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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 18 March 2010
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is a beautifully presented book with colourful glossy pages and gorgeous food photography. Just the wonderful presentation is enough to inspire you to try these healthy recipes.

The first 45 pages of the book are about the diet, the principles of eating according to Ayurveda, what your body type is (via a questionnaire) and how to eat a balanced diet according to your body type. There are then 8 pages of detox information and then the rest of the book is recipes. Most of the recipes (but not all) are illustrated with an image.

Each recipe is laid out the same: an introductory paragraph, brief information about the appropriateness of each recipe for the 3 body types, an ingredients list and instructions on how to prepare the meal. The majority of the recipes use ingredients that will be available from most supermarkets. There is an emphasis on fresh ingredients, including lots of herbs and spices. Instructions for preparing the food are concise but sufficient to complete successfully. None of the recipes are particularly complicated. The only thing I thought was missing was a "preparation time" and "cooking time" summary at the top of each recipe.

If you want to broaden the repertoire of healthy recipes then this book will definitely help with that. The book covers a variety of foods and will freshen up your cooking.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 23 February 2010
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This beautifully-presented cookbook has been put together by Anjum Anand from the BBC 2 series 'Indian Food Made Easy'. She combines simple yet effective recipes with dietary advice drawn from Ayurveda folk medicine. The format reminds me of Natalie Savona's excellent Kitchen Shrink in that it combines general nutritional advice with tasty yet simple recipes. We're given an interesting introduction to 3 common body/character types (Doshas) found in Ayurvedic medicine - Vatta, Pitta & Kapha - and advice on the type of food each type should eat to maintain optimum health. Above each recipe is a section telling you which Doshas will benefit from it the most, often with recommended variations for other Doshas.

This may sound a little 'wacky' & 'new age' to some people but Anjum also throws in some modern nutritional tidbits. For example, she mentions that while wheat was traditionally considered to be "a fantastic grain" in Ayurveda, "modern-day wheat has a higher gluten content which makes it more sticky, mucoid & congesting in our system." And of course the ultimate saving grace is that the recipes themselves are simple & delicious! They mostly have an Indian, Middle Eastern & Oriental feel, without any hard-to-find ingredients - all the recipes I've looked at consist of ingredients available in most big supermarkets. There's plenty of variety, too, as Anjum includes breakfasts, desserts, a couple of Lassis (can't wait to try those!), vegetarian dishes & even vegetarian alternatives for some of the meat dishes.

Even if Ayurvedic medicine isn't something that appeals to you (and it didn't appeal to me at first but a lot of what Anjun says rings true), then this book is still worth getting for the healthy, tasty recipes, which are different but easy to prepare & incredibly satisfying. I'll definately be picking up Anjum's previous books in future.
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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Western culture centres around processed convenience foods, which we all know are bad for us and make us fat, but we keep eating them because they're, well, convenient... This book offers you a new way of viewing food, and enjoying the feeling of being really healthy.

It identifies three body types, Vata, Pitta and Kapha, and it's very easy to relate to whichever you are. From there, you learn which foods are good or bad for your body type; certain foods are badly digested by certain body types, and can affect your general wellbeing in subtle ways that you may never have guessed could be down to your diet. You also learn small lifestyle changes which enhance the positive effects of cutting out bad foods and eating good ones, for example sitting or lying still for five minutes to boost your metabolism. This is a wonderfully illumating book which puts you back in touch with your physical health, without being preachy or patronising. It makes you want to embrace the advice it offers, because you know as you read it that this is true, sensible, good advice that will transform your health.
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VINE VOICEon 25 July 2010
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Anjum's fresh uptake on Ayurveda is very enlightening. There is many books on the subject but she has brought a more modern & more complete cover of the subject. It is as if she has brought the subject to a new generation; one that is more "digestible" (!) for the modern man... (forgive the pun)

