The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook by husband and wife dynamo Alissa Segersten and Tom Malterre, MS, CN offers over 300 recipes, including dishes that are free of gluten, dairy, soy, and egg. This book is my go-to recommendation when I put a patient on an elimination diet—a brief trial of a very limited diet that eliminates the above foods (and sometimes others as well!) There are a number of beautiful color plates showing just how gorgeous whole-foods cooking can be.
The introductory chapters are chock-full of information including an overview of a number of popular diets, including raw vegan, paleo and Weston Price and describe who and what they are appropriate for. I love this take. These diets are often presented as the one true answer to being healthy. But there is no “one healthiest diet” that is right for everyone. Each person has their own unique genetic blueprint, physiology, and emotional history that make them different from everyone else, even a twin. Eat accordingly.
I tried a number of the recipes and was overall very pleased:
When Ali Segersten claimed that her children loved the pickled radishes, I was skeptical but I went ahead and tried it anyway. The recipe was simple and quick and she was right. My 5 year old chomped them down like they were potato chips. They come out a beautiful bright pink and would make a lovely garnish or addition to a salad.
I had never heard of Curtido, but it looked intriguing so I tried it. Curtido is a South American dish traditionally made with vinegar, but here Ali altered it to use lacto-fermentation instead–think a fresher sauerkraut with carrots, spiced with oregano and chili flakes. I am a big fan of people eating something fermented everyday, so I thought I’d see how it went over with my family. It was a hit, both with my kids and my husband who doesn’t lie to make me feel better. The downside about this recipe was that it failed to mention early on to save a cabbage leaf for the fermentation process. For someone who is not very familiar with fermenting cabbage (ahem, that includes me), I only realized I need to do that after shredding the whole head. Luckily, I had some kale in the fridge to use instead.
My favorite dish was probably the beet, kale and walnut salad with feta and basil.. I made this for the whole family while we were visiting my parents. It went quickly; everyone loved it. Toasting the walnuts was key. I’m not usually a walnut fan, but the freshly toasted ones were absolutely delicious. We made a quinoa salad that evening as well, and it was tasty too.
There is a wealth of information in the first pages regarding food sensitivities, blood sugar regulation, organic foods and more. And the cookbook follows with your practical guide on how to follow through. I’ll vouch for this source. I know Tom personally and he is no schlump. I’ve heard him speak publically and seen the hundreds of research articles he uses when writing or presenting. The guy is brilliant and knows his stuff. So if you are interested in getting healthier and looking for a place to start learning about how to do it, you won’t go wrong starting here.