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2020 Taste Canada Awards Shortlist
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2020 Taste Canada Awards Shortlist

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Now in its 23nd year, Taste Canada Awards / Les Lauréats des Saveurs du Canada has announced the titles of shortlisted cookbooks competing for a coveted culinary writing award. The winners will be announced during our Virtual Awards Ceremony on October 25, 2020 (dates subject to change). Learn more at http://tastecanada.org/2020-taste-canada-awards-shortlist/
Eat More Plants

Eat More Plants

Over 100 Anti-Inflammatory, Plant-Based Recipes for Vibrant Living
edition:Paperback
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Excerpt

I really like to eat. I also like to cook, so I can eat the food I enjoy the most— healthy, energizing, and so delicious that there is no talk of compromise.
    I have been a vegetarian for twenty years. I wish I could say I had noble intentions around making the change, but really, I did it to impress a boy I liked! True story. It is funny how life works; that short-lived teenage crush was the origin of a transformative shift for me. Becoming vegetarian led to a lifelong love of mindfulness, yoga, and of course, nutrition. Back then, I thought mac and cheese was the height of sophistication and health. Vegetarian eating meant no meat, but that did not necessarily equate to eating many whole plant foods.
    Shortly after I became vegetarian, I tried a brief and somewhat disastrous stint with totally plant-based eating that left me hungry because I did not really know how to craft a nutritious plant-based meal. But times have changed. I am now a plant-based eater, but I did not get here overnight. It was a slow transition that felt positive and joyful at every step. Moving toward a more plant-based, anti-inflammatory eating plan is probably one of the most transformative actions you can take for your health. It will help you feel more energized and resilient in your everyday life. It will also help you prevent chronic illness and support you in healing.
    It takes time to unlearn the hyper-processed eating pattern that is so common in our world. When you break rank with the status quo and dip your toe into plant-based living, it might feel foreign. It might even taste foreign (which is ironic, since by definition artificial sweeteners and colours are the foreign ingredients). However, when you explore it with a sense of play—free of absolutes—you will discover that this plant stuff is actually delicious. Of course, it is all in the approach. Go ahead and add a bit of extra salt or maple syrup to your meal if you need it to help you transition your taste buds. Have fun exploring plant-based versions of your favourite meals. Do not force yourself to eat foods you hate or attempt to cook tofu for the first time without a recipe, or you may think this healthy eating stuff isn’t worth the price of admission.
    By putting this book in your hands, you are on the right track. When you cook and eat these recipes, you may feel a bit peppier and want to feel that way again. It does not matter if you want nachos on a Friday night (and I have a queso recipe to help with that!). Just eat plants the rest of the time.
 
Just Eat More Plants

There are few absolutes in nutrition, but every single one of us can benefit from eating more plants. Regardless of how you choose to eat, this is the one rule we all need to live by. If you love bacon, have a little less and be sure to eat more plants. If you eat a vegan diet, watch the cookies and be sure to eat more plants.
    Although the dietary tribes will not always admit this, what they have in common is plants. A truly Paleo plate? A little bit of animal protein and 75 percent plants. A whole food vegan diet? All plants. Even ketogenic diets, when done well, can include many low-carbohydrate plants.
    Life demands more from us than ever before. Stress, poor food choices, and inactivity are all too common, and they are saddling us with chronic inflammatory issues like metabolic syndrome, digestive trouble, and autoimmunity. Food is often a big part of our ills . . . and anti-inflammatory, plant-based eating is a big part of the solution. However, what that looks like for you is your decision.
    If you want to go fully plant-based, good on you. I am all for it! It is an incredible way to live, and I have a chapter that will help guide you through the transition. However, if you cannot imagine a life without a burger, do not think that a plant-centred life is not for you. The more we pile our plate with plants, the better it is for our bodies, our ecosystem, and our pocketbooks. Eat the recipes in this book as often as you can. Start slowly and see where it takes you.
    Wherever you are in your wellness journey, adopting a more plant-based, anti-inflammatory diet will help you get to where you are going. Stay open-minded and be gentle with yourself, as making change is never a straight line. There is no right or wrong here. Have fun in the kitchen and enjoy what you eat! I am honoured that you have chosen this book to help you eat more plants.
 
