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Book of the month - Oct-2014

posted Oct 8, 2014, 9:24 AM by Fernando Echeveste   [ updated Oct 12, 2014, 7:10 AM ]
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http://www.amazon.co.uk/Freedom-Diet-Trap-Slim-Life/dp/0007284926/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1412784999&sr=1-1&keywords=slim+4+life++jason+vale
I first came across this book in 2011 when I was at work. My colleague sitting next to me had the book on his desk and for some reason it caught my eye. I asked him if I could had a look at it. I took it and I opened it at a random page. It turned out to be the starting page for the chapter on Sugar. I read the first page, then the second, then the third. Five minutes later I was still immersed in the book. I was so into it that I had to snap out of it and get back to work. I could have taken it, start this time from the beginning and finish it in one go. Anyway, I took note of the book and the next day I went to one of the book stores in West End and bought it.
 
The book is easy to read and gets to the point of things. Many will know Jason as the "Juice Master" (it's on the cover of the book as well) but as he says, this is not a book on juicing and if you're not into that you don't have to do it. It is about reaching a permanent state of healthiness by changing our approach and our relationship with food. The book covers many topics: How to set free from diets, the truth about Big Pharmaceuticals, how we became obsess counting calories and reading labels, the truth about refined sugar, how bad it is for us and its drug-like effect, the truth about fat-free food and how Big Food and Big Drink adds even more sugar to this food to compensate for lack of flavour, the truth about salt and how refined table salt isn't necessary at all -just like refined sugar and fat- to a healthy human diet.
 
There's also a chapter on meat (eating or not eating meat, it's always a debatable subject), but one thing I like about this book is its objectivity and the fact that is not intensively advocating for one side or the other. Jason also points out that being vegetarian or even vegan is not always synonym of eating healthy and he asks the following question to get his point across: If you had 2 dishes, one with pasta and the other one with chicken and some steamed vegetables, which one would you thing is the most healthy? A lot of people would choose the pasta, but if the pasta is made of white refined carbs, we'd be better off eating the chicken and the vegetables, so long as the chicken is coming from a good source.
 
As for my personal experience after I read this book, I can say that without taking extreme measures, my relationship with food changed for better. For example:
 
  • I stopped eating sugary cereals in the morning and I eat porridge with fruit and nuts instead.
  • I haven't given up meat but I eat less and I make sure is of good quality.
  • I stopped drinking milk and that did wonders to my digestion (i.e. no more heartburns).
  • I try to avoid sugary snacks between meals. Carrots and celery with humus is my favourite snack.
  • I try to eat more vegetables. Avocados is definitely my favourite one.
  • I stopped buying cartons of juice at the supermarket and I have natural, fresh juice at home.
  • I haven't set one foot at McDonald's or any other Fast-food restaurant since 2012.
Apart from the last bullet which is 100% true, I still eat refined sugars and many times I don't eat healthy (Fish & Chips anyone?), so I still have to improve  on my relationship with food. However, I don't feel anxious or like if I'm depriving myself of anything. Instead, this is a journey I'm quite enjoying. In the end the key to eating healthy and enjoying life is moderation.
 
Another thing this book did for me is that it expanded my horizon and encouraged me to explore and read more about these topics. Since I read this book I read a few other books which go deeper on the subject and include statistics and scientific studies showing the reality of things when it comes to Big Food, Big Drink and Big Pharmaceuticals.
 
Happy reading. I hope you enjoy this book as much as I did.