The Advocate: Side Dish: Acid reflux
BY CHERAMIE SONNIER
Advocate Food editor
Dr. Jorge E. Rodriguez, a practicing gastroenterologist in California, says he has the answer for those of us who suffer from acid reflux — and that’s about 50 million Americans. It isn’t antacids, but adjusting eating habits and regular exercise, he writes in the cookbook he co-authored with registered dietitian Susan Wyler.
“The Acid Reflux Solution: A Cookbook and Lifestyle Guide for Healing Heartburn Naturally” (Ten Speed Press, paperback, $21.99) is divided into two parts. The first begins with a discussion about gastroesophageal reflux disease, what it is, who gets it (people of all ages), its signs and symtoms, and how to test for acid reflux. It looks at acid reflux medications, which Rodriguez warns are not meant to be taken long term, and offers ideas for alleviating GERD naturally.
Rodriguez says what has worked for his patients and for him is his Acid Reflux Solution, a program that emphasizes modifying your lifestyle, reducing medication, and eating appropriate amounts of the right foods — no fried foods, coffee, chocolate, mint, saturated fat, processed meats such as bacon, carbonated beverages, caffeine, alcohol — and using no nicotine. All of these substances have been scientifically proven to trigger GERD, he writes. He also explains what you can eat.
Part II offers more than 100 recipes that will help the reader follow Rodriguez’s suggested healthful eating plan. There are recipes for appetizers, snacks, soups, salads, seafood, poultry and other meats, pasta, beans, rice, vegetables, grains and desserts. Among them are Light and Lean Guacamole, Fennel-Scented Lentil Soup, Shrimp-Stuffed Tilapia, Spanish Chicken and Rice, Black Bean and Grilled Vegetable Chili, and Peach and Blackberry Crisp.
The 216-page book is illustrated with numerous full-color photographs of completed dishes, and its recipes are easy to follow and to make. The only drawback for dieters is the recipes don’t include nutritional breakdowns. Still, the authors say if readers follow the book’s eating plan, they will lose weight without being on a formal diet.