Tuesday, February 17, 2015

"When I Fell from the Sky" by Juliane Koepcke

In the 1970s, a plane crashes into the rainforest that leaves only one girl alive.  Stuck in the Peruvian rainforest for over a week, Juliane must fight the elements to survive.  Interestingly enough, she is the daughter of two zoologists.  So, she was the most likely to survive--she knew what was needed to stay alive in that environment.  This book is one of hope and life, but it is not recommended to be read before bed.  There are scary details of maggots and jungle creatures and open wounds.  There is even mention of vultures and corpses and the sad reality of what happened to Juliane's mother.  When one woman falls 10,000 ft into the jungle and lives to tell about it, that is a story worth reading.  This book makes you appreciate life and will make readers contemplate their unique place in this world.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

"The Healthy Mind Cookbook" by Rebecca Katz with Mat Edelson

I was so excited to review this cookbook.  Out of all the cookbooks I've tried, this is one of the only ones that focuses on brain health.  And I don't just mean memory and preventing dementia; I mean also combating depression and helping to be the happiest you can be.  Before the recipes even begin, the authors give a brief review of nutrition.  They explain what different foods do for the brain.  While they go into amino acids and neuroscience, the book is not so complex to scare readers away.  While some may think that eating brain-healthy is boring or lacking flavor, that can not be further from the truth.  The first recipe I tried from this book was the Chocolate Cherry Walnut Truffles.  I had found a truffle recipe online, which came out nothing like what the description said it would.  So, I figured I'd try out the cookbook truffles instead.  And I was pleasantly surprised.  The truffles in this cookbook came out exactly like what the description said they would.  Forget online recipes--I'm going to just stick to cookbooks now.  Also, these truffles were healthier for me and my brain than the online truffles I had tried.  The online recipe had cream and brandy; this cookbook recipe had dates, cherries, and walnuts.  Overall, this is a great cookbook, and I look forward to trying out other recipes in here to boost my brainpower!

Saturday, February 7, 2015

"Supermarket Healthy" by Melissa D'Arabian

Beautifully written and presented, this book is a quick guide for anyone looking to make some health-conscious meals.  The beginnings introduces some basics of what to keep handy in the pantry as well as some nutrition basics.  However, the author makes it clear that her book is not a diet or nutrition book but rather a cookbook focused on staying healthy.  The book is broken down into sections.  Besides breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, and desserts, this book divides up recipes further into sections for poultry, fish, pasta, and more, which is nice.  The pictures are very high-quality, and the colored printing is fun for the text.  There are tips for entertaining, as well as stretching a budget.  The directions themselves are pretty straightforward and in a good readable-sized font.  Overall, this is a fun cookbook.  However, it does not focus on any particular food avoidance or allergy.  So, if you avoid certain foods, just skip those recipes in this book and focus on others.  Or, feel free to substitute ingredients, which the author suggests.