Side Dish: Acid reflux

Book helps treat GERD with info, recipes

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.

Looking for recipes

LifeShare Blood Centers are asking donors and staff to submit recipes — their own or from family and friends — for a new cookbook celebrating the nonprofit organization’s 70th anniversary.

LifeShare Blood Centers are in Louisiana, Arkansas and East Texas.

The Baton Rouge location at 3849 North Boulevard supplies blood to both Baton Rouge General Medical Center locations and the Burn Center, spokeswoman Patricia Oates said.

“We were the second civilian blood service in the United States, beginning in 1942 in Shreveport,” she said, adding, “July is Pint for a Pint Month. Every donor who comes into the center and donates a pint of blood receives a pint of Blue Bell ice cream.”

Recipes should be submitted to no later than July 15.

Include the name and town of the person sending the recipe.

Recipes also may be dropped off to Oates at the Baton Rouge location from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Call (225) 381-2563.

Cheramie Sonnier is The Advocate’s Food editor. Her email address is