Hardcover: 322 pages
Publisher: Rodale Books; 1st edition (December 24, 2012)
Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 1.1 x 9.4 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (1,373 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #8,141 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #30 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Special Diet > Allergies #45 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Special Diet > Gluten Free #52 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Special Diet > Weight Loss
Dr. Davis has succeeded in drawing attention to the dangers of wheat and the benefits of a low-carb diet beyond what I thought possible. He builds a convincing case against this new plant that he says shouldn't even be called "wheat," and he documents most of his arguments with supportive research. I was already avoiding most grains and decided to eliminate wheat after reading Wheat Belly. I have been following a low-carb lifestyle and writing about it for over 13 years, so it wasn't a radical change for me.I do have a major concern about both of the Wheat Belly books, however. Ten out of the 29 recipes in the original Wheat Belly call for flax, as do most of the recipes in the new cookbook. Flax meal has become a staple food for many who want to avoid wheat. It is used in gluten-free baked goods and as a flour substitute in low-carb foods. It is also used as a replacement for eggs in low-fat and vegan recipes and as a supplement to provide fiber and omega-3 fats. Many people are eating it in great quantities, thinking it is the ultimate superfood or, as one writer said to me, "The most powerful food on the planet."A closer look shows some pretty scary stuff about flax, rancidity, for one. Flax contains very fragile oils that are easily damaged by heat, light, air, and time. It should be stored in the refrigerator and used promptly. Only fresh, ripe, freshly-ground seeds are safe to eat, so obviously, cooking with flax is not a good idea.Flax has a lot in common with soy, once the darling of the healthfood crowd. Both soy and flax contain estrogen mimics. (An extract of soy is used as hormone replacement therapy for treating menopause symptoms.
You don't need to have read the author's other books, including Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back to Health or Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight! to get up to speed on the whole "lose the wheat" system. All the general info is here.It can be summed up, as the author does, very simply: "Wheat is not to be trusted" and in even more blunt terms, he calls it "the Enron of the food world." Dr. William Davis adds that whole grains (which are considered healthy by many ) can contribute to high blood pressure and cholesterol, irritable bowel syndrome - even depression. Of course, the author goes far beyond this bare bones summary in the book.The Wheat Berry Cookbook is divided into two parts, along with a detailed introduction. Part I focuses on The Wheat Belly Way of eating. Part 2 centers on recipes as well as some very intriguing success stories, complete with photos of the people who share their experiences. I was fascinated by these personal accounts.Now for the recipes:Examples of breakfast choices include french toast, pancakes, frittatas, homemade turkey sausage, breakfast egg biscuits, etc. Main dish lunch and dinner selections favor plenty of traditional fare: Braised Pot Roast with Vegetables (using coconut flour as a thickener for the gravy), Pecan-breaded pork chops, Herbed Chicken, etc.
The Wheat Belly Cookbook is a great complement to Dr. William Davis' book "Wheat Belly", which argued that today's wheat is really a "Frankengrain" because it has been generically engineered for increased crop yield and is no longer a natural product. Dr Davis believes that modern wheat is at the root of obesity as well as many other modern ailments, including heart disease, acid reflux, edema and even arthritis.The cookbook includes a very good (and concise) overview of Dr. Davis's main points, so you could probably get away with just buying this cookbook if you don't already have the first book. The sections on avoiding "wheat withdrawal" and setting up a wheat-free kitchen are also very good.The recipes themselves are clearly explained and easy to follow, although some are fairly complex. There are a total of 150, divided into categories including: Breakfasts, Sandwiches and Salads, Appetizers, Soups and Stews, Main Dishes, Side Dishes, Sauces and Salad Dressing, and Bakery. I was quite amazed that many favorite foods that normally rely very heavily on wheat were included. I have actually tried making the pizza and found it be great!One problem is that many of the recipes do require a fair amount of time. If you want a wheat-free (and low-carb) alternative that can be prepared very quickly (or on the run), I would also recommend The Protein Express Diet: Rapid Weight Loss with a Simplified Low Carb, High Protein Diet, which can be used in conjunction with the Wheat Belly program.
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