Greetings Readers! I can't believe that we're already on the threshold of autumn, my favorite season! Where has summer gone?? I'm hoping by the time you read this you will have had the opportunity to enjoy some good summer R&R, without the constraints of rolling blackouts, sky-high gasoline prices, and Mother Nature's shenanigans. I have quite a mix for your end-of-summer reading list, hopefully not too heavy or worrisome, but just good informational fare along with some really terrific cookbooks.

Has the cover title, EATING WELL THROUGH CANCER, intrigued you? I hope so, because many cookbooks without "diabetes" in the title are great resources for those who have the disease, as well as those close to them.

As you continue to read this column you will find recommendations and reviews from a variety of sources: Health, mind & body publications; motivational books; vegetarian, regional and ethnic foods cookbooks; information on the diet/cancer/heart disease connection; and healthy eating for kids in general. With the relationship of your diet and exercise so closely related to many chronic illnesses and diseases, this is your time, my friends!

Eating Well Through Cancer: Easy Recipes & Recommendations During and After Treatment, by Holly Clegg and Gerald Miletello, M.D., is a very exciting find for diabetics and their caregivers, as well as a treasure trove of ideas, tips, food lists, and recipes to ease treatment side effects as you nurse your loved ones back to recovery.

Holly Clegg had five cookbooks under her belt before she wrote "Eating Well Through Cancer," her latest cookbook (see the review for cookbook number 5, MEALS on the MOVE, below). I had all three of her Trim & Terrific cookbooks in my personal collection before I "re-discovered" her as the Louisiana Sweet Potato Commission's spokesperson when doing an article on sweet potatoes for Cinnamon Hearts in 1999.

"Eating Well Through Cancer" is a complete cookbook for everyone. Each recipe has a thorough nutritional analysis (including carbohydrates), along with diabetic exchanges. Amen! to the fact that serving sizes are not manipulated (reduced to the size of a toothpick) in order to make the analysis fit the author's objectives, either. If there's one pet peeve I have above all others, it's miniscule serving sizes to keep the carb, fats, or calories down! I'd much rather just pass on a sweet treat that needs a magnifying glass to make it visible, in exchange for normal size juicy peach or nectarine in its stead.

A collection of 200 recipes, "Eating Well Through Cancer" includes chapters like Day of Chemo, Neutropenia, Diarrhea, Constipation, Sore Mouth, Snacks, Caregivers and Post Healthy Eating. You can also find menu planning and doctor's notes throughout the book. According to co-author Dr. Miletello, "This is a good, healthy cookbook that can be used by anyone to prepare everyday meals." Given my own limitations due to fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis and diabetes, I appreciate every shortcut I can find in food preparation, especially short and readily availble ingredient lists and minimal preparation getting them into the pan or oven.

Holly's delightful anecdotes and suggestions for her recipes, sometimes in the form of a preparation tip or substitution, sometimes as a menu suggestion, and always a reflection of her professional experience and ability for making healthy food taste terrific, are a welcome resource for this avid recipe collector! Her warmth, charm and passion for her craft is evident throughout the book.

Dr. Gerald Miletello is a board-certified oncologist and has been treating patients for more than 20 uears. Holly Clegg, author of the Trim & Terrific cookbook series, does national media, writes for cooking magazines, and is a frequent spokeswoman and consultant for healthy eating and lifestyles. With nutrition currently being regarded as "the medicine of the future," Clegg and Miletto have hit a bullseye with "Eating Well Through Cancer." Highly recommended for all culinary tastes, levels of experience, and cooking styles.

"Eating Well Through Cancer" is available for only $19.95 at Amazon.com.


MEALS on the MOVE: RUSH HOUR RECIPES, the newest of Holly Clegg's Trim & Terrific series, is yet another gold mine of delicous taste with corresponding nutritional value. In collaboration with the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR), Holly has designed this new cookbook to fit today's hectic lifestyle while significantly lowering a family's risk of cancer.

How does this cookbook apply to a person who has diabetes? It's been this reviewer's experience through letters, cards and Emails from newly diagnosed diabetics or their caregivers, that the recurrent theme is something like, "What can I eat now that I can't eat anything anymore?" Or, "What can I cook for my spouse, child, grandchild, etc., now that I have to consider diabetes? And, "What is a diabetic diet?" (News Flash: There is no such thing as a diabetic diet!)

"MEALS on the MOVE" dispels the myth that a diagnosis of diabetes is a culinary death sentence. It contains over 200 quick and easy recipes that reflect two of AICR's guidelines for cancer-prevention -- a diet rich in a variey of plant-based foods, especially vegetables and fruit, and an emphasis on foods low in fat and salt. These are common objectives in a diabetic eating plan, as well. According to author Holly Clegg, "MEALS on the MOVE can be the first step in transforming your family's eating habits so they can live healthier, longer lives."

One area which is commonly overlooked in "healthy" cookbooks is the realization of how important a parent's role is in creating healthy eating habits in their children, and teaching them that their food choices will affect their health for the rest of their lives. Holly Clegg is the mother of three and very aware of the type food children will and won't eat. She has made a point of designing "MEALS on the MOVE" with the whole family in mind. My own 5-year old granddaughter is a very picky eater and I value Holly's emphasis on finding ways to make healthy foods " . . . taste like the good stuff."

