The Living Well Without Lectins Cookbook: 125 Lectin-Free Recipes for Optimum Gut Health, Losing Weight, and Feeling Great!
The Living Well Without Lectins Cookbook: 125 Lectin-Free Recipes for Optimum Gut Health, Losing Weight, and Feeling Great! by Claudia Curici
I ordered this book anticipating that I would love it because I follow an Low FODMAPs AIP (Autoimmune Protocol) diet. I never read The Plant Paradox (it was on my wish list). Now after reading this book, I am likely to only read The Plant Paradox if my little rural library ever decides to carry it. I no longer plan to purchase it.
As I started to read this, I decided to jot down a few things that I didn't care for. She recommends stainless steel cookware (which is great) over cast iron claiming you can get too much iron in your diet if you use cast iron. I could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure this was debunked. That you don't actually get large amounts of iron from iron cookware. Yes, you do get some, but nothing to get excited about. After pushing to use safe cookware, I later came across a recipe saying to use a non stick pan. What!?!
This book uses only fake sweeteners basically "Keto" sweeteners. That's great if you are Keto, but if your not, & if you are AIP like I am; fake sweeteners of all types (including stevia) get a big fat no.
The information on nightshades is painfully wrong. The author lists foods that are not in the nightshade family! It is really hard to take other information in this book seriously when I am seeing such a glaring mistake. Cucumbers & zucchini are not nightshades they are in the cucurbitaceae family. Eco farming is my full time job. It's a lot of work & takes a lot of careful planing. Knowing what family veggies belong in is critical for proper crop rotation. I'm just floored that something so basic is wrong especially when considering the book tells the reader to avoid these two healthy vegetables because they wrongly believe they are nightshades. How the heck can I take anything seriously from this book?
There are no basic kitchen staple recipes for things like broths, mayonnaise, or seasoning blends.
The author fails to mention that canned lentils are another healthy option to eat "safe" lentils (if you are Low FODMAPs, you know all about canned lentils). Using an InstaPot isn't the only option for lentils.
Also, I guess this is a Keto book. No mention of that on the front or the back cover. I'm not Keto. The author mentions having your body in ketosis. The thing is there are some recipes that seem pretty high carb to me. Is it Keto or not? Mixed messages here. There are no nutrition facts, so I just have to use common sense as to if something seems like it might be high carb. I noticed that I react poorly to some high carb foods, but not others.
I had to make the few I've tried so far work for me as best as I can due to my food intolerances. Thankfully, I don't have to eliminate all high FODMAPs. Through trial & error, I've learned over the years which foods my body reacts badly to & take care to adjust recipes where needed. As for the dessert (ahem, Sweet Treats) recipes, there is not one single recipe that appeals to me. I have never come across a cookbook that didn't have even one dessert recipe that I wanted to try - & I've made Keto desserts that I love!
The recipes I've tried so far:
Brazilian Sun-Kissed Bread This intrigued me because the author states they are best fresh out of the oven & explains how you can freeze the uncooked dough to pop out of the freezer as needed. She also states you can shape the dough into other shapes to suit your needs. Since I was making this for the first time I followed the original recipe of just making balls. The taste of these was okay. The texture was very dense & chewy. I am undecided if I will make them again. I put the uncooked balls on a cookie tray (uncoated stainless steel), making sure they didn't touch & froze them in my freezer. Once hard, I transferred them to a freezer bag (plastic 🙄).
Tarragon Chicken Salad This was just okay. I thought I would love it. The taste was surprisingly bland. I probably wont make it again. This, coming from a gal who loves tarragon!
Chicken Pot Pie This was a huge hit. I cannot even remember the last time I had real pot pie. This is the closest I've ever come to the real deal. It was a lot of work! I'll probably only make it again if I really want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen working on one dish (this from a woman who dedicates every Sunday to cooking enough food to feed my family for the entire week). Note: The crust utilized ground almonds (I used organic blanched), so it's costly & not AIP friendly. I had a major relapse after this & have never made it again.
Chicken Schnitzel Such a disappointment. Even following the directions to the letter, the coating wouldn't stay on the breasts. The flavor was bland & unappealing. The only good part about this was how tender the breasts were thanks to using a manual meat tenderizer on them. I will not make this again.
FYI: I know to some this will seem really dumb to some & others will totally get it. So here goes (please don't judge me too harshly whichever side you are on LOL), I used store bought certified organic chicken for these recipes that I tried. There, I said it. I didn't eat my birds. Go ahead & laugh at me or not. It's up to you.
Recipes I have on my "To Try" list:
Sweet & Savory Green Pancakes
Tigernut Pancakes (tigernut flour is the bomb!)
Mustard Green & Sweet Potato Soup
Crunchy Tuna Salad
My takeaway is to take the medical advice in this book with a grain of salt. A low FODMAPs diet is an actual medical diet. These others are not, not even my beloved AIP which has been so helpful for me. If you would like to learn more, I strongly suggest reading The Paleo Approach: Reverse Autoimmune Disease and Heal Your Body & Paleo Principles: The Science Behind the Paleo Template, Step-by-Step Guides, Meal Plans, and 200+ Healthy & Delicious Recipes for Real Life both are by Sarah Ballantyne PhD. She actually went to medical school. My favorite cookbook by her & another is The Healing Kitchen: 175+ Quick & Easy Paleo Recipes to Help You Thrive. For fabulous recipes for comfort foods, I highly recommend The Autoimmune Protocol Comfort Food Cookbook: 100+ Nourishing Allergen-Free Recipes by Michelle Hoover
While this book has many flaws, I haven't given up on it entirely. I plan to make the recipes on my "To Try" list to see if they are worth it. If they produce lackluster results, I'll likely remove this book from my library. If on the other hand, they turn out great, I'll continue to try other recipes (just not the desserts!) & keep it - of course.
As long as you understand that this book is suitable for the recipes alone, & the rest of the information is questionable, you should be good to go.
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