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on March 13, 2001
Although I don't necessarily agree with everything Annemarie Colbin has to say about food & health (for example, I believe that certain immunizations are a critical part of one's health care and not unnecessary or harmful), "Food and Healing" is an excellent and thoughtful treatment of a complex subject. The title may erroneously give the impression that the book is just for those who are ill. In fact, the book has a lot to offer to anyone who is interested in learning more about nutrition, and how what we eat can make us feel better or worse. We know that caffeine can give you energy or make you nervous, and that a high-fat diet can cause heart disease; Colbin theorizes that other kinds of food, food ingredients and even methods of preparation affect the body in different but no less profound ways. Particularly intriguing are Colbin's musings on "food philosphy": e.g., multi-faceted comparisons of different diets; how different thinkers approach food in a different philosophical way; various ways to look at food choices and their effects on the body. I was impressed by the breadth of the sources Colbin cites (although occasionally one finds an outdated reference, like the ones to the now-debunked Tasaday "tribe") and how she weaves everything together into a coherent and readable book. What really won me over, however, was Colbin's insistence on taking a flexible approach to eating. Colbin emphasizes that no diet should remain static, and we need to choose different kinds of diets to reflect and address what is going on in our lives at different times. She is remarkably open-minded and tolerant of all points of view, allowing the reader to take away nuggets of wisdom from unlikely sources. If some of the opinions expressed seemed a bit too airy-fairy for me (e.g., auras, and her apparent rejection of the germ theory of disease transmission), even these sections were interesting and thought-provoking. Required reading for anyone who has "food issues," wants to improve her diet, has a chronic health problem, or works in the nutrition field.
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on March 29, 2001
I just borrowed this book from a friend, and Colbin covers everything--there were several pages I xeroxed before returning it. It doesn't propose any specific philosophy, rather it evaluates the effects of different foods on the body. She incorporates Chinese and ayurvedic philosophy also and details macrobiotics. I am vegan, and I especially recommend it for vegetarians since it explains how to balance your diet, making sure you get enough calcium and the essential B12. Colbin emphasizes all-natural foods and listening to your body. I'm gonna buy a copy when I get back to the states. Enjoy!
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on January 24, 2001
This book provided me with a new way of thinking about food and how it affects health and energy levels. Her explanations can be pretty "alternative" and many of them are not grounded in medical science, but as long as you're aware of that, this is a very practical book. As she points out, there are many connections in this world that conventional science is only starting to discover. Colbin's ideas work when put into practice.
If you're open to new ideas about food and diet, read this book. If you want to be vegetarian but don't feel good on a vegetarian diet, or if you aren't happy with how you eat but aren't sure what to do about it, read this book. She makes few judgements and refuses to label foods (or diets) "bad" or "good" - she just tells you what effects she's obseved and lets you draw your own conclusions. I appreciated her awareness that everybody's different; that depending on your climate, the season, your personal biochemistry, what you have eaten previously in your life, and even your job, your dietary needs will differ.
Colbin's cookbooks ("The Natural Gourmet" has delicious recipes) put her ideas into practice and prove that you can eat the way she recommends without feeling deprived.
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on May 27, 2000
If you missed Annemarie Colbin's fine book, Food and Healing, the first time around, it's back in a revised edition. First published in 1986, it rapidly became a classic exploration in detail of why and how we are what we eat. Reissued in 1996 by Ballantine with a new preface by the author, Food and Healing now incorporates the latest on low fat eating, findings on food combinations and new alternative medicine paths into what remains the Bible of the holistic view of food and health.
Ms. Colbin's view is thoroughly common sensical. She recognizes the fact that we are each individuals, and that once we have digested the facts, theories and proposals in her book we must make decide on what eating choices are best for us.
This is a thoughtful but not didactic book, solid and grounded in research, yet written with an entertaining touch. Rarely have we encountered a book that so well explains the nutritive quality of food, and its effects on body, mind and spirit. Don't miss it.
Review by Meredith Sayles Hughes
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on August 10, 2009
I was so angry when I finished this book I was driving my family and friends crazy. I was diagnosed with "fatty liver" disease in 2005. I became symptom free by eating a veggy/fruit diet with low fat and red meat. It worked while I was living in China but back home it was back to the pastas and Caesar salads within two years. I finally came full circle in November 2008 only this time it took more than diet to get me back in shape. I went to a naturopathic doctor on my PCP's advice and she further restricted my diet to eliminate heavy metals and pesticides etc. So, no coffee, no alcohol, no shellfish, no fish that eat other fish. I picked up this book hoping it would help. Boy, did it.
I now know exactly what to do to keep my body healthy and eating right. She calls it health supporting wholefood diet. My naturopath calls it an anti-inflammatory diet. Very clear and convincing. With a good bibliography.
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on March 14, 2014
I love this book. I love how she breaks down nutrition and eating to a much simpler way then we are expected to see it today. She has her strong beliefs but her experiences showed her that it is not right to force a single type of diet on anyone and that is the tone of the book. She talks quite a bit about Japanese type of cuisine and macrobiotic type eating but that's what has worked for her so I don't think that's something to criticize. I cried at the end of the book when she warmly and intimately shares her experience of dealing with a very difficult decision she is forced to give into. Never thought I'd cry over a book about food! She's opened my mind and I refer to her other work often as well. I bought this copy for my father who deals with cancer and cardiac issues.
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on January 13, 1999
Annemarie Colbin lays out a myriad of information as to how foods affect your mood, energy and overall wellbeing. She describes in detail what happens when we eat certain foods, particularly in combinations which may explain why many of us can't lose weight or remain sick and tired. The descriptions of various popular diets is enlightening.
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on November 11, 2014
By the image posted on the website, I believed this to be a new edition of this book. When received, it was the original copyright from 1986. I'm sure there has been updates on this printing since then. This book is needed for a course I am taking, I hope there isn't any major information that may be missing in this edition I received.
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on May 30, 1998
A powerful, thought-provoking book. Ms. Colbin is extremely knowledgeable and readable. This is a great book for vegetarians and would be vegetarians who have dabbled in natural hygiene, macrobiotics and other "branches" and have trouble sorting through all the conflicting information and dogmas.
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on June 29, 2014
look forward to viewing this book, read some of the book from a friend,am happy to have it and will gain much information from it
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