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 The Curanderx Toolkit

In her expansive look at ancestral and herbal healing and wellness, Atava Garcia Swiecicki introduces us to curanderismo, a multifaceted approach to healing that draws from the folk medicine traditions of the Latinx diaspora. In The Curanderx Toolkit, readers will learn about the teyolia, or heart center, akin to the soul. Teyolia is one of our four energetic bodies; when it is harmed or imbalanced, we may experience depression or sadness. As founder of the Ancestral Apothecary School of Herbal, Folk and Indigenous Medicine and an expert in herbal medicine, Garcia Swiecicki provides an overview of herbalism and brujeria, or witchcraft, in Mexico and profiles the healers she has studied or practiced in community with for decades, most of whom are based in California. As Garcia Swiecicki observes, the effects of white supremacist patriarchy are all but impossible to ignore, and as a result, space is being claimed during this cultural moment for traditions and ways previously sidelined, silenced and dismissed. This book is part of that important work.

The Future Is Fungi

A few years ago I watched the documentary Fantastic Fungi and haven’t stopped thinking about it since. Meanwhile, Michael Pollan’s How to Change Your Mind is currently on my TBR pile. Which is to say: Count me curious about the mysteries, magic and medicine of mushrooms. There’s so much to learn—and so much yet to be unearthed by science. If this is the kind of thing you like to geek out about, too, you’ll be captivated by Michael Lim and Yun Shu’s The Future Is Fungi, with its 360-degree view of shrooms, spores and such. As if mirroring the depth and range of a mycelial network, the book covers mushrooms’ culinary and medicinal uses, psilocybin and even mycorestoration and mycoremediation (fungi deployed to fight pollutants and break down plastics). While this is a text-rich book, not scrimping on research and detail, the visuals are equally stunning.

Mission Vegan

Mission Vegan, the inventive new cookbook from Danny Bowien, co-founder of Mission Chinese Food in San Francisco and New York City and subject of the sixth season of “The Mind of a Chef,” makes my mouth water for dishes I could have never imagined, like smashed cucumbers with tingly granola and microwave mochi with sesame ganache. A Korean adoptee with white parents who raised him in Oklahoma, Bowien made his way to Korean cuisine peripatetically via kitchens on both coasts, and along the way he laid off the beef. While his new book doesn’t limit itself to straight-up Korean food—there’s a pomodoro recipe tucked within, in fact—it does draw fond inspiration from Korea’s traditions and ingredients, including many takes on kimchi and other banchan. With Mission Vegan, Bowien is, in his own words, “embarking on a new journey rather than documenting one I’ve already been on.”

You’ll find healing wisdom from Mexico, plant-based flavor from Korea and more in this month’s roundup of lifestyles books that are glossy, colorful and beautiful to behold.
Behind the Book by

My new book, Physical: An American Checkup, probably sprang from an Abe Lincoln quote I first came across many years ago: I must study the plain, physical facts of the case, ascertain what is possible, and learn what appears to be wise and right. And from crazier notions I came up with on my own, such as: The truth is, I don’t think I’m going to die. Not today, not tomorrow, not in 2067. Not me.

As I reached my late 40s, I thought things like that more and more often. In April 2002, a stitch along the left side of my abdomen suddenly graduated into an aching throb. I’d turned 51 in late March and was just beginning to get my feet underneath me again after the death of my son James from a drug overdose. I had tenure as a lit and writing professor, my second marriage was flourishing, and my book about poker (Positively Fifth Street) was scheduled to be published the following March. I felt pretty good about things, as long as you didn’t count the abscess in my soul where my son lived. But within a couple of days the thorn in my side, as I thought of it, had me walking hunched over like a little old man with bad knees and end-stage cirrhosis, not exactly the image I like to project to the world. As the throbbing intensified, I gulped down more Advil and worried.

