I just finished reading foodie Mark Bittmanâ€™s book, Food Matters, right now. It's a simple, straightforward guide to conscious eating that is good for your health and the health of the planet.
It reminds me a lot of another favorite of mine, Michael Pollanâ€™s In Defense of Food . It's a topic that is worth rereading.
Bittman isnâ€™t a dietitian; heâ€™s a food lover. But he manages to love the most nutritious and flavorful foods to make up a sound and healthful diet that tastes great.
Here is a customerâ€™s review of the book from Amazon.com:
"Mark Bittman's Food Matters: A Guide to Conscious Eating is a guidebook for the typical American eating the typical American diet -- heavy laden with meat, animal products, and processed foods. This typical American diet, Bittman points out, is calorie-dense, harmful to the atmosphere, taxing on global resources, and unhealthy.
"Bittman easily mixes scientific research with his own personal account of needing to lose weight due to high cholesterol and sleep apnea and shows that shifting his diet by emphasizing vegetables, legumes, and beans over meats and processed food helped him reach his weight and health goals without resorting to rigid dieting and calorie-counting.
"Let me make it clear here that Bittman is not advocating vegetarianism. He allows himself a little meat during his dinner meal and incorporates some meat in the recipe section of his book."
A food journalist and cookbook writer divides his book into two sections.
The first section, Food Matters, lays down the reasons we need to shift from meat and processed foods to vegetables, fresh produce, legumes and beans. If you've already read Michael Pollan's The Omnivore's Dilemma or In Defense of Food, this information won't be new to you. But it is a good recap of the incremental way the typical American diet has become unhealthy, burdensome to the environment, and insane.
Bittmanâ€™s recipes read like a good book. Theyâ€™re easy to follow with lots of swaps and substitutions noted. I was reading this book before bed each night, which was making me incredibly hungry and dream of his recipes! I made his Tofu and Garlic Greens when I realized I had tofu and bok choy in the fridge just waiting to be used. It was simple and flavorful.
Iâ€™d recommend getting your hands on this book. Youâ€™ll have a new outlook on eating and will be armed with great recipes to try. Just donâ€™t read it before bed like I do unless youâ€™re prepared to have sweetâ€¦ and savoryâ€¦ and saltyâ€¦ and hunger-induced dreams.
If you hunger for great meatless recipes, be sure to check out the 700+ vegetarian recipes served up daily right here at Diet.com!
Janel Ovrut, MS RD LDN is a Registered Dietitian who follows a vegetarian diet. She promotes no-nonsense, plant-based cooking so that eating is both healthful and enjoyable. Janel has a masterâ€™s degree in nutrition communication from Tufts University in Boston, MA. You can read many more of her blog posts at dinedishdelish.blogspot.com.