Happy Monday! Today I’m back with another book review. For regular blog readers, you’ll know I used to review a gut health-related book each month. I haven’t managed it for a few months but today I’m back with the Clever Guts Diet Recipe Book. This is the follow-on to the Clever Gut Diet which is also definitely worth a read, but this one focuses solely on recipes rather than facts and science about the gut microbiome.
As you know, I LOVE recipe books rather than science-heavy books (which is why ‘The Good Gut Guide’ by Liz Earle is still my favourite read ever!) and this is quickly becoming a new staple read for me!
The recipes aren’t necessarily for a specific diet but instead all about nourishing your gut. However, they are also all labelled as to whether they are ‘gluten-free’ and ‘dairy free’ which is very helpful (and the vast majority are both!). Excitingly, there aren’t lots of recipes with huge amount of tough salads and leafy greens- there’s lots of chicken and fish dishes and they’re all very simple to make!
The beginning of the book provides a brief overview of things such as prebiotics and probiotics, intermittent fasting and fermenting foods. If you are focusing on weight loss (which you’ll know I’m not, I’m all about the weight gain!) then there is an option to use these recipes for those who are on the 5:2 diet and on an 800 calorie day. Intermittent fasting does have some interesting results beyond weight loss; so if you are interested in that; it’s good that the book offers this as a health approach-and offers a guided approach with some really good practical tips(one including discussing it with your doctor first-well done book!) but if I’m honest fasting is not something I’ve tried or could discuss at length. However, it’s important to note this isn’t a book about 5:2 or intermittent fasting, it just gives you that option if you’d like it.
The book begins with a reboot phase and tips on keeping a food diary. In the first phase, you aim to cut down on things like alcohol, gluten, dairy and pulse and focus meals around proteins, non-fibrous plants and non-dairy fats. Some of the recipes in the book are labelled ‘good for phase one’ which means they are gentle enough for this part of the diet. I’ve personally not used it this way and just dipped in and out of the recipes; but it’s great there’s lots of hand-holding here!
Phase 2 is then a guided introduction phase when you introduce prebiotic and probiotic foods. This is fantastic to see because I’ve been writing a lot about how important it is to reintroduce foods gently and start small with probiotics!
The recipes are divided into different sections such as breakfast, ferments, light lunch and sweet treats. The ferments section is fab and gave me some great ideas as I recently purchased this fermenting jar so I am excited to start using it! What I really liked about the recipes is that so many have only 5 or 6 ingredients and they’re all things you’d easily find in the supermarket (the one above just uses coconut milk, chia seeds, vanilla essence, nutmeg, lemon, blueberries and pecans with three simple steps). Alongside each step is labelled its calories, gluten-free, dairy-free and ‘good for phase 1’if it’s good for the first stage. Some of my favourite recipes were:
Healthy Gut Smoothie, pg 50
Baked Coconut Chicken Curry, pg 126
Easy Chicken Tagine, pg 127
A lot of health focused books avoid meat; but this focuses on healthy proteins (with some red meat recipes too) and pairing them with gut-friendly foods. If you are on a gluten-free diet and want to follow some naturally free-from recipes, then this would be perfect for you too!
I really enjoyed the book and really would recommend it. If you’re vegan, then it’s probably not for you; but if you want fuss-free, naturally gluten-free recipes and a simple way to boost your gut health- I’d 100% recommend buying the Clever Guts Diet Recipe Book