Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Unwrapping the New Year

Happy New Year! It always seems that the New Year is a bit a like a wonderful present - left quietly behind under the tree after the festivities are all over - waiting to cheer and surprise with what might be in store. I love the New Year and the possibilities of fresh starts and change that it heralds. It is a wonderful balance to the comfort of familiarity and tradition that is so much a part of the holiday season. Stability and change - both are great, in moderation!
At this time of year, it is common, and feels natural, to think about things we can improve particularly after the holiday overindulgence with regards to diet and exercise - and there are books and videos galore to guide us in this.
I have been reading two wonderful and inspiring books that have just come from Quadrille Publishing out on this subject. They are very different in style and approach, but share a common view that the path to a healthy body and weight lies not in quick fixes or the indulgence/abstinence rollercoaster that many diets involve and perpetrate. Rather it is about achieving balance in our everyday habits, understanding and choosing the foods that suit us and equally importantly, enjoying eating.

Ian Marber - the Food Doctor - has just published a book entitled How Not To Get Fat. It gives a truly fascinating and unusually clear explanation of how our bodies work in the process of digestion, and the emotional and psychological factors that cause us to gain weight. When I first flicked through this book, I didn't expect to find it as intriguing as it is - there aren't any glossy photos of gorgeous salads and glowing people! - and you have to give it the time and respect that it deserves. I thought I had a fairly good knowledge about nutrition and healthy eating but I was amazed at how much I don't know. Just learning about the biochemistry of digestion was a revelation and made me think about the way that I eat and how a few basic changes can make a big difference.
Ian Marber's approach to the subject of managing weight is so sensitively and respectfully written. It is absolutely packed with interesting points and I am really enjoying reading it.

Eat right for your body type is the new book by Anjum Anand. (The super healthy diet inspired by Ayurveda.)
Anjum's book is another sensitive guide to managing weight. She speaks with an understanding as someone who has battled with her weight in the past. In turning to the Ayurvedic principles, she found a way to eat that is in harmony with her body type. There are three body types and you need to establish which type you are, and how to eat and live to maintain balance and harmony for your type. Good health follows from sticking to the basic principles of finding this balance. I found the subject of Ayurveda and the body really interesting, particularly the spiritual elements of this approach.
This book is packed with beautifully photgraphed dishes of yummy, healthy foods that really inspire you to try them out. The recipes are lovely and all provide variations to suit the different types.

Thank you Quadrille for the opportunity to review these two marvellous books.
So now it's time to start cooking - and eating.
Here's to a happy and harmonious 2010!

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