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"MEALS on the MOVE" is packed with recipes using Healthier Approach recommendations and Food Facts from the American Institute for Cancer Research. Recipes are simple to prepare and, as in her other cookbooks, high on taste. Chapters include Rush Hour Dinners, Lunches On The Run, and Easy Entertaining. I have personally sampled several of the recipes from this book and each has been a "keeper."

Published in a user-friendly, spiral-bound format, "MEALS on the MOVE," contains nutritional analyses and diabetic exchanges. If you want more bang for your bite, this is a good book with great taste! Highly recommended.

Reviewer's note: For more information on Holly Clegg and her cookbooks, you can visit her website @ www.hollyclegg.com

"MEALS on the MOVE" is available for only $15.96 at Amazon.com.


Looking for some more new cookbooks to play with? Two fun books just in are Mr. Food's Quick & Easy Diabetic Cooking and Forbidden Foods (Diabetic Cooking) from the American Diabetes Association.

Almost every cookbook collector or good ol' recipe enthusiast is probably familiar with Mr. Food's (aka Art Ginsburg) quick, easy and delicious style of food preparation. Well now he's made it possible for us to share some of his tasty recipes with our diabetic loved ones.

Citing that many of his fans had written to him over the years asking for a cookbook with recipes for diabetics, Art Ginsburg teamed with Nicole Johnson, Miss America 1999 (and Type 1 diabetic), to produce over 150 recipes for MR. FOOD'S QUICK & EASY DIABETIC COOKING. Filled with numerous food tips and helpful hints for keeping you on track, each recipe has a complete nutritional analysis and Exchanges. Many of the recipes are old family favorites which have been updated to healthier versions and since I love desserts, I was pleased to find that chapter well represented. Roasted Veggie Melt, Balsamic Chicken, Garlic Shrimp Linguine, Carmelized Cola Roast, and Banana Cream Pie are a few of Nicole's contributions which I'm eager to try.

This is a good "quick and easy" cookbook for all cooking levels; enthusiastically recommended.

"Mr. Food's Quick & Easy Diabetic Cooking" is available for only $13.56 at Amazon.com.


If the title of this next book doesn't make you want to pick it up and sneak a peek, you've probably never been on a "diet." FORBIDDEN FOODS: DIABETIC COOKING, by Maggie Powers, MS, RD, CDE, and Joyce Hendley, MS, dares us to look behind the cover!

According to the authors, foods help to identify us --- who we are, where we come from, and what customs we observe. Special foods are part of our traditions, life experiences, and family histories. They influence what we eat at holidays, birthdays and other celebrations -- part of the traditions we want to maintain and pass on to others. Unfortunately, when we have to consider calories, fats, exchanges or carbohydrates, some of the very foods that meant so much to us suddenly become "forbidden." Powers and Hendley underscore that "Just because you have diabetes, you don't have to give up this part of who you are!"

"Forbidden Foods: Diabetic Cooking" features 150 recipes for the foods we used to love. Delectable recipes for Cinnamon Coffee Cake, Boston Cream Pie, Devil's Food Cake, Chicken Pot Pie, Fettuccine Alfredo ... I could go on all day! Powers and Hendley have found inventive ways to prepare these foods and best of all, instructions on how to modify your own family favorites without sacrificing flavor, are included in the Introduction.

Divided into 12 chapters of delicious recipes, the dessert and bread fans will not be disappointed. Quick Breads & Muffins, Cookies & Bars, Classic Cakes, Pies, Crumbles, & Cobblers, Puddings & Creamy Desserts and Chocolate Magic are there to sate your appetite for something sweet. The other half of the book includes healthy chapters on Better Beverages, Starters & Snacks, Sauces, Gravies & Dressings, Faux Fried Foods, Mom's Favorites and Pizza & Pasta.

Folks, you can't lose with this book!

"Forbidden Foods: Diabetic Cooking" is available for only $13.56 at Amazon.com.


One of my favorite low-fat cookbook authors, Sue Spitler, has teamed up with Linda R.Yoakam, RD, MS, to publish 1,001 LOW-FAT DESSERTS. I am a great fan of Sue Spitler's books and have several of her other titles, including 1,001 Low-Fat Recipes, Skinny Pastas, Skinny Cookies, Cakes & Sweets, and her recent Skinny Comfort Foods.

With over a thousand dessert recipes in "1,001 Lowfat Desserts," you can satisfy your sweet tooth without sabotaging your waistline. Deep-dish pies, tangy tarts, cookies by the dozen, sugary cobblers, crunchy crisps, fluffy cheesecakes, custards, souffles, fruit and frozen desserts, cream puffs, pastries and dessert sauces are layered between 650 pages of palate-pleasing bliss. There's even a chapter of quick-and-easy desserts made with artificial sweeteners instead of sugar.

Complete nutritional information and diabetic exchanges are included for each recipe. For a dessert lover like me, I figure the cost of this dream book amounts to about two cents per recipe--a terrific bargain! Published by Surrey Books, Inc., �1999.

