Wednesday, February 05, 2020

Keto Simple

Keto Simple:

Over 100 Delicious Low-Carb Meals That Are

Easy on Time, Budget, and Effort

By Martina Slajerova

Published in UK by Fair Winds Press,  

February 4th, 2020

I have several of Martina's previous Keto cookery books and was initially a little hesitant about requesting to review this one. I use my other two books by her reasonably regularly, but was delighted to find that this one is absolutely chockablock full of recipes that I know I will actually make, rather than just think about making 'one day'!

She is a fan of a hearty breakfast, although there are quite a few recipes in this section I would be more likely to use for Brunch or a light evening meal dish. There are still loads left to try, including a delectable  recipe for Chocolate Pancakes...

My favourite recipe? Undoubtedly the Reuben Hot Pockets. If you are familiar with making and using fathead dough or any of the variants thereof, this recipe is simplicity itself and a great substitute for a toasted sandwich when the dreaded 'bread munchies' strike.  For those who like a variety of keto breads, she provides no fewer than three variants of her famous 3 Minute Keto breads, including one made with coconut flour for those who cannot use almonds.

I have found loads of recipes I am keen to try and know that the rest of my family will also eat. To my mind, this is her best book yet. 

Many thanks to the publisher for allowing me a digital copy to read and review via NetGalley.

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Thursday, January 23, 2020

Dear Life

Dear Life: a doctor's story of love and loss

By Rachel Clarke

Published in UK Jan 30th 2020 by Little, Brown

 Rachel Clarke had led a fascinating professional life as a journalist before finally becoming a doctor. From her  first introduction to death via tv shows, her father's medical anecdotes and then her own very real brushes with death by an almost fatal car accident and being present during a bombing in London, death has very much been a part of her life.

 However, for me, her work as a specialist palliative care doctor is even more gripping and fascinating to read than her life as a journalist. She brings such incredible compassion to her work, to the people she considers it a privilege to treat and help, and she argues cogently and convincingly that palliative care deserves more airtime, more funding, more public awareness and constant improvements. After all, it is a certainty that we are all going to die. How we make the most of our last days, weeks and months when given a terminal diagnosis can most definitely be improved upon by making hospice care less of a postcode/funding lottery and more of a guaranteed standard of care within the NHS.

She writes movingly of making incredibly fast wedding arrangements for people in hospices, of birthday parties, enabling very unwell people to take part in special occasions which have immense meaning for them and the over-arching importance of providing honest communication on whatever level or depth in which the terminally ill person wishes to engage with the palliative care staff.

Interspersed with her own life and work are wonderful vignettes of her GP father and her interactions with him. They are very different characters in many ways, with different views of life and politics, but their absolute respect and love for each other shines through the entire book.

How she deals with her beloved father's terminal illness and death is influenced by her own work and her work is in turn influenced by his death. He sounds a remarkable man, someone I would have loved to have met in real life, and thanks to Rachel's book, I feel as though I have.

This is a truly wonderful book, and definitely one which I will be re-reading several times.

Many thanks to the publisher for allowing me an Advance Reading Copy via NetGalley in return for my honest opinion.

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