As soon as I submitted my review of Wayne Dyer’s memoir, I skimmed the titles in Hay House’s Book Nook for another great read. What caught my eye was a big surprise to me. Slimming Meals That Heal by Julie Daniluk is part science lesson, part cookbook and not at all what I thought I wanted to read. However, when I saw the words “Over 120 gluten-free recipes” on the cover, I thought, “Oh yeah, I need to get this!” and before I knew it I had clicked to request it for review. With that click, the deed was done and I would now be expected to read and review something I didn’t even understand choosing.

When it arrived, I pulled the 340 page book out of the envelope and ran my thumb over the open end, fanning the pages as they hummed like a deck of cards being shuffled. Hesitantly, I started reading the information-packed beginning section and then felt the familiar discomfort set in. It’s the way I feel when I learn things I don’t want to learn – usually because I’m not ready to make the changes it will likely induce. Annoyed that I was obligated to go through this process of reading and reviewing a book that intimidated me, I put the book aside for a few days.

The next time I picked it up, I tried a different approach. I completely skipped the first section and jumped into the recipes. That perked me up a bit! I actually recognized the majority of the ingredients; in fact, I had most of them in my kitchen! But here were some new ways to use the staples in my cupboards and I actually got excited.

Dog-earing the recipes I wanted to try, I thought about why the book initially turned me off. I’ve come to loathe being told what not to eat because of some fear-based reason. I know what the ‘white’ foods do to my body, I understand the inflammatory nature of the foods that constituted a large part of my diet up until probably a decade ago. I have since made changes based on what feels good to my body and am aware of the difference in my physical and emotional states when I teeter too far over on the other side of the fence. I just don’t like to be reminded of the harmful effects of certain foods, because if I do indulge a little here and there, I don’t want to feel bad for doing it. And that’s just my personal response. When I know something is a no-no, and I do it anyway, I feel guilty.

But going through the recipes, I only felt excitement at trying new combinations of foods I enjoy and feel good about serving my family. These are the ones I tried: Roasted Garlic Vinaigrette, Skinny Onion Rings, Jicama Fries, Cashew-Crusted Chicken (which includes a Mock Sour Cream and Chive Dip) and Low-Carb Vanilla Coconut Cookies. The recipes were really easy to follow and yielded some good results, I’d say (and I think my family would concur). The kids’ and hubby’s favourite experiment was the cookies which actually came out more like macarons. And talk about coconut – I got to use coconut flour, coconut oil, coconut sugar AND coconut milk in one recipe! Something I have learned from Julie’s website: coconut is a medium chain triglyceride which is metabolism-boosting!

With each recipe, there’s a little blurb that explains the nutritional benefits of some of its ingredients. I loved knowing how what I was eating was helping my body, and being able to share the information with my family. I still have plenty of recipes to try; even if I try one a week, I’m set for a long time!

Julie also offers recipes on her website here if you want to check them out to get a ‘flavour’ of what an anti-inflammatory diet looks like. I am so trying this recipe next. Can I get a “YUM!”?

So, what about that first section with all the science – with the charts and the explanations etc.? Oddly enough, when I did decide to dive right in, I flipped the book open to a sub-section called Let Go Of Guilt. Interesting. And wait a minute…the more I read in Part One: The Science of Weight Loss, the more I realized the only part that unnerved me was the sub-section How Allergies Cause Weight Gain. Again, that’s just my personal response. On the flip side of the coin, this section would be engaging to someone else. And the charts are actually just really great information laid out in an easy-to-read format.

The moral of this story is: if a book jumps out at you, grab it and don’t question why you selected it (because clearly, it selected you). Also, don’t judge a book by a first flip-through; there’s more to every section than meets the eye. And finally, embrace the parts that uplift you and let them add a little zing to your life!

Julie Daniluk’s book, Slimming Meals That Healwould appeal to anyone who has tried diet after diet and now wants to try a live-it! Also, any foodie looking to expand their repertoire of ingredients and recipes that support and heal the body needs to put this book on their list.



Disclosure: The link to Slimming Meals That Heal in this post is my affiliate link which means I receive a small percentage of sales made through it. Thank you for supporting my work. Also, I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.