Cookbook forward written by Dr. T. Colin Campbell
I am prejudiced and I might as well say so up front. The author of this book is my daughter, LeAnne Campbell Disla. But prejudiced or not, I know her style of cooking, her recipes (I’ve tried many), her commitment to good nutrition and, as a very busy professional, her ability to prepare quick nutritious meals.
In considerable part, LeAnne drew in her family for this book project. Both of her boys were ready and willing, now becoming good cooks in their own right. Her mother, Karen, and her sister-in-law, Kim, added a few recipes and helped in the taste testing. Yes, and I did also—tasting, that is, and twice for those recipes that my wife added to this book.
On the merits of the book, the food is tasty and it is consistent with the health message of The China Study that my son, Tom, and I wrote. It is also written with the intent of preparing quick and nutritious meals after a hard day’s work.
One of the features that LeAnne’s book addresses is her use of recipes with no added fat, little or no salt and her judicious but minimal use of sweetening agents. Her no-added-fat strategy will be a question for some folks who cannot quite accept the idea of not using oil/fat in their daily dietary.
The scientific evidence shows that we should try to avoid using ADDED fat, especially for those who are either at high risk (most people) or who have already been diagnosed with a degenerative disease (e.g., cardiovascular diseases, cancers, diabetes and other metabolic disorders, obesity). I am saying ‘added’ fat in order to distinguish it from whole, high fat plant-based foods because these latter foods often contain a natural supply of antioxidants, fiber and the right kind of protein.
I know that for many people using the typical American diet, switching to a no-added fat diet can be challenging–at least at first. But we need to know that fat has been proven to be addictive, often causing people to consume increasing amounts over time. Eventually, it becomes quite difficult for many people to recover from this addiction. Like any other addiction, some people not only find it difficult to switch, they sometimes become unusually defensive about their preferences.
But change is possible. It only takes time, perhaps as much as a few months for some individuals. But once it is achieved, we discover some new tastes of whole plant-based foods that we hardly ever knew existed. Once arriving at this healthier place, many people then discover that if, for curiosity, they switch again to that old dish floating in fat, they experience some difficulties, perhaps experiencing some real intestinal disturbances and/or in tasting the old stuff more as a good dose of grease. The same is also true while switching to a low salt diet, although the responsible ‘addictive’ mechanism may be quite different.
Often I have been asked–a few hundred times, I think–what do I and my family eat. Although I try to respond on the spot, I know well that my very limited answer cannot be very satisfying. Now, I am happy to say that there is a cookbook that comes about as close to the real deal for our family as I can imagine–and this is it.
T Colin Campbell, PhD
Co-author, the best selling The China Study
Professor Emeritus of Nutritional Biochemistry