Vibrant Living
True wellness, particularly when your intention is to calm inflammation, is a way of living as much as it is a way of eating. The thoughts we think and the way we move our bodies have just as much of an impact as how we choose to eat. As you explore preparing more anti-inflammatory meals for yourself, consider how the following principles can help guide you in building a truly vibrant life.

LISTEN TO YOUR BODY
There is no one right way to eat; we all need to find the way of eating that helps us feel our best. You can do that by observing how the food you eat makes you feel: physically, emotionally, and psychologically.

GET PLANT POWERED
Plant-based foods are nature’s nutrient-dense gift to you. Eating more plants is a way of nourishing your body, respecting the impact that your food choices have on others, and treading more lightly on the planet.

PRACTISE SELF-LOVE
Perfection is a myth; be gentle with your intentions to eat well and give yourself the flexibility to choose foods that nourish your soul as well as your body. There is no right or wrong. Work toward disconnecting your self-worth from your food choices. At the end of the day, it is just food.

EMBRACE AN ATTITUDE OF MORE, NOT LESS
Focusing on eating less, or choosing certain foods less often, leads to a sense of deprivation, loss, and anxiety. Instead, focus on what to do more often. Eat more plants. Drink more water. Cook more often. Make eating well a positive, joyful process.

CREATE SPACE FOR CHANGE
Making change takes effort. Create the space in your life to allow it to happen. Release commitments that are not important to you so you can shop and cook. Spend time moving your body. Carve out time for stillness and be mindful. Unplug from your screens daily and let your mind wander and be at rest. Make sleep a priority.

KEEP IT SIMPLE
Choose single-ingredient foods more often—eat real food, not hyper-processed approximations of it. Instead of ordering takeout, get your hands dirty in the kitchen. Reconnect to where your food comes from and grow something on a windowsill or patio or in your backyard. Spend as much time outside as humanly possible and breathe deeply.
FIND YOUR INNER STRENGTH
Your body has the remarkable capacity to repair and rebuild. This ability is sewn into your DNA and is an integral component of life itself. Know that no matter where you are starting from, you can support your body in healing and find a new vitality. Nourishing yourself well will help you tap into your potential in other aspects of your life with a newfound energy

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Why it's on the list ...
Nominated for the Health and Special Diet Cookbooks
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Peace, Love and Fibre

Peace, Love and Fibre

Over 100 Fibre-Rich Recipes for the Whole Family
edition:Paperback
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From “Fibre 101, or How to Get an A+ on Your Colonoscopy”
Years ago, one of my comedy buddies in my touring company at Second City was diagnosed with colon cancer. After he was finished treatment, a wild and crazy party was organized to celebrate. He spoke that night about the power of the colonoscopy and early detection and urged us to take part in a large study on colon cancer being held in Toronto. I wanted to be a part of the bigger picture and help science, so I immediately signed up.

Weeks later I was interviewed to become a volunteer in the study. I was so nervous—I mean, what if I didn’t pass? How pathetic would that be? What if the self-proclaimed Queen of Fibre got rejected for a study on poop, bowel function, and GI health? That would be an insult to my belief in the power of fibre.

Fortunately, or so I thought, I passed that test and was given a poop bucket to take home with me. The subway was really crowded that day; I had to stand holding the bar and a yellow poop bucket labelled “Hazardous Waste.” I knew people were staring, but I proudly clutched that bucket all the way home. I was helping science! I felt incredibly virtuous. The deal was, you pooped into the bucket and called a hotline, and a poop collector would come to your house within a specific time to ensure the poop was fresh, then rush it back to the lab.

Weeks later, after my colonoscopy prep (one of the most explosive preps known to man—enough said!), I showed up at the hospital only to be told that I had arrived one week early. Despite my begging, cajoling, crying, guilt-tripping (“I’m participating in a colon cancer study for the betterment of mankind!”), and, in one of the lowest-of-the-low moments of my life, throwing down the “I’m on TV” card, the receptionist was a rock and wouldn’t budge.

