Spoiler Alert: No cookbooks.I have not read all of these but have read the reviews and have added them to my list. Be forewarned though you will never think the same about our food again after reading just one of these books!
If you read anything on this list, make it this. Though published 14 years ago, Fast Food Nation is no less relevant today, giving voice to the hardworking men and women behind the millions of nuggets, patties, pies, and fries that we continue to so mindlessly consume.
Like many of us, Frank Bruni has long struggled with his weight. But what happens when the former chief restaurant reviewer for the New York Times turns a critic’s eye on his own eating habits? Born Round is equal parts heartbreaking and funny, a four-star read.
Science writer Gary Taubes brings his degrees in physics, aerospace engineering, and journalism to the human body to explain how weight is more likely the product of our anatomy than our appetites.
Atkins may have been right all along. According to Nina Teicholz’s research, the low-fat frenzy of the past half-century was based on bogus — if well-meaning — science. How this became federal policy and shaped generations of American dieting is a deeply compelling cautionary tale.
Even 15 years later, Bourdain’s remains the preeminent curtain-pull among epicurean exposés. Somehow, his down-and-dirty account of the madmen and -women behind haute cuisine doesn’t detract from our enjoyment of the food. In fact, it might just make us enjoy it more.
Gibney takes two bold turns in this remarkable debut: 1) He limits himself to just 24 hours, and 2) he pivots to present it all in the second person. The result is an extra-urgent, in-the-trenches tumble through a day in the life on the line.
Perhaps the least polished and most profane of this list’s memoirs, White’s The Devil In The Kitchen is still a rollicking wild ride. Think Gordon Ramsey but more pissed off.
You know not to grocery shop when hungry, but do you know what to look for — and avoid — in each aisle? Marion Nestle’s blow-by-blow guide to supermarket shopping is a godsend: a delight to read and easy to reference on the fly.
Not all tomatoes are as bad as the ones you find in the supermarket. Estabrook tells us why and introduces us to the farmers — from Florida to Peru — who have worked to bring us the Big (bland) Red.
Gaffigan brings his trademark wit to our cultural cravings, waxing poetic on everything from Hot Pockets to Cinnabon. Food: A Love Story is written for the everyman — the hungry man — who remains suspicious of kale and enamored with bacon.
By far the best-written chef’s memoir on this list, Blood, Bones & Butter is clearly the work of a pro. And it makes sense, seeing as Hamilton holds an MFA in fiction writing from the University of Michigan, in addition to her stints as a dishwasher, underage bartender, world traveler, and catering director. If you’re ever in New York, her tiny restaurant, Prune, is worth a visit.
(Bonus good/bad news: The book has allegedly been optioned for a film adaptation, with Gwyneth Paltrow attached to play Hamilton.)
Don’t let all these raucous, debauched restaurant memoirs fool you — being a chef takes hard work. Ruhlman’s detailed look inside the Harvard of U.S. culinary schools is proof.
If school’s just not your thing, you might identify more closely with Buford’s approach to the culinary arts. Bypassing any formal training — or even former restaurant experience — Buford jumped from his job at The New Yorker to the kitchen of Mario Batali’s famed restaurant, Babbo. His resulting education is hectic, hard-won, and hilarious.
You might not recognize all of Huang’s many punchy pop culture references, but that doesn’t make Fresh Off the Boat any less fun. Whether discussing Asian-American stereotypes or soup dumplings in Taiwan, Huang writes with delightful verve. It’s easy to see why this book translates so seamlessly to the screen.
Shapiro roves from the origins of Betty Crocker to the miracle of canned bread, showing how mid-century feminism and postwar technology united to produce bizarre foodie fads unlike any we’ve seen since.
Investigative reporter Michael Moss reveals how big brands like Kraft, Coca-Cola, Lunchables, Kellogg, Nestlé, Capri Sun, Cargill, and Oreo have engineered our addiction to their products. His in-depth look at the strange science behind processed food is at once fascinating and terrifying.
Michael Pollan is the king of contemporary food writing, swirling together history, science, and sociology with surprising élan. The Omnivore’s Dilemma is essential reading for anyone trying to grasp the full scope of food in America, which, it turns out, is mostly made of corn.
Seriously, this guy can write. In Cooked, Pollan invites us to learn alongside him as he masters the art of preparing food with the four classical elements — fire, water, air, and earth. So if you’ve ever consumed barbecue, bread, beer, or bourguignon and wondered how it all came to be, this book is for you.
