Thursday, October 1, 2009

Health: Good Reads. Paleo, Raw, and a Potato- oh My!


One of my hobbies is reading nutrition books. I firmly believe in the link between nutrition and wellness. Complete wellness, physically, emotionally, and spiritually is connected to the food you eat. Food is medicine and should be used to heal ourselves from within.

My "bible" is Syndrome X so I'll talk a bit about that first and then other books that dovetail from that. I have read so many different books touting different "theories" that I've honed it down to a few that I use the most. Bear it mind, creating a healthy lifestyle for yourself requires a tremendous amount of personal integrity, so as with anything- take what works for you and discard the rest.

Alright, the BEST book I've read on nutrition/ diet is "Syndrome X". It has three authors, but you can find it under "Burt Berkson". This book really breaks down the overweight epidemic that is currently occuring in the US, and several other countries (although I do believe we are the leaders in this realm). The authors really explain proper nutrition and supplementation, which a lot of other books skip over. There are different plans for people in different health stages and truly is a lifestyle that anyone should follow. I am a little gun shy of even calling it a "diet" because honestly it's much more a nutritional lifestyle book. Great read, I highly highly recommend it.

"The Paleo Diet" by Loren Cordain. Alright, this book builds off of "Syndrome X" and goes even more into the diet specifically (they are not affiliated technically- I just feel this book dovetails nicely with my "stable datum book of Syndrome X.) It explains even more the historic dietary needs of the human race and what foods are most healthful for us. Eating this way has cut down cravings for me and I feel much more clear headed and energized. I am allergic to eggs, so many of recipes are not applicable for my lifestyle- but there are many good ones in the back of the book. Definitely a good read and one to add to your information hard drive.

"Potatoes Not Prozac" by Kathleen DeMaisons. This book goes much more into Sugar Sensitivity which is something I have battled with. I found it a fascinating read because I have observed that certain foods trigger very different responses in me, than my sister for example. It was so helpful hearing that yes, there is a biological difference in how people respond to sugars and then provides a solution if you prove to be sugar sensitive. There's a quiz in the book which can help you determine if you are sugar sensitive. Another great aspect about this book is the journal tools it provides. I have been keeping a food journal for about 4 months now, but Kathleen has journal in a more useful manner. It is helping me become increasingly aware of my physical reactions to things and putting me more "at cause" over my sensitivities. A definite read, ties in very nicely with the above two books. I don't do everything she says, but this book has provided me with additional tools and I'm really glad I picked it up. This is a great read for anyone struggling emotionally and wanting to help themselves through nutrition. The author also has other books relating to behavioral and emotional problems in children which may be on interest.

"Eating in the Raw" by Carol Alt. When I sincerely started my journey to optimal health this was my first read. There is great information in this book on the nutritional benefits of raw foods, as well as plentiful recipes. Raw foods are good for us, to the degree and limit (as in what you'll consume raw) you partake in this lifestyle is completely a personal decision. I'd recommend reading her story and trying a few of the recipes to see what you think.

Last, but not least (I've read about 30-40 nutrition books so this is just a start)- "The China Study" by Campbell. What I love about this book is it really teaches you how to understand nutritional scientific studies. You can then take this information and apply it to any other book or study you come across. It also goes into the benefit of vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds extensively. It persuaded me to give up dairy and I'm better for it. It also recommends limiting other animal products, basically stating the more the better. Mr. Campbell is obviously a very intelligent, gifted man who is truly attempting to help consumers understand what they are eating and be able to decipher through the "nutritional" propaganda they are constantly bombarded with.

Alright, I hope you have a chance to check these books out. If you can only read one, I'd choose "Syndrome X". I have personally met Dr. Berkson and he's an amazing man, and healer.

Getting healthy is something I've recently become very passionate about, hopefully these books will help you along your journey to Optimal Health too!


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