I’d been taking Zocor to lower my cholesterol for almost two years, this while neglecting to get my liver function tested. Lynn Martin, my primary care physician, had told me to have it checked after three months because the possible side effects of the medicine included nephritis and liver damage, but I somehow forgot. I knew I’d been dosing myself far too liberally with Advil for headaches and hangovers, so my self-diagnosis was liver failure, though the phrase I used with my wife, Jennifer, was some liver thing. It was only at Jennifer’s insistence that I finally made an appointment to have my liver enzymes tested. I also stopped drinking and, in spite of the crippling pain, as I phrased it to myself, stopped taking Advil, even though I understood the damage was already done. Oh, and another thing, Braino, Jennifer said after wishing me luck and dropping me off at the lab. Your liver’s on your right side, not on your left.

The first appointment I could get was with Dr. Martin’s partner, Dennis Hughes. Tallish, maybe 40, all business, Hughes glanced at the blood test results, felt around where I’d told him it hurt, asked a few questions, then told me I probably had diverticulitis. Your liver’s functioning perfectly. Hughes e-mailed scrips for painkillers and antibiotics to my Walgreen’s and recommended a CT scan of my abdomen, which would confirm his diagnosis. The colonoscopy two weeks later will confirm that it’s all healed up nicely. I nodded. Had I missed something? The practice had just been computerized, and Hughes was happy to demonstrate how my records, medications, etc., were all in the system. The referrals for your scan and colonoscopy are already at Evanston Hospital. Terrific. The antibiotics killed the infection, or at least the symptoms, in a couple of days, so I was able to squirrel the unused painkillers into my party stash. When I called to report the good news, a nurse reminded me I still needed to get a colonoscopy. I’ll make the appointment as soon as I hang up, I told her, then sat down to breakfast, all better.

Days went by. Maybe a week. The pain was long gone, and I’d heard all about colonoscopies. You fasted for two or three days while slurping battery acid; step two involved a fully articulated four-foot-long aluminum bullwhip with a search light, a video camera and a lasso at the tip getting launched a few feet up into your large intestine. Not to worry, however. They used really super-duper lubrication. While discussing some unrelated business with Lewis Lapham, the editor of Harper’s, I happened to mention my gastrointestinal adventure. Next thing I knew, Lewis was proposing that I go to the Mayo Clinic for what he called their executive physical, then write a big story about it. Now, this was a guy who had already changed my life by sending me to cover the 2000 World Series of Poker, so I had every reason to trust him. Yet the Mayo proposal triggered a whirlwind of panic. Accepting this plummy assignment would more or less guarantee I’d be told things I did not want to hear. The good news, Mr. McManus, is you’ve got almost five weeks to live. The bad news is, we started counting over a month ago. What if the Mayo clinicians discovered a tumor the size of a Titleist wedged inoperably between my pons and my creative left hemisphere? What if as they certainly would they made me swear off alcohol, tasty food and my nightly postprandial Parliament Light? It wasn’t that I didn’t understand how lucky I was to be offered a free Mayo Clinic physical, I just had too many other things on my plate turf and surf, garlic mashed potatoes, baked ziti, the take-out Mekong Fried Pork from the Phat Phuc Noodle Bar. But no! Not only would I have to drink gallons of icky stuff before I got reamed, they’d make me give up all the good stuff! To say nothing of my terror that the verdict might not be all that rosy.

Bottom line? I couldn’t get more medical treatment unless I followed up like I’d promised: my referral was already in the system, gosh darn it unless I got a colonoscopy as part of the Mayo thing. That way I could get everything checked in 72 hours, all under one roof, by the best of the best of the best. It was time to cowboy up and take my medicine.

Poker columnist for the New York Times and author of the bestseller Positively Fifth Street (2003), James McManus has also written four novels. He teaches writing and literature at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

My new book, Physical: An American Checkup, probably sprang from an Abe Lincoln quote I first came across many years ago: I must study the plain, physical facts of the case, ascertain what is possible, and learn what appears to be wise and right. And from crazier notions I came up with on my own, […]
Behind the Book by

The seed for the creation of my book was planted in 1993 when a favorite patient of mine suggested that I write a populist book about male sexual health and held up a three-by-five card with his recommended title: “Penis Power.” This was back in the days before everyone used the internet, when Howard Stern could still shock listeners, and before Viagra ads appeared on primetime television.

