I received an email recently asking if I would like to review the brand new book: Broccoli, Love & Dark Chocolate by Liz Pearson. And just like when I had the chance to review the 100 Days of Real Food cookbook by Lisa Leake, I jumped at the opportunity! I LOVE reading books on food, health, and nutrition! In fact, this is my third “healthy eating” book that I’ve read back to back! They’ve all been a little different and had different messages to get across, but I’ve learned something from each of them! This book is no different and I thoroughly enjoyed reading through it last week.
Here’s what I enjoyed about this book:
- It was written by a registered dietitian. Even though I may not agree with all of Liz’s suggestions (more on that later), she obviously knows her stuff and is well-educated on nutrition!
- She lays out the benefits of many of the ‘superfoods.’ And not only does she include, for example, that broccoli protects your heart and boosts immunity, she also suggests how often we should be eating it, whether we should eat it raw or cooked, AND lists some recipes in the book that call for broccoli. I like books that suggest somewhat specific guidelines, as opposed to simply saying, ‘eat broccoli because it’s good for you.’ This is a good book to read if you want to know WHY you should be incorporating certain foods into your diet on a regular basis. I learned a lot about the benefits of several types of foods! (Along with the facts to back up those claims.)
- There were also a lot of interesting facts, stats, and studies sprinkled throughout the book. For example, the book discusses how eating even one fast food meal can damage your arteries. One meal, people! We’re not talking about eating fast food regularly…we’re talking about eating it just one time and the proven temporary damage it does in your body. (Plus, it has the study to back up this claim!) I wasn’t a fan of fast food meals before this book. Well, you can bet that I’m definitely not now! It was very eye opening to read some of those statistics and studies that have been done.
- She answers some important questions: Does a drink a day keep the doctor away? Are you getting enough vitamin D? Is taking a multivitamin good sense? Does milk fit into a healthy diet? How much water should we really drink? And is it time to put eggs back on the menu? I really enjoyed each of these sections and felt like she had helpful answers to the questions that I’ve asked myself over and over again!
- I also loved the little section about the “definition of a healthy snack.” There were ten combination ideas…all of which were excellent choices in my mind!
- She included her “15 Best Tips for a Healthy Body Weight.” I was absolutely on board with all of them and couldn’t agree more.
- There are (by my count) 69 “delicious and easy recipes made with superfood ingredients.” I’m always on the lookout for new recipes! And along with each recipe, she’s included a little “life lesson.” Lessons about love, friendship, gratitude, courage, etc. I have not read all of them yet, but as I work my way through many of the recipes, I look forward to reading many of the others. I especially enjoyed the quotes from people like Thomas Jefferson, Audrey Hepburn, Henry Ford, and many other well-known, respected people from the past.
I have a long list of recipes that I’m looking forward to trying over the next few months. Don’t these sound delicious?? Apple Pie Muffins, Awesome Maple Banana Bread, Fiesta Fit Soup, Amazing Black Bean Quesadillas, Raspberry & Greek Yogurt Dip, and a Spiced Cocoa Banana Smoothie? Sign me up to try those! 😉 Here are a few pictures of the food recipes:
However, for full disclosure, and because I wouldn’t want to this recommend this book without including this note… There are a few portions of the book where I have to admit that I cringed a bit. Remember, I am NOT a health professional. I don’t have a nutrition background or a license to share health/food/diet advice. I’m just a blogger who shares my love of real food, as well as the information I find interesting along the way. However, here are a few points from the book that I disagree with:
- Liz states that extra virgin olive oil is her number one choice (which I agree with), but then she goes on to say that canola oil is her second choice. I pretty much steer clear from canola oil as it’s genetically engineered and I don’t want my family to be the ‘guinea pigs’ for this giant experiment that is being conducted on our nation right now. She even goes so far as to state that “genetically modified fruits and vegetables are okay.” Maybe I’m just being persuaded with all of the anti-GMO ‘scare-tactics’ in the media out there today, however, GMOs in our food system are very new (relatively speaking) and I don’t want my kids to be a part of this huge experiment that America is running on our country. (Keep in mind that this is an experiment that so many other countries have flat-out refused to participate in due to the lack of proper testing.) Anyway, I won’t go into details of all that here, but I will say that I definitely don’t agree with her viewpoint on this one and was quite shocked to see it.
- She also states that the “research is lacking” in the use of coconut oil due to it being high in saturated fat. Of course, this is all just my opinion, but I will stick to using coconut oil over canola oil any day.
- She also says that consuming soy is healthy. I’ve read soo much lately regarding soy. Not only is almost all of it genetically modified, but the research is very contradictory regarding the positives and negatives of eating it. So, if I consume soy, I make sure it’s organic. I wish she would have at least made note of choosing organic soy over conventional soy. (Then again, we know her standpoint on GMOs, so this isn’t really all that surprising.)
- In a couple cookie recipes, she uses ‘soft-tub margarine.’ I think most of you know by now that’s an ingredient I don’t use anymore!! Butter is way more “real” than margarine could ever hope to be! 🙂
So, here’s the deal… Even though I was disappointed with a few of Liz’s recommendations and her support of GMOs, I will say that, overall, I enjoyed the book. I just have to look past the use of canola oil in several of her recipes! 😉 I’m so used to ‘converting recipes’ these days, anyway, that I’ve learned how to easily swap out ingredients for a better ‘real food approved’ option.
The ingredients in her recipes are mostly what I would consider “real food.” No refined sugar, no processed foods…just real ingredients: whole wheat flour, oats, fruits, veggies, herbs, beans, honey, oils, vinegars, etc. There was no mention of the importance of grass-fed meats, wild-caught seafood, or pastured eggs…but again, I don’t think these omissions make it a “bad” cookbook. Even though I, personally, would have liked to see those recommendations included, I absolutely still feel like this is a “real food cookbook” and I can make almost all of these recipes with minimal swaps, if any (unlike so many recipes that I find online or in regular cookbooks). The focus of this book is on ‘healthy eating’ and the recipes are filled with nutritious foods that I would recommend to anyone wanting to live a healthy life!
If you’d like to buy this book, you can here:
And here’s a bonus quote that I love from the book…
This is from Michael Goran, MD of the Childhood Obesity Research Center at the University of Southern California:
“Imagine going into a Starbucks and ordering a coffee and putting 17 packets of sugar in your coffee. Nobody in their right mind would do that. But they would drink a soda without thinking about it.”
Exactly. The food industry needs to change. Hopefully, with enough books like this, blogs like mine, news and media reports, and educated consumers…the food in America will one day change for the better!
Disclaimer: I received this book for free, but all opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase a product through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same, but Real Fit, Real Food Mom will earn a small commission (which helps to offset web hosting fees, maintenance, etc.). Your support is greatly appreciated!