Category Archives: Reviews

{Book Review} Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think

Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think

If you’re interested in the psychology of eating, how companies market to consumers to eat more or less, portion sizes and control, and what can influence our eating decisions, this is the book for you. Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think by Brian Wansink, Ph.D. (published in 2006) explores these topics and more. The most important thing to take note of about this book, however, is that it is not a diet book, telling you how to lose weight and keep it off. Rather, it is “about reengineering your food life so that it is enjoyable and mindful.”

As it is stated in the introduction,

The best diet is the one you don’t know you’re on.

(Interestingly, and especially of note for those who live on a restricted diet because of food allergies, intolerances, or diseases, it is noted that the word “diet” comes from the Latin word, dieta, meaning “a way of life”. Indeed for many, living with food allergies et al and becoming creative within those boundaries no longer becomes a diet but a lifestyle. According to the Online Etymology Dictionary, “diet” in a restrictive sense has only been used since the fourteenth century. I studied Latin, so my passions for language and food temporarily collided.)

Some of the topics were baffling to me, such as how changing the colour of a food can change people’s perception – and even trick them into thinking that they’re tasting something else! This was examplified with a story about a World War II Navy cook (in this book, named Billy) who once accidentally ordered twice the amount of lemon Jell-O but no cherry Jell-O. In a stroke of genius, he made the lemon Jell-O as usual but added red food colouring. Although it was still lemon flavoured, it looked like cherry Jell-O. The sailors, when they tried it, didn’t know the difference – some even complimented him on having found cherry Jell-O. This is explained as having worked because the sailors expected it was cherry and tasted it as such.

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MimicCreme Healthy Top {Product Review}

I was so excited to hear about this fabulous dessert topping from Mrs. S., one of the Moms who have made some of the recipes listed on Z’s Cup of Tea, that I had to try it – Thank You, Mrs. S!

If you’re looking for a great alternative to whipped cream, MimicCreme Healthy Top is the perfect substitute. My whole family loves it! It’s like a cross between whipped cream and marshmallow and it’s a cinch to whip up. Made with cashews, almonds, and coconut oil, it’s dairy-free and soy-free, but it doesn’t taste nutty or like coconut at all, and it’s not too sweet, either.

Use it as you would use whipped cream to accompany something. (It’s not suitable for freezing or cooking with, according to the instructions.) We’ve served it with fresh berries (raspberries go especially well with the Healthy Top’s flavour) and my brother has also blended it with strawberries to make a kind of milkshake that, in his words, “is like a milkshake you would find in a fast food restaurant”. It’s just as thick, too. It’s also great to use as a topping for pie.

We found it at our local Whole Foods. You can look where you can buy it in your country on MimicCreme’s website or online. You’ll also find instructions for how to whip the Healthy Top there as well.

All opinions expressed here are my own. MimicCreme did not pay or ask me to review their product and did not send it to me for free.

Simply French Café

Simply French Café was started three years ago by Isobel and her husband, Hasmet, after a long sojourn in France with their two teenage daughters. It was there that Isobel learned how to make macarons in Paris at Lenotre, a restaurant, cafe, and cooking school founded by Gaston Lenôtre.

Simply French Café is home to the BEST macarons (naturally gluten-free) my family has ever tasted – they are perfect, from the way the fragile shell cracks upon first bite to their delicate, melt-in-your-mouth taste. Our favourite is the lemon macaron; it has a delicate, almost floral quality that we’ve not found before in other lemon-flavoured desserts and we’re always recommending it because its flavours are so pleasing to the senses, it is just sublime. Other favourite flavours are chocolate, orange, chocolate mint, coconut, and strawberry.  (Ok.  Really, we like every flavour they make and we’ve tried them all, so far. If I have missed any, I will update you accordingly;)  Another bonus – ! – macaron classes have recently become available so that everyone is welcome to the pleasure of making and enjoying their own macarons both at any time and to impress their friends and family with – and they WILL be impressed with the Simply French Macarons!

Many of the desserts offered at Simply French are also gluten-free, including a flourless chocolate mousse cake that’s also made without butter, making it also dairy-free.  (I would also heartily recommend their chai latte, which I tried the last time I visited Simply French to meet a friend, it really hit the spot and was perfect on a cold, rainy day.)  Paninis are also available to be made with gluten-free rice bread upon request. There are desserts and other baked goods as well as some meal items made with wheat as well, so do ask when you place your order rather than assume.

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