on November 14, 2002
Well, Ok not quite but almost! A few months ago my teenage daugher and I were diagnosed with numerous food allergies and told to follow a rotation diet. A life long vegetarian, it was an almost overwhelming to be told I could no longer eat soy, eggs, pinto beans, kidney beans, avocados, etc. And my daughter is not allowed any legumes as well (nor sugar either).
Clearly the protein was going to be a challenge (we really dislike flesh foods of any kind) but then I read the guidelines for the rotation diet itself and quickly discovered the extreme limits of my food knowledge! Sure I had heard of (but never cooked) quinoa and flax but amaranth and yautia? Not. And even if I could find where to purchase these items, how would I prepare them?
Both our weight and our attitude dropped signficantly in the first few weeks. Then we "modified" the guidelines and found ourselves physically sick again. Luckily for us, my husband purchased this book on a trip to Dallas. While I was skeptical about it's holding my interest as an actual "read through", I found it quite engrossing from almost the first page.
Not only do I now know what to do with the foods on a rotation diet list (knowing that yautia is similar to potatoes means I can now make a favorite soup that otherwise I would have passed over) but because the index is brilliantly organized I can easily look up say "warming foods" and adjust my internal thermostat rather than the whole house which made my husband doubly glad he had bought it! The same for high BP, colds, cancer, you name it.
And I can relax about the protein issue as well knowing which foods on "our list" are highest in protein instead of just choosing those foods with which I might have previously been most familiar. I bought a copy for my mom for her birthday and she can't put it down either!
If you are really interested in preparing a variety of healthy foods no matter what your current state of health might be, do yourself a favor and buy this book. It might not save your life but it will certainly liven up your meals no matter what kind of diet you follow!
on September 13, 1999
I just love Wood's new book-I always get so much out of anything she writes...I couldn't ask for a better treat than to have such a goldmine of information all neatly organized and easy to reference as with The New Whole Foods Encyclopedia. I love the little boxes with various stories, and recipes,etc, that she included. These really fill the book out, making it such an enjoyable read...a new treasure with every page turned. In the past I have used Paul Pitchford's 'Healing with Whole Foods,' (also great) in much the same way I do this new book--referencing it everyday with every meal, but find Rebecca's book to be so wonderfully concise, and more easily referenced. Anyone looking to expand their horizons, and cultivate genuine awareness about their lifestyle/ eating habits should own this book.
on February 8, 2002
This is an excellent book for learning more about produce and other whole foods. She even includes some not so healthy foods and justifies her reasoning for them to be advised against. The book has useful information on how to find, select, store, and prepare food items and how they can impact the body. She includes Ayurveda and Oriental nutritional comments for most foods. Also, in the begining she has a short section on the basics to one of the best ways of eating up to date.
on July 26, 2001
An excellent reference for those who enjoy cooking a lot at home. Though not a cookbook, it's very valuable if you're just starting to learn to cook for yourself, or for moderately experienced home chefs who want to branch out into unfamiliar territory. I've learned a great deal about storage and handling of foods I was afraid to buy before reading this book. Also, I particularly like the details regarding the nutritional benefits of every food item. For those who want learn the nutritional benefits of foods beyond garlic and olive oil, this book is for you as well.
on November 8, 1999
This is an excellent reference for any cook who wants to know more about whole foods, including grains, vegetables, fruits, etc. Rebecca is a very kind, warm person, and her personality shines through in this book.
The contents include both Western scientific knowledge about the proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals contained in foods, as well as their properties from an Eastern perspective, including Ayurvedic and Chinese Traditional Medicince. Rebecca draws from all of these traditions to present the wonders of whole foods. You may buy it as a reference but I guarantee you will browse just for the pleasure of it!
on September 15, 1999
Any book by Rebecca becomes a food bible for me. I trust her research, her training, her life experiences and her instincts about food. This Encyclopedia helps me cut through the marketing hype around natural foods. Besides being so informative, it's a darned interesting read as well! Friendly, charming and reminiscent of all things good, wholesome and healing. My young son and I love her old-time recipes for such things as tree sap gum and acorn meal. This book is a trustworthy guide to making food choices. It belongs on anyone's shelf of tried and true natural health classics.
on March 24, 2004
This book is a great reference to foods and current dietary practices. Being a proponent of Weston Price's research on diet, I was pleased to find that the informationin this book is very much in line with that information.
The book is laid out in alphabetical order, listing each food discussed, and describing how to choose and use it in one's diet. I was quite pleased with how comprehensive and wide ranging the information was. The cover states that it includes information on Ayurveda, Western nutrition, and tradidtional Chinese medicine, and the book lives up to that promise very well.
I have grown tired of all the fad diets and cookbooks that are perpetrated by various economic interests, and this book is a breath of fresh air. My only complaints are the near total lack of information about animal foods (which the book does not even pretend to include, so that is okay), and the "incomplete" information on soy. I have serious issues with the soy industry and some of the goings on therein, and personally avoid soy products of any kind like the plague. The soy industry has been behind campaigns of disinformation about healthy oils like coconut, and I do not trust any information that comes from those quarters. Much of what is circulated in vegetarian circles about the history of soy use in the Orient is distorted. Yes, it was in the Yellow Emperor's book as one of the 5 sacred grains, but it was never eaten as a food by humans until it could be made safe by fermentation, and then seldom in amounts greater than a couple tablespoons a day as flavoring (until the influence of the modern soy industry, that is). It was used as a rotation crop to fix nitrogen in the soil until fermentation was discovered. That is a part of the history that seems to get lost in the telling.
Wood does have caveats against certain soy products, thank goodness, and her blindness to the dark side of soy is the only complaint I have about the entire book. The rest, including the use of coconut oil and butter, seems to me to be right on the mark. I wholeheartedly recommend this book as an additional reference to Sally Fallon's "Nourishing Traditions," and Ron Schmid's "Traditional Foods Are Your Best Medicine." It is a very good reference to the vegetable, grain, and fruit foods available.
I would like to take off 1/3 of a star for the soy stuff, but feel that the rest of the book is so good as to merit an overall 5.
on August 29, 1999
Thanks Rebecca your thorough research has helped to fill a void in my library.
on November 24, 2002
So I look it up here. That's all. Sometimes in my travels ie ChinaTown. I find some very weird ingredients on the packages w/the few english words that is supposed to suffice us written for Americans. I'm grateful for this book, I found out some really good nutritional information on obscure seaweed that I had no clue was being used in pasta making in China. Image that, exactly what I needed for my thyroid gland. But best of all is the TCM and Ayurvedic info on these herbs & roots. Now I buy lotus root by the lb. But the best is correlating the info & giving my cooking a punch I never thought possible nor that I was capable of. I know that if it's something you put in your mouth, this book has got the goods on it. A must have in any kitchen witch's bookshelf.
on June 23, 2003
I have numerous cookbooks and reference books, but this is by far the most valuable book in my kitchen. I refer to it almost daily, and can't recommend it highly enough. It's packed with useful information.