Paperback: 784 pages
Publisher: North Atlantic Books; 3 Rev Exp edition (November 5, 2002)
Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 1.8 x 10 inches
Shipping Weight: 3.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (349 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #5,553 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #1 in Books > Health, Fitness & Dieting > Alternative Medicine > Chinese Medicine #2 in Books > Medical Books > Allied Health Professions > Diet Therapy #4 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Special Diet > Whole Foods
If I could give this book 10,000 stars I would. This book is absolutely incredible! Some points:- This book is HUGE!! 750 pages full of information (I was surprised I didn't have to pay much more for it -- for the amount of info this books contains, I would have easily expected to pay at least twice what it costs!)- Amazingly well-written!- Takes no sides, gives you the facts in a clear, concise way- Complete with theories of Chinese Medicine and descriptions of disease patterns and how to cure them- Very up-to-date -- this book is not just about old remedies -- it discusses all the issues of the "modern westerner"- Very well organized with an incredible index that you can use to find absolutely anything- Lists more foods than you probably know of, as well as the characteristics and therapeutic uses of each- Provides numerous recipes (though it's not meant to be a cookbook, I was surprised to find that it not only describes the foods, it tells you how to *use* them, how to *prepare* them, and even how to store them!)If you are looking for a guide to foods that is modern and up-to-date, yet helds to the traditional premises, this is it!This book made me think about what I've been eating and drinking (and I don't mean alcohol -- you'll find some eye-opening truths here about the water you drink, as well as what the meat, poultry, and eggs go through before they get to your fridge.)This book made me become a vegan.This book made me purify my water before I drink it.This book made me a conscious citizen of the planet!But don't worry -- there is NO preaching! If you are intent on eating meat -- fine! All the suggestions in this book provide for carnivores, vegetarians, vegans, and everyone in between! It simply tells you te facts and allows you to think for yourself.Thank you, Paul Pitchford, for putting together such an incredible book -- it's an immense achievment!
I have fibromyalgia and got tired of doctors experimenting on me with drugs and other substances. The nutrition information out there is highly contradictory, and I wanted to find a way to eat and to live that would make me feel better but also be practical to do and make sense.Pitchford presents his material in a logical and mostly easy-to-understand way. Drawing from Asian traditions (mostly Chinese medicine but also Ayervedic) with a wealth of supporting Western research, he goes from general to specific so that both those without medical training and those with can make good use of the book. It's far more than just "eat less refined food." If the end result is that you do so, you'll have gotten plenty of value for your purchase and the good news is that you'll want to. But Pitchford also presents much more information, and although the wealth of specifics pertaining to Chinese medicine were too much for me to understand and reconcile, his approaches to my general constitution type and specific medical complaints were very easy to understand and implement and what's best, they work.Pitchford doesn't have a particular dietary axe to grind, other than the aforementioned elimination of refined foods. His recommended way to eat incorporates lots of whole grains and vegetables, but he doesn't advocate vegetarianism for everyone, nor does he present absolutes such as "you should never eat ______." He talks about easing into a new way of eating and makes it painless to achieve. I have shelves full of books on diet and health, but this is the only one I consider indispensable. I wish I'd started living my life this way before I started collapsing. Thankfully, I am well on my way back to a normal life, and I consider this book a large part of the reason why.
The author does a great job of covering a vast amount of information with a good amount of detail. The probem I have with this book is that it is extremely bias - it suggests or implies that one would/should ultimately aspire to Sattva ideals. Primarily a lacto-vegetarian diet that tries to eat one to two meals a day. This is simply not in the best interests of many people, certainly not children, teens, or most adults that are working in the real world. To imply it as an ideal - means that anything less than is inferior. It is also not in line with Traditional Chinese nutrition theory.Furthermore, the food energy classifications are inconsistantly incorrect. He confuses or miscatagorizes many of the foods. Many of the foods he categorizes as cool are in fact warming and vis versa. Many writers that come from a macrobiotic background reverse Yin/Yang, Warm/Cool from that found in TCM however that does not seem to be the case here as the energetics are sometimes in agreement with classic TCM and other times not. A much more accurate catagorization of food energetics can be found in Daverick Leggett's books, Helping Ourselves and Recipes for Self-Healing.That said if one really understand the asian energetics of food and has a strong sense of good nutrition the remainder of the information is valuable. However it should not be relied on for accurancy or used as a resource or required text in nutrition programs or acupuncture schools due to it's obvious bias and glaring inaccuracies.
This book is very thorough and comprehensive. The advice works, explaining to me things like how coffee, hot sauce, processed breakfast cereals, etc is bad for me. As a recovering alcoholic, this book has helped me self-diagnose myself with having an unhealthy liver, along with the steps to take for healing. You can't just buy this book and live to be 100 and/or stop getting sick, reading this book and applying it takes discipline and effort. Most all the foods you enjoy are the ones that are bad for you, and seeking out and preparing the healthiest foods is quite a chore. Being healthy is a prerequisite to being happy, and the best guidance on health ive found after much searching is certainly this book. Buy it.
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