the build up
As a FitFluential Ambassador, I got the opportunity to review a new cookbook from fellow-ambassador Jeremy Scott (of @JeremyScottFitness). The book, written along with Kim Maes, is a 10-day program to clean your body of the effects of a less-than-ideal diet and set you up to eat right going forward. It’s called Get Lean Gluten Free Cookbook, and you can get it at Amazon now in Kindle or paperback.
Read on to see what I thought of the book.
what it is
Jeremy Scott structures the book – which is more of a magazine than a book in terms of size and style – as an educational introduction, a structure for how to eat over the 10 day period, and then a series of recipes so you can make everything he puts in the plan. At the end, there’s a bit more guidance, but the real meat of the book is the recipes, which include great photos of the actual dishes.
The book is summed up in one great line:
[tweet_box inject=”#GetLeanGlutenFree” design=”box_12_at” pic_url=”http://www.jeremyscottfitness.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/jeremyheadshot–166×139.jpg” author=”@jeremyscottfitness”]40+ Fresh & Simple Recipes to KEEP You Lean, Fit & Healthy[/tweet_box]
The book opens with this great, 9 tip guide to going gluten-free, getting lean and staying that way (as they say it). It reminds me of my 10 Principles in the sense that taking this guidance in can really set you up for success by making the most crucial pieces of guidance and information clear and useful.
The first tip is to ditch the word “Diet”. This echoes my recurring message about that word in that it’s come to mean some short-term, usually unnatural approach to eating to get weight off. It typically does nothing for creating a sustainable lifestyle. Think of the old Slim-Fast slogan of “A shake for breakfast, a shake for lunch and sensible dinner.” That’s not what Diet – with a capital D – should mean. It’s about what we eat every day in a healthy, sustainable approach to fueling and empowering our bodies. I love that Scott opens the book with this notion. In deed, he talks about considering [tweet_dis inject=”#eatcleanglutenfree @jeremyscottfitness”]Diet as a life-long lifestyle change for permanent results[/tweet_dis]. I love it.
So, with that in mind, he then goes into a 10 day plan of what to eat at each meal, and then how to prepare these foods. Wait, what? A 10 day eating plan? Isn’t that a short-term approach? Isn’t the food fixed like you’d get with Jenny Craig or something? Yes, it is short-term, and yes the foods are generally fixed (guided is a better word in my book as he’s guiding you through it, not controlling you). But it isn’t meant to be a short-term-only kind of thing. He’s using the construct of a fixed period and structured approach to teach you in that time what it means to eat healthy for a lean, fit body, and to give you the tools to eat that way once the 10 days are up. Slim-Fast, Jenny Craig, South Beach, etc don’t do that. If you go off their program and eat your own food (or, as is the case with Slim-Fast, eat food that you chew more than once a day), your results reverse. That’s not what this program is about. Consider it school more than a weight loss program.
As for the recipes themselves, they literally all sound fantastic. They’re actually fairly easy to prepare with cooking equipment most people would have at home (e.g. you don’t need to buy many special tools to create the dishes from what I can tell). And the recipes are accompanied by photos so you know what you’re going to be eating, and, I have to say, the photos make the food look really enticing. The foods are gluten-free (as the title of the book suggests) because reducing gluten (and some other things) helps to reduce inflammation. That is the source of a lot of the weight we carry and taxes our bodies so they can’t do the things they need to do to stay healthy. That is, if your immune system is constantly dealing with your body being inflamed, it can’t spend as much time on the maintenance and repair you need to feel great.
The cost of the book is another bright point if you go digital. If you have Amazon Kindle Unlimited, the book is free. If not, it’s $2.99 on Kindle. Paperback price – see below.
Do I have a favorite recipe? Not really. Partially because they really do all look good, but also because…well, read the section below.
So what didn’t I like about it? To continue to the thought above, I had one issue with the cook book that granted won’t apply to most people. I’m vegan, and this is clearly not a vegan cook book. Yes, there are lots of veggies in the recipes, and not everything has animal products (for example, there’s a no-bake protein bite recipe that uses honey (not vegan) or maple syrup (vegan) to sweeten and bind it. But the rest of the meals often use eggs or meat, and I also spotted cottage cheese in the book (though not other dairy). I’m not holding that against the book in general, but it does mean a plan like this wouldn’t work for me.
Now, that said, I’m not the target audience here because of how I eat in the first place. I also doubt most vegans would be, either, though there are certainly vegans who eat a lot of grain and processed foods and as a result deal with inflammation. Given that, I could see quite a bit in the book being useful guidance and knowledge for these folks, but the book itself probably isn’t the best place to get it (I’d strongly recommend Rich Roll and Julie Piatt’s The Plantpower Way, instead).
I mentioned the pricing above, and wanted to touch on paperback costs. It’s $9.99, which isn’t a huge sum, but feels like too much for the physical version you get. Why? I mentioned that it’s sort of a magazine in terms of layout and feel. The production quality just isn’t there, and it really shows in the images/graphics throughout where you can see pixels and artifacts. It actually detracts from the content because it just makes it feel cheap, yet the content is anything but. And the layout of the book doesn’t really necessitate a physical copy (whereas The Plantpower Way absolutely should be viewed in person as it’s got gorgeous, full-page images and exceptional production quality). So, I’m let down by the graphics quality (not the photography quality), and think $9.99 is too much for what you get. That said, I’m guessing it costs just about that much to make the physical copy given that it’s printed in color on a nicely-weighted paper, and probably is being printed at something like a Kinkos (not that they exist anymore) rather than overseas at a mega-book-printing-plant where costs are absurdly cheap, even for color. So my point is, I don’t think the authors are price-gouging here. I think it literally costs too much to print it to make the book feel like a good enough value.
to buy or not to buy
So what does this all mean when you put it together? I knocked the value of the printed book at about $10. I’m really commenting on the physical product being worth more than 3x the digital. The value isn’t in the printing, it’s in the content. And the content is worth more than $2.99 in my eyes. So when you consider getting it for free or $3 on Kindle (which means you can view it on any computer, smart phone, tablet or an actual Kindle), there’s no question this is a good guide for people who know their Diet needs help and they need to be taught how to help it. If you fit that description, then I would definitely recommend the book.
Getting smart about what you’re eating generate the level of health and wellness your body deserves is so important, and a building block to enlighten.your.body.