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Zest for Life: The Mediterranean Anti-Cancer Diet Paperback – May 1, 2011


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Zest for Life: The Mediterranean Anti-Cancer Diet + Anticancer: A New Way of Life + The Cancer-Fighting Kitchen: Nourishing, Big-Flavor Recipes for Cancer Treatment and Recovery
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 280 pages
  • Publisher: Honeybourne Publishing; 2nd edition edition (May 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0956866506
  • ISBN-13: 978-0956866509
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 7.5 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #109,059 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

This is a fantastic reference for my patients, and so well-written that it should be easy for everyone to follow. With enthusiasm, I highly recommend Zest for Life.
Brian Lawenda, MD, integrative oncologist at 21st Century Oncology, Las Vegas, Nevada

A great resource for information and help in addressing some of the nutritional questions that patients bring.
Moshe Frenkel MD, Chair of  The Israeli Society of Complementary Medicine, Clinical Associate Professor University of Texas, Founder of the Integrative Oncology Clinic in MD Anderson Cancer Center

Zest for Life follows the tenets of an anti-cancer diet and provides practical and tasty ways of increasing our intake of plant-based whole foods.  Zest is a useful book for nutritional education and healthful recipes.
Lorenzo Cohen, PhD, Professor and Director of the Integrative Medicine Program at MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas

If you are going to invest in one book about healthy eating this year, then this should be the book. Zest for Life will be an investment in your entire family's good health and longevity.
Frank Barnhill MD, Gaffney, SC

From the Back Cover

People affected by cancer are looking for guidance as far as what foods to eat and how to prepare these healthy food options. Unfortunately there are very few resources that support that need. Conner Middelmann-Whitney approaches this topic in a practical way in Zest for Life, a wonderful guide for people looking to enhance their nutrition as another tool to increase their defense against cancer.

This book is divided into two sections. The first, explains the science behind nutrition as a tool to prevent cancer. The second part provides over 150 great recipes and ideas on how to move from the science to the practicalities of making these healthy food options.

As an integrative physician providing practical advice to patients and families affected by cancer about healthy options that they can integrate in their care, I see this book as a great resource for information and help in addressing some of the nutritional questions that patients bring.

Moshe Frenkel MD, Chair of  The Israeli Society of Complementary Medicine, Clinical Associate Professor University of Texas, Founder of the Integrative Oncology Clinic in MD Anderson Cancer Center, Chair of Clinical Practice Committee of The Society for Integrative Oncology; moshefrenkelmd.com


As an integrative oncologist, I firmly believe in the importance of consuming as many 'anti-cancer' foods as possible in our diet. Zest for Life is an excellent reference for anyone who wants to learn about how the foods we eat contribute to our overall health and the prevention of cancer.

Zest for Life discusses the science on how the Mediterranean diet protects against the DNA damaging effects of inflammation and oxidation, provides dietary tips to help mitigate some of the untoward side effects of cancer treatment, and shares practical food shopping guidelines to help us buy the best ingredients and not break the bank as we prepare easy to follow and tasty Mediterranean recipes.

Conner Middelmann-Whitney is an inspirational Mediterranean diet expert and chef. The pages of her book are filled with passion, clarity, and fun. This is a fantastic reference for my patients, and so well-written that it should be easy for everyone to follow. With enthusiasm, I highly recommend Zest for Life.

Brian Lawenda, MD, integrative oncologist at 21st Century Oncology, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; integrativeoncology-essentials.com

More About the Author

I've always had a healthy appetite but not always a healthy diet, and this contributed to three decades of ill health: chronic sinus infections, digestive complaints, hypoglycemia, weight problems and, at 34, early-stage cervical cancer.

A nutritionist's advice to change my diet - replacing sugar, white bread and processed foods with fresh vegetables, fruits and home-cooked meals - dramatically improved my health and persuaded me to rethink my life. After 10 years spent working in finance and journalism, I quit my reporting job at the Financial Times in London and trained to be a nutritionist.

Luckily my cancer was caught early and following treatment I returned to full health. Since this experience I have become a passionate advocate of cancer prevention. This is what inspired me to write Zest for Life, for I want to show how easy it is to boost one's defences against cancer while leading a normal, busy life.

Healthy eating doesn't have to be dull or complicated; in Zest for Life, which is based on the traditional Mediterranean diet, I want to show that healthy food can be simple to prepare, affordable and delicious, making it easy to eat like this every day for the rest of our lives. As a mother of three children, I know how important it is to cook healthy food your family will enjoy; let me assure you: all the recipes in Zest have been approved by my kids and their friends.

I offer nutrition consultations, teach health-cooking classes, work with children in schools and advise cafeteria operators on healthy school meals. If you want to know more about my work, please visit my website, www.nutrelan.com. Also, check out my health-cooking videos on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/connermid?feature=mhee. And read my cancer-prevention blog at Psychology Today: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/nourish.

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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I like books that show me how to eat cleaner and feel healthier.
Marlene Moore
The recipes in this book are simple and quick to prepare and the ones I have tried so far are delicious.
Amazon Customer
I found Zest for Life well-organized for ease of use, extremely informative, and very readable.
Joan Dollard

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By K. Chevalier on June 22, 2011
Format: Paperback
I have to admit that I didn't read every line of the anti-cancer part of this cookbook because my diet is very healthy. The recipes, though, contain some quite original and delicious takes on standard fare, with the added plus that they can be served to friends or family members who have gluten or dairy allergies. My brother has a severe case of Celiac disease and went bonkers over the beetroot chocolate cake, which besides those two ingredients contains ground almonds instead of flour and replaces butter with olive oil. On paper it looks bizarre but it's delicious, especially if you are so sensitive to gluten that your nose bleeds from the smell of bread baking and you thought you'd never be able to eat chocolate cake again in your life.

