(see below for one year p.s. update)
Diet! Yuck! Unless a diet book is going to tell me to eat all the carbs, fat, and salt that my heart desires (if that isn’t an oxymoron, I don’t know what is), I’m going to hate it! But my brain tells me that I cannot ignore the medical evidence, that even moderate and certainly excessive consumption of my three true loves will almost certainly do me in. So, it was not with a great deal of enthusiasm that I accepted a widget, held my nose, and dove in.
Dr. Haver’s book, The Galveston Diet, is full of very long and detailed explanations of perimenopausal, menopausal, and post-menopausal medical and physiological ailments that plague women, why, and how to improve the quality of life through the appropriate nutritional diet. She also advocates 16-hour intermittent fasting on the diet regimen she proposes. That definitely won’t fly with me. I barely make it once a year on a religious holiday. On the other hand, I rarely eat past 4PM and I usually wake between 5-6AM so I have a 13-14 hour intermittent fast nearly every day, except on weekends. …and there you have it. I’m already giving myself a “dispensation”, so you can imagine that with that first “cheat”, I will pretty much give myself a pass on other aspects of the diet that do not suit me.
Never-the-less, all that terminology, got me thinking: Probiotic, antioxidants, protein, anti-inflammatory, vitamin D and more, with a focus on the beneficial properties of certain foods v. the detrimental properties of others. So, as the words erased from my memory as fast as they went in, I began focusing on what I could do, now that I had some explanation, a list of foods, and (a little) motivation.
This book is perfect for those dieters who are eager and willing to follow a regiment, tick all the boxes, and keep their eyes on the prize.
After a thorough introduction on the why’s and the what’s, the devoted reader is exposed to the diet itself including:
• A list of foods by categories
• Suggested daily and weekly menus
• Pantry supply
• Weekly shopping list (very useful if you are going to try and religiously follow the diet)
• Recipes – also for maintenance
• How to eat out and stay on the regimen
Over the past 25 years, I have watched my body grow from diminutive to squat (well, maybe small to squat). My small waistline has expanded to such proportions compelling me to hide it under stretchy waistlines and tunic tops. While my heart and my brain have been duking it out, I decided to delve into the subject and see what I could do, what I could cut out, and what I could acquire a taste for to improve my nutritional behavior - based on Dr. Haver’s book. It turns out that I buy almost no processed foods and I cook and dress almost exclusively with olive oil (and now I will try to add avocado oil to my pantry essentials). I rarely eat meat, so I can handle getting my protein elsewhere. I will have to cut out the fatty meats like burgers and take the skin off my chicken. I generally only serve skinless chicken, but that is because I have already stripped off and devoured the crispy skin before the bird makes it to the table (definitely going to be a hard habit to break!) I’m fine with the salmon several times a week, and tossing the leftover fish into my salad greens together with some lentils, nuts or seeds. It literally takes seconds to rub some seasonings and lemon on the fish and place under the Ninja Foodi grill for less than 10 minutes. I regularly steam broccoli, cauliflower, and brussel sprouts in the Ninja and, inspired by this book, I cooked up some barley seasoned with olive oil, salt, turmeric, and a handful of dried cranberries – it was a delicious side dish. The Ninja (pressure cooker) makes perfect beluga lentils, beans, Quinoa, etc., to save in the fridge for sides or for tossing in salad. There are plenty of seasonings that work for this, and tumeric is both healthy and adds color to the white/light grains. My Ninja is not only the perfect appliance for steaming vegies or pressure-cooking legumes and rice, it also makes AMAZING soups (try pink lentils, split peas, peeled tomatoes, carrots, red pepper roasted or plain, celery, and/or any other soup greens or vegies lying around in the crisper, water to pressure cooker maximum level and salt – 30 minutes, rest 15 minutes and then release steam, cool slightly and then puree with blender stick). The air fryer roasts to perfection, parsnips, beets, brussel sprouts, sweet potatoes, and leftover vegies like cauliflower (it also makes amazing dressed and cubed regular potatoes, but that doesn’t fit into the diet). Currently (but always subject to change) we have a vegan in the family, also some garden variety vegetarians, a pescatarian, several carnivores, and at least one family member suffers from celiac and a couple with lactose intolerance – I don’t remember any of this even existing when I grew up! Cooking for the average family today is not only challenging but also formidable– I have to check every label for gluten and make sure that gluten-free dishes have their own serving pieces and that no one double dips. My vegan won’t let me put any meat on the table near where she is sitting. My son won’t let me put olives in the salad…The least common denominator changes every week according to which family members will be coming for Friday Night Dinner and which will be away. And would you believe it (?), today even guests who are not related, send a list of do’s and don’ts before they arrive. Okay, okay maybe I’m exaggerating just a <i>little</i> (actually not at all), but I’m willing to bet that those of you who are still reading at this point are nodding their heads in agreement!
