Disappointed trim healthy Mama

9781101902660

As a Health Coach my clients often ask me about cookbooks, recipes and different diets.  We live in an instant society where everyone is looking for the next fad which will be a health quick fix.  I was pretty excited to get a copy of trim healthy mama cookbook because of the promises offered.  Dessert for breakfast, a life long eating option and healthy balanced meals.

I cannot tell you how quickly my interest became deep disappointment.  I’ll start with the positives though because there are a few.

  1. Similarly to Jessica Seinfeld’s cookbook trim healthy mama sneaks vegetable purees into recipes.  For example, the suggestion for a full cup of okra in brownies seemed interesting.
  2. Many of the recipes are very unique.  I love the fact that this cookbook combined different foods than I’d used together previously.
  3. There are over 350 recipes listed.  If you are a thin mama fan then you will have awesome resources at your disposal.
  4. The recipes mostly have pictures included.

My concerns:

  1. I could not find any information anywhere on either Pearl Barrett or Serene Allison’s health education.  Throughout the book the “trim mama plan” there is a section in the intro entitled “Know the Plan”.  This cookbook claims to have “slim down” recipes that will keep you thin.  Additionally, there are a unique ingredient suggestions in this book including integral collagen, whey protein powder, and nutritional yeast.   It’s highly concerning to me that this duo is presenting them as having the plan to be healthy and lose weight without any actual education on the matter.  Yes, it’s possible they have degrees in Heath and Wellness, but the fact that they aren’t revealing that information leads me to believe that is the case.
  2. Many of the recipes require that you purchase food ingredients from the “thin mama” enterprise in order to get optimum health benefits and taste.  There is the Trim Healthy Mama Baking Blend “We worked for months, with much trial and error, to put together the flours that would make the best all-purpose baking flour” yes, there is a disclaimer that you can mix a few of your favorite flowers together to figure out something else, but without ratios it’s nearly impossible to figure out what would be an equivalent.  The list of food products to purchase revealed exactly why so many of the recipes called for trim Mama Baking Blend to be the base.  Disappointing to say the least.  Time-consuming recipes fill these pages.  Not only is there consistent lists of complicated ingredients, the time to prepare many of these recipes is significant.  For me, the few recipes I considered had twice the amount of ingredients than the whole food versions I currently use.  The root beer float recipe has 7 ingredients!
  3. The chemically processed sweeteners encouraged in this book are yet another thing that was disappointing.  It seems a bit backwards to me to be insisting on aluminum free baking powder on one page and then presenting pages of recipes that include the special blend of trim mama sweeteners that includes Erythritol.  The side effects of erythritol include diarrhea and stomach aches.

Overall, if you are following the Thin Mama Plan this cookbook is likely a great resource for you.  If you are someone who is already using whey protein powder and artificial sweeteners then you will likely not find any of the recipes any more expensive than you currently spend.  I will not be adding this book to my office library.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.  The opinions expressed are my own.

Book Review: 5 in 5 For Every Season by Michael Symon

9780804186568

Unique recipes provided in Symon’s cookbook “5 in 5”.  I’m always looking for new ideas, and the idea of using just a few ingredients is always appealing.  As a cookbook I loved the lay out. The recipes are divided into seasons.  There are plenty of pictures throughout each chapter and the instructions are very clear in how to prepare each recipe.

Symon’s presentation is organized to group foods you would find together in season at their freshest whether that be at a farmer’s market or in a grocery store.  As far as shopping goes, this is great because you can easily turn to the season and if you live in a city you will likely find all the ingredients you would need for each meal.  I found the recipes to be uniquely put together.  Pecan crusted chicken with cranberry dipping sauces and kale and apple salad with maple cider dressing for fall, spinach salad with strawberries and pork schnitzel with peach salad for summer.

Symon combines a lot of fruit with meats which is not something I normally add to my menus. He also provides a great variety with recipes for shrimp, scallops, pastas, pork, beef and chicken. I think this will be a cookbook that stretches most cooks in their cooking skills and taste bud combinations.  I wouldn’t be this for a beginner cook, but rather someone striving to eat fresh foods at the peak of their season ripeness.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.  The opinions expressed are my own.