I love frequenting the library to pick up a pile of books to leaf through, especially if we are headed on a car trip and Paul will be driving. Although it’s not really a cookbook, a title in that section recently captured my attention.
It’s called “Rich Food Poor Food,” written by husband-and-wife team Mira and Jayson Calton. It piqued my interest immediately when right off the bat they debunked the fact that “baked” potato chips are not any better for us than regular potato chips and aren’t even made with potatoes.
I have long been fascinated with labels and the way we are so often duped by clever marketing companies. So much of what we eat (and feed to our families) isn’t even real food. Read the label of a Lunchable. Yuck!
In any event, I read the entire book out loud to Paul on a trip to and from Nashville, Tenn. On a whim, I emailed the couple to let them know how much I loved their book and how I planned on sharing with readers.
I was so excited when Mira responded and agreed to speak to me via telephone. Before we talked, I also read their other book, called “Naked Calories.”
A fascinating read, “Naked Calories” is the perfect book to read for an in-depth account of vitamins and nutrients and the role they play in our bodies, and how and why so many of us are deficient on micronutrients.
In fact, the majority of us are not getting all of the nutrients we need.
Mira’s story is remarkable. When she was 30, she was a successful publicist living in New York City.
“I was crazy busy and didn’t look sick, but I was so tired I was really in pain,” she said.
After ignoring her condition for as long as possible, Mira finally gave in and went to a doctor. The physician ran tests before informing Mira that she had the bone density of an 80-year-old woman.
Though the doctor wanted to put her on a strict drug regimen, Mira thoroughly researched her condition and the drugs used to treat it, and wanted to go a different route.
“I wanted to know what was causing the problem,” she said. “I didn’t want to just put a band aid on it.”
After some soul searching, Mira made the decision to leave her bustling career in the city and moved to Florida to live with her sister.
Mira found Jayson Calton, a nutritionist who created a special treatment plan for her, involving a combination of nutrition, exercise and supplements.
“Certain foods interact with nutrients and can be counterproductive,” she explained.
For example, the oxalic acid found in spinach makes it difficult for the body to absorb calcium for bones and needs certain fats to help the body get the all-important mineral.
Mira, who ended up falling in love with and marrying Jayson, was on a quest to learn all she could about micronutrients and the role they play in our lives.
How great that she not only got well, she also found the love of her life. Mira became a nutritionist and began working with Jayson to help others heal their bodies naturally.
“We got so many letters asking us what to eat, how to know what products are really good for you [that] we decided to write ‘Rich Food Poor Food’ to help guide consumers,” she said.
The book is fantastic because it takes readers through a grocery store aisles and tells them what to look for and what to avoid.
“Ninety-nine percent of people have a micronutrient deficiency,” Mira said. “We want people to have the information they need and to get involved by requesting their grocery store carry quality products.”
In my mind, both of the Calton’s books should be critical reading. It opens readers’ eyes to the sorts of things going into our food supply and how we need to protect our families against the harmful ones.
There also are loads of facts about nutrition deficiencies that are affecting all of us.
For example, just 9 percent of Georgia residents get enough vitamin E from food and that a lack of this important vitamin is associated with cardiovascular disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s and cataracts.
Also, by eating certain foods grown organically we can reduce pesticide exposure by as much as 80 percent.
Please read these books and share them with friends and family. Mira and Jayson also have a great website with a lot of information and coupons for many recommended products.
Check out the books and let me know your thoughts. Thanks to Mira for taking time to share her story with all of us.
Adlen Robinson is author of “Home Matters: The Guide to Organizing Your Life and Home.” E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.