The Freedom Diet by Jessica Black

This is a tough review because I find myself with a very ambivalent reaction. On the one hand, the author is thorough, passionate, and definitely knows her subject matter. But the book is also dense, unfriendly, clinical, and overwritten. As well, I did not find enough new information to warrant the read: it all boils down to eating raw whole foods and avoiding packaged goods and restaurants. Those who have read diet books recently will likely not find much new here. But those just starting to attempt to get their life under control, especially with nutrition, might find this more useful.

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The book breaks down as follows: Part 1: What is affecting health today (True definition of health, Gastrointestinal health is essential to survival, Inflammation impact on health, Importance of blood sugar, Blood sugar and its relation to inflammation, Obesity, The hormone symphony, Other health risks are you at risk for chronic inflammation, heart disease, cancer, or diabetes?). Part II: The Freedom Diet. (Changing your diet for better health, habits to include, Habits to avoid, The supplement program, Getting prepared in the kitchen, Sample freedom diet recipes, Beyond 30 days, Troubleshoot the Diet). There is also an afterward and preface, recommended books and websites.

If you want to know about every disease or health issue that can affect any person from their diet, newborn to geriatric, this is your book. From teen use of energy drinks to problems in Asia from iodine deficiency, it’s all here. Along with what feels like every study published in medicine journals from around the world. As a result, there’s a LOT to slog through (the first 85% is all clinical health discussions) and I found myself skimming far too much – a lot wasn’t applicable to me (age, gender, race, etc.). And far too much felt like trial results or studies were cherry picked from really random places in order to push points or back up assertions.

While I appreciate knowledge and information, I also have to recognize when far too much is thrown at a person – especially for me in particular (ironic considering this is a naturopathic book and I had a hard time with relevancy). I don’t think the author recognized her target audience and instead just threw everything that she knew onto paper and got a bit too caught up in it.

Most problematic for me, though, is that the book really felt like it had an agenda. The author is pushing her own business as well as the field of her profession, which is more holistic rather than symptom-based medicine. It’s a good focus but it felt like she tried far too hard to bolster the reputation of naturopathy rather than giving the reader a good diet book.

The end of the book has a few recipes but really we don’t have a diet here. We have a lifestyle and health discussion with some recipes and recommendations thrown in the end. I understand there is to be a companion cook book – so just be aware this is a discussion book on the topic rather than a very specific plan. Reviewed from an advance reader copy provided by the publisher.

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This entry was posted in ARC, Book Reviews, fitness/diet, health, non fiction, nonfiction. Bookmark the permalink.

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