Joyful Cooking: In the Pursuit of Good Health
by Joy Feldman


JHF Nutritional Counseling, 2011. ISBN 978-0-615-43307-3.
Reviewed by Laura Strathman Hulka
Posted on 10/24/2011

Nonfiction: Life Lessons; Nonfiction: Food/Cooking/Kitchen

For many of us in today's world, eating well, and eating right are not necessarily the same thing. Finances get in the way of eating well, and it is hard to eat right when you don't have the resources to do so. Feldman is on a mission to change that.

This is a cookbook, but it is also a life-style change book. Because the author combines the concepts of nutritional balance with recipes and a wellness guide, you are able to address the day-to-day eating patterns and focus on regaining or obtaining good health.

Feldman approaches how to eat by discussing oxidation types. Dr. George Watson, Ph.D., coined the term and his research helped Feldman understand how people oxidize ("burn") their food and how to correct the oxidation rate. Feldman explores that hypothesis and explains it in more detail. (Unfortunately, to determine your oxidation rate you will require a hair tissue mineral analysis. An excellent page in the Appendices explains what you need to know about that analysis, and why one should get it.)

Because of the depth of the science and the detailed learning curve of the information, this book probably should be kept on your shelf as reference material, as well as for the recipes, which are for both children and adults. As Feldman says in the book, about her own journey to wellness, she learned about "...a new diet, along with multiple modalities that would complement my healing—nutritional changes, lifestyle modifications, and meditation."

The first five chapters are more generalized instruction covering background sciences, definitions and help equip the reader with a solid understanding of how to make a nutritional balancing program work. There are later chapters devoted to Pregnancy and Children, and a wonderful chapter on Kitchen Organization that will help focus your attention on creating a cooking environment that will make it easier to cook healthy meals.

And then... there are Feldman's recipes. At the beginning of the recipe section is an index that divides the food into meals, types of meat (Poultry etc.) forms of cooking (Crock-pots, for example,) veggies, grains and legumes etc. There is a list of "Recipes for Children, Enjoyed by Everyone." There is also a symbol used to indicate a "Simple" recipe—easier recipes that can be put together with little prep time, few ingredients, and great taste.

The "Perfectly Poached Eggs in a Nest" sounds wonderful, (a "Simple" recipe!) and there are some great ideas for making your own Pesto and Dips that are healthy and yummy. Some great dessert ideas are provided, and even sample menus, (as Feldman writes, "For those who cannot decide among all of these tasty choices...")

This is not a light read, nor a casual fix-it-fast mantra. The appendices help you understand and evaluate the information given, and include guidelines to Toxic Metals, Vitamins and Minerals, Recommended Reading and recommendations for modalities to help eliminate toxics and chronic infections. In the author's intensity and depth of enthusiasm for her subject comes a chance for her readers to grasp the needed illumination to create their own path to healing.

Read an excerpt from this book.


Joy Feldman is a nutritional consultant, writer and lecturer. She has a worldwide private practice, and provides instruction to new practitioners as well. Her website provides in-depth information on hair analysis and more.

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