By Paulette Millis
Self-published through Soul Food Publishing, 2009/10
Soft cover, coil bound, 465 pages, $47.50
Available at McNally Robinson in Winnipeg
More people die because of the way they eat than by tobacco use, accidents or any other lifestyle or environmental factor. Dr. T. Colin Campbell, The China Study
So starts an impassioned plea for the reader to wake up to the importance of eating the right food for good health. Eat Away Illness is one of the outcomes of Paulette Millis’ decision to take charge of her health. Her healing journey has also resulted in Cook Your Way to Health, and What Your Doctor Doesn’t Tell You About Foods.
Years ago, doctors wanted Millis to take steroids for her long list of ailments (swollen parotid glands, circulation problems, Lupus, dry eyes, sinus problems, poor digestion and hypothyroidism to name a few). She refused steroids and says, “Thanks to diet and lifestyle change, symptoms disappeared, one by one.” She then trained to become a registered holistic nutritional consultant and orthomolecular health practitioner. She now speaks, trains, and writes about healthy nutrition.
In Eat Away Illness, Millis claims five stages that lead to poor health:
1. Nutrients a person needs are not supplied and the body uses up reserves.
2. The body begins to develop nutritional deficiencies.
3. Symptoms start to appear. “These symptoms can be emotional (depression and irritability), physical (ridges in the fingernails, fatigue, and lack of energy), or mental (inability to concentrate, foggy thinking, and lack of motivation),” Millis claims.
4. Symptoms escalate to the point where a person goes to a doctor, gets tested, and is diagnosed with a disease.
5. The last stage is chronic ill health or death unless the person makes changes to diet and lifestyle.
Detoxification is important to help the body rid itself of accumulated toxins. According to Millis, some good detox foods are: beets, artichokes, parsley, dandelion root, lemons, ginger, apples, grapes, grapefruit, and fermented foods. Millis devotes many pages to detox plans for specific organs of the body.
Protein is important, especially small amounts and good quality. If a vegetarian diet is preferred, Millis recommends one third cup cooked beans or legumes to two thirds cooked grain to ensure a balanced protein. She recommends small amounts of protein snacks two or three times a day coupled with three small meals containing protein as well. She says her clients tell her this “clears up brain fog, increases energy, lifts depression, removes sugar cravings, and helps with weight loss.” Sources of protein include meat, poultry, fish, dairy, and grain/legume combinations – everything organic if possible.
Millis is concerned about soy being goitrogenic “which means it suppresses the function of the thyroid by inhibiting the uptake of iodine, one of the most important minerals needed for growth and metabolism.” She often advises her clients to decrease or eliminate soy from their diets.
White sugar is an “empty food” according to Millis because it is devoid of vitamins, minerals and fibre. She devotes many pages to the varieties of harmful sugars and artificial sweeteners – and also to the more beneficial sweeteners like fruit and fruit purees, date sugar, fruit juice, brown rice syrup, honey, maple syrup, stevia, and blackstrap molasses (organic and unsulphured).
Chocolate lovers can be reassured that Millis doesn’t want to ban their favourite food. But she does warn against its addictive properties. Chocolate contains anandamides that “activate the same pleasure receptor in the brain as marijuana, resulting in a sense of euphoria.” She says the best choices are cacao nibs and organic dark chocolate.
You may want to reconsider if you have been microwaving your food. Millis claims that research shows that the “availability of vitamin complexes A, B, C and E, and essential minerals are vastly reduced.”
There is so much wisdom in this book that it’s hard to do it justice in a short review. As well as the above topics, Millis deals with emotional well-being, exercise, and also spirituality. Other areas include the ideal diet, the dangers of coffee (both regular and decaffeinated), how to boost your energy, the acid/alkaline balance, the benefits of raw food, sprouting, and much more.
Millis has tried a new format (new to me, anyway) of putting recipes on the left-hand page and nutrition information on the right-hand side. Eat Away Illness is a big book: 7 ½” x 10” and 1” thick, with easy-to-read print. If a person is serious about wanting good health through better food choices, Eat Away Illness is worth the investment.
Gingery Carrot Soup
(from Eat Away Illness)
3 C. sliced carrots
1 large onion
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 potato, washed and diced
2 t. minced fresh ginger
2 C. vegetable broth or filtered water
2 C. milk of choice (coconut or almond milk for dairy-free)
2 C. cooked corn kernels
A dash of paprika, cumin, chili powder, and ground coriander
1 t. Celtic sea salt
1 t. dulse flakes
Optional: 1 C. bean sprouts
Place carrots, onion, garlic, potato, and ginger and 2 C. broth in a large saucepan, and simmer, covered, until tender, about 20 minutes. Puree using 2 C. portions at a time, and place in a large bowl. Add milk and combine. Blend the corn kernels, sprouts if using, and remaining ingredients with some of the pureed mixture. Return all to the soup pot and reheat gently. Add more milk if desired to make the right consistency.