This is the brainier version of Cooked, with a legitimate “Chemistry Primer” appendix on molecular reactions and the like. But phases of matter aside, On Food and Cooking is a veritable kitchen bible, with how-to and tell-me-why chapters on everything from “The Problem of Legumes and Flatulence” to “Why Pain Can Be Pleasurable.”
M.F.K. Fisher is the writer you probably haven’t heard of but definitely should know. Whether she’s describing a tiny restaurant in the French countryside or how to properly savor a tangerine — even how to boil water — Fisher’s words practically drip from the page. The Art of Eating represents her collected works, a transcontinental record of how to best enjoy the simple pleasures of a meal.
Proof of her beautiful prose, and inspiration for any aspiring food writers out there: “It seems to me that our three basic needs, for food and security and love, are so mixed and mingled and entwined that we cannot straightly think of one without the others. So it happens that when I write of hunger, I am really writing about love and the hunger for it, and warmth and the love of it and hunger for it … and then the warmth and richness and fine reality of hunger satisfied … and it is all one.”
Definitely a pro-gluten-free screed, Grain Brain presents the science on the side of our most recent de rigueur diet. Great for those with celiac disease and gluten intolerance, and maybe better taken with a grain of salt by the rest of us.
For a more even-handed look at Big Bad Gluten, try Michael Specter’s piece in The New Yorker.
Another “wait till you hear where your _____ comes from” book, but somehow Kurlansky manages to make salt — yes, salt — a compelling protagonist. Who knew that this familiar, meek little mineral could have been the impetus for so many revolutions, conquests, and wars?
Having heard the virtues of Locavore and Slow Food diets endlessly extolled, Barbara Kingsolver decided to give it a try. Her whole-hog endeavor — transplanting her family from Tucson, Arizona, to rural Virginia, where they only consumed produce that they’d personally planted or raised — is drastic, but ultimately rewarding. She shows us how to reconnect with the land and ourselves, thinking mindfully about what we eat and how it’s made.
How do restaurants actually earn their stars? Go undercover with renowned New York Times food critic Ruth Reichl to see how egos, infighting, anonymity, and authenticity co-mingle to determine the fates of restaurateurs and their reviewers.
I know a lot of you love some of these popular network shows so why not get your exercise in while watching!
Chris Ritter / BuzzFeed
Leaving the office late might be changing the way you drink.
A comprehensive study recently published in The BMJ concretely identified a link between working more than 48 hours a week and “risky” drinking habits.
A research team from the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health studied data from 61 studies created in 14 countries around the globe, tracking the average amount of drinks as compared to the amount of hours worked each week.
It’s important to keep in mind Finnish standards define excessive drinking habits for women as 14 servings per week and 21 for men.
However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention define heavy drinking as only eight drinks per week for women and 15 for men.
After analyzing the data of more than 330,000 people, the team found those who spend more than 48 hours per week working are up to 13 percent more likely to drink heavily than those who stick to a regulation 40-hour schedule, regardless of socioeconomic class, age or gender.
Perhaps it’s an attempt to release stress quickly after work before an early start at the office the next day, or helps employees feel they’re getting in the appropriate amount of social time with friends and coworkers.
As lead researcher Marianna Virtanen explained to New Scientist,
We think that some people may cope with excess working hours with habits that are unhealthy…
The symptoms they try to alleviate with alcohol may include stress, depression and sleep disturbances.
Excess alcohol consumption can lead to cirrhosis of the liver, flagging work performance and weight gain.
Be careful to watch the way those drinks add up, and consider taking up a stress-relieving hobby or sport instead.
One glass of wine is fantastic, but more can create a problem that won’t help you get ahead at the office.
Get ready to sweat until you bleed.
What they want you to do: Let the rhythm ride you, guide you, and sneak inside you to set your mind to move.Dance/rhythm is: A source companion. Where can you FEEL it? In the air and everywhere. TBH it’s probably inside of you right now.
What they want you to do: Move this, groove this, shake that body.Dance/rhythm is: What you do when the jam is pumpin’.Where can you FEEL it? I dunno, but you’ll feel the mellow crawlin’ fast.
What they want you to do: I’m pretty sure they want you to strike it up.Dance/rhythm is: What will keep you from feeling lonely.Where can you FEEL it? Straight in your mind.
What he wants you to do: Dance until you have sweat coming out of your pores. Dance/rhythm is: His occupation. Where can you FEEL it? Somewhere? You’ll feel it though. I don’t know what Marky Mark will do if you can’t feel it.
What they want you to do: SWEAT until you BLEED.Dance/rhythm is: Something that will take hold of your heart and soul.Where can you FEEL it? Your body, which might be hurt by the end of this song.
