lose weight, feel better, less packaging and waste etc etc. Anyway, I really DID try to do the 2 day smoothie fast at the beginning of the detox/elimination diet, and while the smoothies taste GREAT I just could not do a full day without chewing something! I tried for 3 days and each day, by dinner time I gave up and ate regular not-ground-up-food. However, drinking the smoothies for breakfast and lunch 3 days straight DID make any food, even super healthy whole food with no dressings etc. sound more delicious than they usually would! :) Other than cheating on the smoothie fast, I have followed phase 1 of the elimination diet very easily. I feel that there are plenty of foods to enjoy and I have tried several recipes from their website and cookbook, as well as created my own versions of salads and smoothies.

Here is the thing: In 6 days I have lost 7 lbs. I have NEVER lost that much at a time, ever. I have not been hungry AT ALL this week. In fact, last night I was stuffed and could not finish my dinner. I have been calculating calories and have been consuming between 1000 and 1300 cal. per day. In the past when I have limited calories I have been hungry all the time. But with eating healthy whole foods only, the portion sizes are so much bigger and I can actually feel the food nourishing me and giving me energy. I no longer feel bloated. A few weeks ago I was so fatigued and depressed, I was about to go to the doctor to see about antidepressants. But I feel awesome now and feel like all the sugar and caffeine and "holiday" fat-laden foods were just bogging me down.

I was nervous at first I would not have as much energy on this diet, but I have more energy than I have had in a very long time, I can get through my workouts easily, I am feeling less dehydrated, my skin is already looking better, and I already feel like this is a plan I can stick with... forever. I am going to switch my family to whole foods now as well.
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on March 11, 2008
Every recipe that we have tried has been excellent and this is the only cookbook in which I have faith in the recipe I am following (without having to make changes as I go). I am lactose intolerant and very sensitive to wheat and it is a joy to have vegetarian recipes that do not rely on those two ingredients. After the third meal I cooked, my husband was excitedly looking through the book wanting to know what I was going to fix next. It is obvious that every recipe has been tested. This book is truly a work of art. Thank you so much for increasing our food possibilities and bring joy back into my cooking. A side benefit of tasty food is that we are both feeling much better as we are eating food that is good for our bodies. With this cookbook, it is easy to eat healthy.

I have added this part of the review 6 months later: I have had both good and bad results in regards to my health following this cookbook. As I had already eliminated dairy and eggs, I made only two changes to my diet. I eliminated all gluten and I incorporated coconut oil that is in so many of the recipes.

Going gluten free has resulted in an increase of energy, decrease in allergies, and has corrected all of my many digestive problems. I could not be happier. The cookbook provided so many alternatives to gluten that it made the transition easy. The breads, cakes and muffins freeze up great so I have things on hand all the time.

Incorporating coconut oil resulted in a spike in my cholesterol over 6 months by 50 points. Upon doing some research, I found that coconut oil increases your bad cholesterol and I am disappointed that the cookbook purports coconut oil is good for you, when the research points in a different direction. Coconut oil distributors and producers have done a great job of convincing people that this product is good for you but the research does not support it. I have unfortunately found this out the hard way and am now on a "cholesterol watch" with my doctor. I have been substituting olive oil and canola oil, both of which are good for you, and have not seen a taste or texture difference.

Overall, this cookbook has great tasty recipes and I would highly recommend it. I will be buying the next one when it comes out. I am, however, throwing out the rest of my coconut oil.
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on February 15, 2010
This has been the only cookbook I have been using for the last 1 1/2 months and I keep discovering more great things every day!

I started with a couple of weeks of testing some recipes to see if I could make it through the Elimination diet laid out in the book and wasn't disappointed. Many of the recipes are truly originial...Ali Segersten is a master when it comes to using herbs and spices and original cooking techniques.

The Elimination diet scared me a favorite meals are a tall latte in the morning and bread with cheese and wine for dinner, neither one you can have on this...but I was finally ready to find out just what foods are keeping me from feeling my best. While I am a pretty healthy, active person, fatigue and recurring sinus issues are bothering me and if it's in my control to improve those through eating the right meals, I am up for it!

