healing with whole food for dummies?
January 1, 2011 9:03 PM   Subscribe

What's a book that is similar to Healing With Whole Foods by Paul Pitchford, only less intense? My mom is into those 'blueberries will save the world' email forwards, and for her birthday I'd like to encourage her new obsession with healthy foods, teach her how to cook them, explain about health, etc.

Healing With Whole Foods is obviously the best book in the world, but I need a 'lite' version of this one, because I think it will be too daunting for my mom. What are some good books out there that explain what foods are good to help with specific problems (or general health)?

my mom is a good cook but it's more in the 'meat and potatoes' category, and she's looking to learn more about 'health' foods.

I'm looking for:
-food-based (not supplement or herb-based) book that has recipes and explanations about food
-accessible enough so my mom will ENJOY reading it
-NOT a particular miracle cure-style book (ie, no 'eat right for your blood type books, or anything of that genre)

thanks, hive!
posted by andreapandrea to Food & Drink (9 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
World's Healthiest Foods, one of my favorite food websites, sells a book, http://www.whfoods.com/newbook/bookannounce.html
posted by blargerz at 10:08 PM on January 1, 2011 [1 favorite]

I would definitely recommend Healing Ourselves and Recipes for Self-Healing by Daverick Leggett, which work with the same TCM nutrition principles as Pitchford but in an easy-to-read, well-laid out fashion with useful charts and plenty of white space! (Can you tell I had Healing With Whole Foods as a textbook?)

I also think Leggett's recipes are more varied, more user-friendly and closer to what she's probably already cooking than those in HWWF. (If you can only get her one book, get Recipes for Self-Healing. Healing Ourselves doesn't have any recipes but goes into detail on the principles behind TCM nutrition if she's really curious; RfSH should have more than enough explanation along with the recipes to get her started though.)

You can see a sample recipe and excerpts from the books (in the "articles" section) and order the books directly from the author at his website, www.meridianpress.net. Cheers!
posted by older new romantic at 2:08 AM on January 2, 2011

Prescription for Nutritional Healing is sort of a classic in the food-woo field. It doesn't have recipes. It does have food preparation/meal suggestions. Very accessible, easy and pleasant reading.

It does also deal with supplements and herbs, but it is a "good book out there that explains what foods are good to help with specific problems." I am not a huge believer in this stuff but even I enjoy leafing through Prescription....
posted by kmennie at 7:13 AM on January 2, 2011 [1 favorite]

I found ChefMD's Big Book of Culinary Medicine easy to read and full of tasty recipes. An example of the recipes can be found on Heidi Swanson's 101 Cookbooks blog. One of my favorite recipes in the book involves shrimp, garbanzo beans, rice, tomatoes... oh, now I know what dinner will be!
posted by LOLAttorney2009 at 7:49 AM on January 2, 2011

Would she be interested in the Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook? I don't personally own the book, but I've looked at it a number of times. It's got great recipes.

This is what it includes:
Evidence-based information on whole foods
Information on food sensitivities, including ways to adapt recipes with gluten, dairy, eggs, or soy
A complete guide to stocking your whole foods pantry
Sweet and savory whole grain baked goods that are gluten, dairy, egg, and soy-free
Scrumptious vegetarian recipes along with delicious fish, poultry, and meat recipes
A schedule for introducing solid foods to infants
A proven 28-day elimination and detoxification diet
posted by garnetgirl at 7:59 AM on January 2, 2011

Simply in Season is a plain old-fashioned cookbook for in-season fruits and vegetables. It would be a nice supplement in the "teach her how to cook them" category, though it wouldn't have the information about what the foods "do" that you're looking for. But it could be a nice companion with a lot more options of what to cook.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 8:27 AM on January 2, 2011

The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth by Jonny Bowden is very accessible and lots less intense than the Paul Pitchford book (I have both books). The subtitle is "The surprising, unbiased truth about what you should eat and why." It even has a pint of blueberries on the cover, is a great book to open at random and read about a particular food like kale, walnuts, quinoa. It meets all your criteria except it doesn't have recipes. He has a bunch of similar titles, but this I think is the closest (of his books) to what you're looking for.
posted by daikon at 11:41 AM on January 2, 2011

Prescription for Nutritional Healing is a classic, and I'm not sure whether or not it's what you are looking for. The way a lot of people I know used it was to look up today's minor ache or pain and read about what to do for it. That said, I don't remember it excelling in the actual food category, myself. Less dairy and more garlic. Ehinacea. Peppermint tea for stomach problems, and eat yogurt after a course of antibiotics. That sort of thing is what I remember. If it included blueberries and quinoa, I don't remember them.
posted by salvia at 12:46 PM on January 2, 2011

Response by poster: Hi, thanks everyone! I really liked all of these suggestions and in fact might do a little shopping spree for myself one of these days.

In the end I went with the Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook, as it seemed to be all the combinations of things I was looking for, and also, to be honest, the cover looked like it would appeal to my mother. But really any of these books were excellent and could have done the job very well.

Thanks again!
posted by andreapandrea at 5:12 PM on January 2, 2011

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