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UnDiet and Friends: A Reading Guide To A Healthy Life


UnDiet-and-FriendsOne of the questions I am being asked most often in my interviews is about why I wrote UnDiet. In essence, it had been my experience that there wasn’t a book out there that covered the full spectrum of what a healthy lifestyle was- from food, to drink, to environment, to beauty care to general lifestyle with recipes, a meal plan and a transition guide.

Yes- UnDiet packs in a lot, but there is no way I could share everything there is to know in 264 pages. I thought it might be helpful then to share with you some of my favourite books that would make a great pair with UnDiet. Since many online book stores offer free shipping when you reach a certain amount in your cart, getting these as a pair or a trio just makes sense.

UnDiet + Salt Sugar Fat by Michael Moss

If you want good reason to never touch processed food again.

UnDiet Salt Sugar Fat

Michael Moss is an investigative reporter for the New York times and for this book- he pulled out all his mad investigative reporter skills. He takes the reader inside the boardrooms with these food giants and leaves his own judgement out- something I could never do. I can honestly tell you that I had to stop reading this book before bed- as learning about the chemical evolution of instant pudding seriously gave me nightmares.

Moss unearths marketing campaigns designed—in a technique adapted from tobacco companies—to redirect concerns about the health risks of their products: Dial back on one ingredient, pump up the other two, and tout the new line as “fat-free” or “low-salt.” He talks to concerned executives who confess that they could never produce truly healthy alternatives to their products even if serious regulation became a reality.  You will never look at a nutrition label the same way again- which is exactly why you should be reading it.

Buy in Canada / Buy in US

UnDiet + Pandora’s Lunchbox by Melanie Warner

If you’ve started to wonder what your kids are really begging to have in their lunch.

UnDiet Pandora's LunchboxI was introduced to Melanie by my dear friend Daedra at Strawesome and I thought our books could be the best of friends.

The synopsis of this book: If a piece of individually wrapped cheese retains its shape, color, and texture for years, what does it say about the food we eat and feed our children?

Former New York Times business reporter and mother Melanie Warner decided to explore that question when she observed the phenomenon of the indestructible cheese. She began an investigative journey that takes her to research labs, food science departments, and factories around the country. What she discovered provides a rare, eye-opening—and sometimes disturbing—account of what we’re really eating. Warner looks at how decades of food science have resulted in the cheapest, most abundant, most addictive, and most nutritionally devastating food in the world, and she uncovers startling evidence about the profound health implications of the packaged and fast foods that we eat on a daily basis.

If you go to her website- you’ll find loads of awesome food rotting (or not really rotting) videos.

Buy in CanadaBuy in US

UnDiet + In Defence Of Food by Michael Pollan

If this is all brand new and you want a different perspective on why real food is the only option. 

Defense_of_food_coverHumans used to know how to eat well, Pollan argues. But the balanced dietary lessons that were once passed down through generations have been confused, complicated, and distorted by food industry marketers, nutritional scientists, and journalists-all of whom have much to gain from our dietary confusion. As a result, we face today a complex culinary landscape dense with bad advice and foods that are not “real.” These “edible foodlike substances” are often packaged with labels bearing health claims that are typically false or misleading. Indeed, real food is fast disappearing from the marketplace, to be replaced by “nutrients,” and plain old eating by an obsession with nutrition that is, paradoxically, ruining our health, not to mention our meals. Michael Pollan’s sensible and decidedly counterintuitive advice is: “Don’t eat anything that your great-great grandmother would not recognize as food.”

Buy in CanadaBuy in US

UnDiet + Wheat Belly by Dr. William Davis

If you needing more info on gluten and high glycemic carbs are taking you down.

wheat-bellyI loved this book and it made me want to read stuff out loud to whomever was beside me. In UnDiet, I don’t get into why we cut out gluten, I just don’t mention it at all- anywhere, including in the recipes. It’s simply not part of my life. If you want to know why, Wheat Belly covers it. I can’t say I would recommend the recipes in this book as they involve microwaving eggs and flax in plastic and many of the desserts call for Splenda. What I love most is that everyone seems to be reading this book which is inviting restaurants to label which meals are gluten-free and helping nearly 30% of the American population to transition towards a gluten-free diet which can only help promote health.

Buy in CanadaBuy in US

UnDiet + Knockout by Suzanne Somers

If you are looking for an alternative approach to cancer prevention or treatment.

suzanneThis book came highly recommended, otherwise I am not sure I would have ever picked it up. The interviews with these doctors are astounding. The book is a series of interviews- a full spectrum of docs who talk about integrative approaches to cancer treatments, the most effective ways to use conventional treatments and what types of cancers they work best on. There are also fantastic recommendations for the ultimate in cancer prevention. There is also great information about where funds go from various fundraising initiatives and how research is being conducted in the “fight” for the cure.

