The Latest Health Crazes: Here’s What Gets Results — and What Doesn’t

Written by | Food & Wine

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Considering going keto? Concerned about your qi? Alarmed about whether you’re alkaline? We serve up five recent books about current health crazes and gauge the results.

With each new year, there’s always a wide array of new Healthy eating books on the market, all promising that their readers can make life changes with dramatic results. After dabbling with cleanses, cooking, cleaning and keto, we present five of the latest books on the market for you to consider as you head into 2018. There’s never a bad time to step up your health game.


alkaline reset cleanse

Ross Bridgeford’s THE ALKALINE RESET CLEANSE: The 7-Day Reboot for Unlimited Energy, Rapid Weight Loss, and the Prevention of Degenerative Disease (Hay House) is divided into three sections: “The Nature of the Beast,” “Reset Your Health” and “Let’s Do It!” Bridgeford has coached thousands of people back to health using this cleanse by challenging people to take charge of their choices, and transform their lives in the process. He delves into the truths about our collective health crisis, zeroes in on the top three causes, then poses the Alkaline Reset Cleanse as a life raft in the sea of health challenges — and a way to give your body a fresh start. According to Bridgeford, the body’s main goal is to maintain homeostasis. He helps readers do it through his “different way of thinking about the body” and offers ways we can replenish, heal and reboot ourselves to optimal health. Helpful resources include shopping lists, a handy recipe list and a conversion chart. Ultimately, the goal is to wipe the slate clean and turn a page in order lose weight, restore immunity and take big steps towards a healthier lifestyle.


The Body in Balance: Qigong Healing at Any Age with Energy, Breath, Movement and 50 Nourishing Recipes

Qigong, the holistic Chinese system of physical exercises and breathing related to tai chi is known to have a variety of benefits, including lowering blood pressure, improving heart health, lowering the risk of injuries, reducing stress levels, improving immunity and even preventing cancer. The Body in Balance: Qigong Healing at Any Age with Energy, Breath, Movement and 50 Nourishing Recipes (Potter/Ten Speed/Harmony/Rodale) is by the editors of Prevention in conjunction with Master FaXiang Hou and Janet Teacher. Master FaXiang Hou is the founder and director of the QiGong Research Society and a healer who uses acupressure, acupuncture, traditional Chinese medicine and qigong in his practice. The book suggests, “Qigong offers low-impact body movement based on the ancient theory that the beneficial flow of energy (or “qi”) through the body restores vitality and regulates the functions of the mind, body and breath.” Drawing on centuries of knowledge, his guide contains qigong exercises with photo instructions, breathing techniques, acupressure, herbal remedies, a fasting plan and healing recipes. The section on Major Healing and Tonic Herbs — like Cardamom, Goji berry, and Rhubarb — is especially informative and the Fasting Exercises are designed to benefit specific parts of the body (heart, lung, liver, kidney, spleen and more. His recipes are simple and easy to follow, and dishes like Pearl Barley Congee, Pineapple Rice, Family Dumplings and Silk Road Lamb have plenty of eye and palate appeal.

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The Essential Keto Vegetarian Cookbook

“Who says vegetarians can’t go keto?” ask the editors of The Essential Keto Vegetarian Cookbook (Rodale Books), a collection of 65 low-carb, high-fat, moderate-protein, vegetarian (and pescatarian) recipes. The keto diet has taken the health market by storm over the past few years, and with this handy cookbook it’s easy to prepare plant-based keto-friendly foods. Whether you’re looking for a healthy snack, a scrumptious dessert, or a breakfast bonanza, these recipes explore how whole-food ingredients can keep you full and energized. First time exploring the keto world? This is a great book for you. The first chapter explains the ketogenic diet in a way that’s easy for anyone to understand, and offers  apps, useful tools, health benefits, things to beware of, foods to avoid, foods to double up on and clear categories of fats, proteins, low-carb vs. high-carb fruits and vegetables — plus useful herbs, spices and pantry staples. The breakfast and smoothie section includes such recipes as Green Smoothie with Mint, Almond Chia Pudding and Pumpkin Pie Pancakes. The Soups & Salads section features a Broccoli-Cheddar Soup, Roasted Cauliflower-Turmeric Soup, and a Sunflower Seed and Goat Cheese Salad. Other chapters include Entrees, Sides & Snacks, Desserts, Sauces & Dressings and Fish & Seafood (check out the Salmon Cucumber Coins!) Who says carnivores have all the fun?

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The Essential Keto Vegan Cookbook: 65 Healthy & Delicious Plant-Based Ketogenic Recipes

Rodale Books also recently published The Essential Keto Vegan Cookbook: 65 Healthy & Delicious Plant-Based Ketogenic Recipes and it’s one of the best ways to kick your body into gear for the spring run-up to swimsuit season. The 65 recipes all embody the spirit of the low-carb, high-fat, moderate protein keto diet geared towards vegans who at one time considered ketogenic eating incompatible for their lifestyles. Much like The Essential Keto Vegetarian Cookbook, this tome offers a wealth of resources about going keto — including how to track your macros and ketones, keto hacks, foods to integrate (or watch out for) and how to get started. The cookbook offers a broad array of recipes including smoothies, breakfasts, soups and salads, entrees like Fajita-Stuffed Zucchini Boats, Vegan Kofte with Minty Cucumber-Yogurt Sauce, and Veggie Pot Pie, plus snacks and craveable desserts like Macadamia Nut Mug Cake and a Creamy Coconut Berry Granita that are so good even the non-vegans will be back for seconds.

SUPERFUEL: Ketogenic Keys to Unlock the Secrets of Good Fats, Bad Fats, and Great Health

There are so many conflicting viewpoints about dietary fats and how they affect our overall health. Dr. Joseph Mercola and Dr. James DiNicolantonio’s SUPERFUEL: Ketogenic Keys to Unlock the Secrets of Good Fats, Bad Fats, and Great Health (Hay House) opens with an enlightening introduction about the concept of “Fat Confusion” and the demonization of saturated fat, which started sometime in the mid- 1950s. Best-selling author Dr. Joseph Mercola, who wrote such books as Fat for Fuel, The No-Grain Diet and Generation XL urges readers to seriously consider the selection of their fats, helping readers reintroduce good ones while providing the scientific underpinnings to a proper diet. Dr. James DiNicolantonio, author of The Salt Fix, seeks to set the record straight about polyunsaturated vegetable oils while revealing how the body requires more omega-3 than most people are getting in the current Western diets. Superfuel sets the record straight on issues regarding misconceptions of “heart healthy” vegetable oils while sharing a recommended “Cyclical Ketogenic Eating Pattern”, elaborating on how and why government and private-sector health organizations typically recommend cutting back on animal fat consumption in favor of increasing vegetable oils, why the body needs more omega-3 fats overall, why so many negative health effects have been incorrectly blamed on saturated fats, how to choose healthiest forms of fat, and more. This engaging and relevant book makes a strong case, drawing on Dr. DiNicolantonio’s research at St. Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute. It’s difficult to not lean in and wonder if we’ve been doing everything wrong.  

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Last modified: August 19, 2019