Let me explain!
You see, for most of my life, I liked very few vegetables. But then, I started reading. And suddenly, roses just weren't enough. I wanted to grow vegetables, too.
|Hale's melon (cantaloupe)|
The book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life, by Barbara Kingsolver, was the biggest catalyst in changing the way I eat, buy vegetables, and look at food. She promotes eating locally, either through growing your own vegetables, or buying from a local farmers market. She preserves the local bounty in various ways in order to have food throughout the entire year. For me, it was a totally new way of looking at eating, and the way in which I still aspire to eat. It was because of this book that I started growing vegetables.
Later on, I read How to Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease: The Revolutionary, Scientifically Proven, Nutrition-Based Cure by Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn Jr. I was intrigued. He endorses a oil-free, dairy-free, meat-free diet. Basically, vegetables and whole wheat breads and pasta. But the results he has achieved are incredible! He proved that, not only does eating this way prevent heart disease, but it actually reverses it! It made me see the value of eating vegetables for our health. In fact, his research was so convincing, I started eating (and growing) even more vegetables after reading his book, and cut way down on my use of meat and oil.
After reading Dr. Esselstyn's book, I read The China Study: The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted and the Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss, and Long-Term Health by Drs. T. Colin Campbell and Thomas M. Campbell II. Drs. Campbell also endorse eating a oil-free, dairy-free, and meat-free diet, based upon years of study and research. They call it a whole foods, plant based diet. To put it simply: Eat plants.
Can't get any simpler than that!
Now, Dr. T. Colin Campbell, with Dr. Howard Jacobson, has come out with a new book, Whole: Rethinking the Science of Nutrition, which is a follow-up to The China Study. This is the book I've been reading lately. Personally, I don't like it as much as The China Study. However, my sister found Whole so intriguing that while she was visiting, she would pick it up every time I left the room. Whole is less of a how-to or why-to book than a look at the entire nutritional system, and the science behind all the studies. I believe Dr. Campbell wrote this book because the message about all the benefits we get from eating vegetables was not loud enough to be heard over all the other conflicting diets and ways of eating. He believes that if the public could understand why studies are conflicting, they would understand why there are so many unhealthy, yet so-called "healthy", ways to eat. He wants you to know how good vegetables really are for you.
Perhaps it seems I have to keep reading books that remind me to eat my veggies in order for me to be excited about eating veggies! But that excitement about eating vegetables turns into excitement about growing vegetables.
So, even though these books are really food books, not garden books, they have each inspired me to have my own vegetable garden. Everyone has a different reason to grow vegetables. For me, it was the health aspect that was the catalyst.
You may not want to eat a whole foods, plant based diet. I have to admit that I cheat way too much to say that I do. However, these books have inspired me. Without reading these books, I probably wouldn't have a vegetable garden. So, hopefully, one or more of these books will be inspiration for you to grow vegetables, too.
Now it's your turn! Please join us on the 20th of every month for your own Garden Book Review. Any book with a gardening influence qualifies. And as always, please take the time to visit the other participants. I've found some fabulous books from other's recommendations.
Holley, you are so right! The veggies are healthy food and we have to eat them more then now. I will post about my vegetables as well. And will write the link to your post. Are you agree?ReplyDelete
Oh, yes! I would love that! I'm truly not much of a vegetable grower myself, although I do try every year. I get so excited when I'm eating vegetables from my own garden - I imagine how happy my body is to be getting all those nutrients fresh from my soil. :)Delete
thanks holley - a good reminder for someone who's struggling to keep her veg plot weeded in this heat!ReplyDelete
I'm struggling, too. In fact, I had to remove the surrounding weeds so I could get a good picture of the melon! :ODelete
I like your book review choices. I've also read The Okinawa Diet that was based on longevity studies. These doctors interviewed and tracked the amazingly healthy and active centenarians(100 years old +) on that Japanese island. For a tiny island, they have the largest percentile of healthy elderly folks on Earth. Basically their diet was mostly fresh vegetables and fruits with small portions of fish. They seldom ate meat because it wasn't available on the island. It is a mountainous island, so these 100 year olds get built in exercise as they walk to and fro. You might enjoy it as a follow up to your research.
