The Weston A. Price Way

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Book Review Tuesday: "Eat Fat, Lose Fat-The Healthy Alternative to Trans Fats"-by Dr. Mary Enig & Sally Fallon

I think the main thing we need to remember is to keep the main thing the main thing. Traditional eating and food preparation is about nutrient-dense eating. Weight loss comes slowly and gradually, as a by-product of this lifestyle and has never been the primary goal.

Eat Fat, Lose Fat is not on my carousel at the top of the page. I could only chose ten books for that, and this one just didn't make it to my 'Top 10' list. However, that's not to say it isn't packed full of some fantastic information.

Eat Fat, Lose Fat is written by the same great authors as Nourishing Traditions, so it has to be good. Dr. Enig is an international expert on fats and Sally Fallon (Morrell) is the president of the Weston A. Price Foundation.

Although much smaller, this book covers much of the same materials as Nourishing Traditions...much of it in more detail. It hones in on the truth about fats and especially applauds the natural goodness of coconut oil. The book is divided into three parts, 'The Truth About Fats', 'Real Foods-for Healing and Health' and 'Recipes and Resources'.

Inside, you will find three options for traditional eating: One is for rapid weight loss, another is for health recovery, and the third is for maintenance of both with gourmet recipes.

My only real objection with the book is in knowing how difficult it could be for the newcomer to traditional foods and traditional food preparation. It's almost as if it were written for those already on the traditional path.  For a newcomer, the changes required to switch from the modern American diet to a traditional diet can be drastic and include a major culling and replacement of pantry foods, learning to plan ahead much more than we do with processed foods, and also learning a new way to prepare and cook these different foods. You have to admit, that's a lot of changes. Changes generally equal stress and stress often triggers us to react in old, unhealthy ways.

The financial expense of a sudden change can be great, and most of the people I know who have successfully  made the changeover to a traditional diet, have done so gradually...My WAPF Chapter Leader and I like to call it 'baby steps'. Eat Fat, Lose Fat  allows a week for the pantry overhaul and gives great details on how to go about it, but to my simple thinking, it's not enough time, so if you feel pressured, I would think this is an area that could be curbed according to your own ability to embark upon a transformed food lifestyle.

For me, it's important to keep transitions as simple and easy as possible, whenever possible. Otherwise, discouragement may set in causing us to stray from new matter how healthy that commitment may be.

There may be many who are kitchen whizzes and maybe just a bit more organized with their day than I am, who will get this book and easily follow every page. For the rest of us, who may feel a little overwhelmed, take heart. It really is packed with healthful, helpful information and the recipes are more than just tasty. And there are many testimonies of how well it has worked.

Do be sure to glean the knowledge and information imparted about fats. If you are unfamiliar with these truths, it may take some time to wrap your head around it. You will be pleasantly amazed by the information supplied about the superfood/superfat, coconut, and you will likely learn some new things about the harm that can be and has been brought to our bodies via the supposedly healthy, polyunsaturated fats. You will read firm research and studies as well as personal testimonies. You will also learn the reason behind failure in fad diets as well as the 'made-to-fail-so-you'll-have-to-pay-good-money-to-come-back-and-lose-weight-again' programs.

The 'Health Recovery' section tells about bone broths, how to get non-synthetic, non-toxic A & D into your diet, lacto-fermented beverages that give beneficial enzymes and nutrients, raw foods like milk and marinated meats/fish, superfoods and soaked grains. Here, you will also find listed several illnesses and what they tell us our body needs. It is really quite amazing.

The weight loss section tells how to achieve weight loss and I was relieved that it discusses what is right for us as far as 'correct' weight loss. There are two phases here...a two week plan that goes into a second phase, but only if needed. The 'core principles' here are to eat three meals each day...ALWAYS breakfast, eat traditional fats-including (especially) coconut oil, eat nutrient-dense foods, and moderate...not immense...calorie restriction. There are some other important factors as well: no in-between snacks, listening to your body...head hunger or true hunger? The core principles are explained in detail and 25 ways to incorporate unrefined coconut into the diet are included. Amazing, again.

Phase One, Phase Two and Health Recovery all offer 14 days worth of meal planning, with recipes to all in the back of the book. But be prepared, a recipe often calls for something else that must be made-from-scratch before the recipe can be completed. And this isn't for one meal a day, (many of them are gourmet), but for three. This is where planning comes in, and you will have to be quite diligent in that

Also included in the book is a section full of resources for things like unrefined coconut oil, and why to use unrefined as opposed to refined...and a host of other coconut products. Other resources are for raw milk, Pasture-raised egg and meat products, dolomite, milk and water kefir grains, kombucha mushrooms, lacto-fermented condiments, stocks, acceptable sweeteners, and pages or 'other' food products.

If you buy this book, do so with the consideration that you will need to give yourself time to study it, plan well, buy well, (often via online ordering), and please, give yourself time to learn how to make some of the recipes in the back. I would suggest trying them out before you actually embark on the plan so when you do eat, you'll be choosing the recipes you love. If you haven't set aside a great deal of funds to change the products on your shelves, then start by doing as the book teaches, only do so gradually. Our Weston A. Price Foundation Chapter Leader recently spoke some very wise words to a mutual friend regarding this transition and financial stewardship. She told her not to throw away everything in her pantry, but instead, as items are used up, replace them with those recommended by the Weston A. Price Foundation.  I had already used, and continue to use, that system. I know it doesn't make everything perfect fast, but it is less daunting and certainly spreads the cost out over time. And let's be real, it's less about perfection than progress in the right direction.

You may want to cull some things immediately, (we chose canola oils, shortening and boxed cereals first), and replace them with better foods. The trick for some of us is to do what we are comfortable with and then, maybe push a tiny bit more, just to prevent inertia.

Consider the process in the book as an ideal, not a mandate. Consider the information excellent for your health. In this way, you may save yourself from becoming overwhelmed and giving up. Use the marvelous truths found within the text to form better eating habits and reach toward a healthier you. If you eat as prescribed in the book, you will lose weight. But newbies to traditional eating may want to take a little time to get the concepts, (and proper foods), under the wing a bit before trying to fly.

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