Friday, June 24, 2011

Suzanne Somers

If you are a fan of Suzanne Somers, and you are looking for inspiration and menu ideas, her new book, "Sexy Forever" is worth checking out.  I downloaded the ebook version from the library and thought it was a decent read, with quite a few thought-provoking insights about everyday environmental hazards that have the potential to make us unhealthy.

The first part of the book looks at the chemical additives we commonly come into contact with every day:  in processed foods, makeup, household cleaners and the flame retardants in new appliances, and she discusses how the toxins build up in our systems over time in ways that simply didn't occur a hundred years ago, disrupting our endocrine systems and causing obesity and disease, most noticeably after we reach our forties.  I find her arguments very plausible, though not backed up by scientific evidence to the extent I would personally prefer.

She devotes a large section of the book to the supplements and hormone therapy that she believes are instrumental in keeping her feeling and looking youthful and in warding off a recurrence of cancer.  She has quite a few years on me, and she may very well be right.  However, I personally find it a little too "California" for my own liking.  I'm more of the "keep it drug- and supplement-free" mindset myself.

The dietary section of the book presents her eating plans and she provides lots of suggested menus and interesting recipes that fit in very well with what I have been writing about in Carboholics Anonymous.  For her it is a lifestyle too, not a diet of limited duration.  She also recommends a sugar-free, low carb approach.  Her husband is gluten intolerant so she is quite familiar with the elimination of bread from the diet, though her own plans do include limited quantities of whole wheat breads and similar gluten containing foods.

What I find interesting about Somers' dietary approach is that she allows up to 3 carbohydrate portions a day for weight loss, and carb-containing dairy products like milk are included in this total.   So while her plan doesn't involve calorie counting, it has a structure that would appeal to many people. 

She agrees that it is the insulin response to dietary sugars that cause the body to absorb fats, and for this reason, she recommends not mixing carbs with fats.  So, for example, if you eat a small potato, don't eat it with sour cream, butter or cheese.  Or if you wish to start your day with a small portion of fruit, don't add cream to your coffee.  In this respect, the book reminds me of Fit for Life, which was so popular in the late eighties.

In the absence of carbs, Somers has no problem with full fat products, in responsible quantities of course, and, in fact, prefers them to the vast array of low-fat foods which are usually laden with sugars.

I was interested to see that she does use agave nectar (which I understand to be the same as agave syrup) as a sweetener, though the quantities in her recipes are nowhere near to being comparable to the sugars in the standard American diet.

It's not a book I like enough to want to own, but I do think it has some good resources and pause for thought about potential dangers from household chemicals many people take for granted.  Since many people have asked me about recipes that work in a low-carb lifestyle, I think it's definitely a book to look out for in the bookstore.  Or you can check out the Sexy Forever website, which has many resources to complement the book.

2 comments:

  1. I know a lot of folks who don’t eat eggs (they’re allergic, for health reasons, or concerns about animal cruelty). Here’s an awesome site that gives tips on cooking and baking without eggs: http://EggFreeLiving.com

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  2. I have concerns about the treatment of chickens myself and only eat eggs from true free-range hens. However, for people who aren't allergic to them, I strongly believe eggs are one of the healthiest, most sustainable, least controversial, sources of protein.

    I'm not at all sure why you think your site, filled with recipes for sweetened baked goods, is at all relevant to this blog.

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