I find this book is very thorough & informative on all areas of Ayurveda.
The first part of the book talks about the 3 different body types, a test to determine which one you are (although I found some of the questions unclear), a lot of advice & info about the different doshas (body types) & what is good for each (including what to eat, lifestyle, exercise etc).I find some the food qualities confusing even though she describes them one by one but there is an index at the back of the book describing each foods one by one, their qualities (e.g. astringent, pungent, salty),recommendations for each type(if they should avoid, have little of each) etc.
Of course all the above leads to the main topic, using Ayurveda to lose weight. She talks about Ayurveda & weight loss in a few pages but mainly she talks about the fact that once you recognise your body type or dosha, & then redo the test to find which dosha is out of balance & you go about "balancing" that dosha which leads to weight loss ( she tells you how you can balance that dosha).
What I liked about this approach is that it doesn't tell you to go on a "diet" but rather change the way you eat which is best for your body type. This, for me, is the best diet as everyone knows "diets" don't work in the long run.
The second part is mostly recipes which seem very appetising. For each recipe she advises which doshas should eat it, avoid it, or change certain ingredients, so you know if that recipe is good for you or not.

If you are looking for a healthy long term eating plan, this book is excellent (which will naturally result in weight loss).
But I think holistically, weight loss goes deeper than just eating. It is an emotional imbalance & there are many other books which are also a good aid to understanding this topic. One being Losing Your Pounds of Pain by Doreen Virtue (I think she also does another book on the subject which I haven't read but should be also very good).

A beautifully presented book with equally beautiful pictures.
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VINE VOICEon 28 March 2013
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The book starts with the basics of Ayurveda and the body types (doshas) each of which have different rates of metabolising foods. This is what determines how some certain people eat above the average calorie intake and some overweight people seem to gain if they stop counting calories.

The book explains clearly the importance of our food habits and the science behind it based on Ayurveda. It basically says "every body is different and the treatment also should be different". Normally Understanding Ayurveda by reading some books is difficult, the book explains this principle in great detail, and helps us to understand our body and take food accordingly. The book is presented in an easy to follow style explaining the basics and science book contains some good recipe based on real science.

The author has quite clearly done thorough research and actually put some of that into practice by devising a method which she actually used and followed to help her gain significant weight loss. So its not just an expert or author preaching from up high. Lovely recipe ideas, and each shows how the dish can be changed to suit a particular body type by substituting certain foods.

Overall: A well written easy to follow and dare I say enjoyable dieting book, with sound science presented in an easy to digest and understand style. The text is backed up by gorgeous photography as well as great recipe ideas throughout. A worthy consideration if you are after a dieting guide that actually works in the real world. Whilst it wont guarantee to make you slim it will at least start you thinking with a different mind set and perhaps lead you down a road where you may lose significant weight

Easy reading
Great photography
well organised
Great recipes

requires a slight change in mindset
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VINE VOICEon 25 May 2010
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
In my opinion, Anjum is a very good chef and the recipes in this book are a proof of my opinion. Having said that Anjum is also trying to introduce Ayurveda to the general masses in the western world.

All the theories that Anjum present sound very plausible and could be adopted as a life style except for two reasons. One is obvious, Ayurveda is just a practice and lacks serious scientific base both in terms of theory and practice. The other is a serious fault for which Anjum has to be blamed. She does not provide any citation to whatever she says. It's hard to believe specially because she does not provide any reference to any source and it's impossible in my humble opinion that Anjum herself (or through her grandmother) just came up with all these ideas.

One last thing I want to add that I do not totally discount what Anjum is saying, I am merely pointing out the flaw in the approach rather than the content i.e. Ayurveda. There could be a certain link between our personalities and the food we eat which in my humble opinion could go beyond our bodies and could well link to our souls (hence major religions giving instructions to what to eat or not to eat). I understand that Anjum is not an academic, but still writing all those theories without a reference is unbelievable and leaves a bitter taste in the mouth (pardon my pun).

