While being a long term fan of dietary control and nutritional balance, I had not previously come across a book satisfying both my philosophical parameters of food intake management and my scientific rationale for such processes. This book, by Christine Bailey, is, in my opinion, probably the most sensible collection of data and practical suggestions within the field of nutritional balance. It is a wide-spread contention that food intake, it’s control, nutritional benefit, unwanted side-effects and the medical conditions resulting from inappropriate amounts and types should be common sense. However, it seems there are an increasing number of people who do not have such common sense either, probably, due to loss of parental input to this philosophy or more likely as a result of overriding media barrage suggesting that “it doesn’t matter”.
This book is the best I have seen at describing a proven connection between physiological chemistry and moods or mental acuity. I was impressed by the knowledge concerning the chemistry involved in some of our mood changes and the obvious passion with which this knowledge was placed into a practical scenario with reference to balance by appropriate food intake. The explanation of how physiological chemistry can alter what we feel or how our mental capacity can be altered by some of these chemistries gave a very good link into the suggested foods or food combinations which could potentially help to change those detrimental mental effects we would all rather be without by balancing some of the physiological chemistries. The foods suggested in the recipes in this book are all readily and very reasonably available and preparation times for the suggested recipes are not unduly onerous. If I have one personal gripe with the style of the book it is the rather American “tick box lists” preceding the practical sections in which I think most of us would probably tick enough boxes to suggest that we were lacking something. This may of course be true!
I would recommend this book to anybody who is willing to pay attention to obvious scientific rationale placing mental acuity and moods as sequelae of food (fuel) intake. It is very much common sense being aired in a convincing and available manner creating a reference manual for balanced nutrition which should result in optimum mental and mood performance. It would be good to see a sequel by this author where she explores in more depth some of these connections between physiological chemistry and food chemistry and the ability of these interactions to improve our well-being.
Professor Paul Sibbons
Director, Head of Surgical Sciences, NPIMR