Over the years, I’ve become well acquainted with calorie counting, diets, 30-day fasting diets, cabbage soup diets, and more. Of making diets, there is no end!
This book did not hold another of those doubtful diets over my head. Instead, it made me wonder, “What if a bowl of blueberries really can improve my brain function?” (Page 269) “What if kale (which I hate – especially in mashed potatoes, which I love) can improve my night vision now that I’m retired?” (Page 299)
The eating principle the authors offer gives you a modified Mediterranean diet with a focus on the time of day or situation you eat the various elements of that diet. I have to admit that I grew weary of reading the praises of salmon in every form possible. Not all of us have the taste or the budget to permeate our days with salmon. Nonetheless, I did learn a lot about the value of fish, nuts, and other foods prominent on the Mediterranean diet. (Pages 255-256).
Food influences everything, according to the two doctors. When I read that, I had to add under my breath, “but it is not the greatest influence.”
I agree that food is one factor that can come into play in life when you face things such as making a tough decision. I agree, too, that food choices can play a supporting role in how you handle decisions. The small portion of salmon you eat to get quality sleep tonight can influence a big decision tomorrow morning. Another small piece of salmon and bowl of blueberries at breakfast (the meal you eat to ensure clear thinking) can get your brain ready for that decision. That sounds valid.
However, I left the book after reading to the end with three concerns.
1. An impressionable young person might take “What You Eat When” as an indispensable guidebook for life’s journey – a health bible. This is not the answer to all of life’s ills, and they will get a rude awakening if they cling to it as though it were.
2. Some people will take away little more than the title, and use that as their weight-loss method. A friend told me about a young woman who stopped at page 35, and clung to the authors’ mantra given on that page: “Eat more in the morning and less later on.” Based on that alone, she decided she should eat most of her calories before two o’clock in the afternoon.
3. Most concerning to me is the two authors’ belief that they are qualified to go to war against what they consider a major conflict: how God designed our bodies.
Our bodies were designed to want more calories at the end of the day and fewer in the morning. But the optimal way of eating – from a circadian rhythm point of view – is to consume more energy earlier in the day and less energy later in the day. “What to Eat When”, page 34.
Doctors Michael Roizen and Michael Crupain, use a carefree, almost fun-loving style of writing that is easy to read and to share. I wanted to go along with them, but I put the book on the shelf after a second reading with a decision to go a different route.
It would be interesting to hear what you think. Contact me to share your thoughts.
Dr. Michael Roizen is the Chief Wellness Officer at the Cleveland Clinic, Chief Medical Consultant on The Dr. Oz Show, and author of four #1 New York Times best-selling books. He is board certified in anesthesiology and internal medicine.
Dr. Michael Crupain is the Medical Director of The Dr. Oz Show. He is board certified in preventive medicine, a fellow of the American College of Preventive Medicine, and part-time faculty at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Prior to joining The Dr. Oz Show, he directed food safety testing at Consumer Reports.