17 March 2012

Weekend Cooking: Shades of Hope by Tennie McCarty

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I think I need to start out today with a few personal words. First, as many of you know, I am a big fan of Amy Einhorn Books, an imprint at Putnam, and I am hosting the Amy Einhorn Books Perpetual Reading Challenge. So for those reasons, I am breaking a policy I have about not reviewing trade health, fitness, and diet books on this blog.

I admit to being a bit surprised to find out that Tennie McCarty's Shades of Hope: A Program to Stop Dieting and Start Living was an Amy Einhorn Book. But once I started reading, I understood better. Shades of Hope is not a diet book, it's a book about our relationship with food, and it has a strong basis in the 12-step program.

No matter if we overeat, undereat, binge eat, diet, or have secret comfort foods, many of us have an emotionally charged relationship with food. McCarty herself is a recovering overeater, and thus intimately understands the issues her clients are dealing with at her clinic, Shades of Hope.

Through her own personal story and the stories of people who have sought treatment at her clinic, McCarty offers a way out to those who feel trapped by their eating habits. The book helps us face up our individual behaviors (denial, obsession), identify our personal role (enabler, hero), and deal with our control issues. Journaling, mindful eating, and spirituality are among the healing techniques recommended by McCarty.

The book ends with suggestions for coming up with meal plans and help with identifying trigger foods. Her guidelines are sane and seem doable for the long term. Again, this is not a diet book, it is a book to help us break the negative aspects of our attitudes about food.

I am one of the lucky people. I have been thin all my life and don't really have any particular food issues. Thus it's a little difficult for me to critique Shades of Hope and to judge just how helpful it would be for someone who is truly suffering from an eating disorder. It is well written and the personal stories are heartfelt. It is also clear that McCarty is doing good work and offering hope to those who have lost their hope. If you are struggling with food issues of any kind, I suggest you give Shades of Hope a try. It may be just what you've been looking for.

Buy Shades of Hope at an Indie, at Powell's, at Book Depository, or at bookstore near you. These links lead to affiliate programs
Published by Putnam / Amy Einhorn Books, 2012
ISBN-13: 9780399158063
Source: Review (see review policy)
Copyright © cbl for Beth Fish Reads, all rights reserved (see review policy)


caite 3/17/12, 6:25 AM  

well, I am not lucky and do have many food issues...like I like most food way too much...so this sounds like an interesting book.

Dawn @ sheIsTooFondOfBooks 3/17/12, 6:36 AM  

I imagine that the way we talk about food (comfort food, I *need* chocolate, take two they're small) is a reflection of how we relate to it.

Good that this book is written by someone who has "been there."

Rikki 3/17/12, 6:49 AM  

Sounds like a good book for people who need help improving their relationship with food.

TheBookGirl 3/17/12, 6:55 AM  

This sounds similar to the line of books that Geneen Roth has on this issue. I know several people who could benefit from this one, and I will be sure to recommend it.

Marg 3/17/12, 7:24 AM  

I am certainly have food related issues so this is one that I am going to be keeping an eye out on.

Uniflame 3/17/12, 7:44 AM  

It sounds interesting enough :)

bermudaonion 3/17/12, 9:03 AM  

It sounds like this is a well written book. I hope it helps a lot of people.

Beth S. 3/17/12, 9:19 AM  

This book does sound intriguing, but like you, I've always been fairly thin so I don't really have any food issues. I'd read this book out of curiosity more than anything.

JoAnn 3/17/12, 9:28 AM  

I know several people that may benefit from this book... will send them a link to your review.

Alex 3/17/12, 9:38 AM  

This is a book I could use at this point - for the first time in my life I have a bad relationship with food. I will have to look for it.

Lisa@ButteryBooks 3/17/12, 10:13 AM  

I know many people who have tried every diet out there and always gain the weight back. I think changing ones relationship with food and addressing the emotional issues are key.

(Diane) bookchickdi 3/17/12, 10:23 AM  

I love Amy Einhorn books too, and am also surprised to see this type of book from her. Your review and Amy's track record of publishing brilliant books has intrigued me enough to look for this one.

Peaceful Reader 3/17/12, 10:24 AM  

It's hard not to have a strange relationship with food; it's so good! If one bite tastes delicious then I will feel better eating the whole thing mentality. I've learned over the years that one bite or two bites is just enough. This book sounds like a great help for many.

Joy Weese Moll 3/17/12, 11:10 AM  

This sounds right up my alley! Thanks! I hadn't heard of it.

Julie Goucher 3/17/12, 11:15 AM  

My latest offering is at http://anglersrest.blogspot.co.uk/2012/03/weekend-cooking-civil-war-era-recipes.html

Libby 3/17/12, 11:29 AM  

This book sounds like a good, common sense approach. I feel so bad when my friends get caught up in diet fads -- one was going to a clinic and getting some type of suspicious pills(!) This type of book sounds like a MUUUCH better idea.

Melanie 3/17/12, 11:45 AM  

Diets can be so dangerous. This sounds like a sensible book.

Julie P. 3/17/12, 12:54 PM  

Sounds like I could benefit from this one.

Kim 3/17/12, 12:57 PM  

I sure hate the word diet--as none of them work. A lifestyle change is what is needed and along with that lifestyle change a person needs a different view of food--so this book does sound like it might be helpful. The thing that forced me to look at my eating differently was a health scare last spring and since then I am much more mindful of what I am eating each day. Love Amy Einhorn books and still have several here to read!

Carole 3/17/12, 3:36 PM  

Thanks, again, Beth for hosting this great series. This weekend I have put a link to a spicy and crunchy coleslaw I did.

Carol @ Always Thyme to Cook 3/17/12, 4:25 PM  

This sounds like a very good book. I'm going to check it out. I think a lifestyle change works, more so than a diet. We've gone healthier and exercising way at my house more these days.

Christine 3/18/12, 1:59 PM  

I do not like the word diet either because it suggests a short term plan usually involving unhealthy approaches to eating. I have a friend whom I think would benefit from this book. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

Peggy Ann 3/20/12, 8:36 AM  

I too am very lucky to have always been thin and no eating issues but my hubby does have them and this sounds like it might be a good read for him! Thanks for sharing Beth! I didn't get a chance to do weekend cooking this week just dropping by to see everyone else's.

CBallentine,  3/20/12, 3:22 PM  

OMG I read this book and it was amazing! She brings the rehab to you! What I also like about it is you can substitute food disorders with whatever other addiction you are struggling with (alcohol, even shopping) and the same principles apply! *Anyone* would benefit from this book. Highly recommend.

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