Book Review – You Are What You Eat – Cookbook

Some of you may recall a TV show of the same name, featuring Scottish nutritionist, Gillian McKeith.  While not renowned for being sensitive to people’s feelings around their eating issues (I watched an episode where she said to an obese woman with equally overweight children that the diet she allowed them was “tantamount to abuse – you are abusing your family” before she outstretched her arms to the woman, saying – “now can I please have a hug”!), no-one can deny that her recipes are healthy, alkalising and reflective of food principles that encompass a more wholistic approach to healthy eating.

 In the introductory part of Gillian’s text she describes her food philosophy which starts by recommending that you eat as much as you like, providing they are the right sorts foods. She also advises not to get fixated on weight, to avoid fad diets and to embrace healthy eating as a plan for life.  I particularly like the next section in which Gillian explains food combining principles in a very simple format. She then takes you through a system to check your immune function and toxic load and provides a method of tongue diagnosis to assess your state of health  in relation to your diet. 

 The next section is devoted to assisting you to get organised with foods and to get into the appropriate mindset, and the final section out lines her recipes.  These are divided into meal sections and you also get an example menu plan to show you how to use and apply your new knowledge.  Considering the amount of information covered, it’s a very worthwhile book and doesn’t cost the earth.  My last copy (I always have a couple) cost around $30 which I ordered from an Australian bookshop. 

 I have recommended this book to many of my clients, all of whom have enjoyed the recipes.  For a lot of them, it provides a valuable starting point for change.  The following are a couple of recipes from the book.  If you think you would like this, please contact Queanbeyan Health Foods on 6284 4428 and we will order a copy for you.  I also have one pre-loved copy that I am willing to part with for $15 (it cost me $30).  I’d also recommend you check out Gillian’s website at: – she provides lots of recipes that give you an idea of what’s in the book.

 We also have a book sale for the month of August in which all Sandra Cabot books are marked down by 10% if you quote this article.  You might want to look at the shop’s library book exchange system as well.  The ever thoughtful Sally Brumley, the owner of Queanbeyan Health Foods, has set this up for the benefit of all.  Perhaps if enough people were interested we could ask Sally about a book club night?  Do you have any thoughts on this?

 Happy cooking.



 Gillian’s Sweet Potato Shepherds Pie

2 tsp virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
1 onion, peeled and sliced
2 sticks celery, washed and sliced
1 small butternut squash, peeled, halved, de-seeded and cut into small pieces
450ml vegetable stock (made with 1 vegetable cube or your own stock)
420g can ‘no added salt’ red kidney beans, rinsed in a colander under cold running water and drained
4 tomatoes washed and sliced in half
2 red or yellow peppers, washed, de-seeded and sliced
2 medium courgettes, sliced
2tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley
1tsp arrowroot (optional)
3 carrots washed and chopped into small pieces (optional)
1 head of broccoli chopped into small pieces (optional
4 sweet potatoes, steamed for 15 mins until soft, then mashed.

Heat a little water and the olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the garlic, onion celery and then simmer for approx 3 mins.
Add the squash and heat for a further 3 mins, stirring. At this point you can also add in the optional vegetables (carrots & broccoli) if you have chosen to use them.
Pour in the stock and bring to a boil over a medium heat.
Simmer gently for ten mins, stirring occasionally.
Add the kidney beans, peppers, tomatoes, and courgettes.
Simmer for a further 5 mins until the squash is just tender. Stir in the parsley. Add a little arrowroot to thicken, (though this is optional, you may not need it).
Transfer into baking dish/pan, add the sweet potato mash as a topping and bake for 15 mins at 200
c / 400of / gas 6. Just enough to set.

Crunchy Walnut Coleslaw

 ¼ white cabbage, finely shredded

¼ kohirabi, peeled and grated (optional)

4 carrots, trimmed, peeled and grated

2 celery stalks, trimmed and finely sliced

1 red pepper, finely sliced

50g garden peas

3 spring onions, trimmed and finely sliced

100g walnut halves

1tbsp fresh parsley




3 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

1 tsp Dijón mustard

1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed




1.      Combine all vegetables for coleslaw in large bowl.

2.      Using a food processor, blend dressing ingredients together with 3 tbsp of water until creamy.

3.      Pour dressing over salad and toss to combine

4.      Divide salad between salad plates and serve garnished with walnuts and parsley.

5.      Alternatively, put in a wrap for a lunch time meal.



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