You would think a book called Sweet Potato Power would be all about sweet potatoes, but author Ashley Tudor gives us much more to think about. While you will certainly learn a lot of about the sweet potato (along with some tasty ways to use this safe starch), you’ll also come away with a firm understanding of nutrition biochemistry (she makes it very easy to understand, I promise), as well as a guide on self-monitoring. The book consists of four parts:
Part One: Smart Carbs
Ashley reminds us to think about our ancestors – how they ate and how different that is from the way we eat today. She compares and contrasts the food processing techniques of ancestral diets (cooking, smoking, drying, etc) to the new processing techniques of today, such as irradiation and pasteurization. You’ll also get a history lesson all about the sweet potato, of course (ever wondered what the difference between a sweet potato and a true yam is?) and find out why fueling your body with this “smart carb” is the way to go.
Part Two: Stop Surviving, Start Thriving
For those of you looking for an easy-to-understand review of nutrition biochemistry – this is it. Ashley does a wonderful job breaking down very complex ideas into something anyone can grasp. Read these chapters and you’ll learn all about Ashley’s Four Pillars of Optimal Health: Food, Hormones, Low Inflammation, and Activity. Discover how all four pillars interact with each other to keep you healthy.
Part Three: Your Body, Your Rules
This is perhaps the most unique part of the book; here you’ll learn all about self-monitoring, a very useful tool. Everyone is unique and our bodies react differently to stress, foods, and environments. Ashley walks us through a variety of tests and describes the materials needed, the relative cost of each experiment, and what you should expect to learn from each test. In this section, Ashley shares her perspective on self-monitoring: “Monitoring is not to manage an illness (sick-care). We use monitoring to optimize wellness (well-care). Think of it as your own adventure for optimal health.” I couldn’t agree more – if you’re interested in learning more about your body and optimizing your own wellness, I strongly recommend taking a look at this section.
Part Four: The Sweetness of the Sweet Potato
Here you’ll find all the delicious recipes Ashley has graciously shared with us. Recipes include sweet potato linguine with sage and brown butter sauce, swordfish with sweet potato salsa, turkey burger cookies, sweet potato frittatas, and sweet potato poppers. Trust me, these recipes will stave off any safe starch boredom you may have!
I highly recommend reading Sweet Potato Power and I hope you enjoy it as much as I have!