Diet Reform Cook Book was written by Vivien Quick in 1952, in collaboration with her naturopath practitioner husband, Clifford Quick MSc FCS ND DO MBNA. The book pictured is the second edition, published in 1955, by Health For All Publishing Company, London.

Albert Rumfitt ND DO MBNA writes in his foreword: “The day when man violated so many laws of nutrition, and then sought relief via drugs, will eventually be regarded as one of the darkest in the history of human progress”. Rumfitt announces his pleasure at the relaxation of “the strict economy level imposed by rationing”.

He draws attention to the tables at the back of the book, which enables readers to choose recipes containing alkali-forming or acid-forming residues. There is a table also, which shows the best recipe from the book, for any particular vitamin.

Photo by Théroigne S B G Russell

In 2021, the NHS is in dire straits, caused by Covid-19 + winter pressures + understaffing + underfunding.

In 1955, Vivien Quick wrote: ” The National Health Service is costing the nation vast sums of money. I am convinced that a campaign to improve health by advocating the better understanding and following of the laws of health is the only satisfactory way to reduce this burden, although it may not be popular with the manufacturing drug houses.”

Quick says that orthodox medicine fails to make use of nutrition as a treatment for disease and that it has been left to the unorthodox school of healing, naturopathy or Nature Cure.

Nature Cure recommended Diet Reform as a way of avoiding dietary deficiences and balancing the diet. It was believed that excess carbohydrate and protein, contributed to acidosis, and that reducing the intake of these foods, along with a higher intake of fruit and vegetables, would maintain a acid-alkaline balance.

That idea would seem to come from the Hay Diet see THE HAY SYSTEM COOKERY BOOK (1936) and THE HAY SYSTEM MENU BOOK (1937)

Diet Reform advocates a proportion of uncooked food, using methods of cooking which preserve nutrients and eating whole foods, rather than relying on vitamin supplements.

Vivien Quick claims that most dieticians know very little about the culinary art and claims ” we are on the verge of a new culinary era” in which “good wholesome food” doesn’t mean stodgy and overcooked.

The book doesn’t include ‘flesh’ foods. although some Diet Reformers weren’t vegetarians.

Vivien Quick maintains that not more than 20 – 25% of the total diet should consist of fats, starches and sugars. Quick also adds that protein foods shouldn’t exceed 20% of total dietary intake . This means that only 40 – 45% of daily dietary intake is accounted for and Quick doesn’t explain where the missing percentage should come from.

The book follows the Diet Reform rule of not eating starchy food and sugars in the same meal as acid fruit.

Vivien Cook states: “Sufferers from diabetes will have no difficulty in selecting low-carbohydrate diets to suit their condition while avoiding deficiencies, thus adding to the interest and variety of their food”.

On to the recipes.. no meat, firstly. There’s a recipe for mayonnaise, which includes flour and sugar, neither of which is necessary. The salads are mostly ordinary and rely on grated raw veg (including turnips and Brussels sprouts), with the exceptions of dandelion salad and nasturtium salad.

The starch reduced vegetarian protein dishes include baked aubergine, stuffed hard-boiled eggs, eggs on spinach, individual baked eggs, eggs on beetroot tops, spinach cheese, and savoury fluffy omelette.

Vegetable side dishes are generally oven baked veg with white sauce or plain boiled veg. There’s an aubergine and onion casserole and a celeriac casserole. They aren’t casseroles of the sort that we understand them to be in the 21st century, but merely a method of cooking vegetables in the oven. That’s quite an attractive proposition however, if you have a large enough oven, to bung two or three small oven to table dishes in there and voilà, veg done.

Other vegetables are roasted, for example turnips and beetroot (probably too carby for most).

As low carbers who don’t use artificial sweeteners, there are usually slim pickings when it comes to puddings. However, Diet Reform Cook Book (1955) includes marrow meringue. A tweaked version of this may appear here later, with photos.

On the slim chance that you come across Diet Reform Cook Book and it’s cheap, it could be worth it if you are vegetarian. Otherwise, it’s a NO.

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