Book Review: Happy Belly
A Woman’s Guide to Feeling Vibrant, Light, and Balanced
By Nadya Andreeva
Advantage Media Group
My digestive ills began during my 20s when I was put on an extended round of antibiotics to treat a condition that, no doubt, ought not to be treated with antibiotics. You don’t want any more details than that. Trust me.
Two decades and many rounds of probiotic supplements later, I’m much improved. Still, books like Nadya Andreeva’s Happy Belly always catch my eye. A certified wellness coach, Andreeva blogs about ayurveda and digestive health at spinachandyoga.com. More to the point, she also has silky, glowing skin, the kind of skin that makes someone like me wonder, “What is that woman eating?” The answer: Foods that help her balance her dosha, the mind–body personality according to ayurveda.
Her book is chock-full of useful advice on how to use ayurveda, food combining, and mindful eating to avoid gas, bloating, constipation, brain fog, and other types of digestive distress. Tips include avoiding cold beverages (to keep gastric juices from diluting), thoroughly chewing fibrous foods (to help them digest more easily), scraping your tongue each morning (for detoxification), and learning how to pair stomach-soothing spices (cumin, coriander, fennel, kombu seaweed, ginger, hing) with stomach-troubling foods like lentils.
Happy Belly is repetitive in spots and sometimes relies upon advice culled from other books. It also frustratingly prods the reader to go to the author’s blog for more information. Still, the green soup recipe, herbal tea suggestions, and tip on how to cook gas-free kale are enough to keep this book on my shelf for many months to come.