I was instructed to come back in several months so I could go through the whole shebang again. I quietly left the building, hat in hand, and did not submit myself to another colonoscopy prep until I was 50. Fortunately, this time I got the date right, had the colonoscopy, and received an A+. The doctor told me I had the most beautiful colon he’d ever seen, and apparently, he’d seen a million of them—he seemed close to 100 years old. I’ve considered having this carved on my tombstone:

Here lies Mairlyn Smith:
She had the most beautiful colon ever seen.
Signed, The Unknown Centenarian Colon Doctor
You too can get an A+ on your colonoscopy by eating healthy, back-to-basic foods that include fibre-rich vegetables and fruits, berries, whole grains, nuts, seeds, pulses, and fermented foods, as well as going for a walk every day and drinking enough liquids to keep your GI tract happy and moving. It’s never too late to start adding fibre-rich foods to your diet. This is the main reason I decided to write this cookbook. Although eating a lifetime of high-fibre foods is great, adding them to your eating style as of today is the best news your body will have heard in ages. Think of it as an investment in your retirement health savings plan. The sooner you start adding to it, the better. Your body is going to be on the winning end, pun intended.

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Why it's on the list ...
Nominated for Health and Special Diet Cookbooks
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Sprout Right Family Food

Sprout Right Family Food

Good Nutrition and Over 130 Simple Recipes for Baby, Toddler, and the Whole Family
edition:Paperback
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Excerpt

Congratulations on entering this next stage in your life and becoming a parent (or grandparent, aunt, uncle, cousin, or caregiver in a little one ’s life). As with every new stage and phase of life, questions are bound to come up. Every parent I have ever met wants to do the best possible job nurturing her or his children, but wanting to do what ’s best can also bring great pressure. I found that becoming a parent brought me to a place of uncertainty and challenge like no other. My body instinctively knew what to do in growing, nourishing, and birthing my child, but when we got home from the hospital and it was my turn to take over, I suddenly became aware of all the choices I had —and all the things I didn’t know. It was scary and exciting at the same time!
    Because of my nutrition training and because I grew up in a household where home cooking was modelled for me, making meals for my family just like my mum did for hers felt completely natural to me. Not only did my mum cook from scratch, but she canned, pickled, and bought half a cow many times, using every morsel of it (yes, tongue sandwiches in grade 5 was a real thing). I understood that food prep was normal, and that stuck with me. I believe that this is something we need to model for our kids so they don’t fall into the trap of not knowing how to cook and relying on processed and store-bought options.
    Knowing that food is the most influential aspect of health is what made me choose to head back to school and become a nutritionist in the mid-1990s. I was living in England at the time and was fortunate to learn from forward thinkers at the Institute for Optimum Nutrition (ION) in London and to embark on their three-year program. I graduated in 1999 and began my new journey of focusing on food. I moved back to Toronto in 2001 and discovered that organic food, nutrition, and health weren’t as much of a focus there as they were in England. After my first daughter was born in 2003, I started my company Sprout Right, speaking with parents all over the city in workshops on how to feed their babies, themselves, and their growing families. I taught my Mommy Chef cooking classes for eight years and began working in television and radio.
    Being approached to write the first edition of Sprout Right in 2009 was a dream come true. I had always wanted to share what I had studied and taught in workshops and cooking classes with even more people across the country, and I certainly didn’t know how that would ever happen—until it did! After Sprout Right was published, I received so many emails, comments, and messages from parents who told me that my book had become their “bible”—certainly not what I had been expecting, but incredibly humbling and thrilling to hear! I love teaching good eating practices and helping people introduce nutritional changes into their family life, whether through intimate to large speaking engagements, regular TV and radio segments, or interviews for print and online articles. Inspiring new parents to feed their babies well, and to see a change in their own eating and well-being as a result, is powerful. It makes me feel like I’m doing what I am meant to.
    In large part, it’s thanks to the feedback from readers of the first edition of Sprout Right that you’ll find a lot of new information in this edition. There’s also continual evolution in the scientific and medical research, which affects recommendations and trends in the diet and health arena. There’s always more to learn when it comes to nutrition. Because you could be reading this book years after it was published, I encourage you to take charge of and responsibility for your family’s health and decide if the recommendations here are right for you. If you don’t agree with some of my suggestions, that’s okay. Not everything is going to make sense for you and your family. But if I get you thinking, push you outside your comfort zone, and get you into the kitchen, then I have done my job. In some of the recipes you might encounter a food that you don’t like, and don’t think your baby will either. Try it—both of you! You never know when something unfamiliar will become your new favourite.
    My daughters continue to be my inspiration, and now that they are teens and cook for themselves, they make many of the recipes in this book, including Apple Crumble (page 226), Go Faster Granola Bars (page 231), Chocolate Chip Cookies (page 311), and Sinless Chocolate Almond Brownies (page 228). Over the years, recipes like these have become classics in our home, but we’ve also developed some new favourites along the way. As my family grew and changed, our nutrition needs changed as well. Sprout Right Family Food includes a chapter on Family Meals. As a working mom, I know the stress of packing school lunches and getting a healthy meal on the table for my family, and I wanted to share some of my foolproof recipes and nutrition tips with you. I hope some of the favourites from my recipe catalogue become yours as well.
    As in Sprout Right, I’ve included everything I know here. If you still feel like you need more information, you can find me at SproutRight.com. I’m grateful when parents reach out for additional support to deepen what they’ve learned, and I’m most grateful to teach, inspire, and support you through your food journey.
    Bon Appetit!