What they want you to do: Dip to the dive and get funky.Dance/rhythm is: In your heart!Where can you FEEL it? Uh, your heart.
What they want you to do: Move and groove your body.Dance/rhythm is: A creation, a better sensation, that will lead you through the night.Where can you FEEL it? In your sweet, sweet dreams.
What she wants you to do: To feel what she feels.Dance/rhythm is: What will get you through this night. Where can you FEEL it? In your body the moment you feel “brand new.”
What they want you to do: Dance until you go crazy.Dance/rhythm is: What will hypnotize you.Where can you FEEL it? Inside, making you feel alive.
What they want you to do: Dip, dip, die. Also: Clean up your ears and open your eyes. Dance/rhythm is: Your motivation to do anything.Where can you FEEL it? In your muscles.
What she wants you to do: Give her love again by using the power of THE RHYTHM. Dance/rhythm is: Her night, her life, your voice, it’s basically everything.Where can you FEEL it? In your body when you think of her and “burn.”
When you need a boost on the go, you want something that is portable, healthy and great tasting. The American Dietetic Association explains that snacking between meals throughout your day keeps you from suffering the energy highs and lows which accompany the traditional breakfast – lunch – dinner meal plan.
Snacking also keeps your metabolism revved up, meaning you are burning fat and calories more efficiently. Keep the easy to pack high-energy snacks listed below handy, and you will stay energized all day long without the accompanying crash that comes from sugar-filled and carbohydrate-rich energy drinks and treats.
Refrigerated eggs last for about a week if they are kept in their shells after boiling. You can cook a dozen eggs at the beginning of the week and keep them on hand for a quick energy boost. They are extremely high in what scientists call HBV protein (high biological value). This type of protein is excellent for an energy punch. Eggs also deliver all of the B vitamins, both vitamin A and D, as well as healthy omega-3 fatty acids.
Chocolate milk available in half pint servings made for on-the-shelf storage is an excellent protein source, also delivering the benefits of dairy. Just make sure to choose a low-sugar variety.
Walnuts, pistachios, almonds and other varieties of nuts provide a very densely packed protein pop. Just 1 ounce delivers a full 9 grams of protein. Aside from being extremely portable, they also deliver an excellent shelf life. Stick to the low-salt and no-salt options if you can.
Celery with peanut or nut butter
Nut butter made from cashews, walnuts or almonds is excellent for a healthy energy kick. And celery makes the perfect peanut or not butter vehicle with its natural U-shaped groove. Celery also provides the added benefits of antioxidants and anti-inflammatories, vitamin C, vitamin K, potassium and at least a dozen other wonderful nutrients and vitamins.
Fresh apples and bananas
Delivering antioxidants, dietary fiber, vitamin C and an excellent energy boost, bananas and apples also require no refrigeration. You can pop them in your purse, briefcase or office desk drawer for a fresh, healthy and tasty vitality boost that is also low in calories.
Hummus provides both “good carbs” and dietary fiber. But it is also loaded full of vitamins and nutrients that give you the proper type of energy. Available in a wide variety of flavors, you can always jazz up your hummus with diced vegetables or red peppers to make even a healthier vitality booster.
If you plan in advance and eat some of these high energy snacks I have listed I can promise you that you will begin to see improvements in all areas of your health and not just your energy levels.
Hey everyone! today’s post is from a guest author and is geared to the females. Sorry guys I will get something out there for you so don’t get upset with me!
I know, they are cute and you have to wear them.
They are so stylish and make you feel great.
The but is, they maybe the thing that is causing your knee pain or will lead to your knee pain.
Yes, they are your high heels. It is common knowledge that those cute high heels lead to achy feet but they also can lead to achy knees.
Let me explain how and why.
Your high heels lift you up on your toes. This leads to your thigh (quadriceps) muscle working a lot more then usual. The thigh muscles pulls on your knee cap (patella). When the quadriceps pulls on the knee cap, it presses the knee cap against the knee joint. This leads to greater stress on the knee but also can leads to osteoarthritis of the knee, ouch!
Being propped up on your toes makes you legs look great but they put more stress on the inside part of your knee joint.
In your knee joint there are two knuckles (condyles) in the thigh bone that connect with the lower leg to form the knee. The knuckle that gets more weight of your body is the one on the inside. This is also the side that is likely to get osteoarthritis.
If you wear high heels, it will put more stress on the inside knuckle which will help your knee lead to osteoarthritis, speed up your arthritis or flare up your arthritis.