"1,001 Lowfat Desserts" is available for only $13.96 at Amazon.com.


Being a grandmother to a very active five-year-old, I can't help but be hypervigilant about the threat of juvenile diabetes. Taylor has watched me measure my blood glucose hundreds of times, as well as suffered disappointments when my diabetes and/or medications have prevented me from attending some of her preschool and birthday celebrations. It really hit home when she recently drew a picture of me with a huge smile on my face because I was so happy that I " . . .didn't have that darned old diabetes any more." If a non-diabetic child that young can be so sensitive to the effects of diabetes, just try to imagine what it must be like for a child her age to experience the challenges of coping with Type 1 diabetes.

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I've recently received three excellent books on juvenile diabetes and would like to share the highlights of each with you.

WHEN A CHILD HAS DIABETES, by Denis Daneman, MB, BCh, FRCPC, Marcia Frank, RN, MHSc, CDE, and Kusiel Perlman, MD, FRCPC, the Diabetes Team at Toronto's famous Hospital for Sick Children, is a good read for parents and caregivers trying to help young children deal with conditions they can't understand, and older children to accept their "difference" and manage it responsibly.

Packed with case histories, useful charts, diagrams, and tips for day-to-day living, this book shows parents how to know when diabetes is not being managed well and what to do to reduce the risks of complications. By exploring topics such as balancing food intake with activity, insulin and blood glocuose control, making meals work, and managing hyperglycemic (highs) and hypoglycemic (lows), parents and caregivers can find solutions in terms of day to day living. Excellent chapters on emotional factors in helping diabetic children adjust to diabetes, growth and development issues (from toddlers to teens), and how to put complications in proper perspective help parents to assist their diabetic children.

"When a Child Has Diabetes" is an interesting read through the eyes of parents, caregivers and diabetic children themselves. Recommended.

Available for only $11.96 at Amazon.com.


One of the nation's newest concerns is discovering that Type 2 diabetes, formerly thought an adult-onset disease, is being diagnosed in large numbers of childhood populations. Lifestyles focused on unhealthy foods, served in over-sized portions, along with lack of physical activity, are thought to be the impetus in the development of Type 2 diabetes in children. Experts in the medical community are predicting that these children will develop the complications of diabetes at much earlier ages, in their early to mid-thirties, as opposed to the sixties and later.

If you're looking for a book which features the latest advances in diabetes care for children, THE AMERICAN DIABETES ASSOCIATION: GUIDE TO RAISING A CHILD WITH DIABETES, Second Edition by Linda M. Siminerio, RN, PhD, CDE, and Jean Betschart, MN, MSN, CPNP, CDE, is filled with the most up-to-date informaton.

"Guide To Raising a Child With Diabetes" also addresses practical concerns with workable solutions such as how to help your child accept meal planning in terms of dietary exchanges and carbohydrate counting, holiday parties, and eating out.

Authors Siminerio and Betschart cover age-wise concerns in raising a diabetic child from infancy to adolescence, including contemporary issues such as diabetes and your child's friends, school situations, participatlon in organized sports, feelings, dating, driving, and problems such as eating disorders, tobacco, alcohol and illegal drug use. An excellent, easy to understand guide which includes a good resource list at the back of the book; highly recommended.

Available for only $11.96 at Amazon.com.


As if parenthood in and of itself isn't enough of a challenge, imagine yourself with two young children, 16 months apart, and both diagnosed with juvenile diabetes!

LIVING WITH JUVENILE DIABETES, by Victoria Peurrung, is told from a mother's perspective and concerns diabetes and its impact on one family when both of their young children develop the disease. Peurrung's gift of words in the opening chapter, "The Devastating News," instantly draws the reader into her world through her ability to relate to a parent's emotions when receiving the news that her child is being diagnosed with diabetes. Her experiences, peppered with positive encouragement to parents and caregivers to "hang in there" and not give up, are truly inspirational.

"Living with Juvenile Diabetes" is filled with practical information based on Peurrung's quest to learn as much as she could about the disease, as well as good information on medical devices and resources. She addresses issues such as discrimination in schools and day care centers, the diabetic child's rights in school and children's camps, and finding good child care providers. There are also good chapters on handling sick days, exercise and nutrition, as well as advice on counting carbohydrates, sample menu plans, reading food labels, using healthy food substitutes and food analysis charts. This is a very practical handbook from a Mom who's "been there and done that." Author Peurrung has even included a chapter of recipes which are good for the whole family!

I found this book a well written journey of personal experience on a 24/7 basis, and was pleased to find a good resource chapter with website addresses at the end of the book. Highly recommended.

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Available for only $11.96 at Amazon.com.


You are invited to visit the Cinnamon Hearts website for some sample recipes from current and past reviews. When you arrive, just click on "Sample Recipes" in the sidebar - and set your tastebuds for some serious sampling! The review recipes from this column should be available.

There you have it until we meet again with our Autumn and Holiday reviews. In the meantime, I wish you all well. Be sure to live in the present, because each moment is a gift!

Marilyn

Marilyn Helton