cover image The New Orleans Program: Eat, Exercise, and Enjoy Life

The New Orleans Program: Eat, Exercise, and Enjoy Life

David A. Newsome, Chef John Besh, . . Pelican, $21.95 (319pp) ISBN 978-1-58980-344-2

Newsome, nutritionist and head of the Louisiana Retinal Institute, and Besh, an "Iron Chef" winner and restaurateur, have designed a plan for "healthy eating, adequate exercise, and a self-nurturing spirit." Inspiration came after Newsome treated an obese child with cataracts and diabetes-related eye problems; he created a clinical program to help her and others. The authors say their plan is "not a diet" because "[d]iets don't work. Diets produce unhappiness." Rather, they say, gradual changes will lead to better health. This exhortation is hardly new; the book's New Orleans–centric approach, however, with recipes and anecdotes about holidays from Mardi Gras to Jazz Fest, isn't common diet fare. The way in which the book is organized is confusing; "Notes from Chef Besh" are mixed in with recipes, scientific information and stories about New Orleans. It's a not unpleasant mishmash—evocative of a large dinner served family-style—but readers looking for a cohesive, step-by-step breakdown of the program will not find one. They will find copious data about food, exercise tips and plenty of recipes for everything from a roux to Low-fat Red Beans and Rice, and Sea Scallops with Squash Sauce. (Aug.)