Pros: Very easy to read
Cons: Only 15 recipes, poor execution of recipes, no illustrations
I have always been interested in healthy, whole food eating; visions of meals prepared with fresh crisp vegetables from the garden inspire me. When I saw this book, “21 Pounds in 21 Days,” by Roni DeLuz, I was curious as to what she had to say about detoxifying, and eating healthy. Was it going to be something new or a form of regurgitation of previously covered materials? It seems as though the vegetarian and healthy eating section at my local book store has been though a baby boom. Everywhere I look there are books on healthy eating. I was hoping to find something new and useful in this compact book of 250 pages; after all that is only a few hours of reading in my garden. I settled in with my tall iced green tea, sitting on my deck with fresh herbs growing around me. I had my sticky notes, reading glasses, notebook, pencil and phone handy. Everything I needed to make sure I didn’t have to leave my little sanctuary as I perused my new book. Deep into chapter two, out walks my husband. If I could have taken a picture of my husband when he looked at the latest book I am to review it would have been priceless. He was definitely speechless. I could see him wondering what in the world he should say… If he is too excited it would appear I should lose weight. On the other hand saying nothing is just as bad, so to get out of the awkward situation he excuses himself to get a drink. I hear him, in the background as he opens the fridge. I recognize the rustling of the fresh leafy vegetables I have in every nook and cranny of the fridge, products of my earlier excursion to the market after glancing at the limited recipe section of the book, then I hear the meat drawer slowly open and it makes me smile. Satisfied he would be able to continue on with his carnivore existence, I hear him pour a glass of tea and carry on as the awkwardness moments before flee, as I immersed myself in the book.
First, I have to say I like juices, shakes, and soups. No one has to convince me to try these things at all. I also consider myself to be well educated on the “healthy” foods out there, the toxic chemicals we should avoid, and the things we really need to add to our diets such as more vegetables. I can go on and on about how we need more vegetables in our diets, but I digress. In a nutshell, this book is more like an overview of the information you would want if you were interested in eating healthier. The premise of the book is that if you consume food in liquid form it is more readily absorbed by the body. Hence, every recipe in the book is intended to be in juice form or blended, as with the soups. Roni DeLuz,wrote the book so anyone can read it and understand it. You don’t need to be a nutrition expert to understand that adding more vegetables to your diet will make you feel better. She touches on issues such as fluoride in the water, pesticides on foods, organic or not, and Elimination Therapy. If you don’t know what the effects of these things are then this book will give you enough information to perhaps peak your interest so you will do more research. There are also testimonials interspersed throughout the book for those of you that want to read about how others have progressed using the methods suggested. Overall nothing is new in this book, it is just presented in a watered down version. This is much easier to understand if this is your first experience with detoxing your body. This is also where the book is conflicting. It is written with a beginner in mind when it comes to detoxing; however the recipes are a bit incomplete, too simple, so unless you have some cooking experience you may find yourself in hot water when it comes to some of the soup recipes.
I love it when cookbooks put in the blueprint for a recipe, and you add what you like to make it yours. For both the soups and the juices she has done just that. Bear with me on this, as I explain the simplicity, and confusion with the recipes presented. There are a total of fifteen actual recipes in the book (7 soups, 5 salad dressings, 1 salad, and 2 shakes). However, she also has suggestions for changing up the soups and juices. For instance, on the juices she lists combinations for different ailments (p.129), such as arthritis: bean sprouts, carrot, cucumber, fennel, kale, parsnip, turnip. But what is lacking is the quantity of each ingredient. The other combinations of juices are for cancer, fluid retention, heart disease, high cholesterol, impotence, liver problems, menopause, prostate problems, and ulcers. Right in the middle of the juice section is a chart on the benefits of each vegetable, so you can mix up your own combination depending on what your needs are. I liked this section. She also goes onto give five more suggestions with juicing this time with more details (5 carrots, 4 collard leaves, 2 parsley sprigs, ¼ beet). The basic recipe for the soup is 4 cups water, 2 cups chopped vegetables, spices of your choice, simmer for 30-60 minutes, then blend 1 cup of the vegetables, discard the remaining vegetables and put the blended vegetables back into the broth, consume. Again, she gives several suggestions for combinations you may enjoy. However back in the recipe section the soup recipe changes. Here you have the same quantities, but the process is different. Here is the method “Boil all vegetables with spices over high heat and blend. Next, pour ¼ cup of broth into the blender, along with all of the vegetables. Puree and eat the soup. Drink remaining broth.” I have to tell you this later recipe does not work. The problem I have is that I test the recipes from a beginner level. I do exactly as it says. Well, it doesn’t say how long to boil the vegetables. If I boil them as instructed in chapter 4 then I am probably going to overcook them. Next adding only 1/4c of broth to the vegetables, depending on which ones, is just not enough liquid at all. I tested the recipes both way, and am convinced she means to simmer the vegetables until just tender. I wish the author would have spent more time on creating the recipes for this book. As simple as they are, in my opinion, she should have taken the time to properly write them out so anyone could pick up the book and have success in executing the recipe.
As I mentioned earlier this is definitely a beginner’s guide to the benefits of detoxing your body, and eating healthy. I don’t recommend it as a cookbook because there are flaws in the execution of the recipes listed. As well, there are extremely limited numbers of recipes. However if you are not looking for a recipe book, and want to peruse the information on detoxing, and get the information presented on the benefits of healthful eating then this would be a great book. The author does have links, and suggested supplements for you to add to your experience. You will need to have access to a health food store to get some of the ingredients. I checked Amazon and they carry all of them. Good luck, and remember to eat your vegetables!
Ginger Carrots (soup)
Makes 2 servings
1 quart distilled water
1 cup carrots, peeled and chopped
1 cup mixed greens (I used spinach and chard)
½ cup sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
¼ inch piece ginger root, peeled and chopped
1 teaspoon mixture ground cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and stevia, to taste
1 teaspoon organic vanilla extract
Boil all vegetables with spices over high heat and blend. Next, pour ¼ cup of broth into a blender, along with all of the vegetables, add vanilla extract at the end for taste. Purée and eat the soup. Drink the remaining broth.
*I simmered my vegetables for 20 minutes, until they were tender, then blended everything until smooth