Book Reviews

I have read a huge number of books on nutrition and health.  Here are reviews of some favourites.  As a published author, I’ve included my own two books one about sporting performance, one about living on minimal money.

Books reviewed so far:

  • Succeed in Sport
  • Survival Guide for the Skint
  • Swallow This
  • Eat Fat, Get Thin
  • Sitting Kills, Moving Heals
  • How to Cook Delicious Home Made and Wholesome French Cuisine.

Succeed in Sport

train – learn – adapt – improve

by Jackie Wilkinson

succeed07 front only

Succeed in Sport is a book for competitors in any sport who want to get the greatest performance improvement from the precious time that they spend training. Many people keep training diaries but few can use them easily to get feedback on how to improve. Succeed in Sport presents a method, developed from my experience as an international competitor over many years, using charts as a visual training diary. It takes less than a minute after each session of training or competition to record everything you need on a sheet, covering a whole month on one page, that you can carry in your kit bag.

You will discover the types and frequencies of training that best suit your sport, your lifestyle, work and family responsibilities, leading to a tailored training programme and a plan for the year.

Survival Guide for the Skint

how to feel richer on your current income

by Jackie Wilkinson


Survival Guide for the Skint is a money management book with a difference.  Jargon free with great cartoon drawings, it describes how to survive the financial perils of life based on real experience, illustrated using the metaphor of a cliff-top path.  Clearly and simply covers: where your money goes; how to defend yourself to hang onto more of it; shopping; children; credit/debt; saving; slimming; gambling; going green and more. 

This book will appeal to anyone who’s ever felt short of money and wants to stop being skint.

Swallow This: Serving up the Food Industry’s Darkest Secrets

by Joanna Blythman

If you are still unconvinced that processed food is a bad thing, take a look at the latest investigative book by Joanna Blythman. A ready meal you buy in a box might have the same calorie content, percentage fat and similar ingredients to a dish that you make from scratch but they couldn’t be more different. Your home-cooked meal is food. What you buy in a box is a ‘food-like product’. You won’t even know about everything that’s in it due to quirks of the labelling laws – some ingredients will have been given misleading friendlier names and some won’t be listed at all.

It’s not just the ingredients that are a problem, there’s the processing too. I love the way she compared in-supermarket bakeries to tanning salons! The bread is not made in store at all but many miles away and then frozen to be put through an oven later and fool us all with the wonderful fresh-bread smell.

Eat Fat, Get Thin

by Barry Groves

Eat Fat Get ThinTo honour Barry Groves (who died April 2013) my first book review is Eat Fat, Get Thin.

I came across Barry years ago when he wrote for an archery magazine. His first nutrition column extolled the virtues of the great English Breakfast.  Think fat makes you fat?  Think again.  Barry explains how our bodies have evolved to use different foods and what our natural diet really is.  He debunks the calorie fallacy and shows that what really matters is to be selective about the types of foods you eat, not their calorie content.  He also gives daily menus and lots of great recipes.

I’ve bought 4 copies now as they tend not to return when people borrow them. Highly recommended reading for protein types and anyone who wants to lose their fear of fat.

Sitting Kills, Moving Heals

by Joan Vernikos

BC Sitting killsYou probably already know that nutrition and exercise go hand in hand to keep you fit, healthy and feeling great. What you might not know is the enormous value of non-exercise movement throughout the day. We tend to assume that we can compensate for our hours in cars, at the computer, watching TV and generally sitting still, by going to the gym and working out at a furious rate twice a week. Actually, our bodies aren’t designed to respond best to that pattern.

Joan Vernikos worked for NASA looking after astronauts. In this pivotal little book she explains how to engage with gravity to prevent the accelerated ageing that results from a sedentary lifestyle. The best fitness aid I have ever bought might turn out to be the kitchen timer that now sits beside my computer. When it beeps, I stand up!

Sitting Kills, Moving Heals brings a message I consider to be massively important in our modern world.

How to Cook Delicious Home Made and Wholesome French Cuisine

by Andy Graham

Buy the Book

If you’ve fallen in love with French food while on holiday, you might wonder how they cook.  Andy has put together this book of authentic recipes with the help of Annick Guerin, a French restauranteur.

Even if you’ve never cooked a dish like these, you’ll be able to follow the recipes which are explained in detail with pictures, notes on techniques and serving ideas.  There’s also a nice collection of tips including how to blanche and peel tomatoes and why to remove the green shoot from the centre of your garlic.  My regular readers know that I avoid sunflower oil like the plague so where it is listed as an ingredient, I would suggest that olive oil or coconut oil would be better.

Some special and unusual dishes for you to enjoy!