Carbavoid: The Fuel of the Future by Cindy Fleck Howett

Carbavoid: The Fuel for the Future is a “skinny” primer about a “fat” issue: obesity and diabetes.  As a nurse for more than 30 years, author Cindy Fleck Howett is, as she notes in her Introduction, “on a crusade to combat the rising incidence of obesity and diabetes, especially in children.” Her book title comes from the description she uses when people ask her about her diet. She tells them she avoids (bad) carbs, so she is a carbavoid. Clever!

Also clever is the way she has written this booklet, which the subtitle clearly explains: “Learn how to fuel your body so it runs like a sports car.” And that is exactly how the book is designed, with chapters that read: The Car and Body Connection, The Fuel, The Engine, The Oil, The Filter, The Water and The Perfect Blend with the Introduction and Conclusion as bookends.

Using sketches, photos and cartoon-like characters throughout the booklet drive the points home, such as discussing our American diet (also known as S.A.D. for Standard American Diet) by stating that there is a direct correlation between the incidence of childhood obesity and diabetes with food and beverages loaded with bad fats and sugar.

In Chapter 2, Howett discusses good and bad carbohydrates, using gasoline for our cars as the metaphor for carbs. Again, with colored photos and cartoons, the author points out how too many carbs in the form of sugar and white flour cause spikes in our blood sugar levels and become the root of obesity and Type II diabetes.

Here’s a sample cartoon showing a young girl whose diet has led to obesity next to a photo of a young girl whose diet has resulted in a healthy weight.

While I understand Carbavoid’s message because I have been studying food and nutrition for 30 years, and diabetes is common in my family, this book explains good and bad carbs, fats, and proteins and how they impact positively and negatively on our bodies simply and clearly.  I spoke with the author by phone and told her this would be a perfect book to use in the classroom for a unit in science or nutrition.

If you want a user-friendly primer for yourself or a child in your family that has pre-diabetes or an issue with weight gain, this is a perfect introduction.  I plan to give my copy to the head of nutrition in the school system where I live, because I think the information belongs in the classroom and school cafeterias.

To order your copy of Carbavoid, contact author Cindy Fleck Howett at Carbavoid costs $15.00 plus $2.00 shipping & handling. Happy, healthful reading!

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