Sunday, April 23, 2017

Book Review: The Gastroparesis Healing Diet

A few months ago I was curious what else was out there on the topic of "healing gastroparesis." As some of you know, I've been writing for the Healing Gastroparesis Naturally website for some time and working on the book this past year (to be released end of May!). To my surprise, the image for The Gastroparesis Healing Diet came up with its upcoming release date in March. I could not be happier to see we were not alone when it came to using the word healing. Not to mention the cover looked so delicious and inviting! 

I contacted the author Tammy Chang, a nutrition coach and cook living in the San Francisco Bay area. While she does not have GP herself she has knowledge of how the gut functions and experience with creating nourishing meals to help heal the body, having worked one-on-one with clients and wrote her first book, The Nourished Belly Diet. She admitted this was not an easy task, finding GP to be the complicated disorder that many of us know firsthand. But she shared in her book that she "found the GP community, along with it's taking in people's harder days, is also extremely loving, supportive, and strong." Between the medical research plus interviewing and talking with those who live with GP (some of whose stories you will find in the book), she was able to get a good understanding of how to create ideas for a healing diet. 

The book begins with a brief overview of gastroparesis, information you may or may not know at this point, then dives into the anatomy and function of the digestive tract. No matter how many times I've read about this, a refresher is always nice and reminds me of how much more it is than just the stomach or lower gut, starting from the very thought of food and process of chewing. Tammy also shares the importance of stress management and reducing what she calls the "total load" I loved this concept, "thought of as a bucket that can tip when it gets too full." This can include mental stress, lack of sleep and movement, nutritional deficiencies, toxins from food and environment, and infections. There are ideas for approaching this including meditation, some I'm going to definitely be incorporating, like some of her breathing tips and listening to specific music beats. 

Tammy continues by writing about the importance of eating with a focus on clean, whole-food based nutrition. And with us all being so different at times when it comes to what we tolerate or don't, she shares hot to look at what works for you and begin a strong foundation to add to over time. There are steps, including a questionnaire, to creating a nutrition plan, tips for pantry staples, a low-fiber food list for fruits and veggies, and of course, plenty of nourishing, delicious recipes to experiment with. 

There are a few recipes that we have used in our book and that have been incredibly comforting to me over the years so I know she is on target with what she shares! These include miso soup, congee, homemade broth, and turmeric milk. She also has a good variety of choices for smoothies, soups, small bites, fish, meat, eggs and a few sweet treats that aren't filled with the high processed sugars that we can wreak havoc on our bodies. Every recipe looks like it is designed to provide nutrients, comfort, and flavor.  

I agree full-heartedly with what Tammy says in her introduction. "Figuring out how to live vibrantly with GP requires a multifaceted approach to reducing any possible stressors and making sure that all parts of self-care are at their ideal level. This way, the body can heal and function at it's best" 

The Gastroparesis Healing Diet breaks it all down without being overwhelming or out of reach. This book is the perfect companion to what we have coming out, sharing the true meaning of healing (not a cure by any means but giving your body a chance to feel it's best over time) and I'm looking forward to trying more of the recipes soon. Salmon stew, almond flour banana pancakes, saag aloo, yum!

Get your copy of The Gastroparesis Healing Diet today on Amazon and let us know what you think, either with a review on Amazon or a comment below. It's by far my favorite book on GP so far and helps to spread more awareness about this challenging and life-changing disorder. It provides hope for the millions of us out here, that our bodies can possibly feel good again.

You can also get updates on the release of Wisdom by Nature: The New Approach to Healing Gastroparesis and Digestive Challenges, by signing up for the newsletter at and following the more frequent blog posts I write. 

Hugs and spoons, 

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