A freelance writer living and loving in the northern beaches of Sydney...travelling, writing, outdoor activities, gardens, and Pilates are a few of my favourite things. Visit me www.potpourritravels.wordpress.com or www.facebook.com/potpourritravels/
Published October 13th 2017
A good food cook book celebrating life-enhancing foods
image courtesy Simon & Schuster website
Most of us know Maggie Beer; you may have visited her farm-gate in South Australia, seen her television show The Cook and the Chef, and most likely you've bought some of her home-made goodies from delicatessens and supermarkets throughout Australia. Welcome to Maggie's latest project; part-health compendium and part-cook book, Maggie Beer's latest food digest (excuse the pun!) is written in collaboration with Professor Ralph Martins, a leading Alzheimer's researcher. The two met in 2010 at the Australian of the Year Awards, at which Maggie won Senior Australian of the Year. They connected through a mutual love of good food for good health. Their simple discussion turned into a joint collaborative effort to write a cookbook, with a particular emphasis on exploring and explaining how eating well can help us age better.
According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, over 340,000 Australians have dementia. Modern medicine has helped us live longer than we used to. Consequently, we're suffering more age-related sickness and disease, particularly Type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, heart disease, arthritis, Alzheimer's, and a variety of cancers.
In the book, Professor Martins provides the science to back up Maggie's delicious recipes. He gives a detailed explanation of Alzheimer's disease, how it affects the brain, and how a variety of nutrients in our food can help prevent or slow down its progress. He watched his father-in-law suffer with the disease, so the Professor has spent the last 33 years researching, diagnosing and treating Alzheimer's sufferers. The book contains chapters explaining the best foods to source certain vitamins and nutrients, which foods to avoid, and the importance of regular exercise, quality sleep, and maintaining a healthy weight.
The book is beautifully photographed and written in simple language. They insist it's not a diet book, but an informative cookbook showcasing life-enhancing food. Maggie talks about her life-long passion for fresh, seasonal food, and the importance of a wide spectrum of foods throughout each day. For her, the key is about balance, not restricting any particular food group, but making wise choices and maximising nutrients in whatever she puts in her mouth.
Maggie's Recipe for Life book is inspirational. It contains seasonal meal plans, over 200 recipes, snack suggestions, gluten-free options, and it's not without sweet treats. The emphasis is on taste, nutrient-rich food, and making the most of what's in season. I read it like a novel; it was so interesting and informative I had trouble putting it down and immediately wanted to start trying some of her recipes and eating healthier. Having a sister suffering from dementia, the topic is particularly close to my heart, and it's some comfort that, if I'm intentional with what I choose to eat, then I'm having a lasting impact on my health.
Go out and buy a copy today - the proceeds from sales will be shared between the Maggie Beer Foundation, which aims to improve the quality of life for the elderly by having access to good quality food, and the Lions Alzheimer's Research Foundation. Recommended retail $39.99.
Well I purchased this book online hoping it would have some healthy easy recipes, this hasnít been the case. A lot of the recipes have ingredients that are not readily a available for eg Page 200 you need verjuice, hazelnut oil (very expensive) vino cotto ($20 bottle) just to cook these roast vegs. I canít afford to cook like this
'I read it like a novel'. now THAT would interest me as I get most of my recipes online. what a great idea, incorporating Maggie's passion for food with recipes. YES, 'eating well can help us age better.' agreed. great review.