Lucid Food

A Beachbody® Cookbook Review: Lucid Food

By Denis Faye

Lucid Food

When you're trying to eat right, it seems like no matter what positive action you take, there's something you miss. You eat organic, but then you forget to eat local. You load up on fruits and veggies, but you end up with a bunch of wasteful, unrecyclable packaging. You buy cruelty-free foods, only to learn that you're exploiting some poor Guatemalan farm worker.

And to top this all off, when you show the slightest inclination toward socially responsible eating, friends and family can often freak out and assume you're going all hippie on them. They don't seem to understand that just because you don't want to consume pesticides and GMOs, it doesn't mean you've become a recruiting agent for the Communist party.

Lucid Food
Hopefully, an afternoon spent perusing Louisa Shafia's Lucid Food should go a long way toward helping you deal with both issues. Although at its core it's a cookbook, it's also filled with lessons on how to eat in a way that will nourish both you and the planet. Furthermore, it should also help you in dealing with your more dietetically uptight acquaintances, with several hosting suggestions that'll have even the most conservative dinner party guests coming back to the buffet for more.

The beginning of the book, "Eco-Kitchen Basics," features a huge list of ways to do the right thing when it comes to food. The nice thing about this list is that it's broken down into simple tips. It may seem overwhelming at first, but no one expects you to transform into an eco-warrior overnight. Just go through and pick a few tips that work for you. For example, "Serve seasonal produce" and "Carry your own silverware." Once you've mastered those two, grab a few more. The end of the section contains a useful glossary, so you can figure out what terms like "carbon footprint" and "locavore" really mean.

November SquashNext come the recipes. They're divided into four sections: fall, winter, spring, and summer. The recipes in each section use foods typically available in that season, such as cherries in the summer and citrus fruits in the winter. Also, the foods are appropriate to the weather outside. Cold December nights call for Creamy Red Kuri Squash Soup and Mediterranean Shepherd's Pie. Pleasant spring afternoons call for Sassafras Tea and Stinging Nettle Pesto with Seared Scallops.

Each chapter is also peppered with thought-provoking essays, like "No-Waste Entertaining" and "Gardening, Anywhere." As you may have figured from the names of recipes mentioned previously, one drawback of this book is some of the more obscure ingredients required, like lemon balm leaves and garlic ramps (which are a kind of wild leek grown from South Carolina to Canada). Fortunately, many of the recipes feature more standard foods, and you can always improvise a little if need be. The Orecchiette with Morel Mushrooms and Garlic Ramps will work fine with regular leeks, thank you very much. (And orecchiette is just a fancy kind of shell pasta.)

Woman with Green Leafy VegetablesLucid Food isn't a centerpiece cookbook, like Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything series, but it's a welcome addition to anyone's collection, provided that person cares about food, where it's grown, and what it does to his or her body.

Questions about your workout program, diet, the latest newsletter, or anything wellness related? Chat with Denis Faye, Beachbody Fitness Advisor, in the Team Beachbody Chat Room on Monday, September 26th, at 3:00 PM ET, 12:00 PM PT.

If you'd like to ask a question or comment on this newsletter article, just email us at mailbag@TeamBeachbody.com.

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