Health & Fitness » New Healthy Soul Food Cookbook

Learn To Cook Soul Food The New Soul Food Way



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New York, NY - Thanksgiving celebrations, holiday gatherings, Pastors' Anniversaries, Women's and Men's Day Celebrations, Sorority and Fraternity meetings, National Community Conventions and family reunions are all well-known community gatherings that take place during the holidays that have food as its centerpiece. So often "menus" for such gatherings feature soul food mainstays like fried chicken, catfish, macaroni and cheese, potato salad and collard greens. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) has created a new tool to assist in planning healthy meals without sacrificing flavor for the next church, community or holiday gathering.

This month, the ADA will publish "THE FAMILY STYLE SOUL FOOD DIABETES COOKBOOK," its fourth cookbook by well-known dietitians Fabiola D. Gaines and Roniece A. Weaver. The popular authors are joined this time by Dietitian Rojean L. Williams and Executive Chef Shawn Fralin to serve up healthy varieties of traditional soul food dishes the entire family will love. "As the holidays approach, we feel our new 'Family Style Soul Food Cookbook' makes an excellent resource in bringing the family together with delicious and nutritious meals," states Ms. Lee Romano Sequeira, Director - Book Promotions, Rights & Special Sales for the American Diabetes Association. "While being a beneficial tool for families, churches and community organizations, the 'Family Style Soul Food Diabetes Cookbook' also shows how to prepare the traditional soul food favorites, but in a new, exciting and healthy way."

Today's African Americans have new health concerns not shared by their ancestors. With 3.2 million Africans Americans suffering from medical conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, heart disease and obesity and children showing risks of diabetes at a younger age due to excessive amounts of high-fat and high-sugar foods, "it has become apparent to us that there is a need to evaluate the nutritional content of soul food and to find exciting ways to improve its nutritional value while maintaining culture and tradition," say the cookbook authors.

Using the "New Soul Food Way" detailed in "THE FAMILY SYTLE SOUL FOOD DIABETES COOKBOOK," the authors show how a few simple ingredient substitutions or changes will not alter the flavorful, robust taste of many soul food favorites and make them healthier at the same time. For example, they suggest using sugar-free jams and jellies in place of butter, jam or cane syrup commonly served with biscuits; grilling or smoking catfish instead of dredging it in seasoned corn bread and frying; and using low-sodium bouillon or smoked turkey necks in place of meat to prepare fatback, ham hocks and hog maws. (See sample recipes)

"THE FAMLY STYLE SOUL FOOD DIABETES COOKBOOK" also offers other basic hints for modifying one's diet such as:

  • Using the Soul Food Pyramid to know what and how much to eat.
  • How smart shopping, such as walking along the perimeter of the store where the healthier, fresher foods are stored before heading down the aisles, leads to healthy eating.
  • How to get the most from reading food labels by distinguishing the difference between a portion and serving size.
  • How keeping a food diary can help you better understand your eating style.
  • How to introduce exercise at home, work and play to increase energy and stop weight gain.
  • Customized soul food recipes for kids to enable parents the ability to prepare fun, healthy and quick meals kids will enjoy.

With healthy recipes that are family-friendly, easy on the budget, and simply delicious, "THE FAMILY STYLE SOUL FOOD DIABETES COOKBOOK" is a must-have for families seeking traditional African American cuisine but wanting to ensure a healthier lifestyle for many generations to come.

You can order The Family Style Food Diabetes Cookbook (ISBN: 978-1-58040-239-2). The book will also be available at store.diabetes.org, bookstores nationwide, or by calling 1-800-ADA-ORDER.

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About The Authors

Shawn Fralin, Executive Chef
Chef Shawn Fralin's methodology in creating culinary fare is designed to feed the soul and nourish the spirit. Fralin considers himself a spiritual visionary chef as he connects with the energies of his ingredients; pairing distinctive flavors to make each menu he prepares a customized dining experience with cuisine sure to please even the most discriminating palate. Though born in Oregon, Fralin considers himself a "citizen of the world" having lived throughout the United States and in Europe. Fralin currently resides in Miami.

Fabiola D. Gaines, R.D., L.D.
Fabiola Gaines is a founding partner of The Hebni Nutrition Consultants, Inc. and Co-Chair of the Cultural Diversity Committee for the Central Florida chapter of the American Diabetes Association. Ms. Gaines and her partners sponsor health education and nutrition seminars called "Sisters Take Charge of Your Health." She received her B.S. in Food and Nutrition from Florida A&M University, and is certified by the American Dietetic Association. Ms. Gaines frequently serves as a consultant on nutrition and dietetics. Ms. Gaines currently resides in Orlando, Florida.

Roniece A. Weaver, M.S., R.D., L.D.
Roniece Weaver is a founding partner and Executive Director of The Hebni Nutrition Consultants, Inc. and Co-Chair of the Cultural Diversity Committee for the Central Florida chapter of the American Diabetes Association. She received her B.S. in Food Science/Human Nutrition from The University of Florida and her M.S. in Health Care Administration from the College of Saint Francis. She has been a frequent lecturer on nutrition and dietary issues and is a Board Member of Coeur De Coeur within the American Heart Association. Ms. Weaver currently resides in Orlando, Florida.

Rojean L. Williams, M.S., R.D.
Rojean Williams is a wellness consultant for Hebni Nutrition Consultants Inc. and health educator for the federal government. She received a B.S. in Food Science/Human Nutrition from the University of Florida and obtained her Masters in Nutrition and Dietetic Service at Florida International University In Miami, Florida in 1984. Ms. Williams has well over 22 years of professional training and experience in promoting and implementing health and wellness to various populations all over the country and encourages individuals to focus on their personal concepts and beliefs towards healthy living. Ms. Williams currently resides in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

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