Now if I have to judge the value of the book solely on the quality of the recipes, then I have to admit, as I have said before, the recipes are really good. I specially like some of the breakfasts that she cooks. Also the 3-day Mong Daal Soup although is not a good idea, still Mong Soup itself is delicious and I could consume it for three consecutive days without a problem.

Overall a good combination of eastern and western dishes with Anjum's own recipes. Thumbs up but for the recipes only!
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VINE VOICEon 20 May 2010
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This book is based on some ancient wisdom, and the beauty of ancient wisdom is that it has worked down the ages and that is why it has survived. The basic premise of the book is that you should eat food that is easy to digest and that you need to help your body digest things by not eating too much. You can see that as desserts are hard to digest and so is red meat that if you follow this diet, with its vegetarian bias, and lack of red meat and dessert recipes you are going to lose weight whatever your body type.

As a scientist the ayurvedic system seems a bit incredible, based as it is on a belief that there are only four elements earth, fire, air and water. However having identified myself as someone who is susceptible to heart burn, or pitta as the book would have it, it is right in listing the trigger foods for indigestion, chilli, oranges etc and so you can see how the ancient wisdom has worked down the ages, it gets you to the right answer even if the explanation can be done better with some modern science.

This book then offers some tasty recipes and a diet that if kept to will help you lose weight. It does not offer any magic formula that will allow you to stuff yourself and lose weight at the same time. You are back to the age old truth that energy expended (exercise etc) must be greater than energy in (food intake) if you are to lose weight. What the book does offer is a series of tasty vegetarian recipes that will make the painful path to weight loss a lot more palatable than it otherwise would be.

In summary: The advice in this book will help you to lose weight but won't make it any easier.
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Anjums book is certainly brilliant at one thing - it excites you. The "shiny" factor definitely inspires you when first exploring the book; the images of the food are fresh and enticing, the layout is colourful and simplistic, and it makes you feel positive and healthy just looking at it.

However, in practice, I'd say it's pretty difficult for the average person to follow - both literally and figuratively.

In a similar fashion to the facial analysis diet, you diagnose your "dosha" (in simple terms your body type) by a table of characteristics. This leads you to be coined as a specific dosha, which are essentially a description of endomorph/ectomorph/mesamorph and determine a) which you should be naturally and b) which you have "made yourself" through your lifestyle.
The imbalance to be rectified is between the two - so if you are naturally a vata dosha (ectomorph) but through diet and lifestyle have made yourself a kapha dosha (endomorph), you will be imbalanced, and this book teaches you how to return to a vata, and avoid being a kapha... (not so tricky so far, but) Anjums advice is to "return to your childhood" and remember how you ate then.
Frankly love, I can't! I can remember my Mums method of tucking us in at night (she made us into a pie with the duvet as the crust - it was genius), I can recall the devastation of finding cat poo in my sandbox, and I can remember my favourite item of clothing was a pair of chocolate brown dungarees (hot)... but try as I might I cannot recall my diet (apart from we got beans on toast arranged in a sunflower shape when we were poorly).
I'd ask my Mum, but I suspect she had more important things like birthdays and doctors appointments committed to memory!

Now I suspect also that if you do not work a normal 9-5 5 day week, it would be much easier, as time certainly must be dedicated to obtaining the food as well as preparing it: most of it seems to be "the fresher the better", and frankly I found it very time consuming to keep going out after work to stock up on veg for the next 2-3 days, let alone set aside time to cook each meal and prepare my breakfast and lunch for the following day.
Not to mention of course that the ingredients for much of the meals are unfortunately quite expensive.
There is an awful lot of fasting and eating pulpy looking broth, and frankly its not going to keep you going over a busy working day. You cant have coffee (nooooooo) or much dairy, and depressingly each recipe shows a variation you can make depending on the dosha you are. Its so depressing seeing that someone else can have chunks of nutty bread with theirs, while you are relegated to a bit of a tortilla chip.

