In case you’re new to this blog, a little explanation. My 7 year old son keeps a reading journal for school. He is supposed to read 20 minutes a night and keep a log of what he read. I was a little jealous of this assignment and decided I would keep my own reading journal and here it is. I am excited about the book for this week. Clients often ask me for a suggestion for a general book on nutrition. I am sure they’re not happy when I answer that there isn’t really one I like. I have books on sports nutrition, cookbooks I adore, sections on emotional eating but short of a nutrition textbook nothing general. Well I finally found a book that fits the bill and one that should be on everyone’s bookshelf: Nutrition At Your Fingertips by Elisa Zied MS, RD, CDN.

Elisa and I were introduced by a mutual friend. Shortly before I left for the ADA conference in Chicago this year, I received an email from my friend Cheryl saying “Elisa is going to the conference too, you have to meet up!” Had I received this email from anyone other than my fun, upbeat friend Cheryl I would have probably ignored it. Fortunately, I didn’t ignore it and Elisa and I met in the new products expo at the conference. Since then we’ve had lunch and I saw Elisa while she was visiting Cheryl in Vermont. I have to admit though, I run into Elisa most on Twitter. Elisa is probably the nutrition worlds Twitter champ. What I enjoy most about Elisa’s tweets is that she is quick to spot a gimmick, tell us all about it and replace the overblown advice with her sound nutritional knowledge.

I had a few questions for Elisa about her latest project:

Lauren: Who is this book geared toward? I see it as a staple on any bookshelf but who did you have in mind?

: When I wrote this book I had young adults, parents, older people, and anyone concerned about health/wellness/nutrition in mind. Lately, trainers, doctors, nurses and other RDs have told me what a great, easy to read reference book this is.

Lauren: Yes, I’ll admit I purchased (yes purchased on Amazon) the book to check it out for clients and have already used it researching for articles and client sessions. I will vouch for it being easy to use and locate information. Was that your intention?

Elisa: I wrote it as a guide for anyone who doesn’t have hours on end to read about nutrition but instead wants a quick go-to reference they can spend a few minutes thumbing through to find clear, and to-the point answers to their most basic (or not so basic) nutrition questions. I also tried to make the book very practical and action-oriented so that people would not only understand why it’s important to eat certain foods but to know how they could realistically do so.

: That’s so key, I think even when we know what to eat, we can all use help doing it! What do you feel are the most useful or “action oriented” sections?

Elisa: My favorite parts include chapters on Healthy Food Shopping, Weight Management, and Eating to Beat Disease. My Healthy Eating Tips chapter is also one of my favorites, since it breaks down goals like limiting saturated or trans fat, reducing sugar intake, or boosting fiber intake into practical, real world tips that are easy to follow and incorporate.

: Oh yes, I loved the Eating Tips chapter too! I earmarked your advice for “increasing whole grains.” One last question, if there were a few foods people should keep “at their fingertips” what should they be?

: You can keep nutrition at your fingertips by stocking up on and consuming all kinds of fresh and frozen (without added sugar) fruits and veggies; protein-rich foods such as lentils and other beans, fish (canned light or albacore tuna and sardines), nuts and nut butters (made without added sugar) and lean meats (sirloin, chicken or turkey breast); low fat dairy foods; whole grains such as low sugar cereals/pasta/brown or wild rice; and last but not least, healthy oils like olive oil or canola oil.

Lauren: Ooh sardines, I need to delve into sardines haven’t ever really gone there. And I think wild rice gets forgotten too. Thanks Elisa for such good advice!

What are your favorite nutrition books or cookbooks? And what foods to you try to keep at your fingertips?


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