Buy in CanadaBuy in US


UnDiet + Lead In Your Lipstick by Gillian Deacon 

If you want more information on the toxicity of your cosmetics.

lipstick-coverThis book goes great with Chapter 9 of Undiet, Living Au Naturelle. Each morning we spritz, soak, and slather ourselves in 127 different chemicals, many of which are toxic. Each time we draw a bubble bath for a child, lather foaming cream for a shave, or deodorize our underarms, we expose our bodies to innumerable chemicals with limited research on their long-term health effects. The cosmetics industry is not required to prove an ingredient is safe for human health before it is used in a consumer product. Shocking, but true.

As a breast cancer survivor, Gill Deacon takes the issue of toxins in bodycare products to heart. Her book is a friendly, informative and meticulously researched guide to more considered options for personal care, showing how to navigate misleading labels and greenwash, and ultimately arrive at safer choices, for a healthier family and a healthier world.

Buy in CanadaBuy in US


UnDiet + Slow Death By Rubber Duck by Rick Smith and Bruce Laurie
If you don’t believe your every day “safe” level or exposure to toxic substances has any affect. 

slowdeathbyrubberduckThis book will simultaneously freak you right out and blow your mind. It goes hand-in-hand with chapter 8 of UnDiet, There is No Away. Chapter-by-chapter the most chemicals we come in contact with everyday are explored and broken down. This includes everything from the mercury in a seemingly harmless can of tuna, to the phthalates in air fresheners to the anti-bacterial chemicals used on garbage bags and their impact in the landfills.  Pollution is no longer just about belching smokestacks and ugly sewer pipes – now, it’s personal.

Smith and Lourie ingested and inhaled a host of things that surround all of us all the time. This book exposes the extent to which we are poisoned every day of our lives. For this book, over the period of a week – the kind of week that would be familiar to most people – the authors use their own bodies as the reference point and tell the story of pollution in our modern world, the miscreant corporate giants who manufacture the toxins, the weak-kneed government officials who let it happen, and the effects on people and families across the globe. Parents and concerned citizens will have to read this book.

Buy in CanadaBuy in US


UnDiet + The Butcher’s Guide To Well Raised Meat
by Alexandra Zissu, Jessica Appleton and Joshua Appleton 

If you are kicking it plant-based but want to consume meat responsibly on occasion.

Butcher's Guide to meat UnDietThis suggestion would likely surprise you the most. It is true that I like to rock a plant-based life most often, but I certainly don’t expect everyone to eat just like me. UnDiet is about defining the best way to eat for you that is healthy promoting and conscious. That means that if you chose to eat animal-based foods, you best be doing so very well informed and responsibly. To ensure you are well informed, know what to ask and what to look for, this guide will be helpful. The Butcher’s Guide to Well-Raised Meat is a compendium of their firsthand knowledge. You’ll learn which cuts of meat to use, how to prepare various types of meat and all with accompanying step-by-step photographs. Differences among breeds and ideal cooking methods for various cuts are covered, and the Applestones’ decoding of misleading industry terminology and practices will help consumers make smarter, healthier purchases that can also help change what’s wrong with meat in America today. This is the definitive guide to eating great meat—responsibly.

Buy in CanadaBuy in US


UnDiet + Eat Raw, Eat Well by Chef Doug McNish

If you want more plant power in your life and looking for a tonne of simple and delicious raw food recipes.

eatrawI do believe that we should be eating something raw with every meal. Doug’s book makes that very easy. As a fellow Torontonian and leader in the organic, awesome veg-loving food movement, Doug has compiled a varied selection of recipes from hearty breakfasts that get your day off to an energized start, to satisfying soups and sumptuous main courses, to lush decadent desserts that will satisfy the most discriminating sweet tooth. He also includes loads of tips to ensure success along the way.

Doug makes the absolute best kale salads, slaws, and raw breads you’ve ever tasted. His raw chef skills are one-of-a-kind- and what’s awesome is that this book can make you a one-of-a-kind raw food expert too.

Buy in CanadaBuy in US

So there you have it! These are my top reco’s of books that would make great friends with UnDiet. This Wednesday evening, we’re hosting the behind the scenes tour of UnDiet. If you have the book, or are on your way to getting it, make sure you register it over here to get access to all the goodies. 

Question of the day: What health and lifestyle books have influenced your life?

3 responses to “UnDiet and Friends: A Reading Guide To A Healthy Life”

  1. Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat says:

    Oh I am SUCH a sucker for nutrition-related books and all of these get me SO excited! I’ve read a few but you’ve given me some good new suggestions. Tosca Reno’s Eat Clean Diet books are some of my favourites because she’s about real food which is totally in line with my dietary philosophy. I also loved In Defense of Food!

  2. Jesse @OutToLunchC says:

    I too love reading nutrition related books. I haven’t heard of half of these book so I’m excited to add them to my reading list. Thanks for the reviews.

  3. Christa @ Edible Balance says:

    Gosh, I am SO far behind in reading health/nutrition-related books… I have a lot of catching up to do this summer!

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