Books & Literature

Book Review: Love Yourself from the Inside Out, by Samantha Lee Carbone

A self-love guide and recipe book by first-time author Samantha Lee Carbone, a title-holding bikini model, sports nutritionist, well-known health coach, mum and soon to be pilates instructor.

A game-changer for the gals who are sick of yo-yo dieting.
4.5

Samantha Lee Carbone is a certified nutrition and health coach, an accredited sports nutritionist, an eating psychology coach, and the creator of the Two Faced podcast. Her debut book, Love Yourself from the Inside Out, is a wellness guide focusing on what so many other nutrition and healthy eating books miss: how to build a better relationship with food.

As the title suggests, this is a guide to self-love as much as it is a healthy eating manual. The emphasis of the early pages is changing one’s attitude towards eating and prioritising self-love. The self-love checklist (page 20) is a useful tool to help readers put the author’s advice into practice, along with a few questionnaires and interactive exercises to promote a healthy lifestyle and spiritual growth. Samantha touches on mindfulness, gratitude, and positive self-talk while also opening up about her own journey with food and wellness.

The nutrition section is comprehensive but not overwhelming, clearly outlining the basics of a healthy diet. The best part about both the nutrition and self-love chapters is the overarching tone of self-acceptance. Rather than fuelling diet culture—which values thinness and physical attractiveness over physical health and emotional wellbeing—this is an anti-diet health guide. For readers with a history of yo-yo dieting, negative body image, or a challenging relationship with food, this book may be a game-changer.

Included is a broad and colorful array of recipes falling under the categories of smoothies and juices, lunch and snacks, dinner, and dessert. There are also a few fun water infusion recipes which can be a great way to add in extra nutrients. Among the 70+ healthy recipes are also a few treats which aren’t approved by a dietician. This really sums up the refreshing message of the book: foods alone aren’t “good” or “bad”, and there is no need to harbour unhealthy fears of food.

It was very tricky to pick just a few recipes to sample for this review, and I’ll definitely be making more! This time, I opted for a breakfast recipe, a snack, and a dinner recipe.

ZUCCHINI AND CORN FRITTERS (PAGE 92)

These fritters are actually included in the breakfast section but I made them for dinner, so they already win points for versatility. They were super quick and easy to make and the mixture sticks together really well, making it a breeze to mould them into fritters. This seems like the kind of recipe where you could easily add in extra veggies without changing the taste too much.

The only criticism is my fault—I totally forgot to add in the chicken stock which made them taste a little bland. But when made by a less negligent cook, I suspect they would be bursting with flavour!

KALE CHIPS ( PAGE 132)

Again, who doesn’t have love a quick and easy recipe? These chips were done in under half an hour (including preparation, cooking, and serving). I’m not obsessed with kale so I specifically chose this recipe to see if I could see a new side to this superfood. I was converted by the simplicity of the recipe alone. But they were also full of flavour!

Texture-wise, these were crispy and light and had a perfect crunch. Ideal to nibble on throughout the day.

EGGPLANT PARMIGIANA (PAGE 152)

I loved all three recipes but if there had to be a winner, it would be this one. It was so rich, tasty and filling that the whole tray disappeared in minutes. Preparing it wasn’t overly time-consuming and pretty fool-proof (even for someone who somehow forgets whole lines of ingredients). The cooking time was just under an hour so this is a new go-to after-work dinner option.

Eggplant parmigiana recipes often require frying the eggplant beforehand, which adds unnecessary fat and calories. This version eliminated that step and baked them instead prior to assembly, but there was no difference in flavour. Delish!

Reviewed by Vanessa Elle
Instagram: @vanessaellewrites

Distributed by: Samantha Lee Health
Released: October 2021
RRP: $49.95

Keep up with Samantha at her website here!

This review is the opinion of the reviewer and not Glam Adelaide.

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