Review: Eat Drink and Still Shrink – Michele Chevalley Hedge

Eat Drink and Still Shrink
Michele Chevalley Hedge
Pan Macmillan Australia
Plum
ISBN: 9781760783358
RRP $34.99

Description:
Like you, Michele Chevalley Hedge wants to be able to eat delicious food, enjoy the odd glass of wine and still feel great.

In this book, Michele draws on all the latest research and her many years’ experience as a nutritionist to provide a solution that works for the average busy person who wants to be healthy.

The sheer amount of nutritional information available nowadays can be overwhelming. But if we’re not eating well, we feel the impact in every part of our lives. Not only can a poor diet lead to weight gain, the development of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, but it also adversely affects our moods, our ability to sleep well and our energy levels – in short, everything we need to function well in this modern age.

So, what’s the answer? Certainly not deprivation; all the science tells us that ‘diets’ (especially the extreme, yo-yo variety) don’t work. What the science does show is that eating a balanced diet of nourishing wholefoods – with the odd treat thrown in – is your ticket to ageing well, a lean healthy body, a sense of vitality, abundant energy and better brain function.

This book is not about yo-yo dieting or trying to fit into your jeans by Friday. It’s a joyful guide to life and a sustainable way of eating for long-term good health.

My View:
When did food start to be the enemy? Michele Chevalley Hedge’s shares “We need this book because, while staying healthy is not overly complicated, it often seems as though it is. What’s more there are so many competing messages, too many ways of framing nutrition and not enough evidence based scientific data that underpins health.”p10

So much of the information presented here resonates with me. In fact I think this book is such a gem I am reading it a second time – the first I read to reflect on Michele’s discussion and now to try and apply some of her strategies to my life style. I particularly like the “micro changes” and am already embarking of a couple of those…simple changes that benefit my health.

Here within is a strategy to put your health back on track. A great read.

#MeatFreeMonday Creamy Vegetable Soup: Eat Drink and Still Shrink – Michele Chevalley Hedge

Eat, Drink and Still Shrink by Michele Chevalley Hedge,

Published by Plum, RRP $34.99,

Photography by Cath Muscat.

 

C R E A M Y   V E G E T A B L E  S O U P 

“I love cream and I love veggies so when I can combine them both in a soup I do. But the tastebud explosion here is not cream at all … it is the creaminess of cashews, making it a lighter meal than you might expect, but still packed with protein and nutrients. Enjoy it just as it is, or sprinkle over your choice of fresh herbs.” p150  

SERVES 4  PREPARATION TIME: 15 MINS COOKING TIME: 30 MINS
1 cup raw unsalted cashews
2 tablespoons coconut oil or
extra virgin olive oil
1 large brown onion, roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
5 cups chopped broccoli,cauliflower and/or carrots
3–4 cups vegetable stock or water
2 teaspoons sea salt
1–2 teaspoons cayenne pepper (to taste)
coriander sprigs, to serve

Soak the cashews in water for 15 minutes, then drain.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat, add the onion and garlic and cook for 5 minutes or until softened. Add the vegetables and enough stock or water to cover, then season with the
salt and cayenne pepper.

Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Add the drained cashews, then blend with a stick blender (or in an upright blender) until smooth.

Divide among four bowls and serve hot garnished
with coriander.

DITCH THE NUTS: If you don’t eat nuts, add 200 ml coconut milk
just before blending (heat it through at a simmer over low heat
otherwise it will separate).

BULK IT UP: Add a drained 400 g tin of chickpeas or legumes of your
choice after blending and simmer for 10 minutes. Remember legumes
are both a carb and a protein so go easy on them at dinner.

SPICE IT UP: Add a pinch of smoked paprika, chilli powder or
jalapeno pepper powder.

Review: The Long Call – Ann Cleeves

The Long Call

(Two Rivers #1)

Ann Cleeves

Macmillan

ISBN: 9781509889570

RRP $29.99

 

Description:

The Long Call is the captivating first novel in a brand new series from Sunday Times bestseller and creator of Vera and Shetland, Ann Cleeves.

 

In North Devon, where the rivers Taw and Torridge converge and run into the sea, Detective Matthew Venn stands outside the church as his father’s funeral takes place. The day Matthew turned his back on the strict evangelical community in which he grew up, he lost his family too.

 

Now he’s back, not just to mourn his father at a distance, but to take charge of his first major case in the Two Rivers region; a complex place not quite as idyllic as tourists suppose.

 

A body has been found on the beach near to Matthew’s new home: a man with the tattoo of an albatross on his neck, stabbed to death.

 

Finding the killer is Venn’s only focus, and his team’s investigation will take him straight back into the community he left behind, and the deadly secrets that lurk there.

 

 

My View:

Ann Cleeves introduces to a new set of characters and protagonists in this the beginning of a new series set in North Devon. Cleeves takes her time to provide backgrounds of her characters and very visual descriptions of the settings, you will be transported to the locations; the various significant workplaces, the beaches, the lonely villages, the Woodyard.

 

This is a very contemporary telling of a murder/mystery; the protagonist (Matthew) is an openly gay man – but this is just a fact not a significance, some of the pivotal characters have disabilities and have an important role in the narrative; modern communities are represented on these pages, this is very refreshing to read.

 

Whilst the pace slowly builds you will soon find yourself immersed in the lives of the main characters; Matthew and Jen (a detective/single mum) – I wonder who will play them in the TV series, the works have just been optioned for TV). Someone gutsy, intelligent, sensitive but fun.

 

All in all a good read, some interesting new charters and a resolution that is poignant – this is one instance where I actually felt incredibly sorry for both the victim and the perpetrator. There is much to consider in the narrative, I hope you enjoy it too.

