Have you ever wanted to start that journey to better health but felt overwhelmed? The transition to a more holistic lifestyle leaves many struggling with where to start and what to prioritize. In her book, Passionate Nutrition, Jennifer Adler weaves together her personal story with her realistic approach to eating healthfully in a way that suggests that this lifestyle is possible for anyone. As a certified nutritionist, Adler believes that treating food as medicine provides healing and nourishment to the body while doing something so fundamental as eating daily meals.
Jennifer’s interest in nutrition comes out of a childhood of poverty, abuse and malnutrition. It is with this understanding that she shares her knowledge in a format that reads like a mix of story, how-to manual, cookbook and lists. I especially appreciated how she first addresses the way many people approach food…out of shame. We all know that we shouldn’t eat certain foods, and much confusion surrounds nearly every food group, leaving people feeling guilty when they eat. Instead, she says that foods are not inherently “bad” or “good” but that our goal should be feeding our body the nutrition it needs in order to attain health. The nutrients we need are best found in whole foods (those with one ingredient) or a combination of several whole ingredients whose names are recognizable. While processed foods are convenient, they have been stripped of their nutrition so a person can literally be overweight and malnourished at the same time. Her topics start simple and gradually address the more complicated or nuanced areas of eating well.
The only chapter that didn’t quite fit is called Good Food, Good Sex. Keep in mind, Jennifer has a very broken past which the reader finds out involves sexual abuse, a puritanical mother and eventually a lifestyle in the sex industry. She weaves her story into this chapter sharing that she finally found love with a woman. While she does include some tips on a diet that affect one’s sex life, most of the chapter reads more like a self-help therapy manual with a bit of an agenda.
Overall, though, I really enjoyed this book and Jennifer’s approach to nutrition. It is especially helpful for someone embracing healthy eating or making changes at the beginning of new year, because her message is simple and easy to remember. For those who have acclimated to the idea of whole foods already, she has lots of ideas to improve one’s health that include tips on organic foods, gut health, losing weight, and skin and hair care products. A wide audience would appreciate her ideas and advice. It’s a great read for the new year.
Sarah McCubbin is a homeschooling and foster mom in NE Ohio where she resides with her husband and 7 children. In addition to reading great books, she enjoys gardening, traveling and blogging at Living Unboxed.
Review copy was provided free of any obligation by BookSparksPR. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.