Friday, February 22, 2013


                                                                         by Chef AJ
   I hope you forgive the fact that this is the third nonfiction book I've reviewed in a row . . . and, actually, there's another one in storage! Sorry for that; I know that if you did want to read a nonfiction book, it would probably be a Christian help book, and not all of these fashion and health books.
   Well, Unprocessed by Chef AJ is, as the cover suggests, a book promoting whole-food, plant-based, completely unprocessed eating. Chef AJ shares the story which led her to begin unprocessed eating--a very convincing story--and she details exactly what unprocessed eating is . . . to her. And that's where we begin to differ.
   First of all, she says sugar, oil, and salt are all bad for you. Well, that's a no-brainer. But then she goes further and says all sweeteners, no matter how raw or pure or expensive, are bad for you; olive oil is bad for you; and sea salt is bad for you. Okay, so I get that you shouldn't eat so-called "healthy" sweeteners all the time, that olive oil is still extremely calorie-dense (it is, after all, an oil), and that the upper limit for sodium is 2,300mg a day. But I disagree with the fact that there is nothing good for you in any of these things.
   One thing that annoys me terribly is that she says, "The best sweetener is none," and then she says, "You can sweeten with dates or date sugar." I'd like to know what the difference is? Completely raw honey, raw cane sugar, and raw maple syrup might as well be date sugar! Besides, Solomon himself said, "Eat honey, my son, for it is good" (Prov 24:13, NIV). And I don't know about you, but I'm more inclined to believe the wisest imperfect human being ever to set foot on earth than a chef.
   That's not to take everything away from Chef AJ; her main idea is good. Too much sugar, oil, or salt is going to sabotage your health. But I don't believe all oils are extremely processed like she does, as long as you buy it cold-pressed; nor that sea salt is unhealthy (in small doses).
   This may not be a very in-depth study on Unprocessed, but there are only five real chapters to work with--after that, it's just recipes. (I didn't go through every recipe and read it, although it might be helpful for you to try one or two after reading the first five chapters.) As a warning, she does use "bad words" several times. She does say that she turned to God in the midst of her life trials, but she doesn't sound much like she is a true born-again Christian. I wouldn't look for this book to be a huge help when trying to pursue unprocessed, all-natural living. I'd like to be able to give a better suggestion, but I haven't read anything else dedicated solely to eating this type of diet.


  1. that's so odd -- you're right, maple syrup and raw honey are completely natural forms of sugar so how are they different from date sugar? I don't get it!


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