I recommend this book and would like to thank NetGalley and Jonathan Sung of Harmony Books and Rodale Books for the widget – it was enlightening!
P.S. November 15, 2023 (one year update)
.....a year has passed since writing this review, and many times in the past year I have thought that I should update - not because I abandoned ship but rather the opposite. This diet did change my eating habits radically, and that despite the fact that I did not and never do strictly adhere to any instructions I receive - sometimes this has disastrous results (I rarely follow a recipe and have 95% amazing success, including cakes <i>for guests</i>- the other 5%, uggggh!). I am happy to report that I also feel much healthier, having changed my eating habits by cutting out most of the poison I was shoving down my gullet and incorporating many other recommended foods into my diet. After about six or seven months I had misplaced about 8-9 kilos/ 17-20 lbs and they stayed off by maintaining the same regimen (cutting out the "bad" foods and sticking with the "good"). I never did the 16 hour fasting but I rarely eat after 4 PM, except on Friday night, and have brekkie at 6 AM (so I was close anyway) and I try to walk at least 8000 steps each day. It's harder to take or keep off weight if you do absolutely no walking or other form of exercise (I'm too lazy to do anything but the former)...and, I have a cheat or I would have lost more - I could not give up my toasted whole-wheat baguette and shmeary stuff with my poached eggs in the morning! If I overdo it eating or eat later than circa 4PM, and do not walk, I go up a bit, but it drops off as soon as go back to the regimen. Among other things, I do not miss or crave any of the white pasta, bagels, white potatoes, and other "bad" carbs.
I first discovered Dr. Haver through a friend and have been following her on social media for over a year. I found this book helpful in understanding the diet and the impact of nutrition on our bodies as we survive and choose to thrive during our menopause journey by trying this lifestyle/diet.
I really like this diet. I liked that this combines a lot of the positives from other diets without any of the downsides. Also this isn’t so much a diet as a lifestyle. And it’s doable for the long term. There’s no counting calories or deprivation.
I do wish there was a cookbook that goes along with this. There’s a lot of recipes in the book but more would be helpful.
The Galveston Diet: The Doctor-Developed Patient-Proven Plan to Burn Fate and Tame Your Hormonal Symptoms by Mary Claire Haver, MD
Publisher: Rodale Inc, Rodale Books
Release Date: January 10, 2023
Nonfiction, Food, Diet, Hormones, Women, Nutrition
The book is divided into the following parts and chapters.
Part I: The Promise
Chapter 1: Your Changing Body, Your Changing Needs
Chapter 2: Getting a Handle on Your Hormones
Chapter 3: Prepare to Change Your Life
Part II: The Actions
Chapter 4: Action 1 – Intermittent Fasting
Chapter 5: Action 2 – Anti-Inflammatory Nutrition
Chapter 6: Action 3 – Fuel Refocus
Part III: The Plan
Chapter 7: The Galveston Diet Nutritional Foundation
Chapter 8: Putting It All Together – The Meal Plans and Shopping Lists
Chapter 9: The Galveston Diet Recipes
Chapter 10: The Galveston Diet for Life
This book is designed for women who are perimenopausal, menopausal, and postmenopausal. I fall into the latter category and am eager to find another alternative to healthy eating. The author provides a short quiz to determine if your symptoms are hormone related. As with any diet plan, the author recommends taking your starting measurements, however, this is more than just weighing yourself on the scale.
I am glad she discusses intermittent fasting since this is new terminology for some people. I believe the most important section for me was the anti-inflammatory chapter. Many foods cause reaction but not necessarily allergic. The effects of these foods still cause havoc in bodily functions. I was not surprised to read the average American adult ingests up to 19-1/2 teaspoons of sugar a day. Most people would disagree but when you start reading labels, you will find the author is correct. Sugar is hidden under different names, so you have to be knowledgeable reading labels. I took the inflammation test and found I have moderate inflammation.
The last three chapters include shopping lists, meal plans and recipes. If you are 40+ and looking for a more healthy eating style, this may be the book for you.
***** I have received and read an e - ARC from NetGalley in exchange for giving my honest feedback. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are my own.*****
There’s some great information in this book, but I would’ve liked more recipes.
I’d definitely like to see a companion cookbook to go with this book one day.
Although I do not plan on following this diet, the author did a good job of explaining the diet and providing guidance for those who do plan to begin the diet. I learned quite a bit about the connection between diet and menopausal symptoms, and found the book to be quite helpful in this regard alone.
The author is an ob/gyn who really seems to love and care for women. She also focuses on peri-menopause and menopause in a positive way. Recipes and diet plans are included and easy to use.
