Tuesday, January 18, 2011

What I'm Reading Now: Skinny Thinking by Laura Katleman-Prue and Appetite for Reduction by Isa Chandra Moskowitz

Sometimes writing blog posts is difficult. I have so many thoughts running through my brain that I find it hard to begin. Especially when my brain is being flooded with interesting ideas from the books that I am reading. One thing that I have found on my weight loss/health journey is that my learning NEVER stops. I usually have 5 or more books that I am reading at once--ranging from pleasure fiction to healthy vegan cookbooks to the psychology of weight loss to dieting advice. I like it all and I like it all at once. I know, it's a little weird.

Anyway, what all of this reading makes me think is this:

What if you made your health the top priority in your life?

Because that's how I feel right now. My health is my top priority. And I don't feel guilty about it either. The old me would have. I would have been thinking, "Oh, that's so indulgent! My husband and my kids and  my business and my ______ need to be my top priority." But guess what, if I'm not in tip top shape, than not only do I suffer, but my husband and kids and business and ______ all suffer along with me. And that's no good at all.

So for those of you here reading this blog who have issues with compulsive overeating and emotional eating, I recommend Skinny Thinking by Laura Katleman-Prue. You may know that I am a HUGE fan of The Beck Diet Solution by Judith S. Beck as a system of altering your thought patterns from those of a heavy person to those of a thin person. This stuff works. If you haven't read Beck, what are you waiting for?

If you have read Beck than you know how powerful the system is, but the journey doesn't end there. It's a lifelong process and we need all of the support we can get. That's where books like Skinny Thinking come in. Katleman-Prue's thoughts and ideas are right in line with the mental work that I have done with The Beck Diet Solution, they just provide another person's insights into the same recovery process. It's actually really exciting to read Skinny Thinking and to see how far I have come mentally with my relationship with food. I highly recommend reading it if you struggle with emotional eating or compulsive overeating.

The other book that I am very enthusiastic about right now is Isa Chandra Moskowitz's Appetite for Reduction. For those of you who don't know who Isa is, she's a very successful vegan cookbook author, who wrote, among other things, Veganomicon and Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. I own a copy of Veganomicon but would never purchase a copy of Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. Why? Because I know myself, and vegan or not, those cupcakes would take over my body and mind. Who needs that?

But back to my copy of Veganomicon. I picked it up in the beginning of my vegan path, knowing how immensely popular it is, hoping that I would discover a world of healthy food in it. NOT! I quickly realized that it was just vegan food, probably delicious, but no better for my waistline than spagetti and meatballs. So it sits on my shelf to this day.

Imagine how shocked I was when I found out that Isa has just published a new cookbook entitled Appetite for Reduction. It seems that all of that "vegan" food she had been cooking up for years developing her cookbooks got her into some trouble, if you know what I mean. Now, from the introduction, it appears she got herself a copy of Dr. Fuhrman's Eat to Live. "My decision was a personal one. My knees were achy, my periods were irregular, and my energy levels were low. I needed to change what I was eating--less fat, less sugar--and I needed to get more active . . . when I eat low-fat, plant-based meals I feel better, weight does come off, and unless I skip breakfast or something, I never feel hungry. It's become a sustainable way of life for me!"

What's her new mission? Nutrition! Nutrient dense, low calorie, low fat recipes. A whole new book of them. How cool is that?! I was rooting for you Isa! She has hit it out of the ballpark with this one. To everyone reading this blog: GET THIS BOOK NOW.

And because I don't have a recipe to share with you today, I leave you with this:
The Wannabe Chef's Snickerdoodle Dessert Hummus
Couldn't wait to get home and make it after I saw it on a blog this morning!

How do you think it tasted????

Have you read any books about the psychology of weight loss? Do you recommend any in particular?

Or is emotional eating not an issue for you at all (luck out!)?

What are your thoughts on "vegan cooking" vs. "healthy vegan cooking"? What does "healthy" cooking mean to you? Has reading any particular book influenced your thinking on these matters?

Peace and love folks!


JL goes Vegan said...

I'll admit, I wasn't going to get the book. I love Isa, but in my new year of no dieting, it seemed hypocritical. But perhaps instead of thinking of this as a diet book I'll consider it a more healthful way of cooking vegan ;) Off to "add to cart" right now!

Wendy said...