I know what you are thinking, I don’t wear really high heels that often, I wear little heels.
Sorry to say, little heels do the same a big heels.
Even in heels that are 1.5 inches in height there was a 14% increase in stress in the knee while high heels had 23% increase in stress.
Yes, high heels are worse but you do get an increase stress with little heels.
I am sorry for the doom and gloom article but if you get achy knees, look at your high heels.
I will do another article for Coach Dave on what you can do with your heels in order to decrease the stress and pain on your knees.
Until the next article, have a great day!
About the Author
Rick Kaselj is a personal trainer in Vancouver, Canada that specializes in designing exercise programs for clients recovering from injuries. Rick has trained thousands of clients and completed his Master’s of Science degree focusing on injury recovery and exercise. Rick shares with other fitness professionals and exercise enthusiasts, the exercises he uses to prevent knee injuries and overcome knee injuries in the Knee Injury Solution program.
As we get older the hormones in our body change, which can lead to lower levels of energy and fatigue. I don’t remember at what age it started but I started to realize that midway through the day I would start to feel worn out and drained. I knew it wasn’t because of lack of sleep so I started to research what it could be. After searching online and speaking with the RD that worked with me I realized it was my diet and the foods I was ingesting. You see it is just like when the battery is running low on your smartphone, you plug it up. Instantly you see your battery charging icon get a boost. Well, it is no different with your body and energy levels. If you want to get that quick boost of energy back you and do it in a healthy way you can. It is as easy as feasting on these wonderful energy-boosting foods that are high in complex carbohydrates and natural energy sources.
A single cup of pineapple delivers enough vitamin C to fulfill your daily requirement. And because pineapple is very high in manganese, this natural vitality booster delivers instant energy whenever you need it. And by the way, pineapple tastes delicious!
As far as versatility goes, quinoa offers limitless possibilities. In salads, soups or by itself, this low glycemic index food does not give you a dangerous spike in blood sugar or energy. Since it is composed of approximately 60% complex carbohydrates, the energy it provides is slowly and regularly absorbed by your body. This means a day’s supply of energy, along with the benefits of high fiber and protein.
Researchers have discovered that people who eat protein for breakfast generally eat less food throughout their day. This means fewer calories, and less of a chance to consume simple carbohydrates and sugars which cause an energy crash and burn. And complex carbohydrates regulate your energy for high levels all day long.
Eggs are incredibly versatile. Hard-boiled eggs can last up to one week in your refrigerator. And salmon is an excellent source of healthy fatty acids and protein. When you get your B vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids, all day energy flow is headed your way, and these 2 super foods provide those healthy nutrients and others.
Vitamin C is excellent for boosting your immune system. It also helps deliver natural energy, and the way your nose reacts to citrus scent gives you an instant boost of alertness and mental clarity. Have some low sugar citrus juice with your breakfast, and enjoy an orange or grapefruit in the middle of your day.
Whether you enjoy watermelon, honeydew, cantaloupe or some other melon, you are fighting fatigue when you eat it. 90% of the weight of these fruits comes from water. And you know how important it is to keep properly hydrated. When your body has all the water it needs, it functions properly, leveling your energy distribution throughout the day.
I am going to conclude with this cheesy analogy and that is your body is like a car. If you want to perform sluggish then eat crap food. If you want it to perform like a race car and at high precision feed it the best nutrients you possibly can. If you just tweak your diet slightly I guarantee you will begin to get more energy throughout the day and especially after you ingest it.
Let me know what high energy foods you eat to give you a boost!
Well as of this writing it is January 8th and as much as I hate to say it you have probably already broken a New Year’s resolution or slipped up on your good intentions to sticking with your fitness goals. Hey listen don’t beat yourself up over it and to be honest I really hate setting resolutions as there is about a 99% chance you will break the resolution at some point over the course of the year. However, I am a big fan of creating goals, specifically S.M.A.R.T goals. Over the years my clients and myself included saw the best results when we had written out goals that were S.M.A.R.T.
For those of you that don’t know what I am talking about let me define what S.M.A.R.T goals are. It stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely. When you create a goal for yourself and it contains all five components the probability of having success dramatically increases. Let me go through an example so you can see for yourself.