 

**Stay tuned for a fabulous #Friday Freebie for your chance to win a copy of this title. Read it before it hits the screens.  **Offer open to Australian residents.**

 

 

 

 

Review: Heal – Pete Evans

101 Simple Ways to Improve Your Health in a Modern World

Pete Evans

Pan Macmillan Australia

Plum

ISBN: 9781760782627

 

Description:

So many of us are looking for practical changes we can make to nourish our body, be more active and find meaningful connection – ways to be stronger, happier and healthier, in a fast-paced world.

 

Pete begins with what he knows best – food – and offers suggestions on how to eat and drink in ways that will support your wellbeing. Next, he explores different ways to move and play that are known to positively influence physical and mental health. There are ideas on how to relax your body and mind, including massage and meditation, as well as the best strategies for restorative sleep. Finally, Pete explores activities that promote creativity, self-awareness and connection with other people, which are all essential to emotional wellbeing.

 

With ideas to inspire everyone to make a change in their lives – no matter how big or small – Heal will help you to find the path to your healthiest self.

 

 

My View:

This is Pete Evan being the best person he can be and sharing with you how he does this.

I loved the soft bound cover, the gloriously peaceful images (in fact all the photography here is outstanding) and the joy reading this creates.  This book is full of positive vibes, uplifting.

 

 

Heal – Peter Evan

 Photograph courtesy Ant Ong.

 

Review: The Van Apfel Girls Are Gone – Felicity McLean

The Van Apfel Girls Are Gone

Felicity McLean

Harper Collins Publishers Australia

Fourth Estate

ISBN: 9781460755068

 

Description:

We lost all three girls that summer. Let them slip away like the words of some half-remembered song and when one came back, she wasn’t the one we were trying to recall to begin with.’

 

So begins Tikka Molloy’s recounting of the summer of 1992 – the summer the Van Apfel sisters, Hannah, the beautiful Cordelia and Ruth – disappear.

 

Eleven and one-sixth years old, Tikka is the precocious narrator of this fabulously endearing coming-of-age story, set in an eerie Australian river valley suburb with an unexplained stench. The Van Apfel girls vanish from the valley during the school’s ‘Showstopper’ concert, held at the outdoor amphitheatre by the river. While the search for the sisters unites the small community on Sydney’s urban fringe, the mystery of their disappearance remains unsolved forever.

 

Brilliantly observed, sharp, lively, funny and entirely endearing, this novel is part mystery, part coming-of-age story – and quintessentially Australian. Think The Virgin Suicides meets Jasper Jones meets Picnic at Hanging Rock.

 

 

My View:

Outstanding!

 

If evocative, tension packed mysteries are your thing than don’t miss reading this book.

 

Felicity McLean captures the age of the characters, the idiom and the culture of the 90’s effortlessly – or makes it seem effortlessly.

I was glued to the pages, holding my breath, hoping for a positive outcome. There is so much tension packed into every observation, every comment, and every moment.

 

This is compelling, haunting and thought provoking. I loved every minute of this read.  Is this the best read of the year? I think so. It is a book that will stay with me for a long time.

 

Review: Good Girl, Bad Girl – Michael Robotham

Good Girl, Bad Girl

Michael Robotham

Hachette Australia

ISBN: 9780733638053

RRP$32.99

 

Description:

From the bestselling author of The Secrets She Keeps, the writer Stephen King calls “an absolute master…with heart and soul,” a fiendishly clever suspense novel about a dangerous young woman with a special ability to know when someone is lying—and the criminal psychologist who must outwit her to survive.

 

A girl is found hiding in a secret room in a house being renovated after a terrible crime. For weeks she has survived by sneaking out at night, stealing food for herself and two dogs that are kept in the garden. The nurses at the hospital where she is taken call her “Angel Face” because she won’t tell anyone her name, or her age, or where she came from. Maybe she is twelve, maybe fifteen, or somewhere in between. She doesn’t appear on any missing person’s file, or match the DNA of any murder victim.

 

Six years later, still unidentified, the same girl is living in a secure children’s home with a new name, Evie Cormac, when she initiates a court case demanding the right to be released as an adult. Psychologist Cyrus Haven is sent to interview Evie and decide if she’s ready to go free, but Evie Cormac is unlike he’s anyone he’s ever met. She’s damaged, destructive, and self-hating, yet possessed of a gift, or a curse, that makes her both fascinating and dangerous to be with—the ability to tell when someone is lying. Soon he is embroiled in her unique and dangerous world, his life in utmost peril.

 

Cleverly constructed, swiftly paced, and emotionally explosive, Good Girl, Bad Girl is the perfect thrilling summer read from the internationally bestselling author David Baldacci called “the real deal.”

 

 

My View:

This is very much a character based narrative and Michael Robotham has provided us with two more wonderful protagonists to follow, Cyrus Haven and Evie.

 

Steadily paced with interesting back stories (and more to be revealed) about both leads this is a book that will leave you wanting more. More back stories, more about the mystery, more about the relationships, more about Cyrus and Evie’s future…just more please 🙂

 

 

 

 

Strawberry Crumble: Lunch at 10 Pomegranate St – Felicita Sala

 

Author and Illustrator: Felicita Sala

Publisher: Scribble 

Piccolo Angelo Photography (@piccolo_angelo_photography)

3 punnets of strawberries

1 tbsp lemon juice

200 g flour

1/2 cup slivered almonds

80g sugar

100g butter

creme fraiche to serve

 

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.

Cut strawberries in half and place in a small oven tin with lemon juice and a spoonful of sugar.

Cut butter into small cubes and mix with flour and sugar in a bowl . Rub the mixture with your fingers until you have a crumbly mix, like wet sand.

Cover strawberries with the crumble mix, sprinkle almond son top.

Bake 40 minutes until golden.

 

Serve with creme fraiche or vanilla ice cream.