Saturday, May 1, 2010
Product Review: The RAVE diet and Healing Cancer From the Inside Out and an Update
I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I had ordered both books: "The RAVE diet" and "Healing Cancer From the Inside Out" with their accompanying videos. Just so that everyone is clear. I purchased these items and have received nothing from the author or publisher. The views expressed below are mine.
The concept behind each book is actually very simple. By feeding your body abundant amounts of healthy food you will reach your ideal weight and prevent and/or reverse disease. Both books advocate a whole foods plant based diet without oil. RAVE stands for the items you will be eliminating from your diet. These are as follows:
R = No refined food
A = No animal products
V = No vegetable oils
E = No excuses and exercise
Since I have given you the basics of the plan why should you buy the book? I find that completely understanding the reasons why things are harmful and unhealthy makes it easier to stick to such a restrictive plan. Make no mistake this is a restrictive plan and is not for everyone. These books do a nice job of explaining the science, in layman’s terms. Additionally the author cites his sources so you can follow the information trail if you desire. Even as much as I read about nutrition I learned a few things reading the books.
Honestly cancer is the only reason we made these dramatic changes almost overnight. If it were a matter of weight rather than life or death I can’t honestly say that I would have been able to commit to something this dramatic. However I do believe something like this is necessary to get control of addictions to unhealthy foods. In my case my favorite foods were pasta, olive oil and cheese. Those foods made daily appearances at my house. I used to joke that it was in my Italian DNA. But once I understood why they were harmful it was much easier to avoid them. I now believe that these foods are truly harmful for many reasons. In my case by seeing foods as toxic/harmful I am better able to control my desires for them.
I read the Healing Cancer book first and finished the Rave Diet this morning. Since both books are very similar and in some cases identical I will review them as one. Here are my thoughts on the books, good and bad:
1. The author writes in a clear and friendly style that is easy to read. His style makes you feel as though you are listening to a friend talk. It also makes both books a quick read.
2. His diet is no doubt uber healthy (there is little variation between the two books). I would say it is a combination of the programs espoused by Dr’s Esselstyn, Fuhrman, McDougall and Ornish. There is no doubt in my mind that if you follow this diet you will get both healthier and slimmer.
3. The Rave Diet book contains a short list of tips to accelerate weight loss on this plan. While they seem obvious sometimes you need a little nudge in the right direction. I thought they were a good reminder and something I will turn too if my weight goes in the wrong direction.
4. He generally cites scholarly sources, which I appreciate. Each chapter on average has 100 footnotes. I will soon be in research heaven following the trail back to many of the studies. Although, there were some references to MSNBC and similar sources which made me cringe.
5. Each book contains enough recipes to get you started on this program. I particularly liked this advice on quick meals. The quick meals suggestions will get used often at this house.
6. If you know someone that is concerned about cancer that book is very inspirational in terms of the people that have been able to make an impact on their health by changing their lifestyle. The parts of the book on conventional cancer treatments were a little disturbing. Being a part of the healthcare community for a long time I can identify with some of his arguments. However some of them seem like conspiracy theories to me. I tend to rail against all such theories. Not that the author isn't right; but this is a hot button for me.
7. Each book and DVD combo is very reasonably priced and shipped very promptly.
1. There is a lot of overlap between the two books. Since I read Healing Cancer first I felt as though the RAVE diet was an almost unnecessary read. I would suggest you buy one book or the other depending on your concern.
2. The diet will be too strict for most people. I think the idea of eliminating tofu and nut milks may lose quite a few people. Not that I don’t think both items are best used sparingly. However, I think it is odd that he seems less concerned with whole wheat flour products than tofu or nut milk. Overall our current diet is very close to the one he is advocating if that gives you insight into the book.
I think the author did a great job coalescing dietary advice and studies from many different sources into one resource. The amount of research that went into developing this book is very apparent. If you are looking for dramatic change either in terms of weight or health either of these books are worth reading. Either of these books is worth buying for the citations alone. I can see myself using these as a resource often.
The DVDs that I purchased with the books are good to have. I was able to get my husband to watch the “Eating” DVD and he enjoyed most of it. The last 20 minutes is devoted to environmentalism and animal rights which was unexpected to both of us. People that are looking to change their diets for health reasons may lose interest during that portion of the DVD. There are also a number of animal images that I would have preferred not to see. For that reason I would not recommend that you allow children to watch the “Eating” video. Some images were disturbing and horrific. That aside, the videos contained a lot of good information. I can see playing these for friends that are interested in making lifestyle changes.
Dan’s throat is still sore and irritated. I am hoping by tonight we will have some visible improvement. For breakfast this morning we had oatmeal with mixed berries, cinnamon and well ground flaxseed. Lunch today is probably going to mashed potatoes topped with something soft so that it is easy for him to eat. Dinner is completely up in the air. If he thinks tomatoes won’t be too acidic I may make gazpacho this evening.
Last night we had a very simple dinner of cooked millet that I topped with julienned spinach, fresh cherry tomatoes, avocado, chickpeas and black sesame seeds. I thought it would be soft enough for Dan to eat but he still found it difficult to swallow. For dessert we had strawberry soft serve which was also difficult for him. Feeding someone with a raw irritated throat is difficult. But I am determined to keep his food healthy. There will be no dairy milk shakes in this house. If anyone has any ideas on soft bland food I would love suggestions. This not how I normally cook, so it is a bit of struggle for me to come up with recipe ideas given all the limitations. But we do what we have to so I am sure I will come up with some good things.
Given Dan’s potential strep my parents will not be coming for dinner this weekend. With their age they don’t need to be exposed to this either. So far I don’t have any signs of catching this. Finger crossed that it stays that way.
For now I am going to run and get back to cleaning and disinfecting the house. I want to get ahead of this as quickly as we can. I hope you are all having the same gorgeous weather that we are enjoying. We have all the windows open and the little felines are soaking up the sun and breezes. Talk to you all again soon.