Book Review: “Fresh” by Johanna Harlen

Fresh by Johanna Harlen is an extraordinary cookbook since it incorporates an incredible amount of health information. The pictures are absolutely beautiful and make your mouth water. We would like you to cook for us, Johanna! The dedication is very moving and everything that the author shares about her own reasons for writing these books and about her own life is interesting. The various parts complement each other and we are given thirty days of healthy breakfast, lunch, and dinner ideas. What else could we ask for? Fresh is indeed a gem and a book I am going to use regularly (even though I hardly ever use cookbooks!) because my husband’s and my own health do matter to me too! I have already perused most of the recipes and feel inclined to test quite a lot. They are part of an alkaline diet which is based on the idea that replacing acid-forming foods with alkaline foods can improve your health. In fact, we all know that acid-forming foods are bad for us but we always find good reasons (lack of time mostly) not to address this essential issue. Having a whole book of perfect (alkaline) recipes and not having to worry about which types of food we may or may not eat is a real gift and I could not be more grateful to Johanna. I am going to treasure it and advise readers on my blog with pleasure. Thank you so much. We’ll never forget again that ‘we are what we eat.'”-Reviewed By Marie-Hélène Fasquel for Readers’ Favorite

“The first thing that leaps from the page in Fresh is the photography. It is one thing to give good recipes and extol the benefits of fresh food, but to then display them in crisp, full-color detail in a way that makes them impossible not to drool over seals the deal. I have long struggled with a desire to eat better but have fallen short as a self-proclaimed foodie. The offerings rarely appealed to me when presented with a plate full of color and, as a result, I have often suffered the consequences Johanna Harlen describes at the beginning of the book. Two things changed that for me over the past week. The first was Cajun Chicken with Zucchini and the second was a four-year-old asking for another helping of Cauliflower Curry—which I might add is our first ever cauliflower served in our home. Fresh has given me a fresh perspective and a fresh start, and as a family, we are excited to begin a fresh new journey. Fresh by Johanna Harlen is a nutritional guide and cookbook that centers firmly on clean eating as the bedrock of a clean and healthy lifestyle. Harlen begins with the backstory behind the Fresh journey and provides scientific evidence of a body’s response to the food we fuel it with, both positively and negatively. She then delivers an exceptionally comprehensive catalogue of recipes that debunk the myth that clean eating means bland eating. Sweeping across meals, snacks, and delicious treats that range from a Green Veggie Scramble for breakfast to a lunch of Butternut Bruschetta, and on to a dinner of Creamy Broccoli Soup followed by wonderful juicing tips, Harlen guarantees the best of both worlds to tempt the palate. Very highly recommended.”-Reviewed By Jamie Michele for Readers’ Favorite

“Johanna Harlen’s recipe book, Fresh, is the resource to help you start on your journey toward a healthier eating plan. After writing and publishing other healthy cookbooks, like Cooking for Cancer, the author has taken her healthy eating regimen one step further into the field of preventative measures. Her motto is ‘Respect your body. Respect your spirit. Respect your dreams.’ She begins with a brief introduction to her own personal journey with food. Then she provides readers with an extensive introduction to what is needed for a healthy pantry, which, of course, leads to a healthy body. As she discusses the various essentials to include in the pantry, the author lists the benefits of each food, while also discussing the negative effects of other foods of which we likely consume far too much, particularly processed foods. Then we get to the recipes. Accompanied by spectacular illustrations which will have the reader’s mouth watering in anticipation, each recipe is clearly outlined with detailed preparation guidelines. The recipe portion of the book is divided into the three meal categories with an added section for quick makes and energy drinks. This book is not only a useful guide to healthier eating but also a pleasure to study.”-Reviewed By Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers’ Favorite

Fresh by Johanna Harlen opens a world of food that looks beautiful, encourages healthy living, and allows you to explore new tastes. The purpose of this cookbook is to teach how to have an alkaline diet for general health and to instruct her readers about deficiencies in their diet. It is also an extension of her book, Cooking for Cancer. Using food to get nutrition from your diet is one of the best ways to optimize your health. This cookbook is not designed as a weight loss plan but more of a way to change your lifestyle of processed foods. The author teaches about clean eating and its importance. With pantry recommendations, you can prepare a foundation for each meal for a month. I thoroughly enjoyed reading the recipes in Fresh and trying them out. Johanna Harlen outlines why you should eat healthily, then offers the recipes to back what she teaches. This cookbook is laid out well, and there are plenty of meals to alternate your menu. There are beautiful photos for most of the recipes to inspire you to give them a try. My favorite recipes included the fried Brussel sprouts and the chicken veggie meatloaf. By experimenting, I found I liked foods I had always avoided because of their stigma. The author includes beets in many of her recipes, and I am looking forward to trying some of those recipes. Overall, this cookbook inspires or rekindles a love for whole foods. I’ve made many references to this book for ideas to tweak recipes I already use and to motivate me to try new foods.”-Reviewed By Peggy Jo Wipf for Readers’ Favorite

“In Fresh, Johanna Harlen brings to life an original cookbook filled with explanations as to why certain foods should be cut out of our lives. A cookbook that begins with a life lesson is invariably a gift for humanity. Lives are and can be saved by food; the problem is that most of us don’t realize this until much later in life. If not every aspect, almost every aspect of the effects and advantages of correct food is present in this book. The recipes included are incredible looking. It includes breakfast, smoothies, lunch, two quick and easy sections, dinner, condiments, and juices. All the recipes and the pictures accompanying them look marvelously healthy, and not in the sense that makes you want to eat a hamburger. They are compelling and inspiring. I have been a health freak for a long time; thanks to this awesome book, I am now more of a freak, although you could say a more educated health freak. Food is the fuel and the cause of diseases in our bodies. Some people don’t think that what they eat, and with what regularity they eat certain foods, can cause severe diseases and harm their lives. Everything is explained so that everyone without a medical, biological, or nutrition background can understand everything stated in the book. The recipes could even be discarded and you would learn so much about each food group and its nutrients. If this book does not change your lifestyle, it is time to do some thinking. I want to take a couple of lines to mention and thank the author for dedicating a space in her book to emotional eating. I cannot stress enough the importance of emotional eating; it masquerades as hunger and as something that will help us; most of those comfort foods are unhealthy options. Food and its quality are more important and pivotal in our lives than one dares to think.”-Reviewed By Carolina Restrepo for Readers’ Favorite

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