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March 21, 2013 / Leslie

Review: The Alzheimer’s Prevention Cookbook

Alzheimers Prevention CookbookThe Alzheimer’s Prevention Cookbook
by Marwan Sabbagh, Beau MacMillan

Genre: Cookbook
Publisher: Ten Speed Press
Publish Date: November 13, 2012
Format: Hardcover | 240 pages
Rating: 3 of 5

Publisher’s Synopsis:

The Alzheimer’s Prevention Cookbook is a science-to-table plan that can help prevent Alzheimer’s disease, and its strategies and recipes—from sandwiches to salads and beverages to main dishes—can also diminish your chances of developing other inflammatory illnesses like heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. This combination cookbook and health guide is a powerful, proactive, and preventive approach to achieving optimum brain health.

My Thoughts:

As people live longer lives, the risk of developing dementia becomes more of a possibility. I’m always interested in recipes and reliable advice on healthy eating. Adding foods to protect my brain’s health seems like a no-brainer (pun intended!). When I saw this book on the new arrivals shelf at my library, I checked it out expecting to find some easy recipes that I could prepare a few times a week. Unfortunately easy recipes were not what I found.

Part One

The book is divided into two parts. The first part, about 100 pages, is text explaining the science of Alzheimer’s. It’s written in plain English in an easy to understand manner, but it was a little too basic for me. There is nothing new here. Much of this information is already published on medical websites such as Mayo Clinic or Alzheimer’s Foundation or has been in the news.

Arugula and Fennel Salad
with Pomegranate Vinaigrette

2T champagne vinegar
4 T pomegranate juice
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt & Pepper
3 oranges
13 cups baby arugula
1 fennel bulb, shaved
1/2c herbed pecans

• Pour the vinegar in to a medium bowl and add the pomegranate juice. Gradually whisk in the olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

• Cut off the top and bottom of the oranges and sit the fruit on a cut end. Working from top to bottom and following the contour of the orange, use a sharp knife to trim away the peel with the pith in strips,

• Rotating the fruit after each cut. Hold the fruit in your hand and make a pole-to-pole cut between the membrane and the flesh of each section to free the orange segments.

• In a large bowl, combine the fennel, oranges, and arugula. Drizzle with the dressing sprinkle with the pecans, and toss gently. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.

Part Two

The second part is a collection of delicious sounding recipes, the majority of which I would classify gourmet. Too many of them required ingredients that would not normally be found in my pantry or were difficult to obtain unless I wanted to make a run to Whole Foods or Traders Joe’s. Some contained ingredients that needed to be prepared from recipes within the book.

Arugula and Fennel Salad with Pomegranate Vinaigrette sounds delightful. I grow my own Arugula, but only for a month or so each spring and fall and fennel bulb is an ingredient I would have to search for.

Also, there were too few photos of the finished dishes. There was no photo of this salad, but I still intend to try the recipe once the Arugula is grown (soon, if spring will ever arrive).

Another recipe, the Ahi Tuna Sandwich reproduced below, looks and sounds fantastic.
(click recipe to enlarge)


I’ve had a similar ahi tuna sandwich at a trendy restaurant and would love to be able to make it at home, but Ahi Tuna is not cheap and it’s not easy to prepare flawlessly. I worry about ruining it. And the spinach pesto yogurt ingredient needs to be prepared from another recipe in the book.


Too many of the recipes, although they sound wonderful and I’m sure they are quite healthy, aren’t practical for busy people on a budget. I recommend giving this one a look at the library before investing in your own copy.

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Source: Public Library
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  1. debbierodgers / Mar 21 2013 5:09 am

    Aside from the olive oil, s&p, and the oranges, I would have to seek out every single ingredient in this recipe. Too much trouble for me. 😉


    • Leslie / Mar 21 2013 11:57 am

      Almost all of the recipes required an ingredient hunt. So disappointing.


  2. Leeswammes / Mar 21 2013 6:07 am

    Annoying that these are not recipes for everyone. I think I’ll just eat healthier and leave it at that. ?.


