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The Great American Detox Diet: 8 Weeks to Weight Loss and Well-Being    by Alex Jamieson order for
Great American Detox Diet
by Alex Jamieson
Order:  USA  Can
Rodale, 2005 (2005)

Read an Excerpt

* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

This is the diet that director Morgan Spurlock used to recover after making the movie Super Size Me. Alex Jamieson talks about what makes the Standard American Diet ('high in animal and unhealthy hydrogenated fats, and low in fiber and complex carbohydrates') so toxic, and emphasizes the need to 'eat around the aggressive marketing of the food industry'. She tells us that food additives (of which Americans eat more than fifty pounds annually!) have been tested in isolation - not for their combined or their long-term effects.

Why detox, as opposed to diet? Jamieson speaks of the fallibility of fad diets, and of the benefits of detox, not only to eliminate toxic substances, but also as 'a gentle method of cleansing and a noninvasive way of rebalancing.' She includes a questionnaire on the need to detox, and offers her detox diet in eight-week increments. Her approach involves drinking more water, kicking sugar and caffeine addictions, avoiding bad fats, eating more complex carbohydrates, expanding protein options, and 'living a truly detoxed life.'

Part 2 of the book explains the '8-Week Detox Plan' in detail, including: tips for water filtering; a list of food additives to watch for in labels; emotional aspects of sugar addiction; recommendations for healthy snack foods and foods that help the liver; a primer on selection and storing of high quality oils; a discussion of common grain allergies and how to self-test for them; alternative grains and how to cook them; nondairy sources of calcium; and plant sources of protein. Jamieson also addresses concerns about plastic toxins and indoor air pollution.

Part 3 offers healthy recipes - Breakfast Patties (made with brown rice, nuts, onions and mushrooms) sound tasty, as does Roasted Veggies and Savory Quinoa Salad. These are followed by resources (transitioning products, pantry staples, websites etc.). Though there's nothing very new in the basic eating (and exercise) recommendations of The Great American Detox Diet, I liked its focus on how to 'become a food detective' and found good common sense in its tips and specific advice.

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