We always start the new year with high hopes, right? We say, this will be the year we clean out the garage, start a new business, or commit to an exercise program. This time, we really really mean it! Many readers start looking for new cookbooks or other ideas to shed a few extra pounds after the holidays. If you’re looking for some ideas for healthy, yet still delicious meals, try Eat Better, Feel Better: My Recipes for Wellness and Healing, Inside and Out by Giada De Laurentiis.
De Laurentiis focuses in her book on a personal approach to healthy eating. She writes, “Unless you have a real intolerance or a diagnosis of an illness like celiac, eating well doesn’t mean eliminating foods.” “It’s about noticing how it affects you and eating less of those that challenge your health, and finding the right balance for you.”
A 10-year journey to find solutions to some of her health issues, such as chronic sinusitis and recurring digestive issues, prompted her to discover whether or not her dietary choices might be contributing to some of her problems. She wrote, “Look, most of us make an effort to eat well. I know I thought I did! I eventually realized that these ‘cheat’ meals were actually cheating on me for whole days as my digestion struggled me to process them. I had to think before I ate.”
De Laurentiis offers readers the “Giada’s Cheat Sheet” plan, a 21-day plan that includes tips such as being purposeful about including leafy green vegetables twice daily as part of your five-a-day vegetable servings, as well as reducing (but not eliminating completely) )) Dairy products and meals high in carbohydrates. “Anything I know will make me feel bad the next day . . . like sweets and rich sauces . . . enter the category of proceeding with caution.”
The first step, according to De Laurentiis, is learning to pay attention to the way your body reacts to certain foods. “You probably already have an idea of which foods are hard for your stomach to handle.” If you don’t want to stick to the 21-day plan, she also offers readers a “reboot,” a 3-day mini-cleanse to give your digestive system a short break. Her chapter “Batch It Up!” It offers readers some great suggestions for creating a fridge full of healthy, pre-cooked foods to carry forward in your kitchen so they’re ready to go when you’re too busy or tired to cook.
De Laurentiis has found that rather than eating a substitute for something she’s hungry for, she does better by finding a way to enjoy her favorites in smaller quantities. “A square of chocolate — the real thing — quells craving better than helping piled in a less satisfying alternative.”
This book is full of recipes for any time of the day — including some easy-to-digest yet still tasty and good-for-you desserts, like the Quinoa Chocolate Chip Cookie and the Chocolate Walnut Banana Bread. It provides a good introduction to some alternative cooking methods and ingredients for readers interested in topics such as health, nutrition and cookbooks. You can borrow it from the Carlsbad Public Library, where it is available in both print and digital editions.
This article originally appeared on Carlsbad Current-Argus: De Laurentiis offers tips on healthy eating