HOW TO USE THIS BOOK
My intention as I sat down to write this book, both in its first edition and in Sprout Right Family Food, was to gather information about the most important aspects of health and combine that with the practical side of feeding your growing family. I believe that having a strong foundation of knowledge is like having a superpower. Once you know the basics, you can navigate your way through any situation with confidence. That’s one thing parents often lack—the confidence to make choices. When you’re unsure, doubt and worry can overrule common sense, and at times you may offer foods you never imagined you would, just to get a child to eat. Sprout Right Family Food will give you the building blocks you need to understand what a good diet is, why it’s worth the effort, and how to make homemade food—with leftovers—that your kids will eat with ease.

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Why it's on the list ...
Nominated for Health and Special Diet Cookbooks
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The Living Kitchen

The Living Kitchen

Healing Recipes to Support Your Body During Cancer Treatment and Recovery
edition:Hardcover
also available: Paperback
tagged : cancer
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Excerpt

PROPER NUTRITION IS KEY
Hearing the words “You have cancer” is an overwhelming and scary experience. During this time, you and your loved ones will work closely with your health care team to figure out the best plan for you. Regardless of the treatment, be it surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, or alternative therapies, supporting your body through your diet is essential. Proper nutrition can help keep your body strong as it undergoes intense therapies to kill cancer cells, and what you eat can mitigate common side effects like nausea, loss of appetite, and fatigue. Colorful vegetables and fruits, healthy proteins, and good fats possess antitumor, antiangiogenesis, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antimutagenic properties. This means that many of the foods you can eat have powerful anticancer nutrients that work to support your health and recovery. These foods act synergistically with each other and with treatments to help speed up recovery time and make some therapies more effective.

SAFE, SUPPORTIVE, AND NOURISHING RECIPES
The recipes in this book are designed to be easy to prepare, wholesome, and delicious. They are meant to be enjoyed by you, your loved ones, and caregivers. We have created this book to feed everyone. What you eat right now, following your diagnosis or during treatment, is important for your health and recovery. But we believe that eating should not be an added stress on top of everything else you’re going through, so we want to make it as simple and as tasty as possible. Our recipes work with all types of treatments and are intended to lessen side effects, as well as guide you on what to eat before, during and after cancer.

Medical treatments can be effective at killing cancer cells; however, they also harm normal cells in the process. This harm is what leads to side effects (hair loss, nausea, vomiting, constipation, diarrhea, dry mouth, taste changes, suppressed immunity, low white and red blood cell counts, and fatigue) in the areas of the body where there is constant and normal cell division, growth, and repair, like the digestive tract, mouth, hair, skin, and bone marrow. Please remember that everyone experiences symptoms differently and at different stages during treatment, so what happens to one person may not happen to you.

WHAT DO I EAT NOW?
The big question we get asked by our clients is “What do I eat now?” There is a lot of concern before and during treatment about what to eat, and many people are also concerned about what their families will eat while they’re off receiving treatment. We always encourage our clients to eat a plant-based diet that includes whole, unrefined foods made from scratch. And while we’ve seen different diets (such as vegetarian, ketogenic, and gluten-free) work for different people, as nutritionists, we don’t feel there’s one “best” diet. But we do know one thing: The common thread between all these different diets is the importance of eating an abundance of fresh produce. You’ll learn much more about what to eat during treatment in Chapter 2.

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Why it's on the list ...
Nominated for Health and Special Diet Cookbooks
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The Long Table Cookbook 

The Long Table Cookbook 

Plant-based Recipes for Optimal Health
edition:Paperback
More Info
Why it's on the list ...
Nominated for Health and Special Diet Cookbooks
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