Category Archives: Book reviews

Gut Matters – my new ebook!

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Well, I may not have posted as often as I’d hoped, but I’ve been squirreling away, working on my ebook!  This is a concise guide to soaking grains and pulses so that you get the most from them.  It’s called “Gut Matters:  Soaking Grains for Improved Digestion and Enhanced Nutrition”  and it’ll be launched towards the end of this month.

It explains why we should be soaking our grains and the benefits of doing so, and has some handy tables and recipes so you know exactly what to do.

All seeds contain phytic acid that protects them whilst they wait for the optimum time for germination – the seed contains alot of nutrition to nourish the seedling as it grows, and this is the nutrition we want to access too.  But it remains locked in if we don’t pre-treat the seed before cooking and eating.  Of course this doesn’t just apply to grains – pulses, nuts and seeds like pumpkin and sunflower seeds also need to be soaked.

So how do we know all this?  Well, there isn’t a host of scientific evidence, although there is a little, but for the most part, the evidence is in the health of the traditional groups from around the world who have practised soaking and fermenting grains and other seeds for millenia.  And for me, there is the story of improved digestion for me and my family, literally, overnight.

My family and I now really enjoy fermented grains more than soaked grains, and much more than those that haven’t been soaked at all.  Fermented grains are much easier to digest, and presumably that also means more of their nutrients are bioavailable.  With baking, the results, in my opinion, are superior to baking with unsoaked flour, as the end product is deliciously moist!  In “Gut Matters” as well as some sweet treat recipes, there are instructions for adapting recipes, so you don’t have to give up old favourites.

Remembering to soak your grains requires a bit of a mindshift, and for that reason I offer support in the form of coaching calls  just to get you started.  But either way, it just requires a bit more planning than you might be accustomed to.  And although it takes hours or even days to soak or ferment grains, these are not labour-intensive!  It takes just a minute or so to prepare the grains and leave them aside to soak, then once the required time has passed, cooking or baking takes no longer than usual.

You can pre-buy “Gut Matters” by contacting me in the comments below.

Last Few Reviews of Books in the Spring E-Book Bundle Offer

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Good Morning!

In case you didn’t read yesterday’s very short post – the sale of  the 30 E-Book Bundle from Village Green Network has been extended, but only till midnight tonight, Wednesday, 24th April.  So here is the rest of what I have to say about it.  I’ve now glanced through or skim read all of the books in the Spring E-Book Bundle Offer from Village Green Network.  Overall, I think there are some good reads – obviously, with 30 books, not everything will be relevant to everyone, but on the whole the information, in my opinion, is sound, but I also have my criticisms, so read on for my summary.

Altogether there are 3 books about metabolism which I will definitely be going back to so I can find out more.  I’m sure I will use some of the recipes, though not all as some, for example, the egg-free are definitely not for us, and if I did have to prepare food for my family without eggs, I would avoid heating seeds as a substitute, and perhaps go for some of the raw treats that can be delicious and wholesome without using eggs (my next recipe can be adapted to be egg-free).  The recipes are useful to people seeking ideas for grain-free meals and especially treats, there are dairy-free options, and also some giving details of the proper preparation of grains for baking and other uses.  If you have an interest in the Weston A Price Foundation (WAPF), Paleo, Primal diets then these recipes could be useful.

Other highlights include ‘Nourished Baby’ by Helen Dessinger which details how to eat before, during and after pregnancy and how to wean your baby using WAPF principles;  ‘Get Your Fats Straight’ by Sarah Pope lived up to my expectations and explains all the whys and wherefores of healthy fats, including a history of how we got to where we are;  ‘Nourishing Our Children is an educational initiative of the San Francisco Chapter of the Weston A. Price Foundation’ begins the e-book entitled ‘Nourishing our Children’ and again has WAPF advice for feeding children along with information about choices and things to avoid – this includes a section on soy, which I was pleased to see;  ‘Toxic-Free’ by Robin Konie gives more recipes for household cleaners and personal care.  ‘Real Food 101’ by Kendahl gives lots of recipes for the basics like buttermilk, not exciting but very useful if you’re just starting out, or want the basics all in one place.  ‘Real Food for Real Life: How to Eat Real Food Without Going Completely Crazy’ by Emily Benfit looks like (I haven’t read this one) a guide to switching from your current diet to one which incorporates Real Foods.  She seems to have an appealing style, I liked her photo in the introduction taken of a recipe in Sally Fallon’s ‘Nourishing Traditions’ which she found seriously off-putting – I too was rather overwhelmed when I first opened the pages of that book!  I like the look of ‘Your Custom Homestead’ by Jill Winger – I would probably refer to it as a Smallholding if I had one, but whatever you call it, Jill says Homesteading is a frame of mind rather than a place, so even if you live in a high-rise building, you can put some Homesteading principles into action.  ‘Skintervention’ is an in-depth look at skin health from what you eat to some product recommendations.  It includes the use of cheap, non-toxic products that you can find around your home, one I quickly looked at was a shampoo replacement which I can vouch for as I’ve been using it myself for about 2 years now.