I am now on day 29 with no intention of stopping anytime soon...I feel great and am amazed at how easy it has been. Besides the physical well-bring, my mind is so much clearer, calmer, happier and less anxious. I have often wondered if I have adult ADD...if it's the not eating Gluten that is relieving the "brain fog", I am happy to cut out wheat from my diet. We'll see if that's it when I get to the challenge phase. Being a pretty hyper person to start with, not drinking coffee is probably the right thing for me anyway, too!

Eating wholesome, nutritious food for each meal, keeps me so well nourished, that I just don't feel the horrible cravings I remember from diets I had done in the past. I am never hungry and my bloodsugar ups and downs are gone(agave nectar in my herbal teas is the best thing ever!).

I am doing the elimination diet strictly for health reasons, not for weightloss. However, it is the perfect plan to follow if that is your intent. In fact, I am having a hard time NOT losing weight. I feel like I am eating like a horse and still lost a few pounds unintentionally.

Yes, this book takes some adjusting to, no matter what your current diet is, but if you stick with this kind of cooking, you will realize the payoffs when it comes to your health and you will want to keep going. I am reading "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle" by Barbara Kingsolver at the same time and eating organically grown foods, preferably from local sources makes sense on so many levels.

Favorite recipes (that the rest of the family will happily eat, too) are:
- Quinoa and black bean salad p. 234 (my teenagers tried it and asked for more!)
- Wild Salmon with Ginger Lime Marinade p. 276 (to die for...)
- Autumn Harvest Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette p. 178
- Blueberry Fruit Pie with Raw Nut Crust p. 334
- Creamy Cauliflower Soup p. 162
- Coconut Vegetable Curry with Chickpeas p. 255
- roasted red pepper soup p. 164

I bought a Blendtec blender to make the smoothies with from Costco (they match the 7 year warranty offered by Vitamix through Costco demos only) and have not regretted it. Not eating out and not drinking wine for a month paid for it, and there is no way I would give it up, now. I use it every day and love it! A friend of mine uses her regular blender and the smoothies are just a little chunkier, but still ok, if you don't want to go for the expense.

[...]. The first part of the Elimination diet is very restricted and I felt the book is lacking a little in getting you through the rough days. The authors addressed that in their blog and added lots of recipes and other very useful information there.

The Cinnamon-Sunflower truffles got me through my sweet cravings and I had to start hiding the box, so my teenagers wouldn't eat them all!!

Now that I am getting to the challenge phase, I can't wait to add some other grains so I can try some of the baked goods!
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on October 25, 2007
This cookbook is filled with delicious tasting food that happens to also be really good for you! I try to eat well, but if it doesn't taste good then what's the point? I love that the recipes in this cookbook are absolutely delicious and healthy. When I made the Chicken Noodle Soup recipe I was worried that my 6 year old daughter wouldn't eat it because of the Kale. Well, she tried the soup, asked me what the green stuff was (kale) and when I told her she said, "More kale please!" Great recipes for adults and children!
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on October 29, 2007
I have never been a 'vegetarian' type cook, but as my husband and I grew older we realized that heavy meat (read German!) dishes were not what our stomachs and bodies wanted. Fortunately I heard about this cookbook and bought the first edition. What a great way to learn the how's and why's of eating healthier. The recipes are fabulous and easy to follow due to the extraordinary care given to page layouts and directions. After receiving my copy I quickly ordered more to give as presents to family and friends. I can't wait to get the second edition. This is a first rate cookbook and I highly recommend it.
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on January 16, 2011
This is my all-time favorite cookbook. Everyone thinks I'm a fantastic cook because the food is so delicious - I always get rave reviews! The first few chapters are really helpful for understanding gluten/dairy free cooking and the reasons behind making this change. I love how the recipes are NUTRITIOUS, not just allergen-free. They figure out how to give you the biggest nutritional bang in each meal.

I think the reason there isn't a fat/calorie breakdown is because if you are eating a healthy whole foods diet, it doesn't much matter how much fat and calories are in the foods. They are well-balanced and packed with nutrition. That's what counts the most. IMO, fat and calorie counting (especially fat) is way overrated. You don't need to count calories and fat to be healthy. Since starting to eat a whole foods diet, I lost 15 pounds without trying. Now, I'm at an ideal weight and I didn't have to think about fat or calories even once. If you eat whole foods, the rest of it is mostly hype.

Like another reader, my book is also coming apart, but I just thought it was because I use it so much!
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