At that time, having the word “penis” on the cover of a mainstream men’s health book was taboo. I pointed out to my publisher that the word “penis” accurately describes a body part. Asking me not to use that word would be like asking a cardiologist not to use the word “heart.” I shouted, “Get over it!” to no avail. 

What makes so many of us giggle or blush when the word “penis” is written or spoken? The fact that there is no logical explanation for these reactions propelled me, in part, to write The Ultimate Guide to Male Sexual Health: How to Stay Vital at Any Age

"I want to help men and women who are misinformed or confused about the male body, as well as those who think they know everything but still have a lot to learn."

I have been a practicing urologic surgeon for more than 40 years, and my professional goal has been to cure what I call penis weakness (PW), a condition that plagues men (and their partners) at an alarming rate and is compounded by a misunderstanding of exactly what is going on in their bodies and brains. Unfortunately, men who have suffered from the self-doubt and anxiety caused by this condition have done so with shockingly little support from the medical community. 

My book addresses the malady directly and speaks to both men and women—to straight couples, gay couples and everyone in between. This book will give readers the skills and confidence to address most problems surrounding male genital health and sexual potency, setting the cornerstone of a personal sexual revolution. 

With the commercial success of major pharmaceutical drugs designed to aid erectile dysfunction, some of the significant issues of male sexual health have become part of our social consciousness. Yet many couples still deprive themselves of the complete sexual satisfaction they deserve. 

My goal is to help every man, and every woman in that man’s life, to not only learn the biological functions of the penis but to understand that it is much more than the condition of its blood vessels and nerves—it is an organ of expression. A man’s penis is what he thinks it is!

One of my objectives is to educate, but my book is not a medical textbook. Nothing in it is overly technical. My purpose is more practical: I want to help men and women who are misinformed or confused about the male body, as well as those who think they know everything but still have a lot to learn. 

Although this book is about male sexuality and male physiology, the principles presented will be helpful to all men and their wives, husbands, girlfriends, boyfriends and partners. I want all readers to become experts on how the male genital system works, how and why it doesn’t work on occasion, and how to get it to work again for as long as possible.

A lot of information in my book will surprise you. Some of it may shock or outrage you. I firmly stand behind my observations with one purpose only: to end the plague of PW and the attendant cynicism, despair,and frustration. Often, a simple shift in attitude and an adjustment in behavior patterns can give us the confidence we need to achieve happiness in our sex life and ultimately in every aspect of who we are as human beings. 

The Ultimate Guide to Male Sexual Health will elevate the mind, the heart and the spirit—not just the male apparatus. The man who has penis power is blessed, and so is the partner with whom he shares it.

Dudley Seth Danoff, MD, FACS, is the attending urologic surgeon and founder/president of the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center Tower Urology Group in Los Angeles, California. He is the author of The Ultimate Guide to Male Sexual Health: How to Stay Vital at Any Age, now available in an updated second edition.

 

Urologic surgeon Dudley Seth Danoff sets out to help men—and the women in their lives—understand what's going on in their bodies and brains in The Male Guide to Sexual Health.
Review by

Staying on track At first glance it looks something like a proud parent’s “Baby Book.” But appearances can be deceiving The Cancer Patient’s Workbook: Everything You Need to Stay Organized and Informed by Joanie Willis is actually an excellent resource for the cancer patient who prefers a hands-on approach to dealing with illness. Well illustrated (it even has cartoons) and thoughtfully designed, the workbook supplies readers with information on treatments, healthful eating and more questions to ask oncology, radiation and surgery experts than one would ever think of on one’s own, not to mention a place to record the answers. Some cancer writers counsel developing a spirit of detachment and observation. The Cancer Patient’s Workbook (complete with a cover that can be removed along with any outer reference to cancer, so you can carry it anywhere) certainly offers the wherewithal to achieve some measure of objectivity. It also provides inspirational material, even jokes (unrelated to cancer) to lift the spirit. However, be warned, this workbook skips nothing! It also has sections on writing obituaries and wills, planning funerals and bequeathing one’s precious things to others. Still, the overall air of the book is hopeful, courageous and enabling and by the end even the little cartoons that seem incongruous at the start have turned into familiar icons for doing what must be done to survive trouble with grace and dignity.

