Tuesday, July 30, 2019

The 4-Week Gut Health Plan

The 4-Week Gut Health Plan is a recipe and workbook which addresses various digestive issues which affect a huge number of people. Released 30th July 2019 (ebook version released 16th July) from Rockridge, it's 263 pages and available in paperback and ebook formats. Author Kitty Martone is a holistic health practitioner and blogger.

The human body is incredibly complex. Under ideal circumstances, it maintains a healthy balance without much interaction as long as it receives the nutrients and conditions which it needs. Unfortunately, environmental stressors such as pollution, unhealthy lifestyle (smoking, lack of exercise, etc), and stress can wreak havoc on the digestive system and the 'good guy' bacteria which keep everything functioning. This book aims to help readers identify problems, correct imbalances, and heal the damage caused by those imbalances.

The book follows a logical format. The introduction covers some very basic layman accessible biology and physiology,  symptoms of digestive dysfunction, and some definitions, as well as sidebars with questions to ask your healthcare professional, and available diagnostic tools.

The second section explains the 4 week action plan along with dietary info, meal plans, shopping lists and the like. The second half of section 2 covers the plan beyond 4 weeks.

Section three offers specific recipes listed by category: breakfast & smoothies, soups salads & sandwiches, meatless dishes, poultry, beef pork & lamb, fish & seafood, desserts, and staples condiments & dressings. The recipes use (mostly) easily sourced ingredients and sensible portion sizes.

There are included links and materials lists for further investigation as well as a bibliography, metric conversion table and other info.

It's worth noting that the ebook format has a handy interactive table of contents as well as interactive links and references throughout. I've really become enamored of ebooks with interactive formats lately.

This is a well written and appealing book. The information presented is factually accurate but some of the conclusions she makes are not necessarily fully supported by current peer-reviewed research (for example, there's no compelling research suggesting that -everyone- should cut gluten out of their diets - it's not going to -hurt- but doing so in an attempt to improve one's health doesn't necessarily follow; unless of course a diagnosis to gluten sensitivity or celiac disease has been made). There are some other suggestions and links which are also not compellingly supported by current medical research (for example special diets for the mitigation of autism). The author is a holistic healer and herbalist and as such, much of the slant of the book is toward alternative healthcare and healing.

The recipes, whilst appealing and nutritionally sound, require a lot of preparation. I would recommend it without reservation for people who are either really committed to improving their gut biome or for foodies who already enjoy cooking and find working in the kitchen relaxing.

Four stars

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

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