The diet itself didn’t appeal to me in any new way. It really is a mixture of keto, intermittent fasting, and a Whole Foods diet. What I loved about this book was the large amount of nutritional information written and formatted in an easy-to-read and enjoyable style. The writing has a truly pleasing, professional-but-kinda-chatty quality that made the reading fly by. It’s a keeper for me.
I’m a longtime follower of Dr. Mary Claire Haver on Instagram and was interested in diving deeper and reading her book The Galveston Diet. The plan focuses on intermittent fasting, exercise, and diet suggestions for women as they go through the perimenopause/menopause transition. There is some good information her, some of the ideas feel overly restrictive, but this book would be a good guide to use in conjunction with advice from own OB/GYN.
Thank you to Rodale Inc. and NetGalley for this ARC.
I really respect Dr. Haver's information and this book does a great job of explaining her diet program.
Excellent lifestyle book- not a diet so much as a guide to how to live/eat. I really enjoyed it. Thanks for the arc!
A Nutritional Diet for Middle-Aged Women
Dr. Mary Claire Haver, an OB/Gyn, specializes in the problems of menopausal women specifically their nutritional needs. She developed the Galveston Diet based on her own problemss and has found that it helps many other women.
The three prongs of the diet are: diet modification to include healthy fats, some lean protein, and good carbohydrates; intermittent fasting, basically eating in a six to eight hour window and fasting for sixteen to eighteen hours; and limiting sugar and processed foods. Dr. Claire provides food lists, and recipes to help achieve these goals. The book also contains scientific discussions to give you an understanding of why the diet works. Although technical, the discussions are clear and readable.
I thought this was an excellent plan for women both pre- and post- menopause. I have been eating this way for years, including intermittent fasting and for me it works like a charm. I combine it with regular exercise, and it’s perfect to maintain my weight where I’m happy with it.
I highly recommend this book.
I received this book from Harmony Books and Rodale Books for this review.
I had never heard of Dr Mary Haver, but read about her new book & wanted to try it. She is very clear & concise with her writing, seems knowledgeable on the subject, & offers recipes as well as states why what vitamins/macros do what within the body before/during/after menopause. I look forward to trying her recipes, as well as re-reading & referring to the Galvenston Diet. Thanks to NetGalley, Dr Haver, and Rodale Inc for the advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.
I was very excited to get a chance to read this book as I'm definitely in the age group who needs this information. I found the book informative, but I haven't yet had a chance to try out the eating plan. Definitely worth your time
Thank you to Rodale Books and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review this book
I liked the explanations of the different issues facing menopausal women. This book is definitely not a diet but a lifestyle change. The author advises you to not rush in and outlines steps to ease into this lifestyle change. The 10 day get off sugar plan is reasonable and easily done. Lots of great info on diet related supplements and foods and how they work. I highlighted and bookmarked so many pages! The meal plan is easy to follow. I especially liked the advice of cooking ahead and batch cooking. As far as the recipes go, I am a picky eater with a sweet tooth and have food allergies and I still was able to easily find lots of delicious things to eat. Definitely recommend.
I began following Doctor Mary Claire Haver on TikTok when I found that I could relate to the information that she was sharing about weight gain, difficulty losing said weight and all of the side effects that come from menopause. What I really appreciated was that this book came from the author's personal experience with PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome) and perimenopause, her own inability to get a doctor to listen to her and offer solutions, AND that she's a gynecologist herself.
I don't think that I've ever purchased a book that I'm reviewing for my own personal copy. Most of these books are in a digitally-protected format that causes them to disappear from my e-book library after a certain period of time. But, I purchased this one before I had finished the first chapter because I feel like I've finally found something that offers solutions to the issues that I've been dealing with.
Doctors worldwide continue to feed women a lie: calories in - calories out. This is not a valid, nor a scientifically-backed statement. Science proves that it's imbalances in our hormones that cause women to be unable to lose weight and to suffer from a long list of complaints that were previously blamed on menopause and with no solutions because "that's just the life of a menopausal woman".
The Galveston Diet is not just a fly-by-night diet book. Mary Claire used her three step approach of intermittent fasting, anti-inflammatory nutrition, and fuel refocus on herself and many other women with a great deal of success before she decided to share her knowledge with the rest of us. She uses scholarly evidence to support her use of intermittent fasting, which is something that I didn't really understand before I read this book. I found it shocking at how the food industry has been using manufactured foods and chemical additives that increase the inflammation in our bodies and how that inflammation has been causing generations of fat, diabetic, unhealthy and sick people. Even more shocking is that the government allows this!
