Good Food, Great Medicine

good food great medicine hassell lithtex 2012Good Food, Great Medicine: A Mediterranean Diet and Lifestyle Guide (Third Edition) by Miles Hassell, MD, and Mea Hassell, 4/5

This homey guide to healthy living contains all the information I imagine one could possibly need about the Mediterranean diet and lifestyle, including medical research, advice on nutrition, sleeping habits and exercise, and a large collection of recipes.  The authors’ approach is good-humored, unpatronizing and realistic–well-suited to the common-sense advice they give and the varying amounts of commitment they can expect from their readers.  I haven’t tried any of the recipes, which is why I give the book four stars instead of five.

Eat more simple, natural food that is close to its original form and eat less prepackaged, processed or sugary junk…thanks in part, I guess, to a relatively healthy upbringing, most of this book fit into the “well, duh!” category for me and it is the duh-factor that I find most convincing about the Mediterranean lifestyle.  This is no silver bullet, no gimmicky fad diet; it can’t be boiled down to “oh, I don’t eat carbs” or “I count calories” or “I fast intermittently” or “I only eat raw food,” etc.  Unfortunately, there’s nothing very sexy about a well-balanced, natural, sustainable approach to eating that requires lots of common sense and self-control.

Self-control–there’s the rub.  From both observation and first-hand experience, I’ve found that lack of self-control and lack of motivation, not lack of information, are at the root of unhealthy, excessive eating habits.  Knowledge may be power but it isn’t will power.  I can read a million studies about how doing x lowers your risk of dying by 35% and not doing y makes you 20% less likely to get cancer, but when I stop reading, it’s often because I need to put Nutella on my toast while it’s still warm.  Still, we all make decisions every day that affect our health, whether positively or negatively; for me, this book’s value is in helping me make a few better, more informed, eating decisions than I might have made before.  In this way, I hope to continue refining my approach to eating from merely counting calories to emphasizing those foods that are both good for me and make me feel good.

Why I read it: my dad had some heart trouble last year and his doctor recommended this book to him.

A picture quote I made:

A picture quote from Good Food, Great Medicine by Miles Hassell, MD, and Mea Hassell.  "Too busy to exercise? We understand. One reasonable approach is to exercise on every day that you do not want to have a heart attack or stroke."

Advertisements

Your Thoughts

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s