Science and spirituality meet healthy eating

Try a Soul’s Code inspiration to look at healthy eating in a whole new way


GUEST REVIEW: TERJE FOKSTUEN — I share these books with you out of personal experience attending medical school, my religious studies and my share of diets, Lenten cleansings and the realm of the senses. Here is a taste of  “long-form” intelligence about taking charge of  your health; wellness of self and planet; and conscious cooking and eating:

Daphne Miller (The Jungle Effect) is a San Francisco physician, and professor at UCSF, who went native. She started thinking about local diets, and their effect on health, after witnessing the impact of a western diet on Brazilian natives (N.B. It wasn’t good).  Their resulting high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes seemed to vanish when they returned to their native diets.  In her dense book, she explores native diets from Iceland to Mexico.  Her recommendation: a diet with limited proteins (preferably from fish, and high in whole grains and greens. food-matters1

Mark Bittman loves food, and eating, (my kind of guy!) and that is why he advocates a greener diet.  Cooking and eating should be a mindful process where we plan and pray into the meals we cook.  The beauty of Food Matters is that, Bittman (“bite-man”? :) , a resident New York Times food critic and general eating-guru, inducts us into the sensual aspects of eating green.

Karma point: Bittman’s essays are annotated by 75 recipes that run the gamut from breakfast burritos to dinner curries. One of Bittman’s chief virtues is that he is neither a scold nor a harridan.  Which is why he is so easy to love!  If you really a want a cheeseburger, fries, and coke by all means, have them (just don’t do it more than once, or twice? a month).


Michael Pollan’s Omnivore’s Dilemma will delight the vegans who live around him in Berkeley, CA, but his essays and books are grounded in journalistic details about industrial production of the meat that Americans eat.

It’s a post-Bush, 9/11 entry in a long history of ideas about holistic or natural living. You can trace this lineage to the Romans (Marcus Aurelius. . .come on down), Thoreau’s Walden, turn-of-the-century muckraker Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle and more recently, Pollan’s fellow Berkeley-ologist and Chez Panisse founder, Alice Waters.

Pollan happened to write an 8000-word essay for the New York Times magazine before the 2008 election to hype the issue at a time when people cared little about any issue other than their job, stock portfolio and bank account.

Helen Fisher: Though not about cooking Why Him? Why Her? is about love and brain chemistry.  It might have cues on how one connects to soul’s-code mates :)

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2 Responses to “Science and spirituality meet healthy eating”

  1. Talk about a Lent and spring-cleaning — um, cleansing — diet, you forgot to list the no-solids fast that Katie Holmes is on.

    According to the glossy weekly celeb magazine, Life & Style Weekly (a spin-off of “inTouch”:

    “New reports claim the star is on a Scientology-dictated detox diet known as a purification rundown — and it may be leaving her miserable and even malnourished.”

  2. Thanks for a great round-up of books that I’m definitely going to check out this year. The benefits of healthy eating seems so obvious, is why is it so hard for us to do?