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The Blood Sugar Solution Cookbook: More than 175 Ultra-Tasty Recipes for Total Health and Weight Loss Hardcover – February 26, 2013
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About the Author
Mark Hyman, MD, is the Director of the Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine, the chairman of the Institute for Functional Medicine, and founder and medical director of The UltraWellness Center. He is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Blood Sugar Solution 10-Day Detox Diet, The Blood Sugar Solution, The Blood Sugar Solution Cookbook, Ultrametabolism, The Ultramind Solution, The Ultrasimple Diet, and coauthor of The Daniel Plan and Ultraprevention.
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Top Customer Reviews
I've been looking forward to this cookbook, because it can be difficult to "convert" our old recipes to fit this new way of cooking. If you're like me, your grocery shopping list will look NOTHING like what you've been buying before now. Be prepared to think differently about what you feed your body.
Dr. Hyman's goal, and the purpose of this healthy way of eating, is to help us prevent (preferably) or reverse two life-threatening epidemics...obesity and diabetes...or what he calls "Diabesity." He's done tons of research that explains why after so many years and so many "diets," we're so much more physically ill.
If you haven't read his book, that's okay because I would say The Blood Sugar Solution Cookbook can certainly stand on its own. He actually covers a lot of the same basic information you need...such as taking a quiz to determine whether or not you're suffering from "diabesity". He also encourages you to visit his web site where you can find lots of information and join support groups...if that is of interest to you.
The recipes in this cookbook are based on a healthy eating plan that cuts out all types of sugars (the main focus and of course my point of weakness!), flour, processed foods, and packaged foods. In other words...our meals should contain "real", unaltered, unprocessed whole foods.
The first 64 pages contain step-by-step help on how to prepare your kitchen for healthier cooking. This includes what kitchen tools you should have, getting rid of unhealthy foods you already have (which is basically EVERYTHING in my kitchen and an important step for me, because if it isn't IN my kitchen, it won't be IN what I cook and eat), how to read ingredient labels, and stocking your pantry with the right ingredients. The author also includes the nutritional information per serving of each recipe, the preparation time, cook time, level of difficulty (easy/moderate), and budget info ($/$$). Most are easy/$.
The cookbook is easy to read with clear and simple directions. But don't expect to see your typical church potluck recipes in this one. This isn't intended to be "comfort food" that we're accustomed to seeing in most cookbooks and magazines. This is a serious change in the healthy direction. At first glance, some of the recipes looked a bit intimidating because a few of the ingredients are totally new to me. But then that's no surprise considering until now I haven't taken healthy cooking seriously. I live in a very small and remote town, so a few of the recipes that I'm eager to try (like the breakfast shakes) will have to wait until I can get to a full-size grocery store or whole foods store.
Some examples of recipes you'll find in this book are breakfasts such as Popeye the Sailor Energy Boost, Raspberry Banana Cream Pie Smoothie, and Dr. Hyman's Chinese Eggs and Greens. For soups and salads, there's Roasted Red Pepper and Cannellini Bean Soup, Slow Cooker Vegetarian Chili, Sadie's White Bean and Shrimp Soup, Carribean Black-Eyed Pea Salad, and Grapefruit and Avocado Salad with Dijon Lime Vinaigrette.
Examples of entrees include Sauteed Spinach and Tomatoes over Roasted Spaghetti Squash, Coconut Shrimp with Lemongrass Quinoa and Thai Vegetables, Apricot-Glazed Pork and Vegetable Stir-Fry over Sauteed Greens, Roasted Apple and Sweet Potato Medley.
There are also recipes for snacks and side dishes like Quinoa and Avocado Salad, Crispy Kale Chips with Sea Salt, Artichoke Hearts with Caramelized Onions and Herb Dressing and even desserts such as Guilt-Free Chocolate Mousse and Lisa's Lemon Vanilla Cupcakes
I picked the Creamy Asparagus Soup to try first. I would describe it as simple, light, and delicious. I followed the recipe almost exactly as written, but I skipped one important step. Since I bought tiny, narrow spears, I assumed I didn't need to peel/trim the tough outer layer with a potato peeler. Big mistake. My husband loved the flavor, but he didn't like the tiny pieces of the outer layer that did not soften or puree. I recommend that you not skip this step and you will have an excellent soup. Anyway, I have to say that with so few ingredients, I was actually surprised that it had so much flavor, just needing a little salt and pepper to taste. When you think about the fact that you're making a "creamy" soup without the cream, you realize it's a totally healthy alternative way of cooking. So much lighter and just as flavorful as it's cream-based predecessor. I'm going to try a broccoli/cauliflower variation using this same recipe.
If there's anything I would change about this cookbook, it is the number of pictures they used, which is very few. Unlike many cookbooks that are filled with colorful pictures of most or all of the completed recipes, this one is not. There are actually only 16 pictures. They are beautiful, full-page photos located in the middle of the book, but only 16 nonetheless. That's a little disappointing, because pictures are often what motivate me to try the recipe. Then again, pictures can really bump the price of any book up, and you're getting a lot of good health information and recipes for a pretty reasonable price here.
That said, I would recommend this cookbook to anyone who is seriously ready to "dump the junk" and take back their health.
I also love to cook, and have amassed a collection of cookbooks from around the world. Given my background, a good number of them would be categorized as "healthy eating"-type books.
My primary beef with most low-carb diets is an over-reliance on individual glycemic index "scores." This book does NOT take that approach. It recognizes that these individual scores can be mitigated by what else one consumes at the same time, and that "glycemic load" is more realistic than "glycemic index" in determining the impact on blood sugar. In other words, some carbs are OK, in moderation, and combined with other foods. From page 36, "Adding fiber, protein, or fat to any carbohydrate will also lower the glycemic load of the meal." And the recipes reflect this sensible approach.
So what about the recipes? They're divided into two groups: "basic," and "advanced." The "advanced" group is much more restrictive, and is for people who are seriously obese, who already have diabetes, or who have other conditions that necessitate a more restrictive approach. There is a self-quiz in the introductory chapters that tells you which set of recipes to use as a start.
The advanced recipes eliminate grains and starchy vegetables and limit fruits to 1/2 C per day. Even with these restrictions, there are some excellent recipes in this section. The "Weekday Veggie Scramble," for example, is full of high-flavor ingredients (red bell pepper, onion, kale, garlic) and eggs. Filling, tasty, excellent! There are a couple of other egg/veggie breakfast recipes that are equally good (Vegetable Egg Scramble and Garden Omelet), and these have become some of my "go to" breakfast choices.
For lunch, I've made the Brazilian Black Bean Soup -- black beans, celery, onion, spices -- plus just enough heat (1/2 of a small poblano pepper) to make it interesting. The Chile Verde Chicken is right up my alley: a spicy tomatillo sauce over nicely seasoned chicken breasts. Yummy!
And that's just the "Advanced" section of the book.
In the "Basic" section, you get more options, more fruit (Tarragon Chicken Salad is nice this time of year, with chicken, watercress, and a diced medium pear, with a dressing containing cardamom, tarragon, and walnut oil), and some grains). Most of the recipes use easy-to-find ingredients, and so are accessible to most home cooks.
I ended up liking this book far more than I thought I would. And I've included it in my "kitchen shelf" where I keep the cookbooks I use most often. It's really that good.
The recipes are wonderful even though, at first glance, they don't sound that great. One of my favorites is Chinese Eggs and Greens. It's so simple to make that sometimes I have it for dinner--quite filling and simply delicious. My favorite shake is the Popeye the Sailor Energy Boost. If you are suffering from a lack of energy and find yourself craving processed carbs and fats, this is the answer to finding your way back to life!