JL--you are absolutely right about looking at life from a NO DIETS! perspective. It seems like everyone now is in agreement that "dieting" in that way is a trap. But the word "diet" in and of itself does not imply restriction for a limited amount of time. So when I use the term diet, I mean it to be, simply, a way of eating. Like, "my diet consists primarily of vegetables, fruits, beans, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and avocado." I'm not aftraid of the word, just like I am no longer scared of the word "fat."

Virtually Vegan Mama said...

Hi..just found your blog and I love it! I just started my own nutritarian blog coming up with my own recipes...having great success so far! check it out if you get a chance =)


Kate (What Kate is Cooking) said...

I definitely love 'healthy vegan' cookbooks. I've seen so many that are basically regular cookbooks that sub in things like vegan mayonnaise, fake meat, and stuff like that. Nothing wrong with that, but it's not exactly rocket science. I love vegan recipes that use real food :)

Wendy said...

Virtually Vegan Mama-
I wanted to leave a comment on your blog but the comment section was malfunctioning.

Thank you for contacting me! I'm so excited that you have started a new Nutritarian blog--there are so few of us out there it seems, at least what I can find! I've added you to my blogroll so that we can really start to develop a network of Nutritarian bloggers. Looking forward to getting to know you!

Liz said...

Try the Chickpea Piccata from Appetite for Reduction - I served it over a bed of arugula and mashed potatoes and it may be the most delicious vegan dish I have made. SO yummy!

Evan Thomas said...

I'm glad you liked the recipe! I think I prefer to eat it the same way as your son: finger dipping straight from the food processor :-)

kitchenrecovery said...

I'm also a sucker for books. I bought Appetite for Reduction last week as well. Along with the new edition of Eat to Live. I had previously just gotten from the library.
Hopefully there will be some good recipes!

Leigh said...

I was impressed with veganomicon if only because I found it really informative in the beginning sections about vegan eating etc. etc. But you're right, a lot of the recipes do not promote healthy eating as such. The different key symbols were helpful, but I found the low fat one occurred more infrequently than I would have preferred =)

Your son is so cute!!

Sindy said...

I'm so excited about Isa's new book - I just ordered it. I've LOVED her first book, Vegan with a Vengeance. I love reading vegan cookbooks and am moving more to healthier ones. Another good one is the Kind Diet by Alicia Silverstone.

Alicia@ eco friendly homemaking said...

Thanks for the information on the books. We have just recently started to cook some vegan recipes and have loved everyone of them so far.The pictures are just adorable. What a cutie!!

Sue in Ohio said...

Hi Wendy, Glad to hear Isa's book is good; I had just ordered it (along with Kris Carr's Crazy Sexy Diet).
Had to laugh at your book habit; that's me too...always 4 or 5 books going at one time.

Sue, reading in Ohio

Kathleen @ KatsHealthCorner said...

That is awesome! I am definitely going to have to check out that book! I love how she is changing her life around and focusing on health and nutrition. :)

Dani- danielleislosingit said...

The Beck Diet Solution is the best book i've ever read, not to mention the only one that I've actually lost weight with. It gets to the heart of the issue. I lost twenty pounnds in three mos two years ago.

Sadly, I am trying to lose weight again, an I've even been digging for that book in my storage (can't find it). I absolutely love it and know it works.

Michelle said...

Hi Wendy, I just came across your blog and love it! I thought about ordering Appetite for Reduction, but haven't yet. I thought it was more of a "diet" book. I'll have to add it to my list now though. I love Isa, so I don't know why I thought I didn't need that book. :o)
I just ordered Crazy Sexy Diet by Kris Carr. I've been a vegan for almost a year, but really need to clean my diet up. I want to start eating more raw foods.

otherwisehealthy said...

Great post, Wendy! I love the pics of your little guy sampling straight from the food processor. I can relate to a lot of what you talk about on your blog - my relationship with food hasn't been great, but we're working on it! This year, I decided to get rid of some of my "diet/healthy lifestyle" books; too many sit on my shelves. I am trying to work on trusting myself - I know how to eat healthy, eat clean, eat the appropriate amount (that last one is the hardest!!!).
I'm a big fan of the "cognitive-behaviour" work...change your thoughts, change your behaviours. Sounds like Skinny Thinking is a good book for me to read!

Farty Girl said...

Wow. Thank you. I can't wait to make this.

Anonymous said...

I just got Color Me Vegan by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, and I am loving it!

Blogging tips