Putting this together means that the people most likely to be able to afford to eat this way are those working full hours: but these are the people least likely to be able to dedicate the time to it and, with the best will in the world most likely to cheat on it! (lets be honest - youre dashing around in the morning; whats more likely: fool around making a herbal porridge and a steamed chicken breast soup for lunch, or grab a yogurt and a sandwich for later?)

So in essence, it's one of those ones that I would LOVE to do, but I would not recommend it to anyone with a busy lifestyle or a budget!
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VINE VOICEon 19 May 2010
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I love cook books and am always intereasted in eating healthily. Its not something I always stick to- liking cakes too much but every now and again I like to spring clean my body and have a try.
So I was intereasted in thsi book as not only did it have healthy eating advice but also recipes .
Its based on the Ayurveda idea of three body types- Vatea, Pitta and Dosha. In the book there is a quick questionaire to deiced what type you are and a basic explination of each type- about 2 pages each.
It then contains three diet plans- liquid 2 day detox, three day limited detox or a general diet plan- which the recipes are for.
The recipes contained are mixed, with a seperate section on vegetarian and grains. With each recipe saying if it is Vatta, Pitta or Kapha .At the back
So if you have no knowledge of Ayurveda it is a basic ok introduction .
However if you have any knowledge of ayurveda it offers you no new information and wont be suitable.

The book seems to fall short in a few areas. Firstly the recipes should maybe be split into the types rather than all muddled together. Next its too complicated to follow- Im used to diet plans but you easily get mixed up and confused what you can and cant eat- as this also depends on how you mix the food. So if you cant eat peppers but can eat potatoes you have to try and figure out what to eat on your own .This can be quite hard to eliminate certain foods from your diet compared to a normal diet or calorie reducing diet plan .
I also did not find the recipes very appealing and have never been tempted to make any .

Overall I would recommed this book if you are a Vegetarian- as its rare to get vegetarain diet plans or experienced with dietary plans. If you are looking for a basic introduction to basic Ayurveda this book is worth considering.
However if you want an easy healthy eating or diet plan I would not recommend this . Also if you have some knowledge of ayurveda then I would not advise this book and suggest looking elsewhere.
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VINE VOICEon 25 March 2010
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I have Anjum's Indian Food Made Easy and have watched her TV series and was drawn to this book as I have enjoyed both. Her cooking is delicious and I wasn't quite sure whether this would be a recipe book or a diet book. It is in fact a mixture of both, but when I say diet book it's more like a change-your-diet book not a lose two dress sizes in a week sort of book. The book is based on the principles of Ayurveda and the belief that the body is made up of the five elements (air, ether, fire, water and earth) and these become biological elements which group into three energies known as doshas. The aim is to try and keep these doshas balanced. This is just a brief summary but the book goes into much more detail about Ayurveda. There is a questionnaire in the book that helps you determine which dosha you are and then you can follow the recipes tailored to your particular dosha as some are tweaked slightly depending on which one you are.

The recipes are delicious (I especially loved the lemon and blueberry cornmeal pancakes) and are not just Indian dishes, plenty of soups and stews, salads and pasta, even cupcakes which can't be bad! I was pleased to see a big section on breakfasts and even more delighted to see the puddings! The only real downside is that there aren't any recipes that include beef, lamb or pork, as they are to be avoided for two of the doshas and only eaten in moderation for the other, so you might get sick of chicken and fish after a while. In the back of the book there are also in depth food charts that tell you which foods are recommended for your dosha.

This isn't as strict as some diets and I could quite happily stick to this for a few weeks though I think I would probaly give the hardcore liquid fast a miss. The downside may be for some dieters is that there is no details of calorie or fat content in the food.

All in all a lovely book, very vibrant and colourful with beautiful photographs. If you are looking to change your eating habits and lose weight slowly and consistently then this book is definitely worth a try.
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