I was disappointed to see in one of the books that soy milk is listed as a substitute for milk, even though a mild warning appeared below.  It seems slightly odd that all the authors aren’t singing from the same hymn sheet.  Despite the second half of the bundle having fewer recipe books, there do appear to be alot, and many of them are for treats which I for one wouldn’t be using as frequently.  There is one book which I really didn’t like.  It is aimed at educating children in real food, but assumes a particular method of education which I as a home-educator don’t subscribe to!  The information appears good, and so I might use it as a reference, but it’s not something I would give to my children for study.  In my opinion, children learn about real food from the examples around them, the food they’re presented with and from being a part of the process – shopping at the local farmers’ market, growing plants, caring for animals, visiting farms and preparing food, rather than completing exercises in a book.

Now it’s up to you!  Click below or on the photos above to see the offer.  I hope my posts have been useful in helping you decide if this offer is for you.  I wanted to be clear and not hype it up – obviously I would be very happy for you to buy as I would benefit financially, but I would not be happy if you were disappointed in what you got, especially as there is no refund on this one.  So please use the information I’ve worked hard to provide before committing to anything.

http://villagegreennetwork.com/spring-e-book-bundle/?AFFID=115896

As I indicated above, these are affiliate links, so if you purchase, I benefit.  Thanks for reading and I hope it’s useful.

Spring E-Book Bundle Sale – extended to Wednesday at Midnight

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Thankfully, the sale has been extended – I’ve spent alot of time reading today, but haven’t been near the internet till now, so I’ll post my reviews in the morning.  I’ve found a good bit of information in the books I’ve (skim) read today, which is good news, but more in the morning.

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A short review!

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Jill Tieman

Today I’ve only managed to look at one of the books in the spring bundle offer.  Jill Tieman’s recipe book refreshingly contains a number of savoury baked goods, although I was over-excited to see a chapter on breads, only to be disappointed that many of them were sweet, such as banana bread.  Delicious though this is, I was hoping for more ideas for lunchtime bread replacements, being fairly new to the grain-free world.  Happily, this section does contain recipes entitled ‘Garlic Dill Rolls’, Lunch Wraps’ and the like.  This recipe book has loads of recipes though, along with an explanation/description section at the beginning regarding the ingredients that replace grains plus others such as coconut oil.  Jill discusses soaking of nuts because of the phytic acid content.  I personally would soak for longer than she suggests, as advised by Ramiel Nagel.   Again, chocolate – very high in phytic acid – is used and I wonder why carob is not – I believe it’s the pod that’s used to create carob powder which I don’t think has phytic acid, but I’m still researching that one!

I have only managed to take a look at 11 of the thirty books in this bundle.  For me, although I welcome new recipes, there are a few too many recipe books in the collection.  I have been most impressed with Matt Stone’s 2 books (see my earlier reviews in previous posts)  which I’m looking forward to studying in more depth, and I am also anticipating good things in Sarah Pope’s ‘Get your Fats Straight’.  I have followed her blog for a while now and usually find what she has to say interesting and informative.  She recently shared a post on fats, so I imagine the book is an extension of that post.  I’ll take a closer look at that book tomorrow, and hopefully a few more, so that people deciding whether or not this offer is suitable for them can make a more satisfactory decision.

Click here to view more information and to purchase the bundle:  http://villagegreennetwork.com/spring-e-book-bundle/?AFFID=115896

Please note, this is an affiliate link, so if you purchased, I would receive a commission.

More Reviews of books in the Spring E-Book Bundle

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Matt Stone Diet Recovery 2 cover

Diet Recovery 2 by Matt Stone!  I didn’t look at this at first because I assumed it was something to do with weight-loss diets which have not interested me for a very long time, but when I realised it was by the same author as ‘Eat for Heat’ (which I reviewed yesterday), I was suddenly more interested.  For me, both books have new information, which I’m now beginning to get my head around – this book is for people who are confused or disappointed with diets, be they weight-loss or health.  In Matt’s words,

‘“Man I used to know everything about health and nutrition. But then I learned so much I hardly
know anything anymore.” [and]… “If you aren’t confused about health and nutrition then you haven’t
studied it long enough, or deeply enough.”’ (p 24)

Well, I recognise the feeling in both those statements!  Matt maintains that the important factor is raising metabolic rate and he describes what that looks like, how to tell if your rate is low and how to remedy that without medication or outside help.  Just like his other book, he calls for us to listen to our own bodies’ response.  For a long time I have wondered how, on the diet I was on, did I recover from ME/Chronic Fatigue about 10 years ago?  Perhaps the answer is that, without knowing it, I raised my metabolic rate – after years of freezing hands and feet and dry skin, these are no longer a problem.

