Three years in the making and a book is born
The vision for the book is rooted in the idea that how we understand food, nutrition, and health needs to change. I wanted to help people connect the value of information found in food, to their health.
To shine a different lens on the conversation food has with the human body, your body. This article explains the journey behind my new book, what you’ll find in the book, and how to get the best R.O.I. (Return On Ingestion) from the food you eat.
How it all began
Growing up in Europe, food was the center of daily attention! I remember my mother always said that in France, you would sit down for lunch and everyone would be talking about what’s for dinner! The conversation inevitably turned to who had the best cheese on the market, the best-tasting peaches, or salad greens and so forth.
When I was at University in the UK, one of my internships was in the Rhone Valley, south of Lyons in Southeastern France. I clearly remember being escorted by a friendly colleague at the company where I was working, into the mountains (about a 30-minute drive), with the specific goal of purchasing an aged goat cheese from one vendor who was deemed to have the best. Thirty minutes for one cheese!
Growing up in Europe, I learned that food nourishes, and yet it unites people in conversation and community. For me, food never was, and never is, something you did on the way to something else. Food is a reflection of respect for the soil, the grower, the chef (me, you, the restaurant chef), and or body itself.
Along Came A Game Changer
After I completed my degree in nutrition science, it did not take long to realize that my education prepared me to be an expert in interpreting nutrition science. What was missing was the strategy of helping people connect the dots between food and health, and being excited about the food itself. You see, nutrients are one thing, but what food tastes like, where it comes from, and how you put it together is more important. And this is where my European upbringing was so important.
I subsequently spent a lot of my nutrition career in the food translation space, the place between nutrition advice, and how you get it on the plate. I call this the “no man’s land” for individuals. People already have an ear full of what they “need to do,” but don’t necessarily have the tools or know-how to connect the “need” via the grocery store and kitchen, to their plate.
After years of working in the culinary translation space, I ran into a group of experts who were teaching the new science of Nutrigenomics. Nutrigenomics studies the interaction (or conversation) between nutrients in food and genes, where genes are the master directors of the human systems or biochemistry that fuel you. Nutrigenomics is both nutritional biochemistry, which I love, and food.
Return On Ingestion for YOU
Suddenly, I saw a new way to explain the relationship between the food you eat and the health you derive from it. I had a new equation. I called it Return On Ingestion (R.O.I.). Get It?
This R.O.I. formula connects the information in food to the heart of how your body functions. Depending on which system in your body you want to target, you “dial in,” to incorporate that food onto your plate.
Suppose you want to amp up the antioxidants in your body. You can eat food rich in Vitamins A, C, and E. Or you can be far more efficient and eat foods containing bioactives that turn on an antioxidant fire hose. If antioxidants represent a teacup of water, and bioactives represent a fire hose, which will you choose?
Nutrigenomics tells us which food to choose and gives us the best R.O.I.
In my book I tell you how, and why.
The R.O.I. Formula and YOU
An R.O.I. formula allows you to breeze through the grocery store, and into your kitchen with ease and knowledge. A few culinary tips and tricks and you have a completely new way of providing food information for your body. No-fuss. No muss.
Do you eat out? Same principles apply. Look for dishes on the menu featuring ingredients that food information to your genes.
How? I created The Genomic Kitchen Ingredient Toolbox to guide you. Download our QuickStart Guide with recipes to give you a quick peek inside.
No more “good for you” or “healthy” ingredients for this body part or that. No more Vitamin A for your eyes, or calcium for your bones. We’re looking at which ingredients do what, how, and why.
This is why I wrote the book!
What’s Inside The Book
First and foremost, the book is one part story, one part science and a whole lot of practical tips with downloadable guides from the website. You can listen to excerpts from some two of the stories here.
The stories I tell relate to food that is our best information for health.
I take you to a tiny restaurant in the Peloponnese region of Greece where the chefs cook up food from the landscape and are both over ninety too!
I take you to AGA to meet two chefs who unknowingly are cooking the language of our DNA.
I provide insights into the connection between food and health across the Mediterranean, visiting the islands of Sardinia, Ikaria, and regions in Italy and Turkey.
I unpack The Genomic Kitchen Ingredient Toolbox, explaining how the ingredients are selected and the information they provide to different parts of your “human operating system.”
The Ingredient Toolbox is unpacked systematically over four chapters. Each chapter is followed by what to do in the Kitchen. So first the science, then the kitchen. Lots of explanations and recipes for you to try.
I include insights into how to stock both your pantry and refrigerator and tips on how to correctly store food. Perhaps even more useful, how to create simple meal plans using a recipe strategy I organize into a framework for you. Organize the recipes you love into this framework, and meal planning becomes a breeze.
And here’s what’s super important. You can find all the ingredients in your local grocery store. There is no need for online ordering or poking around in specialty stores.
Heaping On The Tips
Find tools that help you navigate and substitute alternatives when your kids hate broccoli! You see, we focus on using foods that provide the right information for your body. Once you know the information you need, you get lots of food options.
Cooking tips and meal building tools that help you coax the information you need out of food to give you that R.O.I., I keep talking about.
Loads of ways to change up recipes to get the information you need from your plate to your body.
Writing a book is a humbling experience. As many authors say, a book is always a work in progress, and never finished, even when published. The Genomic Kitchen book reflects 25 years of work and the insights from thousands of clinicians and individuals who have worked with, cooked and eaten the food and food ideas I write about. Without you, this would not be possible.
And so I invite you to experience the Genomic Kitchen through my new book. If the book is not your preferred way of ingesting new information, enroll in our Genomic Kitchen Express Course and download the basic concepts. We’ll be adding a cooking course in the Winter of 2020, so keep your eye out for that.
And be sure to keep in touch and stay nourished with our newsletter, where we’ll be sending you even more tips, tricks, recipes and e-books to keep that R.O.I from food, flowing.