I have to admit something, I’ve been BAD when it comes to my food habits. The last month I have been consuming every ounce of sugar that makes it way in front of me. I have been throwing back the carbs like they are going out of style and I have been feeling like the worst version of myself in the history of ever. Stressed backward spells desserts… and well you get the story.
A few days ago when I checked my mailbox, Healthy Fats, Low-Cholesterol Cookbook by the American Heart Association was waiting for me. I threw my hands in the air and yelled “It’s a sign!”I immediately gathered my husband and my little one at the table, so that we could go through the recipes and figure out what we were going to have for dinner that night.
First of all, I was SUPER disappointed because I was expecting beautiful images inside the book. I mean, the cover is gorgeous! Instead there was a lot of text, which is great, don’t get me wrong but I personally find cookbooks more enjoyable to read when there is a beautiful picture to accompany the recipes.
However, do not let this dissuade you. The book is jam packed with amazing and important information. The book inspires you to make lifetime healthy choices, and continuously encourages you with healthy hints throughout the book. Some of my favorite chapters were over managing your weight, where they shared an estimated calorie burned chart, with various physical activities and of course the BMI chart. I was surprised to find out that this book went beyond an everyday recipe book. It gave me a realistic view and understanding of where I stand health wise.
You should know that the recipes were fantastic. There was such a variety of food mentioned throughout the book, that you definitely have a lot to choose from, even if you have picky eaters in the household. Most of the recipes called for ingredients I already had. Some of my favorites included the Trail Mix with Cocoa Dusted Almonds (page 38) the Sangria-style Pomegranate Coolers (page 46) the Asian Grilled Chicken (page 142) and the Twice Baked Potatoes and Herbs. Please note that each recipe does come with a per serving chart that details calories, total fat, cholesterol, sodium, carbohydrates, protein and etc.
When you finally make it through the recipes and find yourself at the end of the book, you will be greeted with the Appendixes! Which includes Healthy Shopping Strategies where it teaches you how to read nutrition labels and how to make smart measurements. You will also encounter Healthy Cooking Strategies, where you learn about braising, stewing, grilling, etc. How to cook vegetables and sauces and a variety of meats as well as how to adapt your recipes. You will also arrive at the section on how to stock a heart healthy pantry, take this part with you to the grocery store! It will change your life. Bookmark it, highlight it and read it! The book also showcases appendixes on how to eat out, the science behind the recipes and book, as well as risk factors for heart disease, stroke, and their warning signs.
This book is important, in more ways than one. Sure the book didn’t have beautiful images to accompany the recipes, but what it did have was a wealth of information to prepare you for a healthy life. It gives you the tools you need to be successful, and help lower your risk of heart attack, stroke and disease. This book is an important part of your kitchen arsenal.