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One Bite at a Time, 2nd Edition

Book Review

One Bite at a Time, 2nd Edition
By Rebecca Katz with Mat Edelson
Celestial Arts (2008)
Reviewed by Jeannie Gazzaniga-Moloo, PhD, RD

Claims

If your appetite or someone you know whose appetite has been turned off by illness such as cancer and its treatments, One Bite at a Time, 2nd edition, will help turn you on to good, nourishing food.

Diet Plan

This comprehensive cookbook shares immune-boosting recipes for people living with cancer, their caregivers and the ever-growing number of cancer survivors. The cookbook features more than 85 simple-to-prepare recipes ranging from "little nibbles" to entrees and desserts. The recipes focus on using fresh, healthy ingredients such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts, fish and poultry. In addition, the cookbook provides sections on what foods to include in your pantry, definitions of commonly used culinary terms and information on basic nutrition. The flexible presentation is designed for individuals as well as the entire family to enjoy.

Nutritional Pros and Cons

The book delivers delicious, healthy recipes. "Nourishment in a Bowl" provides plenty of soups, stews and broths. The Magic Mineral broth is a superbly nutrient-rich base for any soup. "Comforting Sides" will provide feel-good eats, while "Anytime Foods" and "Sweet Bites" provide healthy snacks and desserts.

New in this edition is a nutritional analysis for each recipe that includes calories, total fat (saturated fat and monounsaturated fat), carbohydrates, protein, fiber and sodium. The analyses are a nice addition, but they would be even more helpful for readers if they included information on vitamins and minerals, especially given the potential for nutrient deficiencies that often occur when people undergo cancer treatment. Readers might see more value in preparing the recipes if they know the extent of the nutrient value of the dishes beyond the minimum listing of calories, fat, carbohydrates and sodium.

The cookbook explains and uses the FASS (fat, acid, salt and sweet) factor to help balance recipes to an individual's unique tastes and preferences. This is especially important for those whose tastes may have changed as a result of cancer or its treatments.

The sections titled "Nutrition at a Glance," "Pantry Rehabilitation" and "Culinary Terms of Endearment" are helpful additions to provide readers insightful information to help them eat healthier.

Bottom Line

Having cared for my husband and our three children during his recent bone marrow transplant for leukemia, I can speak first-hand to the value of One Bite at a Time. The recipes are delicious, straightforward, healthy and easily adjustable to suit altered tastes and varied preferences. At a time when one may feel nothing is under your control, this cookbook provides guidance toward supplemental healing through healthy, nourishing foods.

The recipes in this edition, for the most part, are identical to the original publication. If you own the first edition, the addition of the nutrition analysis in the second edition may not justify updating your cookbook library. However, if you are living with cancer, a survivor, caregiver or friend of someone living with cancer and are looking for recipes and guidance in preparing healthy meals, you will find much useful information supported by delicious recipes in One Bite at a Time, 2nd edition.