Food Storage & Other Adventures in Motherhood

Book Review: The Diet Rebel’s Cookbook

by heather

The Diet Rebels Cookbook: Eating Clean and Green I found a review for The Diet Rebel’s Cookbook: Eating Clean and Green by Jillayne Clements and Michelle Stewart on another blog that I sometimes read, or I thought that’s where I read it, but now I can’t find the post. (On a side-note, they don’t come out and say it, but from the experiences that the authors talked about I am willing to bet good money that these women are Mormons living in Southern Utah County. ) The book sounded like something I would be interested in. I’m all for healthy eating, trying new things, reducing my carbon footprint and of course, eating delicious food. But as I read it, I had mixed feelings about the content.
 First to summarize their philosophy: Eating a healthy diet will improve your health can cure many illnesses. They determined that the best diet is one with whole organic foods, fresh meats and vegetables,without refined sugars or flours, and incorporates grains that are either sprouted or soured and this diet is based on research done on societies that had healthy active people that lived into their hundred’s. They believe that food should be enriched by composting, not by chemical fertilizers or pesticides. They believe in eating meat, but only occasionally. They believe in using a water ionizer in your home to produce pure alkaline water. They believe in using real butter. They believe in soaking beans and nuts to make them easier to digest. They believe in cooking food “low and slow”, also to aid in digestion. They also believe the microwave to be evil.
 Now I agree with a lot of this. I can buy that eating a healthy diet can ward off diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol and decrease your risk for a stroke. It also decreases your risk of many forms of cancer. Besides that, if you eat well, you feel well. I soak my beans before cooking, because it results in softer beans that don’t cause in gas. Anyone who knows me knows that I heart my crock pot. I compost my kitchen scraps, and one of these days I’m going to start a garden. My diet is already by far mostly grains, fruits and vegetables. Depending on where you live, you may definitely need a water purifier. (Recently we visited my mother-in-law’s home town for a funeral. I ordered a glass of water with my meal. It tasted like a combination of water that has been sitting in a garden hose and water that comes out of a bathroom in a house with old copper pipes. Whatever you do, don’t drink the water in Delano, CA. Trust me. Gag.) I try to minimize high fructose corn syrup intake in my family and also am a fan of real butter and sourdough bread.
  I was reading this book as we were traveling back and forth to California for two funerals and I was thinking ‘We are traveling, and there absolutely NO food options that fall into their healthy eating philosophy.’ Everything is made using refined white flour. No where along the way served organic meat, fruits or vegetables. I was lucky if where we stopped had any form of fruits and vegetables period. And of course these eating establishments were not using sprouted grains or raw milk and cheese. And as a general rule I like to travel, it seems like if I bought into this philosophy I could never go anywhere without being really hungry and grumpy every time I left the house.
 It seems like in order to follow the recommendations of this book would require a serious life-style overhaul. (And the rhetoric that they use for their recommendations is a bit strong.) I would either need to start spending a whole lot more money on organic fruits, vegetables, meats and dairy, or I would have to start my own farm where I get up every day to milk a cow and then make my own butter and cheese in addition to sprouting my grain and having an organic garden. This really not an option right now.
 I am a mom who works full-time. I consider myself accomplished if my kids and house are clean and I can get them to eat fruits and vegetables. If I could find the time to make my own butter, cheese and sprouted bread on a regular basis, I would probably do other things like spend more time with my kids, practice the piano, read more books, serve in my community, or do more than the bare minimum of cleaning in my house. It’s just not realistic to spend that much time in the kitchen, and this is coming from someone who likes to cook. I am skeptical that eating an all-natural, all organic diet is really worth the extra cost and effort. Perhaps it might add a couple of years to my life, but to get those couple years I would have to spend more than a couple of years in the kitchen. I am ok with only living into my 90’s.  (I also have to confess that the thought of giving up white sugar and chocolate is a little daunting. Heather needs herself some dark chocolate sometimes.)
  One more thing, if I follow their recommendations, I would starve every time I went to work. Obviously the hospital cafeteria wouldn’t cut it, and if I bring leftovers from home my only method of heating them is the microwave. Also a big no-no. So either I could haul my toaster oven to work in my bag every day or after nine hours someone would find me curled up under a computer whimpering for a Cafe Rio salad and Oreo ice cream. Let’s not even think of what would happen after twelve and a half hours, or heaven forbid the days that last longer than that.
 And of course, this wouldn’t really be a cookbook review if I didn’t at least try one of their recipes. I tried the sourdough pizza crust. It didn’t work out, period. The instructions say to make a ball of dough and let it rise for 12-24 hours. It should be doubled in size and bubbly. 22 hours later it wasn’t. It smelled good, but it hadn’t changed and I didn’t think it could make an edible pizza crust. There are several other recipes that look good, so I’ll keep the book around and give them a whirl.
 In conclusion, some interesting ideas, but not ones that are reasonably implemented in modern society. Not to say I wouldn’t try some of these methods sometime, but right now for me (and probably most people), it’s just not realistic.


4 Responses to “Book Review: The Diet Rebel’s Cookbook”

  1. Kendra says:

    I couldn't agree with you more. I think you just have to take it at face value and decide what you can implement in your own life. It can be overwhelming. Also a step at a time always helps me. Just small baby steps. It's way important for you to spend your time with your family and not worry to much. We all know what is healthy and we can try our best as moms to feed our families healthy, but hey a sugar chocolate splurge every once in a while is gonna stay on my agenda for life!!

  2. Heather says:

    Amen! Some things are not really worth worrying about.

  3. Melissa Louise says:

    I find that when I travel, got to work, or am going to be out of the house anywhere, just making sure to pack fresh fruits and veggies the way God made them is a great solution. Hungry? Eat an apple, etc. It does require some additional planning, but is more than worth the effort.

  4. Heather says:

    I always bring fresh fruit and vegetables to work and on vacations. Just last week, my friend thought it was interesting that I had a whole fresh chopped pineapple in my bag for my kids to snack on when we were at an activity instead of cookies or crackers. It is a great solution. However, fresh fruits and veggies alone will not sustain me through a road trip or a 12 hour shift.

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