Monday, June 8, 2009

Book Review

I just did a book review for Amazon.com. The review is for Monica Reinagel's Inflammation Free Diet Plan. I orginally borrowed this book from the local library and got hooked. I thought I could get by without having the actual book to refer to but I was wrong!
I have been diagnosed with Arthritis and I have had a lot of pain. I changed my diet using the ideas from Monica's book. I actually developed a eating plan based on Monica's inflammation free foods. So, for 30 days, which was so much easier than I thought it would be, I ate nothing but inflammation free foods. My pain disappeared! I slowly started adding back some of the foods I really missed, like yogurt and eggs. I still was not experiencing any pain. Over the next few months I fell back into my old eating habits and gained all the weight I had lost and also was having to deal with all the annoying aches and pains again. Damn It! I did it again! Well, I tried to remember how I got to the inflammation free diet and just couldn't remember all the details, so I bought the book. I'm so glad to have it at my fingertips and feel secure that I can start the diet again. The full book review is below or you can click on this posts title and read the short version on Amazon.

The Inflammation Free Diet Plan

This book was written by Monica Reinagel, forward by consulting editor Juius Torelli, MD. It is a Lynn Sonberg Book, published by McGraw-Hill in 2006. For your easy reference, IBSN 0-07-146471-9

Monica Reinagel has a comfortable writing style an excellent bibliographical reference and index, so everything is simple to find. The book is sectioned into 4 chapters and has a List of Tables and Figures at the front before the foreword.

The first chapter helps us determine our own risk for inflammation and why inflammation is near epidemic. Reinagel maps out exactly what you can do to keep tabs on your own health and how to weave your way through the medical tides. Most important though is that Monica Reinagel reveals a path that you can easily take to a healthier and longer life.

The chapter that was most interesting for me was chapter two because she very clearly shows how the IF ratings were calculated. Reinagel never says exactly what IF stands for but I assume its Inflammation Free. The rating takes into consideration over twenty nutritional factors that affect inflammation. The calculations come from the U.S. Department of Agriculture which is the basis of the National Nutritional Database for Standard Reference and the most recent update of the database was published in 2004. The formula also incorporates the glycemic index which was sourced from the Glycemic Index Research Institute at Sydney University in Australia. The IF Rating chart also includes for each food the grams of fat and carbohydrate. Reinagel has used the latest information available so we are very up to date.

In chapter three outlines a flexible and easy-to-follow eating plan. You are able to easily modify an eating plan for yourself, so that you can achieve weight loss, reduce pain and allergies, prevent disease and slow the ageing process; all great reasons to watch what you eat. There are a few quizzes so to speak that also help you find the level/plan you need to start with, and some target values to help you stay on track. There is lots of information on meal planning. Then there are some great recipes and even a recipe worksheet (page 60) so that you can work out the IF Rating for your own recipes. She even has tips for calculation of recipes. Using a recipe worksheet Monica shows how you can modify a recipe to realize a higher IF Rating.

The last chapter is the IF Ratings Charts. Monica Reinagel has divided the charts in two ways to make it even easier to find and calculate your ingredients/foods. The first chart is IF Ratings: A to Z, and then the ratings are organized by category to which she has included a Category Guide in the front.

Over all I found the book easy to read and understand. I found the information relevant and learned a few things that surprised me. My only negative issue with the book is that the IF Ratings only include 1600 foods. That is a lot of different foods but while looking through the ratings I found some items that I use frequently missing, like tofu.

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