Book Review: The Well-Fed Microbiome Cookbook

The Well-Fed Microbiome Cookbook is for you if any of these are true:

  • You’re looking for a basic lesson in how our guts and the billions of good microbes that reside there work
  • You are curious and have heard about the benefits of probiotics but haven’t tried them yet
  • You’re constantly on the go with family commitments, but still want to feed your family in a healthy way that supports good “gut health”
  • You have specific gastrointestinal issues and are looking for a long-term solution which focuses on restoring your gut flora (rather than a “quick fix” solution)

The book begins with a very accessible explanation of gut health and the human microbiome (the sum total of the microbial community in and around our body), aka the gut flora. The author is a scientist, but the information is understandable by anyone. Probiotics, prebiotics and the working of the human gut are all explained.

As a scientist, the author is careful not to make any claims beyond what is currently scientifically known. Admittedly, modern science is in the early stages of understanding how this newly discovered “organ” operates within the context of our body.

The fermented food recipes are basic and really illustrate how simple it is to get started fermenting food at home (eating fermented foods is one of the key elements of keeping a healthy gut!)

As a mom, she has made the advice, technique and recipes family- and budget-friendly.

The book provides common sense dietary guidelines on how to work with, restore, and feed your gut flora. She lays a foundation of how to change your habits in order to be most successful, with tips such as “go shopping once a week” and “shop the perimeter” of the supermarket. I think the phased approach for people suffering from ailments is wisely prescribed. The recipes are simple and made from ingredients found at any supermarket. I especially loved the section devoted entirely to fermenting your own foods at home.

The dietary disagreements I have with the author are minor. She advocates unfermented soy products like tofu, eschews saturated animal fats from pastured ruminants, and doesn’t address the proper preparation of seeds and grains (soaking, sprouting or fermenting prior to cooking).

These few nitpicks certainly don’t take away from the plan’s overall usefulness. In fact, the author acknowledges that no two people are exactly the same, and nor should their diets be. She encourages substitutions based on allergies or other preferences.

The WFM cookbook is a wonderful addition to any kitchen bookshelf!

Disclaimers:

  • I received a free advance copy of this book.
  • Kristina Campbell, aka the Intestinal Gardnere, and author of this book has written guest blog posts on Fermenters Club.