Food: The Best Medicine!

Reviews by Kristina Sepetys

Deliciously Ella: 100+ Easy, Healthy,
and Delicious Plant-Based, Gluten-Free Recipes
by Ella Woodward
(Scribner, 2015)

London-based Ella Woodward writes the food blog Deliciously Ella. At 19, Woodward was diagnosed with Postural Tachycardia Syndrome, a breakdown of the autonomic nervous system, a condition she attributes to a poor diet. Bedridden, in chronic pain, and plagued by heart palpitations and headaches, Woodward decided to change her diet when conventional medicine offered no relief. The self-taught cook stopped eating meat, gluten, dairy, refined sugar, chemical additives, and processed foods, and taught herself to make plant-based meals from unprocessed ingredients. The effects were immediate. Symptoms disappeared, her energy returned, and she was able to stop medication. Her cookbook shares her story and many of her most popular recipes, like Beetroot Carpaccio and Sweet Potato Brownies.


The Paleo Approach: Reverse Autoimmune Disease and Heal Your Body
by Sarah Ballantyne
(Victory Belt Publishing, 2014)

Dr. Sarah Ballantyne has trained in immunity and inflammation-related health problems. She was herself plagued by serious health issues, which led her to the paleo diet, avoiding carbohydrates, glutens, refined sugars, grains, and other irritants. She now blogs as “Paleo Mom” and is a bestselling cookbook author, in addition to being widely published in the medical literature. Autoimmune diseases are widespread. Ballantyne explains the best foods to calm the immune system, reduce inflammation, and help your body heal itself. Besides recipes, Ballantyne’s books are rich resources for managing the lifestyle changes required to follow a paleo diet, particularly for families with children. Food lists, shopping guides, meal plans, and other sections like special occasions meals, add to the book’s usefulness.


GutGastronomy: Revolutionize Your Eating to Create Great Health
by Vicki Edgson and Adam Palmer
(Jacqui Small LLP, 2015)

Nutritionist Vicki Edgson and Adam Palmer, chef at beautiful Grayshott Spa, a health retreat in Surrey, England, have published more than 100 recipes designed to rejuvenate and heal. From proteins to herbs, the book includes easy-to-prepare and beautifully presented dishes, including meats and fish, that are gentle on digestive systems and taste good. As part of a meal plan regime designed to make digestion more efficient, improve elimination, reduce fluid retention, and alleviate inflammation, the authors suggest nutritious, cleansing dishes like Spelt Risotto with Celeriac, Spinach, and Roquefort; Spinach, Butternut Squash, and Lentil Frittata; and a variety of tasty, wholesome dressings for vegetables and salads, all beautifully photographed.


At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen: Celebrating the Art of Eating Well

by Amy Chaplin
(Roost Books, 2014)

Amy Chaplin’s whole food kitchen is filled with grains, seeds, beans, nuts, spices, fresh almond milk, ferments, and seasonal produce. Chaplin has worked throughout the world as a vegetarian chef for over 20 years and is a regular contributor to health magazines and publications. Her James Beard award-winning cookbook shares tips for living what she calls a “whole-food lifestyle,” with information on planning weekly menus, why organic is important, composting, plastics vs. glass, drinking tea, and doing a whole-food cleanse. Her collection of recipes, most of which are naturally gluten-free, offers dishes for all times of the day. Look for Black Rice Breakfast Pudding with Coconut and Banana; Beet Tartlets with Poppy Seed Crust and White Bean Fennel Filling; Fragrant Eggplant Curry with Cardamom Basmati Rice, Apricot Chutney, and Cucumber Lime Raita; and Roasted Fig Raspberry Tart with Toasted Almond Crust.