The Blood Sugar Solution Cookbook by Mark Hyman

The Blood Sugar Solution Cookbook is a cookbook that can be used by itself or with the The Blood Sugar Solution book by the same author. The book shows how to do a kitchen makeover (pantry and fridge) and shows through recipes and diet coaching how to cancel out disease caused by poor nutrition.

In the first chapter, Mark Hyman states:

[The Blood Sugar Solution] provides a step-by-step, goof-proof plan to reverse the root causes of diabetes and obesity - what I call diabesity...[and] provides a road map for us to get healthy together.

Hyman explains that 'diabesity' is blood sugar and insulin imbalance. He states this problem is global, and affects both overweight and skinny people. He even provides a quiz so readers can see if they are at risk. The two plans to reverse or prevent diabesity are The Basic and The Advanced plans. The Basic Plan is for anyone and the Advanced Plan is for  severe cases of diabesity. The diets are low-glycemic and consist of nutrient-dense starches, high-quality proteins, and no- or low-starchy vegetables. The Advanced Plan gets rid of grains all together.

The Blood Sugar Solution Cookbook includes recipes and how to properly shop and stock your pantry for products that are actually good for the body. He advocates 'unjunking' the diet by cutting out sugar, flour, all processed foods, as well as gluten and dairy products.

Recipes for both plans include menu items for breakfast, lunch, and dinner with soups, salads, entrees, snacks, and desserts to choose from.

This book is not for the faint of heart - it is rigorous and demanding, and completely eliminating cold turkey all the things Hyman suggests would be difficult even for the seasoned healthy food dieter or gluten-free advocate, or those that know the difference between starchy and non-starchy vegetables. But if you are wanting a serious approach to combating type 2 diabetes and other ailments attributed solely to poor nutrition, this book is spot-on and a tremendous wake up call to eat better.

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Disclosure: This ARC was provided by the publisher, and any opinions are my own.

The Hidden Ones by Nancy Madore

Book Trailer:
Thousands of years ago, something came out of the sky that changed the course of human history. Testimonies abound of these 'angels' and their hybrid offspring, the 'Nephilim' giants. These mighty 'gods' quickly rose to power, and the ancient world came alive with industry and culture. Many consider this period in history to be the 'dawn' of our civilization. People who lived as hunters and gatherers for hundreds of thousands of years suddenly began settling in one place, cultivating the land and even governing themselves. They invented irrigation, the wheel, protective armor and algebra. They somehow acquired knowledge of our solar system that even modern technology wasn't able to confirm until the 1970s. Most importantly, they began to read and write. Yet an undercurrent of terror was spreading like wildfire, carrying whispers of 'djinn,' 'daeva' and 'demons.'
The Watchers were supposed to do just that: watch. But humankind proved far too tempting and they 'fell' to earth, taking wives for themselves and even having children. But their children grew into unruly giants whose souls didn't ascend like human souls, but remained here, on this earth. These errant Nephilim souls haunt the earth to this day. They are the 'djinn,' the 'hidden ones,' also known as 'daeva' and 'demon.' They have one purpose--to live. But to live they need bodies.
This chain of events has now reached the point where the djinn need more than just our bodies to survive. They must take back control of the earth, just as in the days when they ruled as gods.
As CEO of her own thriving company, Nadia Adeire is flush with success, but a secret society dating back to the Essenes believes her to be one of the ancient djinn--the notorious demoness of Hebrew legend, Lilith. What's more, they have reason to believe that she's plotting a catastrophic attack on the world.
Nadia is snatched from her 'perfect' life and trapped in a maze between a present day disaster and the ancient legends of the djinn. The only way out is to retrace the steps of her deceased grandmother, Helene. The deeper Nadia goes into the past, the harder it will be for her return unscathed. But it is the only way to stop the impending disaster that was set in motion five thousand years ago.

Based on the idea that the Bible is literal interpretation, Nancy Madore has woven together a perfect thriller involving religion, mythology, and historical events. I loved Madore's telling the story of strong women, both good and evil, throughout time.

The Hidden Ones starts out with the kidnapping of CEO Nadia Adeire because a secret group believe her to be djinn, specifically the seductive demon Lilith of Hebrew legend. The descendant Nephilim souls from long ago are looking for a way to both save themselves and save humanity, even if it means destroying humans in the process. The secret society is rounding up all the djinn to prevent suspected worldwide disaster, and Nadia plays an integral part of their race to capture the demons.

The storyline was intriguing. Madore goes back and forth throughout history and the well-written tale makes it easy to follow. It is one of a trilogy. Suspenseful with a little romance and a lot of action, this book has something for everyone. The characters were memorable and even the evil ones I took a liking to. I look forward to reading all the books in this series.

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Disclosure: This book was provided by the author and any opinions are my own.

Vegan Baking Cookbook: Chloe's Vegan Desserts

Chloe's Vegan Desserts is a different kind of vegan baking cookbook. Her finished products resemble non-vegan textures by using baking science rather than relying on simply substituting ingredients. Coscarelli is the author of Chloe's Kitchen and was the first vegan winner of Cupcake Wars.

Read the full review and sample a recipe from the book.

The Icing on the Cake: Cake Decorating Book by Juliet Stallwood

Juliet Stallwood's hobby making novelty cakes for her kids turned into a career in pastry and cake decorating. She went from creating fun themed cakes to cookies and 'fondant fancies'. Stallwood's website Cake and Biscuits and her book have the same feel, only the book will show how the fancies are done.

Read the full review of The Icing on the Cake.

City of Woe by Christopher Ryan

Book Trailer:
What if Paul Farrington, a veteran fixer for a shady corporation, found himself targeted for elimination just as he was trying to finance his daughter’s Ivy League education? How far would he go to provide for his family and keep them safe?
What if detectives Frank Mallory and Alberto "Gunner" Gennaro were forced to play catch up with a killer who may or may not be a demon and who leaves trails of Dantesque murders, each one occurring further south in Manhattan and deeper into his version of The Inferno?
How could these situations be connected? How long can the detectives stick to strict police procedural facts when confronted with increasingly bizarre events, especially once they begin invading Mallory's private life? When must a detective reconsider what exists outside man's law?

I meant to start this book in the evening with the intention of picking it up the next day when I had free time, but couldn’t put it down. The police detective duo of Mallory and Gunner were believable and the element of supernatural forces only added to the surprise. After all, who doesn’t love the possibility of an exorcism or an animal-entering demon in modern day Bronx, New York? The cop drama was played out well until the end.
City of Woe is a murder mystery first and foremost and the main characters are the police force and their families. For those that enjoy these books you will not be disappointed as the play by play banter between the squad is lively, as well as between each character they are involved. The reference to Dante’s Inferno brings a spiritual quality to the cop’s work as well as the lovely references to music. I can tell the author knows his classics, books as well as music, and I was pulled in.

This was so well written I would not have believed it was Ryan’s first (I checked for more books by this author and found none). I look forward to reading more if Mallory and Gunner are still doing detective work together, as the title states it is a Mallory and Gunner Series. I don’t do stars in my reviews, preferring readers to judge for themselves but if I did, it would get 5. It surprisingly had everything I was looking for in a tight read.

Book Information:

Disclosure: This book was provided by the publisher and any opinions are my own.