In the first of example Jack says he wants to eat healthier and lose weight. Ok so looking at his goal we see that he wants to eat healthier and lose weight but it lacks the five components. He really is not specific in terms of how much weight he wants to lose and he lacks a time frame. Even if you say well it pertains to this year he still does not have the specific number of pounds and a time line. To make this fit the S.M.A.R.T model it would be better for Jack to say I want to lose 10 pounds in six months and weigh 190. Does this fit the model. Yes, it is specific (10 pounds and weigh 190), it is measurable (use scale to monitor and measure), attainable because he could lose a pound and a half a month and reach his goal, and final it is timely because it is not unrealistic to lose 10 pounds in six months.
Let’s look at another example and see if it fits are S.M.A.R.T model. Sarah is getting married and wants to lose 15 pounds. Her wedding is in 4 weeks. On the surface it looks like it could fit the model. I mean she is specific,we can measure it and it is timely (4 weeks), but is it attainable and realistic. Some might say yes depending on their drive and discipline but I would say no because when my wife and I got married I remember those last few weeks were all about engagement parties plus running around like crazy trying to get everything taken care of before the wedding. So, I say it is not a S.M.A.R.T goal and goals like these are reasons why most people tend to fail at reaching their fitness goals every year.
Oh, and one more thing. I would be remiss to say that just because you set a S.M. A.R.T goal you are going to achieve your fitness goals that you set. I might have misled you a little in my title because although I say S.M.A.R.T goals is the best way to achieve your fitness goals if you neglect to have a strong “why” beyond it you probably will not reach them. You have to a strong reason as to “why” you want to achieve your goal.
Let’s look back at our examples. Jack wants to lose 10-15 lbs because he wants to be in the best shape of his life so he can still be active with his 4 kids. If we look at Sarah her why could be is she can’t fit into the 10k dollar dress she bought 6 months ago. (I have no idea if dresses cost that much but I am sure when my girls get married they will :().
Do yourself a favor this year and go back and look at the fitness goals you set for yourself. Do they contain all 5 elements. Is it specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely. Also, do you have a strong why behind it. With it when things get tough it will be much easier to fail and leave you in the same boat as you were last year!
If you need any assistance on setting goals please don’t hesitate to reach out to me!
In health and wealth,
Over the last year I have been researching and studying ways to make sure that as I start my journey into my 40’s I find the right nutrition and exercise workouts that are going to get me the best results. I have done just about every type of workout and training that is out in the marketplace and I have finally found one that is the best exercise workout to get results. This short video introduces you to the Orange Theory Concept!
First of all a lot of science and research has been put into each and every Orange Theory Fitness Workout. The workout is based on a 5 zone heart rate based interval training approach. The goal of each workout is to experience all 5 heart rate zones but also get you to spend 25 to 35 minutes in the fat burning/carb burring zone along with 12- 20 minutes in the upper zones, which contributes to epoc. Epoc stands for excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, which essentially contributes to caloric burning at a higher rate 24-36 hours after the workout is completed. This is the single biggest reason why this type of workout is so beneficial to getting optimal weight loss results but there is still more.
The second reason I find the OTF workouts the best is the community that you get surround by. There are all different levels of participants in the class and each and everyone of them brings energy to the class. Plus, as you start to develop relationships and friendships then it adds a level of accountability because people will start to ask where have you been and are you sticking to your healthy habits. This is not unique as most other bootcamps and group exercise classes offer this kind of community but having this part of the workouts is essential for success.
A third reason I believe Orange Theory Fitness workouts are the best interval workouts is because of the combination of utilizing the treadmills, seated rowers and the weight training. As I already mentioned the workouts are designed to have you maintain your heart rate in all 5 zones but they also incorporate different workout modalities such as strength, power and endurance. This is exactly how athletes train and it is important for everyone to train this way if they want to gain lean mass and lose weight. One other aspect that the workouts have is the variety. Everyday a new workout is presented so in “theory” you could do an OTF workout everyday of the week. I don’t recommend it but you could!
Finally, the last component that I feel that makes Orange Theory Fitness the best interval training workout is the competition that is created amongst current participants and even classes. Earlier I mentioned the science behind OTF and because each participant wears a heart rate monitor everyones caloric burn and even the classes total burn is tracked which leads to some fun competition amongsts those in the class and even from class to class. Another really cool competition part to OTF classes are some of the programing. For instance they do a “Dri Tri” and even a “Hell Week” program. When you enter one of these speciality programs and if you win you are rewarded with prizes. This is a great way for members to have fun and be competitive at the same time.
I know I may be a little biased but I am telling you I have not seen a structured program like this that can get you the results you are wanting. Sure there are other interval training workouts out there but the Orange Theory Fitness workout is the best interval training workout in the market right now!
See what some of the members of the Orange Theory Fitness Plano, TX location have to say about it!