My book review this month is about a new world that has opened up to me: The French Country Garden. I found out that I think like French country gardeners when it comes to garden philosophy. It was a hand in glove moment that fit exactly my reasons for gardening. I was reassured that my randomness was not a crazy idea. David/:0)
Oh, thanks for the recommendation of The Okinawa Diet. I have not heard of this book, but it sounds like something I would love to read! I really am starting to think that vegetables play a big part in our life spans. I am excited to read your review, too. Thanks so much for joining in!Delete
Love that you've named books that were inspiring as well as provided good information. I think half of gardening is about the emotional good it does us and sometimes I'm surprised at the lack of gardening books that speak to that need.ReplyDelete
You're right, Marguerite. I love growing my rose garden, but I am less excited about growing vegetables. So, for me at least, I need to know that I'm doing my body good with all those fresh vegetables in order to care about that part of gardening.Delete
Another reason to keep at your veggie gardening is Washington's refusal to ban Monsanto's GMOs in this country when many, many other countries have already done so. GMOs are Genetically Modified Organisms. Monsanto has modified many seeds to be Round-Up Ready. Monsanto has also tried to take over the world's seed supply which is why we are being encouraged to save heirloom and non-hybrid food seeds.ReplyDelete
I so agree with you. My husband has very bad stomach problems, which miraculously went away when we started eating out of our own garden and/or organic produce from the farmers market and grocery stores. Since organic produce can be expensive to purchase, I try to grow as much as I feasibly can. Still, it's cheaper than doctors visits! I think more research needs to be done on round-up ready foods. I doubt they are as safe as they are thought to be. I have joined in with Just Label It (http://justlabelit.org) to hopefully take a stand against non-labeling of GMO products. As for seeds, I also try to grow all heirloom seeds. Saving seed is not something I have been successful at doing, although I know that it would be very beneficial to do that. I wish someone that was quite knowledgeable about exactly how to save seeds would write some blog posts on doing just that.Delete
Hi there, We don't grow veggies --but I love to eat fresh from the garden veggies.... There's nothing better than a home-grown tomato in summer. YUM...ReplyDelete
Our flowers are doing GREAT right now--with tons of blooms and lots of colors... We 'walk the yard' twice a day (early morning and after dinner) taking photos... OH SO MANY... ha ha
Have a great weekend.
I think those home grown tomatoes makes everyone's mouth water! :) I'm glad to hear your flowers are doing great right now, and that you're enjoying them. Sometimes we forget to enjoy them! It's been hot enough here for my flowers to go into their regular dormant summer spell, but soon it will be cooling down long enough for them to bloom again.Delete
The books you selected sound like very helpful one's to have. I have always planned to read Barbara Kingsolver's book, so thank you for recommending it. You've given me the inspiration to order it!ReplyDelete
Dorothy, I think you would really enjoy Barbara Kingsolver's book. I thought it was quite encouraging. It was one of those books that made me marvel at what they accomplished and yet, broke it down so simply that I felt I could do the same thing. That's not always an easy thing to impart, and she does a brilliant job.Delete
I adore reading about veg gardens and growing veggies.....just picked lots of beans, onions, potatoes, cukes and peppers....yummy. I will link in tomorrow. It's a different kind of food in the garden book.ReplyDelete
You are so good with your vegetable gardening! I still feel like I have so much more to learn about growing vegetables. But, I think part of that is because I really don't get a sense of satisfaction in growing vegetables, except for the eating part. Which is strange, because I love seeing my ornamental/landscape plants grow! I look forward to reading about the book you chose!Delete
I have an abundant library of vegetable gardening books! I can't wait to get my veggie patch growing - I am envious of your melon. I have had no luck!ReplyDelete
You grow a lot that I am envious of! :) I think so much has to do with our different climates. I was surprised to see the melons growing - they were buried under some weeds (I'm very behind this year), so they will be an extra sweet treat!Delete
Wow ! How do you get time to garden when reading at that terrific rate !ReplyDelete
Funnily enough I was driving home today listening to a whole BBC programme about the benefits of eating a 'plant only' diet. It stated that high cholesterol could be reversed too.