This book is for perfectionists who realise being a perfectionist isn’t healthy!  What a relief to read:

“Even the act of flip-flopping the consumption of questionably healthy food from an anxiety-inducing
event filled with fear into one of sensory enjoyment is enough to completely reverse the health
outcome of that meal.” (p 30)

I haven’t read any further than there, but am looking forward to reading the rest at a more leisurely pace.  The remainder is the ‘how-to’ of raising metabolism, including sections on food, fluid intake, exercise and rest.

I’ve also glanced at a couple more recipe books: ‘Almond Flour Sweet Treats Cookbook’ by Stacey Duncan – more lovely looking recipes with summaries of the Paleo and WAPF diets and information about some of the ingredients used – those which are not commonly used in baking.  It was good to see information about baking powder and aluminium content.  ‘Awaken:  30+ egg-free and grain-free breakfasts’ by Karen Sorenson – well, I wouldn’t advise anyone to eat an eggless diet unless they had an allergy to eggs.  In my experience general baking is very troublesome without eggs, or else limited.  Karen mostly uses chia seeds or flax (linseed) to replace eggs – currently for me, the jury’s out as to whether or not to use these, but I definitely wouldn’t heat them on a regular basis because of the oxidation of the oils.

To view more information and to purchase the bundle, please click on this link:  http://villagegreennetwork.com/spring-e-book-bundle/?AFFID=115896

Please note, this is an affiliate link, so if you purchased, I would receive a commission.

Spring E-Book Bundle Review

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I am madly reading through these e-books, and time is short!  It certainly sounds like a great deal – 30 e-books for $39, which is about £25 for those of us in the UK and approximately €30 in the rest of Europe.

I am very interested in what Matt Stone has to say, in his idiosyncratic style, in ‘Eating for Heat’ about salt and water consumption – it certainly made me sit up and think about what I do regarding hydration.  I particularly liked his insistence that his book is to bring about awareness, and is not to be followed to the letter; instead, he advises, pay attention to how you feel in your body, and act accordingly.  I was a little shocked(!) at some of the foods and drinks he mentioned, but these are not recommendations, just examples of what might be an improvement for some people.  I suppose, when you’re changing your diet, it’s probably wise to move slowly into new habits.  In fact, that is my own experience with starting to eat meat, it’s been a slow process.

Matt and Betsy Jabs’ ‘DIY Natural Household Cleaners’ is full of recipes for household cleaners that are non-toxic, environmentally friendly and cheaper than the chemical products many of us use.  I did this switch a few years ago using a book I was given, and I’m very happy that I did, but my book omitted recipes for the dishwasher and washing machine, so I was very pleased to find some recipes in Matt and Betsy’s e-book.  I’ll definitely be giving them a try.  I liked the advice on adjusting the ingredients to suit the hardness of water, too.

‘The Eczema Cure’ by Emily Bartlett I found interesting – eczema is something we are familiar with in our household.  I’ve been on quite a food journey regarding this alone and this e-book might have saved me trips down some dead ends had it been available a few years ago.  Emily recommends nutrient dense foods, healthy fats and fermented foods and gives recipes for many of these foods.  She also discusses the use of Chinese medicine for healing eczema.

I’ve ‘flicked’ through some of the recipe books too – ‘Indulge and Heal: 40 Treats Without Grains, Dairy, Nuts and Refined Sugar’ by Lauren Geersten, ‘Fast Paleo Top 100 of 2012’ by James Gregory and ‘Afternoon Tea: Grain, Nut, Dairy and Refined Sugar-Free’ by Suzanne Perazzini.  These contain a wealth of tasty looking recipes.  For me, using chocolate or coffee in baking is a no-no, but there are alternative flavours that I use instead, so they’re easily adapted.

I’ll review some more of the 30 over the weekend…

To view more information and to purchase the bundle, please click on this link:  http://villagegreennetwork.com/spring-e-book-bundle/?AFFID=115896

Please note, this is an affiliate link, so if you purchased, I would receive a commission.