Thursday, March 5, 2015

Review of The Skinny Gut Diet by Brenda Watson

The Skinny Gut Diet: Balance Your Digestive System for Permanent Weight Loss by Brenda Watson (from the PBS "Brenda Watson's Heart of Perfect Health PBS Special)  includes a 14-day Start-Up Food Plan and over 75 Recipes to get the reader started on her recommended gut cleaning diet.  The diet plan is fairly restrictive and may be challenging to follow, especially if you like to eat a lot of carbs.  The majority of the recipes, in this book, are for smoothies, which I found to be really easy to follow and convenient. The meal recipes are a little more challenging to make.  However, if you use the provided shopping list and follow the recipes, then it should not be too difficult.

The focus on the book is to improve the reader's gut health more than to lose weight.  For those who are or have suffered from digestive issues, you are probably already on a restricted diet anyway and may not be able to follow some of the suggestions in this book.  She recommends taking supplements, which you need to be wary of it you are on a restricted diet and taking medication.  The author is very thoughtful of her readers and does stress to check with your physician to make sure that this diet meets his or her approval.

If you are not on a doctor approved diet, then this book might be of help to you.   The author starts the book off with a discussion of how sugar is bad for your gut and how it directly affects the health of the gut.  She also reviews how important bacteria is for improved gut health and how that affects the body.

Here is a look at the "Table of Contents" for the book and a brief description of each:

Chapter 1 - A Remarkable Discovery - Guess who's coming to dinner.
                   This chapter goes over the importance of gut microbes and all the other interesting things that can be found in the gut area. 

Chapter 2 - Gut Bacteria - The Surprising Weight-loss Solution.
                   Good Bacteria = Fewer Calories
                   This chapter discusses what gut bacteria is made up of and how it leads to a lean gut or obese gut type.

Chapter 3 - Where did it go wrong.
                    This chapter goes over gut bacterial balance, how it is established and how it affected by what you eat.

Chapter 4 - The Proper Care and Feeding of your own gut bacteria.
                    This is a short chapter that goes into the performance of Probiotics and Prebiotics .

Chapter 5 - Your Gut Connection to Obesity and other common conditions.
                    This chapter is the cause and affect section.  You can see how IBS or Acid Reflux is directly related to the gut health.

Chapter 6 - The Gut-Brain Connection.
                    This chapter goes over the gut-brain connection and how what you eat affects how you feel, think, and more. The information in this chapter is really interesting.

Chapter 7 - The Skinny of Food.
                    If you think you are eating healthy, then think again.  She goes into the hidden sugars in refined food.  How some fruits and vegetables are better than others.  How important fiber is and different ways to add it to your diet in a healthy way.  The importance of staying hydrated and how you should drink a lot of water.

Chapter 8 - Teaspoon Tracker
                    This chapter gives you some tools to be able to more realistically track the amount of sugar you have in your diet and how to avoid it.

Chapter 9 - The Get Lean Phase
                    The author breaks down her recommended diet into two phases:
                     1) Get Lean 
                      2) Stay Lean 
                     This section is where she goes into more detail on the foods, fats, fermented foods, fruits, vegetables, proteins, etc. that are best suited for each phase.

Chapter 10 - Power Tools
                     This sections has recipes and snack ideas.

Chapter 11 - Skinny Gut Supplements
                     This section is on supplements that are good for the body.

Chapter 12 - The Stay Lean Phase
                      This is another really short chapter that just gives you the formula for staying lean and finding the right sugar balance for your body.

Chapter 13 - Food and Recipes to Get You Started
                     This chapter provides the reader with a two-week meal plan, healthy recipes (like turkey sausage patties, mini spinach omelets, Chicken salad and so many more), and some desert recipes as well.

Chapter 14 - Rescue Kit for Success
                     This is a very helpful chapter that shares with the reader ideas on how to eat out, dinner party tactics, Carb substitutes, Grocery shopping strategy, shopping list, and so much more. 

This is overall a very helpful book for anyone who is concerned with their gut health.  It is also helpful, if you are trying to minimize the amount of sugar you are exposed to in your diet.  The book is written in such a way that the reader can quickly read through the more technical stuff and jump to the recipes.  I really liked the recipe area, although, I should mention that there are no photos of the various dishes or anything else in this book.  It is truly focused on giving the reader as much information as possible to be successful on this diet.

Note: Thank you to the author and blogging for books for providing me a review copy of this book.

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