Book review: The Dude Diet by Serena Wolf

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  • The Dude Diet by Serena Wolf
  • Publisher:  Harper Wave
  • Published:  October 25, 2016
  • 352 pages
  • Cook book / cooking

ABOUT THE BOOK:   From chef and creator of the popular food blog Domesticate-Me.com, 125 outrageously delicious yet deceptively healthy recipes for dudes (and the people who love them), accompanied by beautiful full-color photography.

Dudes. So well intentioned when it comes to healthy eating, even as they fail epically in execution—inhaling a “salad” topped with fried chicken fingers or ordering their Italian hero on a whole wheat wrap (that makes it healthy, right?).

There are several issues with men going on diets. First, they seem to be misinformed about basic nutrition. They are also, generally, not excited about eating “health food.” You can lead a dude to the salad bar, but you can’t make him choose lettuce.

Enter Serena Wolf—chef, food blogger, and caretaker of a dude with some less than ideal eating habits. As a labor of love, Serena began creating healthier versions of her boyfriend’s favorite foods and posting them on her blog, where she received an overwhelming response from men and women alike. Now, inThe Dude Diet, Serena shares more than 125 droolworthy recipes that prove that meals made with nutrient-dense whole foods can elicit the same excitement and satisfaction associated with pizza or Chinese take-out.

The Dude Diet also demystifies the basics of nutrition, empowering men to make better decisions whether they’re eating out or cooking at home. Better still, each recipe is 100% idiot-proof and requires only easily accessible ingredients and tools. With categories like Game Day Eats, On the Grill, Serious Salads, and Take Out Favorites, The Dude Diet will arm dudes and those who love them with the knowledge they need to lead healthier, happier lives—with flattened beer bellies and fewer meat sweats.

BUY THE BOOK:   Amazon   Barnes & Noble

01_29_16_DUDE_SERENA_PORTRAIT_106_pMEET THE AUTHOR:

As much as I hate to admit it, I’m not someone who can claim a lifelong love of food and cooking. In fact, I was an upsettingly picky eater until college, and my only culinary role model was my mother, a woman well-versed in the art of burning things. So it came as quite a shock to my family and friends when, after graduating from college in 2009, I announced that I was moving to Paris and enrolling in culinary school.

I honestly had zero desire to become a chef. I simply wanted to master some domestic skills, practice my French, and maybe find the perfect red lipstick—all while figuring out what to do with my life. I told myself that I’d spend three months completing the Basic Cuisine course at Le Cordon Bleu, and then I’d come home and get a real job.

Since you’re now reading my food blog, things obviously didn’t go according to the original plan.

My early cooking school days were mildly traumatic (which is unsurprising given that the only dish I’d successfully “cooked” up to that point was a burnt grilled cheese), but after a couple months, I had become a completely different person. I was gutting and filleting fish, deboning chickens, breaking down whole rabbits, and whipping up hollandaise sauce without breaking a sweat. The most insane part? I loved every second of it. Realizing that I’d found my (very unexpected) calling, I enthusiastically signed on to complete the full diploma program and never looked back.

Since graduating from LCB in 2011, I’ve worn a few different culinary hats—private chef, culinary instructor, freelance writer, recipe developer, nutritional spirit guide, etc.—but blogging has easily been my most rewarding pursuit, both personally and professionally. (So trite, but so true.) I started this site on a whim while in Paris with no goal in mind other than to casually share some of my new culinary skillz with other domestically-challenged souls (i.e. my friends at home, who I assumed would be the only ones interested in reading it). There was a lot of pink, Julia Child quotes, and Blackberry photos on domesticatemoi.blogspot.com back in the day, but I had a clear vision: Help others get their shit together in the kitchen. And make it fun, dammit.

Connect with the author:   Website   Twitter   Facebook   Instagram   Pinterest  YouTube

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REVIEW:  

Written primarily with men in mind, The Dude Diet’s “tough love”  approach to nutrition and the idiot proof nature of the recipes outlines in simple terms (in dude language) why eating healthy (along with exercise) can help you feel better both physically and mentally.  While directed primarily at men, this book is an excellent source of information and recipes for anyone who loves to eat but who isn’t particularly interested in cooking.  Gorgeous photographs and humorous descriptions (plus nice big page numbers) make this cookbook very user friendly. (check out Selena’s videos on YouTube)

In this cookbook you will find:

  • The Dude Diet Commandments
  • Cravings decoded (i.e. the cause + the fix)
  • Dude Diet portion size guidelines
  • Pantry essentials (what every dude needs in his kitchen – food)
  • Equipment essentials

The next part of the books is broken down into different recipe chapters (with some of my favs):