Staying on track At first glance it looks something like a proud parent’s “Baby Book.” But appearances can be deceiving The Cancer Patient’s Workbook: Everything You Need to Stay Organized and Informed by Joanie Willis is actually an excellent resource for the cancer patient who prefers a hands-on approach to dealing with illness. Well illustrated […]
Review by

rim down and tighten up If the arrival of swimsuit season has strengthened your motivation to get in shape, the latest fitness books offer valuable advice on exercising and eating sensibly this summer and every season of the year.

With a foreword by the renowned Dr. Kenneth Cooper, founder of the aerobics movement, Active Living Every Day: 20 Weeks to Lifelong Vitality is not just another exercise book. Developed by scientists and presented in medical education agencies across the country, this is a self-paced, 20-step program that includes checklists, charts and color photos that make all the information clear and easy to understand. Particularly interesting are the “signpost” notations such as Activity Alerts, Myth Busters, Expert Advice, Up Close and Personal, Did You Know? and Weighing In. There’s no mystery about how to stay trim and tight, yet 40 to 50 million people don’t exercise at all. If you’re part of that group, this book will appeal to you especially if you’ve found it difficult to start and maintain an exercise program.

Suzanne Somers’ Eat, Cheat, and Melt the Fat Away will interest anyone who wants the basics on food-combining. Referring to the work of endocrinologist Diana Schwarzbein, Somers points out that sugar and starchy carbohydrates, not fat, are the real culprits that make you gain weight. Somers’ program has become popular because, in addition to offering delicious recipes, it is also convenient to maintain if you travel frequently. This latest book offers more than 100 new recipes and features desserts made with a new sweetener that won’t put on the pounds or raise your insulin level. Suzanne Somers’ Eat, Cheat, and Melt the Fat Away is perfect for those who want an uncomplicated nutrition plan with no calorie, fat or carbohydrate counting.

Personal trainer Jim Karas says his new volume, The Business Plan for the Body: Get Serious, Get Thin, Get Fit, is the “first book to apply the concepts of a business plan to a successful weight loss strategy.” To motivate readers, Karas uses language that every business professional will understand: Mission Statements, the Competition and the Management Team. We are the “largest nation in the western world, weighing on average 16 pounds more than our neighbors in Western Europe,” says Karas, a Wharton business school grad who creates fitness plans for CEOs. With the author’s advice, busy professionals will learn how to implement simple eating guidelines and stick to a regular exercise program. Dr. Shapiro’s Picture Perfect Weight Loss Shopper’s Guide is a small pocket companion for grocery store shopping. Dr. Howard Shapiro, author of the best-selling Picture Perfect Weight Loss: The Visual Program for Permanent Weight Loss, believes shedding pounds starts in the supermarket with “awareness training,” which involves making good food choices. Using color photos, check lists, tips and nutritional pointers, the book shows readers how to become supermarket-savvy by reading food labels, stocking the pantry with healthy items and adding variety to your weight loss program. Think you’re losing weight by eating reduced fat items? Then pay attention to the chapter on “Food Saboteurs.” Shapiro’s book offers common sense grocery shopping that everyone should practice.

Win the Fat War for Moms by Catherine Cassidy is a book for all mothers of young children. It offers 120 secrets to losing post-pregnancy pounds. The tables, photos and real-life stories motivate moms to do what seems impossible shed the baby weight. There are lists of foods that fend off prenatal discomforts, nutrient information for nursing moms and strength training tips to get mothers back on the road to postpartum fitness. The photos alone will convince any new mother that her curves need not be a thing of the past.

