Help a Snack-Girl Reader Transition to Healthier Eating

January 22, 2010   3 Comments

A life altering event, such as breast cancer, can force you to question your mortality and change your bad eating habits. It isn't easy, but it CAN be done. I know that many Snack-Girl readers have made big changes and I want to the group to help.

Help a Snack-Girl Reader Transition to Healthier Eating

Two days ago on Snack-Girl's Facebook page, Jackie wrote:

I recently had breast cancer & I had a double mastectomy. I was the first in my family to get this. I also have high cholesterol & high triglycerides. Is there someone out there who can help me with a more healthy diet ? I need it spelled out for me like at breakfast eat this & lunch eat this & so on. Sorry I'm not highly educated...

First of all, no need to apologize for not being highly educated. Education is just one measure of a success - and I know many unhappy, highly educated, people.

I wrote to Jackie and asked if she had a library near by - and she has one around the corner from her house. There are many books that have outlined excellent daily diets that could help her, so I thought we should start there.

The ones that I have chosen emphasize a "whole food" diet and a very easy amount of cooking. The idea is the more nutritious the food, the less you will eat, and the better you will feel. Your body will get back to it's natural state by eating naturally. An apple is always better than Chips Ahoy.

These books are well researched and very serious about their mission. BEWARE of all the healthy eating books on the shelves. Many of them are just designed to make money.

My top three choices are below, and I have listed the page so that you can read their reviews. Another nice feature of Amazon is that they recommend similar books.

Frequently, I have 2 windows up on my browser. One from Amazon, and one from my library. I move back and forth and request all the books that interest me in a subject. This method stops me from buying books that I don't like.

"Food Matters", by Mark Bittman

This book that combines excellent recipes (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) with the story of Bittman's own issues with weight and diabetes. He is a best selling cookbook author and he talks about his struggles with health. He reminds me of Jackie. He had a wake-up call, and then created a diet to live a better life.

"Eat, Drink, and Weigh Less", by Mollie Katzen and Walter Willett

Katzen is a leading healthy food chef and Willett is a leading researcher healthy food. This is kind of a "dream team" in terms of a healthy food cookbook. Not only do you get healthy recipe plans for months, you get the reasons why you should be following them based on the latest research. This is a excellent book and I'm sure any library will have it.

"Ending the Food Fight" by David Ludwig, M.D., Ph.D.

This book is about feeding children, but it is totally relevant because adults have the same issues as children when it comes to healthy eating. His recipes are accessible and easy, and he has designed a 9 week program that includes both exercise and food.

I hope these suggestions are helpful to Jackie and other readers who are struggling with the same issues.

Please share your favorite book or advice on a healthy diet with Jackie (and each other).

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Jackie, your story inspired me, in so many ways. You are a hero. You survived cancer. You have been through so much. Take it one step at a time. YOU have an 'education', you learned from life. And you will learn how to eat good things, that taste good too. Bless you, and I will keep you in my prayers.

Hello, just wondering if you've read the book Diet For A New America and if you'd classify that as a Real healthy eating book, or one out just to make money?

Educating yourself about what's in your food is the first step. When I saw propylene glycol in my cookies AND in my antifreze, I was seriously grossed out.

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