Discover Your Nutritional Style is a bit of a misnomer – what we have is a book devoted to women looking and feeling well, through nutrition, yes, but also including things like recipes for scented baths, facial scrubs, lavender scents on the pillow, and avocado-honey hair masks (all varying by season). I worry that readers may think the book is one thing when in truth it is a completely different animal. Holistic and homeopathic are the key words here.
The contents of the book are as follows: Introduction/author’s personal story; What’s your nutritional style?; It’s food not religion; Dangerous Liaisons; Cleansing in style; Healing in style; Enter Spring; Ease into Summer; Autumn arrives; Winter warmth; Recipes for your nutritional style; Resources, index.
Most of the nutritional commentary, which is sprinkled throughout, deals with cleansing. There is a diet plan – involving 1 week to ease into better eating, 2 weeks of following the recipes, then another week after easing out. The emphasis is on losing 10 pounds rather than something for those who have a lot of weight to lose. This is evidenced, e.g., by tips throughout that focus on things like bloating from eating fruits and testimonials that typically are about women who can’t lose a few pounds. The title is derived from a quick quiz to determine if the reader prefers vegan, modified vegan, or non vegan meals. I didn’t really feel people needed a quiz to figure that out.
There is good nutritional information in here but it isn’t a science type book. Clearly, author Thompson is appealing to the vanity and self perception aspects of women to create a reason to eat healthier. That’s not necessarily a bad approach and certainly appearance is a compelling reason to eat healthier. But admittedly for me personally, it felt a bit fluffy. I thought this was a book on nutrition and not hair masks or face scrubs. As well, a lot of the topics oddly focus on really specific nutritional issues that 99% of the population probably doesn’t need to worry about.
The book is nicely laid out but many of the photographs are of the author. Yes, she is an attractive woman but I don’t think we need to see her standing in front of a house with strawberries or posing next to a bike with a basket of greens in it (the marketing/art/photographer should be fired). I don’t think we need that box of strawberries on the ground in front of her or the giant greens smoothie in her hand to know this is a health book. There are some photos with the recipes at the back but oddly enough, quite a few are of an ingredient only (e.g., a nicely lit shot of an avocado that doesn’t tell us what the recipe will look like when finished). This adds to the feel that the book is style over substance. Pretty pictures and nebulous thoughts but lacking depth (and subtlety). After awhile, the really obvious attempts at subliminal marketing messages did get very insulting.
Recipes are presented in 3 colors (green, orange, red) but in tiny type and all stuck together into endless but small font paragraphs. I tried to do one but gave up – I kept having to scan through endless sentences in a huge paragraph of tiny type and it was giving me a headache. The big fail on the presentation of the recipes contributed most to the 3 star rating.
I wasn’t able to get a lot out of this but I am also not the target audience – I’m looking for a more concrete nutrition book and not homeopathy or holistic approach to lifestyle change. I am more concerned with diabetes than puffy eye bags.
Reviewed from an ARC.