  • Badass Breakfasts  (apple pie overnight oats)
  • The Classics (1-hour pulled pork)
  • Game Day Eats (brown rice jambalaya with shrimp and chicken sausage)
  • On the Grill (fiery pork and pineapple skewers)
  • Serious Salads (summer roll salad with shrimp and mango)
  • Take-out Favorites (sesame orange chicken)
  • Sexy Sides (chipotle mashed sweet potatoes with goat cheese)
  • Back-pocket Recipes (go-to frittata)
  • Chronic Cocktails (grapefruit beergarita)
  • Sweetness (caramelized peach crisp sundaes)

With winter coming, I’m looking forward to using this cookbook with my friends. (dudettes) Thanks Selena!

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Book review: Ditching the Drive-thru: How to Pass Up Processed Foods, Buy Farm Fresh, and Transform Your Family’s Eating Habits on a Modern Mom’s Schedule by J. Natalie Winch

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Book Details:

Book Title:  Ditching the Drive-Thru: How to Pass Up Processed Foods, Buy Farm Fresh, and Transform Your Family’s Eating Habits on a Modern Mom’s Schedule by J. Natalie Winch 
Category:  Adult non-fiction,192 pages
Genre:  Healthy Living / Food
Publisher:  Spikehorn Press
Release date:  September 2015
Available for review in:  Print, ebook (mobi for Kindle), ePUB, PDF
Will send print books:  USA & Canada
Tour dates:  Nov 9 to December 11, 2015
Content Rating:  G

Book Description:  

After an exhausting day at work, hitting the drive-thru or nuking a pre-fab meal is all too often the go-to decision for feeding a family. Cooking a meal from scratch using fresh ingredients can seem beyond the average person’s time, energy, or financial means. But with mounting evidence pointing to processed food and our industrial food system as the culprits behind many of our nation’s health problems—including obesity, diabetes, and cancer—it’s now more important than ever to be fully informed about what goes on your family’s dinner plates.

If you’re ready to take control of your food choices but don’t know the difference between grass-fed versus grain-fed, pastured versus free-range, or organic versus sustainable, read this book to discover:

• How to create your own thirty-month plan to convert your family from junk food to real food, without a revolt!

• Recipes and advice on planning and prepping meals so you can make homecooked a habit for your family

• Instructions for getting the most out of produce using techniques such as lacto-fermentation, dehydrating, and canning

•  introduction to the world of farm-direct sales, including tips on locating local farms, seeing through marketing buzzwords, and shopping with CSAs Ditching the Drive-Thru exposes the insidious hold the commercial food industry has taken over the fast-paced lives of the average American and the danger these processed foods and diet plans pose to our health, environment, and emotional wellbeing.

Learn how to break free from the grind and return to a simpler relationship with food from farmers, not factories, and home-cooked meals that are created in your kitchen, not on a conveyor belt.

Buy the book:    Amazon   Barnes & Noble

J. Natalie Winch author pic

Meet the author:   

J. Natalie Winch lives in southern New Jersey, not far from where she grew up, with her husband, two children, and dogs. When she isn’t mothering, teaching, grading, or making lesson plans, Natalie runs the Hebrew School at her synagogue, coaches soccer, teaches lacto-fermentation classes, writes the occasional entry for her blog Food Empowerment (tradsnotfads.com), and fights the dust bunnies that threaten to take over her family room.

Connect with the author:   Website 

REVIEW:  
More and more people these days feel challenged by the kitchen.  The popularity of cooking shows has grown in inverse proportion to the number of people who actually cook.  In a sense, cooking has become a spectator sport.

Although I try to eat as healty as possible, I didn’t realize how ignorant I was with respect to the different terminologies describing food culture. For example, what is the difference between the the term “organic” and “all-natural”. What does GMO mean? What exactly does “processed” mean?

Chapter 5 – Making Informed Choices deals with produce, eggs, dairy, meat and fish and how they are controlled by the different industries and associations.

Chapter 7 – Agri-Cabulary explains how to buy healthy meat.

I really enjoyed the chapter on “Corporate Marketing Manipulation”. This chapter explains, amongst other things, the political connection between the government and the FDA or USDA. It also explains food layout in grocery stores, why processed foods are all up and down the aisles while fresh foods are displayed around the perimeter of the store.

The author has given me much “food for thought”. The book is easy to understand (although not exhaustive) and includes a 30 month plan to implement healthier living practices into your lifestyle, easy recipes, how to stock your pantry and how to find a farmer that produces quality food that you can develop a long-term relationship with.

I am going to pass this on to my friends, and will definitely be more pro-active in the way I shop and eat.

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