She includes some clever and tasty substitutes for mashed potatoes and couscous (white bean mash and cauliflower respectively - a food processor is a must for the latter). A carrot and leek compote has become a staple in my house - the magic ingredient is a spoonful of cashew cream stirred in at the end.

Best of all, these recipes can be prepared from ingredients bought at an ordinary supermarket and don't require a trip to Whole Foods or Trader Joe's for anything - a very big plus for anyone living far from a major city.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By C E Dawson on April 15, 2012
Format: Paperback
Zest for Life is a cookbook with a difference. The first third of the book provides a well-informed, easy to read explanation of why we should eat more healthily. Conner Middelmann-Whitney focuses on good nutrition as a means of cancer prevention. She is not claiming that you will never get cancer if you follow her guidelines and recipes, but she is showing us a way to a healthier lifestyle that will certainly reduce our chances of developing cancer, as well as reduce our chances of being obese, and developing other diet related problems.

Enticing healthy recipes make up two thirds of the book. Some of my favourites include Artichoke heart snacks, to French staples such as Niçoise salad and Onion soup, Leek and salmon frittata, Garlic-crusted baked cod, Chicken and red wine stew, Roast asparagus, Pumpkin mash, and Almond waffles with blueberry sauce. There are recipes for all types of meals.

Conner Middelmann-Whitney's thorough and well-referenced research helps us understand why it is better to choose organic produce, how to choose cooking pots and utensils which will not add undesirable substance to our food, and how to use cooking methods that retain the optimum nutrition in our food. She provides tips on where and how to shop, and how to prepare healthy snacks to eat on the go.

Nearly all of the recipes are free of wheat and of cow/dairy products, so they are suitable for those with a celiac condition and gluten or lactose intolerance. The few that include cheeses use goat and sheep cheeses, which can be left out if you wish. Interesting alternatives for wheat include a Pizza base made of ground almonds and flax seed, held together with eggs. Dairy cream is replaced with Cashew cream.

If you are looking for a healthier, tastier, and more imaginative diet, this is the cookbook for you.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Joan Dollard on June 5, 2011
Format: Paperback
Conner Middlemann-Whitney's Zest for Life: the Mediterranean Anti-Cancer Diet is a two-part food joie de vivre brimming with information on healthy eating, hopefully as a way to defend oneself against cancer, followed by delightfully tasty recipes.

I found Zest for Life well-organized for ease of use, extremely informative, and very readable. Ms. Middlemann-Whitney's personal voyage to a healthy diet in Chapter 1 and how she wards off junk food temptations are interesting in themselves but also instructive and useful. I especially appreciated her list of items to take on long plane or road trips. Chapter 3, A Cancer Epidemic, is scary but then Chapter 4, Eating for Life, gives hope along with practical information on herbs and spices, the colors of healthy vegetables and fruits and how they help to stay healthy as well as an easy way to measure portions. Those are only a few of the useful bits of information, not only found in Chapter 4 but also throughout the book. The appendices are full of practical information as well with, for example, a shopping list in Appendix 2 of fresh and frozen foods along with a list of staples to keep handy.

The recipes in Part II that follow the five chapters of Part I complete Zest for Life. They are easy to follow, healthy, and tasty. Since I'm forever looking for ways to prepare fish for my husband who would rather not eat it at all, I really like (and he does too) the Fish plaki and the Garlic-crusted baked cod. There are many other appealing and delicious recipes.

Most of the ingredients in the recipes are available in our small mid-western university town supermarkets but others are a bit esoteric. However, they can be found in our local health food store.

Zest for Life is well worth the read and the recipes.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Steve Parker, M.D. on September 23, 2013
Format: Paperback
The lifetime risk of developing invasive cancer in the U.S. is four in ten: a little higher for men, a little lower for women. Those are scary odds. Cancer is second only to heart disease as a cause of death in Western societies. The Mediterranean diet has a well established track record of protecting against cancers of the prostate, colon/rectum, uterus, and breast. Preliminary data suggest protection against melanoma and stomach cancer, too. I'm not aware of any other way of eating that can make similar claims.

So it makes great sense to spread the word on how to eat Mediterranean-style, to lower your risk of developing cancer. Such is the goal of Zest For Life's author. The Mediterranean diet is mostly, although by no means excusively, plant-based. It encourages consumption of natural, minimally processed, locally grown foods. Generally, it's rich in vegetables, fruits, legumes, olive oil, whole grains, red wine, and nuts. It's low to moderate in meat, chicken, fish, eggs, and dairy products (mostly cheese and yogurt).

Note that one of the four longevity hot spots featured in Dan Buettner's The Blue Zones, Second Edition: 9 Lessons for Living Longer From the People Who've Lived the Longest was Mediterranean: Sardinia. All four Blue Zones were characterized by plant-based diets of minimally processed, locally grown foods. (I argue that Okinawa and the Nicoya Peninsula dwellers ate little meat simply due to economic factors.)

Proper diet won't prevent all cancer, but perhaps 10-20% of common cancer cases, such as prostate, breast, colorectal, and uterine cancer.
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