Wednesday, October 1, 2008

From one book to another

I have finished "In Defense of Food," and my review is that it should be required reading for every American. I learned a lot about science through food chemistry, natural science, and even biology through this book which greatly helped me understand food, nutrients, and the like. I think one of the biggest lessons I took from the book was his mantra that "A food is greater than the sum of its nutrients, and a cultural cuisine is greater than the sum of its foods." Basically, reductionist science doesn't work in the culinary world of diet and health, and it's not necessarily about the solitary nutrients like protein, fats, etc etc. I liked it.

In his "food principles," I think my favorite suggestion of his was to "never buy anything your great-grandmother wouldn't recognize as food, and that includes never buying anything with INGREDIENTS your great-grandmother wouldn't recognize as food." I liked his funny example of how "Go-gurt" is NOT yogurt.

And now, my new book to read is "French Women Don't Get Fat." I'm three chapters into it, and I ALREADY consider it a "required reading" for every American--woman OR man. I'm incorporating it into my independent study bibliography because it gives insight into French culture, and it's also the perspective of a French woman on the topic of American food habits. It's really great, and easy to read. Plus, I'm excited about all the recipes she includes. I think her basic premise of the book is that you really can eat whatever you want--it's a matter of when, how much, and of what QUALITY you eat it. Thus far, my favorite sentence of wisdom is based on indulging in chocolate. To paraphrase, she says that, "A small piece of fine, dark Chocolate will excite and satisfy your palate far more than twenty Snicker's bars ever could." Indeed, how true. I'll let you know my final review of the book once it's finished. (I'm anticipating that shouldn't take *too* long.)

My mom came to the gym with me today, and she even signed up--she liked it that much! We did some cardio together, and then I did some killer weights, and then we basked in the pool, the hot tub, and this amazing steam room that smells like eucalyptus. That room REALLY clears out your sinuses, and one woman in the room said it was also great for headaches. Nice! I'm excited to have a workout buddy when I get married. I've been trying to get Josh to work out with me ::crosses fingers::, however, the Fitness USA gym is segregated except for a few cardio machines in a small room, so even if he joined that particular gym with me, we couldn't REALLY work out together. But that's ok, because my mom and I both agreed that this would be a great way to get together after I'm married!

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