If you can eat that way and be organic and have no food miles, then that is fantastic, and you will be bursting with good health :-)
I don't think I can achieve all that, but it is a worthy goal to pursue. You are right about the cholesterol - thanks for bringing that up. I also think this type of diet is good for those with type 2 diabetes, although they state that if you do have type 2 diabetes and go on a plant-only diet, be certain your doctor is aware and monitors you very closely. They've seen diabetes reversed in as little as three days! It really makes me look at vegetables with much more respect!Delete
Three great sounding reads Holley. I am especially interested in the book that helps readers reverse heart disease because my husband has heart disease. I now try to have two types of veggies with each meal and serve less potatoes and pasta. We could probably use to have less meat and fat in our diet though.ReplyDelete
I hope you will read Dr. Esselstyn's book. The diet is not an easy one, but he achieved incredible results. I think you will be amazed.Delete
It's so satisfying to find a whole lot of sources which back each other up, isn't it? That sounds a fascinating collection of books. Far more research should be conducted into diet. Medicine tends to give the impression that once you've got something, you've got it for life, but here are possibilities of reversing heart disease and diabetes. I think far more research should be done into investigating nutritional deficiencies in connection with specific medical conditions, but of course drug companies couldn't make money out of that. I hadn't heard of any of these books, but I'll certainly keep a look-out for them.ReplyDelete
By the way, I wasn't sure if a Chicken-keeping book would be quite right for your lists. If you think it's a bit off-beam then do just delete the link.
I agree with you - much more research should go toward diet. The American people are so confused - we really don't know how to eat anymore! But, I think one can't go too wrong with vegetables! Sorry I didn't respond earlier - I just got back from an out-of-town trip. So glad you've joined in!Delete
Thanks for the interesting review! There are a lot of fad diets around these days but I don't think you can go wrong with going back to the basics, especially when you grow them yourself. I usually try to eat something that's fresh from my garden each day year round, but I haven't had any fresh lettuce lately (it being midwinter here) and I'm currently sick with a nasty bug! I don't often get sick and I put that down to the fresh veges that I eat, usually lettuce, herbs, spring onions and tomatoes when in season. Happy vegetable gardening... looks like yours is off to a flying start :)ReplyDelete
Ruth - there are so many different diets around these days, it's truly hard to figure out what is "right", but instinctively, I think, we know that vegetables are good for us. I wish I could eat something from my garden every day of the year! What a wonderful thing that must be! Sorry to hear you're sick. I hope you get well soon.Delete
It's difficult to know who to believe. Apparently man's diet was developed before grains evolved. Some people theorise that eating meat is how man evolved from the ape species. I just try to practise moderation in everything with one treat a day.ReplyDelete
I think you have a good point about the grains. I think a lot of diets "work" just by cutting down on grains. And moderation (even in treats!) sounds smart. The one thing I liked about Dr. Esselstyn's and Dr. Campbell's books were the long-term studies that they did, and the incredible results that Dr. Esselstyn achieved. I would love for other diets to be studied long-term. It doesn't seem right that eating should be so confusing! :ODelete
These books sound very interesting. Anything that gets us to stop eating processed foods and get back to basics (whole foods) sounds good to me! Nothing beats eating a pesticide-free veggie straight from your own garden.ReplyDelete
I agree - every time I pick a vegetable from my garden and eat it, I can imagine my body adsorbing all its nutrients. And of course, fresh always tastes so good, too!Delete