Rick Gallop is a graduate of Oxford University, and joined the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario as president and CEO in 1986. During his tenure, the foundation became a major catalyst for lifestyle change in Canada. Dr. Ruth Gallop is a Professor Emeritus at the University of Toronto. She is an internationally sought-after expert on women’s psychological health and the linkages between childhood experiences and adult behaviours.
You’ve got to start somewhere, but there’s no point starting a diet unless you intend to be successful. That’s what this book is all about: helping you succeed in reaching your goal of a much healthier lifestyle, not just in the short term but from now on. And it’s not just for you but for your entire family.
What’s so special about this diet book? Why follow its advice rather than the suggestions found in all the other diet books on the shelf? The G.I. Diet is nutritionally sound and scientifically based. It takes complex nutritional concepts and makes them easy to understand and put into practice with a creative traffic light system. The G.I. Diet offers no gimmicks or quick fixes. It is sustainable. It is transforming.
This book, The Family G.I. Diet, takes the proven, best-selling concepts of the original G.I. Diet one important step further: it addresses the entire family. It allows spouses to support one another in the difficult tasks of weight control and eating properly. It deals with age and gender differences. It encourages parents to serve as role models for their children. It makes parents aware of the various behavioural stages of childhood that must be appreciated to improve that most basic of activities, the family meal.
The author, Rick Gallop, is a very special person. He is bright, articulate and innovative. Rick’s credentials for writing a diet book are a bit unusual. He is not a nutritionist, nor is he a physician. But for fifteen years, he served as president of the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario. He developed a passion for promoting healthy lifestyles that reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and its devastating consequences. Rick became frustrated at the high failure rates associated with most diet plans. So, true to his character, he sought to devise a better diet method. And he did.
Ultimately, improving how you and your loved ones live is up to you. If you need some help with this, The Family G.I. Diet is a wonderful guide that will make your entire family feel better and stay healthier. Enjoy the book and enjoy each other.
Norman R. Saunders, MD, FRCP(C)
Department of Pediatrics,
University of Toronto
What is special about being a family doctor is having the chance to accompany a family through many of life’s stages. Where else in medicine does one get to witness children progressing from birth to adolescence and on to adulthood, or middle-aged patients moving on to grapple with retirement or deteriorating health? I have been practising for over twenty years, and the infants I once cared for are now expecting their own children, the young mothers whom I once commiserated with about their sleepless nights are now losing sleep because of hot flashes. As time has passed I have also witnessed the impact of information technology, which has transformed passive patients into active health care advocates who are interested in maintaining health and preventing illness.
At any life stage, nutrition is a primary concern. For this reason, I have welcomed the G.I. Diet as an excellent resource when counselling patients. Diets in general have been anathema to me, because by their very nature they have a start point and an end point, with consequent rebounding and accumulation of even more weight. The G.I. approach is more of a lifestyle than a diet, and it is sustainable because it is based on sound scientific principles. Organizing foods in categories based on the colours of a traffic light provides a straightforward system of eating that anyone can grasp and apply.
In The Family G.I. Diet, Rick Gallop takes the program further by recommending practices to last a lifetime. There is excellent advice on including children in grocery shopping and meal preparation, plus setting clear but flexible limits regarding mealtimes and snacks. One significant piece of information the Gallops share is that it takes ten to fifteen exposures to a new food for a child to accept it. This means parents should not give up introducing their children to vegetables if they initially refuse them. The book also emphasizes the importance of exercise, especially for seniors. This advice is supported by the World Health Organization’s preliminary findings that eating well and exercising not only extend one’s lifespan but also prevent infirmity.
The G.I. Diet is a weight-loss program that I am able to endorse as I see its results with my own eyes. Patients thank me for recommending the diet to them because they’ve lost weight and feel more energetic than ever. Embarking on this program has immediate health benefits and also teaches us life lessons about staying well.
Pauline Pariser, M.Asc, MD, CCFP, CFCP
Department of Family and Community Medicine,
University of Toronto
My first book, The G.I. Diet, was published in 2002 and quickly became the most successful Canadian diet book ever, with more than one and a half million copies sold worldwide. It is currently available in fifteen countries, in a dozen different languages, and it made The New York Times bestseller list. The Canadian Diabetes Association rated the G.I. Diet as the first choice among today’s leading diets–and there are a lot of them to choose from now! But my greatest delight has been the enormous number of reader e-mails I’ve received. I had no idea that the book would generate such a flood of responses, and I was amazed to hear about all the ways in which this new approach to eating has actually changed people’s lives. I’ve heard from tens of thousands of readers, in messages that are personal, thoughtful, supportive – and frequently ecstatic!
It was this feedback that encouraged me to embark on this new book, The Family G.I. Diet. Why focus on the family? The first reason is that most of the correspondence I’ve received has been from women. And despite all the changes in family life, for better or worse most women still play the role of chief shopper, cook and gatekeeper for their family’s health and nutrition. At the same time, women, as well as men, are working longer hours outside the house. They just can’t devote a lot of their time to “managing” the way the family eats, too. One of their biggest challenges is figuring out how to prepare a different set of diet meals for themselves while cooking for the rest of the family. How can they control their own weight, meet the needs and culinary whims of the rest of the family and somehow avoid becoming a short-order cook?
There’s another consideration as well. Men and women have different nutritional needs, depending on their stage of life and hormonal factors. A woman expecting twins won’t have the same appetite and nutritional demands as the elderly grandfather who might be sharing the dinner table with her. Menopause also brings its own metabolic changes and nutritional shifts for women. And teenagers may have a strange concept of what constitutes a “hearty breakfast.” My wife, Ruth, and I have raised three children–one of them a vegetarian–so we’re well aware of the challenges of feeding a family whose members’ appetites and tastes vary.
Women are not only concerned about their own weight, but they also worry about their overweight spouses, partners and children. Is your partner overweight? Since just under 56 percent of Canadian men are either in that category or officially obese, there is a good chance that this is the case. (See the Body Mass Index on pages 34—35 to see if he qualifies.)
And you’ve probably been reading about the alarming increase in childhood obesity. According to recent studies, 37 percent of Canadian children between two and eleven years old are overweight. At the same time, you don’t want your children – especially your daughters – to become obsessed with weight loss and body image. What you do want is to establish healthy patterns of eating that keep your children fit and energetic, not only as they are growing up but for the rest of their lives. What you don’t want to do is cater to their every whim by cooking three different meals every night. You can’t really blame kids for their cravings. With so many processed, over-advertised, high-fat snack foods available, they are simply following the path of least resistance. We need to give them appealing options.
So I could see that a family approach to the G.I. Diet would be helpful, and the result is this book, The Family G.I. Diet. I persuaded my wife, Ruth, who is professor emeritus of the faculties of nursing and medicine at the University of Toronto, to provide a female perspective, as well as to share her experience in women’s health issues and behavioural research. She wrote chapter six, which outlines the special nutritional needs of women from menarche to menopause and beyond, and gave valuable information on feeding children at various stages of their life. Together we talk about how to follow the G.I. Diet along with spouses, partners, toddlers and teenagers. We give you help with shopping, meal planning and lunch packing, and have included fifty new delicious recipes that are G.I. versions of family favourites. We address the special needs of seniors, who are often neglected in other diet books, and help you use nutrition to reduce your family’s risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, most cancers and even degenerative conditions like Alzheimer’s. The evidence from medical research is overwhelming that weight management and diet are the most effective ways to reduce your risk of these life-threatening disease...