I found The Galveston Diet to be a very easy book to read and to understand. Mary Claire lays out everything the reader needs to know, step-by-step, leaving very few questions on how to begin and how to succeed with this new eating pattern. She specifically explains each type of food or nutritional item, like vitamins and minerals, and how they are important or not helpful to a women's body. She gives list of foods that help women overcome inflammation and will support their healing.
There are four weeks of menus (with included recipes) and shopping lists and two weeks of vegetarian menus and shopping lists as well as a maintenance plan and seven maintenance recipes that focus on anti-inflammatory nutrition with the right balance of macronutrients and micronutrients along with intermittent fasting to help reduce inflammation, increase weight loss, and ultimately improve health.
Mary Claire included an extensive bibliography listing where she got her research as well as numerous resources for further information on how to help the reader move forward toward self-improvement.
As a postmenopausal women with over 13 years post-hysterectomy, reading the first chapter of this book grabbed me and made me eager to get started in this lifestyle change and for the first time feel as if I can actually succeed in that change. So, yes, I highly recommend reading The Galveston Diet and I suggest you get a hard copy of the book instead of an e-book so you have it at hand to write in and highlight.
This book was filled with great information, a detailed plan & recipes for women going through perimenopause or menopause. It was easy to follow and understand. I highly recommend to every woman approaching midlife.
Trying to lose that last few pounds? Bothered by midlife weight gain? Have a menopause middle? Or do you just want to find a way of eating that will give you more energy, better sleep and improved health? You’ll find the answers to all of these questions in The Galveston Diet, a thorough, well organized plan written by Mary Claire Haver, MD.
Dr. Haver describes The Galveston Diet as “regulating hormonal weight gain by nutritionally shifting your food sources away from too many carbohydrates and inflammatory foods.” She discusses not only the importance of diet but the effect hormones have on out bodies. An ideal diet should consist of 70% healthy fats, 20% lean protein and 10% carbohydrates and using a nutrition tracker will help to achieve this. Supplements and intermittent fasting techniques are also discussed. Dr. Haver concludes with shopping lists, weeks of meal plans and suggestions for dining out. Follow The Galveston Diet to weight loss and a healthier lifestyle! 5 stars.
Thank you to NetGalley, Rodale Books and Mary Claire Haver, MD for this ARC.
I found this author through Instagram and was so excited to be able to read this early.
This is a hidden gem of a book that I couldn't put down. It was a page turner, in which I understood and knew that I could do what was being talked about. I normally get bored with these types of books (diet/ health), but this one was one that made me want to keep going and learning more. I'm about to be back into the workforce after 4 years and looking to change my habits so I'm not just non stop eating like I do at home. I got so many great tips/ idea's from this book about fasting, and what foods to put into my body.
Be ready to take notes, because the information is some great stuff!
The intermittent fasting + anti inflammatory diet is something I fell into after many trials. Naturally I was interested in this book. There are many recipes in this book that I am going to try. I like how the author showed that we can tweak a 70% fat recipe to a 40% fat recipe. The book and its nutrition recommendations are easy to follow.
First page of this book and I was kicking myself for not reading it sooner. It was like the author Mary Claire Haver reached into my brain and knew what I needed to hear, the help I've been seeking, and the answers to so many questions I'm having. I was scribbling notes and thinking of all my friends who need to read this book. Did you know 7 out of 10 deaths is caused by Inflammation? As someone who suffers from very high inflammation I was shocked and really concerned for my own wellbeing.
Mary Is an OBGYN and specializes in perimenopause and menopause education. I wish I lived in Texas because I would be at her office begging for help. What I found in my own struggle is that so many doctors don't have the time to help or even make you feel like your health is their concern. I spent nine months being told my blood test was normal, only to discover it was normal, for someone going through menopause. I suffered lack of sleep, hot flashes every 15 minutes, gained a ton of weight, and put my body under so much stress that I'm now in adrenal failure. The worst parts is all of this could've been prevented with the proper care.
I loved this book from the first page to the last. The care and concern Mary has for women exudes off every page. I somehow felt seen and realized that unfortunately I'm not alone, but in a big sisterhood of women navigating the next chapter in our lives.
The book goes over the reasons The Galveston Diet works. It really isn't a diet it's more of a lifestyle change. So many amazing ways to help rid your body of inflammation. Mary lists foods that hurt and those that help, vitamins/minerals, fiber, good carbs vs bad carbs, starchy vegetables vs non-starchy, good fats, and the best food lists you could ask for.
I finished this book feeling like I have a great plan in place to move into 2023. I want to change everything and watch this inflammation disappear. I will encourage every women I know to read this book and if I ever have the chance to meet Mary she'd getting a big hug from me. Cheers to ridding myself of the bad and watching my body change!