What I love about this book? Well, for one, the things that you won't find mentioned in it: Gluten-free, Low-Carb, Detox, GMO Foods, Juicing, Paleo, Vegan, or plugs for the author's own line of protein powders, supplements or food additives. In other words, there isn't a whiff of quackery, faddism or environmental agenda that seems to permeate so many books on nutrition. The author is both a researcher and clinician and spotlights foods whose health promoting abilities are backed up by mainstream research not just anecdotal evidence.
I learned a hard lesson in lifestyle and its connection to health this autumn when I was diagnosed a diabetic. One of the first things I learned from a diabetes educator is that a diabetic diet is basically just a healthy diet. The difficult part of course is learning what that is when so much extreme and contradictory advice exists out there in books and online. I know lifestyle makes a difference because I saw it in my own life these past six months. As I changed how I ate my weight and cholesterol went down, as did my insulin doses--which I was able to eliminate months ago; my endocrinologist thinks that, depending on my next round of tests, I may be able to get off medications altogether. That's how powerful food is--or right versus wrong foods anyway.
And this book isn't extreme, isn't puritanical, doesn't restrict entire groups of foods. The model meal plan and recipes are doable and delicious. Some recipes are involved, but a lot are very simple, affordable and easy to add to your life: Patty's Pumpkin Pudding, Grilled Wild Salmon Burgers (using canned salmon), Superfoods RX Salad, Tropical Yogurt Parfait, Fortified Cereal. All were very easy to incorporate. I found his shopping suggestions invaluable in beginning to make changes. Too many diet gurus seem to sell their own products. When Pratt lists cereals, breads, canned goods, etc, they're from many different brands and not favoring any in particular--there are usually multiple suggestions.
Not that I don't still have work to do. I find you can't change your life on a dime and have it stick. It takes time, and it's easiest to make a few changes at a time. I probably could use more beans in my life. I doubt I will ever be able to work in the amount of citrus, berries and yogurt he recommends daily. I'm dubious of incorporating as much fruit juice in my diet as is suggested here--it's about the only part of his diet that doesn't go well with what I've been told is good for diabetics. But the information in this book has proven invaluable--a list of his Superfoods and "sidekicks" and recommended amounts are up on my refrigerator door as a daily reminder.