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book reviews



Jim Gaffigan’s Hilarious Food Rules for Everyone Not to Live by

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Jim Gaffigan recently recently his second book entitled Food: A Love Story. Gaffigan, if you are unfamiliar with his brand of humor, is a hilarious, honest, satirical comedian. He previously wrote the book Dad is Fat, in which he reels on fatherhood with five young children. And in similar fashion in his newest release, Gaffigan has his readers rolling with his honest take on food. He says the things we all may be thinking, but we all may not be saying. Gaffigan explores everything from American food consumption to the questionable purpose of kale.

Though the entire book is quotable, we probably can’t republish it here. So we’re sharing a few of Gaffigan’s best food rules to abide by. (Or, to not abide by, but to at least laugh at.)

Jim Gaffigan’s Hilarious Food Rules for Everyone

1. Never take advice from skinny people.

“When a thin person announces, “Here’s a great taco place,” I kind of shut down a little. How do they know it’s so great? From smelling the tacos?”

Now maybe this isn’t fair. Of course there are plenty of skinny people who know great food when they taste it, and of course there are plenty of skinny people that like particular foods that other not-so-skinny people might also enjoy. The point is, Gaffigan’s point is hilarious.

2. Steak is a big deal.

“…because consuming a steak is one of the great pleasures we get to experience during our short time on this planet.”

Gaffigan describes his confusion toward his father’s love for steak as a child, though he touchingly concludes just why it was so important to him throughout his life. Steak can be particularly fancy, and I think we all know that.

3. Gravy is not a beverage.

Our eyes met, and he gave me a warm Midwestern smile as if to say, “Hey, how’s it going?” I nodded and said hello and was only a bit more than slightly tempted to exclaim, “You realize you’re drinking gravy, right?”

Gaffigan pokes a lot of fun at Midwesterners, a title he himself holds, and though I must add that not all Midwest-residents probably drink gravy, this story is too good to pass up. It’s one of the best LOL anecdotes in the entire book!
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Forks Over Knives Plan Pushes Whole Food Vegan Diet for Beginners

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Most, if not all, chronic disease can be controlled, even reversed, with a diet that eliminates animal products and processed foods and is ultra-low in fat. At least that’s the premise of Forks Over Knives, the film and the book that “helped spark a nutrition revolution.” It spotlights the benefits of a whole food diet (nothing processed or refined) limited to plant products (no meat, fish, poultry, eggs, milk, yogurt, cheese, or gelatin) and with negligible fat (no oils, including olive oil and nuts). The Forks Over Knives Plan, a new book in the series, was written by two medical doctors, Alona Pulde and Matthew Lederman, who treat patients with this dietary regimen. This book is designed to help with the transition and assumes the reader has embraced the premise and is ready to begin.

The book starts with a “background” of scientific evidence to make the case for the diet. (Just watch the film.) Next up is The Forks Over Knives Plan, the actual scheme the doctors use to complete the transition to a vegan diet over four weeks. Each week targets a particular meal to make vegan:

  • Week 1 focuses on breakfast
  • Week 2 on lunch
  • Week 3 on dinner
  • Week 4 focuses on lifestyle issues

The readings, oriented around the week, dig into nutrition information and practical issues. For instance, which foods to stock at home and what to eat in a restaurant. The information may or may not be new, depending on your level of veganism. ForksOverKnives.com has more tools to support this transition.
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The 4 Keys to Real Fitness Start with Strength Training and Food Quantity, Says Trainer Pamela Hernandez

For those of you looking to get off the diet roller coaster, get back to the basics, and develop a balanced and sustainable lifestyle to get you feeling your best, health coach and personal trainer Pamela Hernandez has released an ebook just for you: The 4 Keys to Real Fitness.

Pamela Hernandez is an ACSM Certified Personal Trainer and ACE Certified Health Coach (who is also a long-time partner of DietsInReview.com) with a thriving practice in Springfield, MO, where she is the owner of Thrive Personal Fitness. We spoke with her about her no-frills, easy-to-follow guidelines to a healthier, happier life, and how her personal life experiences support her clients.

pamela hernandez real fitness

“I’ve always wanted to help empower women,” says Hernandez. “Fitness gave me the strength and confidence to pursue my dreams. I want other women to feel strong and capable of doing anything they wish.”

No matter the age or experience level, Pamela has found four essential components to fitness success, which she describes in her new e-book. These elements aren’t groundbreaking, “but when they are applied with the right mindset they work every time.”
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The Book “I Quit Sugar” Makes Giving Up Your Habit Feel as Easy as it Sounds

You know the phrase, “Don’t judge a book by its cover”? Well, I definitely judged “I Quit Sugar: Your Complete 8-Week Detox Program and Cookbook” but its cover, or at least its title. Give up sugar? For 8 weeks? Eek! That sounds like a lot of work and not a lot of good (or at least tasty) eating. But even the World Health Organization has joined the sugar reduction trend so when Crown Publishing sent me a copy I tried to keep an open mind.

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The book, written by Australian television personality Sarah Wilson, is a guide to slowly giving up sugar, welcoming in fat, and finding a place of balance in your body. Over 8 weeks you start to cut back on sugar then quit it all together, spend a couple of weeks without any sweetness to help reset your tastebuds and your cravings, then slowly add in a little natural sweetness as you’d like. The idea is that a little natural sugar (such as those found in fruits and brown rice syrup) goes a long ways, so long as you break your body’s processed sugar habit.

I read through the book and it sounded plausible, if not actually appealing. But when I got to the recipe section—108 healthy, inspiring meals, snacks, and desserts—I was convinced that “I Quit Sugar” deserved a place on my bookshelf. The recipes are absolutely divine. So far I’ve made two soups—a warm one with sweet potato, lentils, onion, and a blend of spices and a cool one with avocado, cucumbers, scallions, and cilantro. And I have the ingredients for a few more: fluffy squash and chia muffins, cashews chia pudding, and coconut curry meatballs, to name a few. These aren’t necessarily items I would expect to have sugar in them, but it is a good reminder that by focusing on eating good stuff I might naturally start to eat less sugar, which is a concept that’s a lot easier to digest then simply going cold-turkey on sweets.
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7 Belly Buddies and Bullies: The 21 Day Tummy’s Foods That Help and Hurt Your Digestion

By Shae Blevins for DietsInReview.com

You eat all the right foods to stay healthy, including an apple a day! But you can’t seem to lose weight, especially in your midsection. Add to that “muffin top” bloating, cramping, and irregularity and you feel like you’re at the mercy of your out-of-whack digestive tract.

The surprising cause for your suffering: the healthful foods you keep eating that may very well be bullying your belly.

You are not alone. Liz Vaccariello, editor-in-chief of Reader’s Digest’s and author of the New York Times best-selling book The Digest Diet, noticed her tummy troubles and weight gain around her midsection revolved around her seemingly healthy diet.

Vaccariello and registered dietitian Kate Scarlata developed the 21 Day Tummy Diet, designed to soothe and shrink your tummy by eating “Belly Buddies” and getting rid of “Belly Bullies.”

21 day tummy belly buddies bullies

Belly Buddies – foods that help digestive health – are light on carbohydrates and contain stomach-soothing ingredients like fiber, magnesium and anti-inflammatory fats. Belly Buddies are also low in FODMAPs, rapidly fermentable carbs.
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