30 June 2008

Gillian McKeith's Food Bible (Gillian McKeith)

'The Complete A-Z Guide to a Healthy Life'

Available at all good bookstores, courtesy of Penguin Books South Africa and delivered to me by both Penguin and the team at MediaCo UK

The only fair way to begin this review is to say that I’ve been on every diet known to civilised man – and some that even uncivilised man wouldn’t tolerate. From Atkins to Zone; Blood Type to South Beach; grapefruit to veggie soup; and everything in between. Including only eating foods that are purple.

Not too long ago, I picked up a book called You Are What You Eat, by Gillian McKeith – who turned out to be that blonde lady on TV who examines people’s tongues and poo (although not at the same time, thank G-d). I read it, made a long list of foods to seek out, foods to avoid and foods to buy – and never looked at the list again.

It seemed, at the time, that McKeith advised eating a lot of weird healthy stuff I’d never heard of and didn’t know where to find. I even joked that ‘tincture of spider’ and ‘essence of seaweed gathered at midnight’ weren’t my cup of tea, so to speak.

Enter: McKeith’s latest offering, Gillian McKeith’s Food Bible – . This time, it’s a different story. Not because I’m more committed to my health (I ate MacDonalds yesterday). Not because I know where to find healthy stuff (okay, I do, but it’s far). It’s different this time because the book is so flippin’ easy to follow.

It really is a complete A-Z guide, detailing the key health factors, what makes up a healthy diet in general, which foods to eat at which age and stage of life, and then how to use food to prevent or treat a list of staggering conditions – including acne, Alzheimer’s, autism, breast cancer, bronchitis, bruising … I could go on for 200 pages (the book does).

And for each ailment, there are sections entitled ‘Causes may include’; ‘Action plan’; ‘Eat/drink’; ‘Avoid’; Herbs and supplements’; and ‘Extra tips’.

So let’s say I’m experiencing bloating. (Just to be hypothetical, you understand. Not because I have any idea what it’s like to lug a huge swollen stomach around for days on end, like a kangaroo’s pouch.) This book doesn’t, like other diet books, say, ‘Well, bran’s bad for you, because you’re in the O blood group. Stay away from it at all costs, or die.’

It says, drink warm water, chew really well, avoid refined carbs, consider a couple of supplements, combine food carefully, eat when relaxed, close your mouth when you eat, etc., but in a lot more detail – and more importantly, with good reasons that are specific to the condition in question!

The clincher is, it’s not a once-off read-this-book-and-change-your-life situation. It’s a tome-for-the-home. A big, heavy, easy-to-follow guide to feeling better – all the time, most of the time, as needed, or almost never. It is what it promises to be: a bible. And I intend not only to treasure my own copy, but to give one as a gift to everyone who’s important to me.

For more info on Gillian, her philosophies and her following, visit
www.gillianmckeithclinic.com, www.mckeithinteractive.com or www.gillianmckeithclub.com, or take the quiz at http://www.gillianmckeith.info/yourbody/health/questionnaire/index.php.


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