Saturday, April 9, 2016

Think and Eat Yourself Smart by Dr. Caroline Leaf

book cover
Think and Eat Yourself Smart
by Dr. Caroline Leaf

ISBN-13: 9780801015717
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: Baker Books
Released: April 5, 2016

Source: ebook review copy from the publisher through NetGalley.

Book Description, Modified from NetGalley:
Science is beginning to understand that our thinking has a deep and complicated relationship with our eating. Our thoughts before, during, and after eating profoundly impact our food choices, our digestive health, our brain health, and more.

Dr. Caroline Leaf includes an incredible amount of information that will change readers' eating and thinking habits for the better. Rather than getting caught up in diet fads, Leaf explains that every individual has unique nutritional needs. She shows us how to change the way we think about food and choose the path towards health.

Anyone who struggles with emotional eating or who wants to improve their health will discover how to begin developing a healthier body, brain, and spirit.

My Review:
Think and Eat Yourself Smart describes how to eat and think in healthy ways and reveals how to make life-long changes in how you view and choose food. Since we're all unique individuals, the author explained basic principles rather than promoted specific foods.

In part 1, she concisely summarized a number of critical problems with America's food system. In part 3, she provided practical tips and advice on how to make healthy changes to your thoughts and diet, how to buy healthy food, and how to cook from scratch. She also talked about the benefits of sleep and increased physical activity. She provided 21 recipes (with suggested variations). Part 1 and part 3 aren't technical and can be understood by anyone.

In part 2, she described how toxic thoughts and food choices affect our body. She explained how your mind is impacted by ads, how refined sugar can impair good thinking, the impact of cholesterol, trans fats, and saturated fats on your health (and it may not be what you think), and more. I enjoy technical details and this part had them. She'd also "put it simply" after each important idea, and you can get the overall idea even when the technical details are meaningless to you. This section helps clear up common diet misinformation due to"overblown correlations and inaccurate interpretations" of scientific studies.

Her basic recommendation is to avoid refined and processed foods in favor of whole, local, and organic "real foods," but she also showed how our food choices are rooted in our thoughts about food. I'd recommend this book to those who regularly eat the Modern American Diet but who want to pursue a healthier relationship with food.

If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.

Excerpt: Read an excerpt using Google Preview.


Unknown said...

What's her view on gluten?
Should wheat & wheat products be avoided?


Debbie said...

I just listened to a group of authors talk about their diet plans, so I can't be 100% sure I remember correctly what Dr. Leaf said in her book versus everything shoved in my brain since then. She focused on avoiding the modern American diet (refined, highly-processed, or GMO foods). I'm pretty sure she didn't see an issue with most people eating 100% whole wheat (especially if organic). The exception is, of course, people with celiac disease.