Not just a cookbook, Unprocessed: How to Achieve Vibrant Health and your Ideal Weight*, by Chef Abbie Jaye is not only loaded with recipes but tells a moving and inspiring life story of the author and how an unhealthy diet can affect every aspect of your life. The foods you eat can alter how you feel and look as well as cause or prevent disease.
Growing up in Chicago in the 1960’s, Chef AJ was surrounded by the blossoming empire of the processed foods industry and indulged in it as a child and teen. With a stressful and challenging childhood, she went on to battle anorexia, which led to a slew of health problems like protein and calorie deficiency and adult onset asthma. Both her father and mother died of diseases brought on by a poor diet.
A diet of foods ‘as-grown’ is a diet of eating no processed or engineered foods; fruits, vegetables, beans, lentils, whole grains, nuts and seeds are all unprocessed. Any food that has added sugar, oil or salt is off limits. As well they should be, we don’t need these added pollutants to our food. Chef AJ goes by one rule, which makes it easy to understand, “If I can make it in my kitchen, using whole ingredients, its unprocessed…you can’t make a Fruit Loop.”
If you’re thinking about getting off processed foods altogether, Unprocessed* is a great place to start! There is nothing to lose by trying it, only tons to gain! Not only are the recipes and foods vegan and vegetarian, they’re also gluten-free. All the recipes are pretty simple and easy, most with minimal ingredients. For someone like me, on a budget and being gluten-free, I could make most of the recipes with things already on hand or right at my corner store. It's a great read and a great addition to my cookbook shelf! Get and stay healthy with these diet and great meals.
To learn more about Chef AJ and cooking food without using refined sugars, salts or oils you can visit her website, Chef AJ's Health Kitchen. Here you can also learn about her other books, DVDs and classes. And to learn more about the book and view videos of AJ's series "The Chef and the Dietician" go to Eat Unprocessed.
- Watch Chef AJ and Julieanna Hever make Cranberry Relish,
perfect for the winter holidays or cold weather meals!
- Read more of VegKitchen’s book reviews.
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