I was just setting up my account on GOODREADS today and preparing for a GIVEAWAY Nov 10-14 and was surprised to discover a review posted about YUM! What a wonderful gift that captures the essence and mission of the book so well.

Anne Champagne’s review
Oct 09, 15

5 of 5 stars

Dr. Theresa Nicassio’s YUM: Plant-Based Recipes for a Gluten-free Diet goes beyond the usual cookbook for those with food allergies. It incorporates an ethic of care for the planet. In a world where nearly a third of the food grown is wasted, her chapter about how to create a more sustainable kitchen by cutting down on food waste is timely. Scattered through the book are “Bee Bites”—nuggets of lore about the creatures who pollinate so much of our food and without whom our plates would be decidedly bare.

The writing is enthusiastic and engaging, and the book is awash in beautiful photos. The recipes are imaginative and easy to prepare even with young sous-chefs. In addition to recipes for those who avoid a range of allergens, there are notes by a dietician and nutritionist and useful charts to sort through which recipes work for 19 different allergens.

Nicassio is on a mission, having recovered from serious medical problems with the aid of carefully crafted meals that were healthy, organic and free of GMOs, so the book is aimed at those who similarly suffer in the hope they too might find relief. In navigating the torturous path back to health, Nicassio did prodigious amounts of research, educating herself about the mind-body-spirit connection, functional medicine, allergies, inflammation, the hormone connection, environmental toxins and more.

Nicassio combines expertise as a chef, integrative healer, psychologist and mom. Her training as a psychologist is reflected in her musings on the sadness, fear and loss we can feel when we have to give up foods to which we become sensitive. When we surrender to loss and accept the reality of dietary changes, we can shift from depression, anger and rebellion to excitement about tasty new meals.

Nicassio’s philosophy is that “life is to be celebrated and cherished; to this end, responsiveness to others and service to the planet are as important as pleasure-seeking for one’s self. So, while delicious and simple-to-prepare recipes are an important part of the YUM Living experience, they are just one means of enabling a joyful, mindful and respectful way of living.” She encourages readers to acknowledge life as it is “instead of rejecting, judging or trying to control it (efforts that are typically futile and not sustainable anyway)” and invites us “to enjoy the pleasures of living mindfully and to discover remarkable possibilities for deepening and transforming our daily existence.”

It’s refreshing to find a book that looks beyond ourselves to how our decisions affect the planet that feeds us all.