Review: Clean Cuisine

kids cookingAs you know, I’m always scoping out good nutrition advice and cutting edge books to help my kids with various issues, many of which are caused by inflammation, so when was offered a chance to review a book geared towards eliminating inflammation in adults, I jumped on it.  “Clean Cuisine: An 8-Week Anti-Inflammatory Nutrition Program that Will Change the Way You Age, Feel & Look” by Ivy Larson and Andy Larson, M.D., F.A.C.S., F.A.S.M.B.S., is an amazing book that will teach the latest and greatest news about eating for your health, well-being, and disease prevention.

The Good
This book is chockful of amazing info!  Off the top of my head, one of the most useful sections for me was the part that explained the various oils – what’s good, what’s bad, and why – and how to select and use the best ones.  That’s just one small section!  Want to know what cholesterol really means for your body?  How the different fats measure up and break down inside your system?  What’s good to eat and what’s not?  It’s all in here.  This particular book focuses not only on a whole body program – not just eating but exercise, and all of it targeted for maximum bang and good health – but endorses a primarily plant-based diet.  Not vegetarian, but certainly anti-Paleo, this book teaches how and why plant-based nutrition is great for you and more filling as well.

In addition, Ivy and Andy personalize the story.  Her health struggles led her husband to delve more deeply into nutritional studies in his medical practice, and learn the in’s and out’s of what a body needs, what slows aging, and what reduces disease, and the answer is good nutrition.  Naturally, I wrapped my arms around this book!  A lot of what I read in here I’ve already learned from my forays into nutrition for autism, so it was not a difficult read and pleasant since it was targeted towards me.

The Bad
Now, there are some issues. First and foremost, there is a LOT of soy in this diet, and I’m not buying it.  Soy is just not good for the brain with autism, and it’s just not hugely available without GMOs.  So that eliminates a lot of recipes, and when you add that to the fact that I don’t care at all for seafood, the menus provided are really, really not a lot.

The other issue is that while this book encouraged me to get my smoothies on (good!), it encourages a GREAT amount of leafy greens  -like several servings a day.  That’s great, unless you’re on blood thinners, and then this radical diet change can be difficult.  I know these are good things to eat, but I need to drop them in slowly, and that’s compounded by kale-nickel-rash reaction.  (Good news: It’s going away.)  Those are my difficulties, but if you agree with their argument about soy (and can get it GMO-free), and love seafood, eating this way should be easy.

Finally, I had a hard time with the warmup…yes, THE WARMUP.  Not as in, “I’m sore,” but as in, “I really don’t feel right and I’m freaking out.”  Maybe the diet has to be ramped up first, and I will admit that I did not do the work out with the clean eating in place, so that may have been my own fault.

Overall Opinion
Everything in this book is backed up by science, so I felt a good portion of it was trustworthy.  I did find conflict with certain things, like the soy issue and the anti-Paleo-ism, but it was hard to argue with most of the information here.  Personally, I’m hanging onto this book at least as a reference for some healthy recipes and as nice, informative source on clean eating.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book to facilitate this review.  All opinions are my own.


  1. says

    Thanks so much for reviewing our Clean Cuisine book–and for the positive comments. One thing just to set the record straight about soy though. Just cutting and pasting this from page 159 of the book:

    How Much Soy Should You Eat Each Day?
    As with all things, moderation is key. Yes, “whole soy” is healthful. No, you probably should not eat soy for breakfast, lunch and dinner. There are way too many other healthful foods out there to eat! Studies show health benefits from eating just 11 grams of soy oer day. We think that’s about right. Try to eat one serving of “whole” soy several times a week.

    Clean Cuisine is absolutely not a soy-rich diet. Hope this helps clarify?


    • Gina B says

      Thanks, Ivy, for commenting and making that clear. For my kids, soy is an absolute no-no, though. The fact is, with the wide range of food sensitivities that kids with autism have, it makes it difficult to pick any diet in particular and eat as much cholesterol as they need. (We had this trouble with failsafe.) The other idea is to cook separately for the kids, which is a huge challenge. I just did that yesterday, when the kids were home, and honestly got nothing accomplished but cooking! It’s a challenge I constantly think and struggle with. For the record, I really do like the science and philosophy behind Clean Cuisine and it has challenged me to eat healthier.

  2. Tami says

    Just wanted to point out that not all soy is bad. I know with juice Plus it is water washed and not over processed. It is the over processing that is so bad. In the U.S. we really over process it which is the problem. Also I have seen many customers who have seen benefits from feeding their autistic children Juice Plus which is non GMO and so beyond organic.
    I’d love to answer any question you may have and I think you would find the product impressive. It’s been around for over 20 years, and the science and research to back it up.