Thursday, June 17, 2010

Real Food has Curves

I've been reading this book, REAL FOOD HAS CURVES. Catchy title, no? The authors are a writer and a chef, so you're right if you think reading this is a pleasure.

The premise of this book is that processed food makes u fat and sluggish and keeps us there. I've done a lot of reading on this (Michael Pollan's books in particular) and subscribe to Nutrition Action, so I know most of the facts in here. But fear not, facts are the only reason to get this book.

These authors use their own life to help illuminate their points and invite you envision how your life might change. They break down the boring nutriton stuff into tiny, palatable bites. Small steps that you can take to improve your diet. Easy ways to add more flavor and less chemicals to your life. They even quote Julia Sugarbaker, the truthtelling Designing Woman.

Not that they promise it will be easy. The truth is eating well involves more cooking at home and less eating out. Portions in restaurants are so far out of whack that it is difficult to maintain good health if we frequent them. Cooking at home means preparation and shopping and planning ahead. (Not to mention, dishes.) For many of us, that means change.

The authors urge us to take what they call a Yes, And attitude. Rather than just going along as we've always have, try something new. Commit to eating a vegetable you've never eaten before, throw in a spice you've avoided. The 100 recipes in this book will help. They're varied with a wide range of ingredients and tastes.

I'm going to try a new recipe tomorrow. Not sure if it'll be the Mape Dofu or the Thyme and Garlic Roasted Shrimp. Not even sure if I'll like it. But I might.

And Julia Sugarbaker would be proud.

What about you? Tried any new recipes lately?


caryn said...

I just returned that book to the library. I thought the authors reasoning made sense. These two guys have a whole series of cookbooks but this is the first one tht's focused on natural stuff. I have PILES of recipes that I have torn out of newspapers and magazines and a whole shelf of cookbooks, yet I have to force myself to take the time to pick a new recipe and add the ingredients to my shopping list. But I do try to do one new recipe a week.
Caryn in St.Louis

Sheila Connolly said...

All the time! Especially since I found Epicurious, although I have several shelves of cookbooks.

Last week I spent a day at the shore, watching fishing boats come and go. Of course I had to buy some fresh fish, only feet away from the water. I came home with a nice chunk of monkfish, but I had to hunt for a recipe for it (thank you, Gordon Ramsey).

I love Michael Pollan, so much that I dedicated my last book to him, along with Alice Waters. Both changed the way I think about food, but Alice has been doing it since I lived in the Berkeley area decades ago.

Terri Thayer said...

Caryn - a new recipe a week is a great idea. It's always the preparation - looking through the receipes, getting the ingredients we need - that is my downfall. I can't wait til dinner time to start.

Sheila, the internet has made that search for new recipes easier. Nothing is better than putting a couple of ingredients into a search engine and coming up with a new idea.

Camille Minichino said...

As a vegetarian who is allergic to onions and garlic and most spices, I've long realized that eating is a problem and recipes are for other people!

The book sounds interesting for other changes, though and I'll have to try it.

I'm a big Michael Pollan fan, too.

Anonymous said...

When I'm not writing books, I'm a personal chef, and I have to say, "Brava!" to your post. I'm all about eating Real Food, and not being afraid to try new things.

Not even the dishes will stop me.

For true Real Food, if you're adventurous enough, try joining a CSA. You'll get a weekly box of vegetables (and sometimes, fruit, nuts, or eggs or meat), all from a farm in your area. They give you what they just harvested and you have to figure out how to use it. You're always eating food that's in season right where you live. You'll be amazed at how healthful your diet becomes!

I have a food blog at, where I chronicle my attempts at home cooking and using that veggie box every week. It really is an adventure!

Terri Thayer said...

That makes it difficult, Camille. Maybe they'll be some spices you can tolerate in these receipes.

Marlene, I'm always intended to do a CSA although living in California means plentiful produce throughout the year. I will check out your blog, though, as I'm always looking for ways to add veggies to my life. Thanks!

Joanna Campbell Slan said...

I made a watermelon salad the other night that was just divine. I have to work out the proportions and then I'll share it with all of you.

I had a friend whose husband said, "You can buy as many cookbooks as you want as long as you make at least ONE recipe from every cookbook you buy." So she did, and she's a splendid cook!

Anonymous said...

Terri, that is such a painful truth: that you can't eat out too often and still eat healthy. I'm notorious for my penchant for fast food.
I have tried to do a lot of modifying of my previous choices, and I think it has helped, but only time will tell if it's been enough.
The book sounds very optimistic though and I do love the title!

Terri Thayer said...

Thanks for stopping by, Claudine. What's interesting in this book is how our choices impact our next choice. Vicious cycle!

Mark Scarbrough said...

Thanks for your wonderful review of the book. I feel it's our most important, after so many. (Not that ice cream isn't real food, but you know what I mean!) I feel that real food is the best heritage we can give our children--and we're currently raising a generation who think that real food comes out of a box, that mac-and-cheese has that metallic, chemical signature under its bland taste. Yuck. I can only imagine that small steps are the way to change all that. Thanks for the very kind words.

Terri Thayer said...

Thanks for stopping by, Mark. I'm happy to spread the word. I think it's important, too. I know I feel much better since I've eliminated a lot of processed foods.

I still haven't made any new recipes, but I will.