    • Leslie / Mar 21 2013 12:00 pm

      Healthy eating and exercise were mentioned in the first part of the book along with some food suggestions. It’s the recipe part of the book that fell down… although I would love it if someone would prepare those dishes for me!


  3. BermudaOnion / Mar 21 2013 6:50 am

    This sounds interesting but they change their minds so often about what we should eat that I can’t help but wonder if it’ll be outdated in a year or two.


    • Leslie / Mar 21 2013 12:02 pm

      True, I hadn’t even thought of that. Look at how many times coffee was going to kill us and then became a healthy drink.


  4. sagustocox / Mar 21 2013 8:32 am

    This doesn’t seem like the book for me given all the ingredients the recipes would require, especially if they are ingredients I normally would not have on hand. I do like the idea of this. Maybe a newer version with simpler, more practical recipes.


    • Leslie / Mar 21 2013 12:01 pm

      The simpler the better!


  5. Suko / Mar 21 2013 11:23 am

    Healthy eating is the best kind of eating for body, mind, and spirit! This book sounds good, even though it has a lot of recipes and uses some expensive ingredients. I love the salad recipe you feature. I wish I could grow arugula, although right now I am on a spinach salad kick. Excellent review, Leslie! 🙂


    • Leslie / Mar 21 2013 11:56 am

      Arugula is easy to grow. It likes lots of sun and mild temps (which is why I can only grow it spring and fall). It doesn’t need a garden plot and is quite happy in a large pot or barrel.


  6. irene / Mar 21 2013 7:34 pm

    I too was interested in this one, thanks so much for your review. I’ll check it out at the library first.


  7. Caite@a lovely shore breeze / Mar 23 2013 8:07 am

    Well, we do all need to eat better..


  8. Beth F / Mar 23 2013 8:29 am

    Also the recipes sound fussy. My family would be fine with a hand-peeled orange and leaving the orange segments in the membranes.


    • Leslie / Mar 23 2013 9:43 am

      Fussy, that’s a good way to describe it. I would like to see these kinds of recipes in a no-frills manner. I bet they would taste just as good.


  9. jama / Mar 23 2013 9:35 am

    I’m a little leery of books that claim its recipes can actually prevent a specific disease, especially with something like Alzheimer’s, for which there is currently no known cure. Healthy, sensible eating in general is a good thing, yes — but they shouldn’t mislead the public. It *does* sound like the recipes would be too complicated — ironic when you think that someone who would actually need nutritional help for any illness would not be up to making anything too demanding.


    • Leslie / Mar 23 2013 9:40 am

      I was thinking the same thing, healthy eating and exercise is the key… and less complicated makes it more likely that one would stick to a routine.


  10. Heather / Mar 23 2013 1:22 pm

    less processed foods and more fresh ingredients is definitely the way to go. I don’t mind having to buy the odd special ingredient if I think that I’ll use it often enough, but not several for one dish.


  11. Carole / Mar 23 2013 1:34 pm

    An interesting concept – maybe others will do it better. I think doing crossword puzzles and sudoku is a good bet for not getting or deferring Alzheimer’s. Have a good week.


  12. Cecelia / Mar 23 2013 3:10 pm

    Love the idea of using food to avoid health problems, but I’m a little disappointed that this wouldn’t be budget-friendly. Thanks for sharing!


  13. Janel / Mar 23 2013 3:30 pm

    I have some nicely stocked grocery stores in my area, but I’m sure some of the recipes would be pretty expensive to buy all of the ingredients for. Recipes for a healthy brain is a great idea, though.


  14. lakesidemusing / Mar 23 2013 3:36 pm

    This sounds like a cookbook I’d like to borrow from the library and read for its basic principles, but not necessarily cook from it.


  15. Diane La Rue (@bookchickdi) / Mar 23 2013 5:24 pm

    It’s really a shame that the recipes contain ingredients that are so difficult to find. It makes it hard for people to eat healthy.


  16. Michelle / Mar 23 2013 10:10 pm

    Looking at it from the library is a great idea as I would just like to know some of the important ingredients. I love arugula and ahi tuna! Thanks for the honest review.


  17. Peggy@Peggy Ann's Post / Mar 24 2013 12:08 pm

    Sad it is so complicated!



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