Pat Regel lectures on weight loss and fitness for business professionals and travelers.

rim down and tighten up If the arrival of swimsuit season has strengthened your motivation to get in shape, the latest fitness books offer valuable advice on exercising and eating sensibly this summer and every season of the year. With a foreword by the renowned Dr. Kenneth Cooper, founder of the aerobics movement, Active Living […]
Review by

down and tighten up If the arrival of swimsuit season has strengthened your motivation to get in shape, the latest fitness books offer valuable advice on exercising and eating sensibly this summer and every season of the year.

With a foreword by the renowned Dr. Kenneth Cooper, founder of the aerobics movement, Active Living Every Day: 20 Weeks to Lifelong Vitality is not just another exercise book. Developed by scientists and presented in medical education agencies across the country, this is a self-paced, 20-step program that includes checklists, charts and color photos that make all the information clear and easy to understand. Particularly interesting are the “signpost” notations such as Activity Alerts, Myth Busters, Expert Advice, Up Close and Personal, Did You Know? and Weighing In. There’s no mystery about how to stay trim and tight, yet 40 to 50 million people don’t exercise at all. If you’re part of that group, this book will appeal to you especially if you’ve found it difficult to start and maintain an exercise program.

Suzanne Somers’ Eat, Cheat, and Melt the Fat Away will interest anyone who wants the basics on food-combining. Referring to the work of endocrinologist Diana Schwarzbein, Somers points out that sugar and starchy carbohydrates, not fat, are the real culprits that make you gain weight. Somers’ program has become popular because, in addition to offering delicious recipes, it is also convenient to maintain if you travel frequently. This latest book offers more than 100 new recipes and features desserts made with a new sweetener that won’t put on the pounds or raise your insulin level. Suzanne Somers’ Eat, Cheat, and Melt the Fat Away is perfect for those who want an uncomplicated nutrition plan with no calorie, fat or carbohydrate counting.

Personal trainer Jim Karas says his new volume, The Business Plan for the Body: Get Serious, Get Thin, Get Fit, is the “first book to apply the concepts of a business plan to a successful weight loss strategy.” To motivate readers, Karas uses language that every business professional will understand: Mission Statements, the Competition and the Management Team. We are the “largest nation in the western world, weighing on average 16 pounds more than our neighbors in Western Europe,” says Karas, a Wharton business school grad who creates fitness plans for CEOs. With the author’s advice, busy professionals will learn how to implement simple eating guidelines and stick to a regular exercise program. Dr. Shapiro’s Picture Perfect Weight Loss Shopper’s Guide is a small pocket companion for grocery store shopping. Dr. Howard Shapiro, author of the best-selling Picture Perfect Weight Loss: The Visual Program for Permanent Weight Loss, believes shedding pounds starts in the supermarket with “awareness training,” which involves making good food choices. Using color photos, check lists, tips and nutritional pointers, the book shows readers how to become supermarket-savvy by reading food labels, stocking the pantry with healthy items and adding variety to your weight loss program. Think you’re losing weight by eating reduced fat items? Then pay attention to the chapter on “Food Saboteurs.” Shapiro’s book offers common sense grocery shopping that everyone should practice.

Win the Fat War for Moms by Catherine Cassidy is a book for all mothers of young children. It offers 120 secrets to losing post-pregnancy pounds. The tables, photos and real-life stories motivate moms to do what seems impossible shed the baby weight. There are lists of foods that fend off prenatal discomforts, nutrient information for nursing moms and strength training tips to get mothers back on the road to postpartum fitness. The photos alone will convince any new mother that her curves need not be a thing of the past.

Pat Regel lectures on weight loss and fitness for business professionals and travelers.

down and tighten up If the arrival of swimsuit season has strengthened your motivation to get in shape, the latest fitness books offer valuable advice on exercising and eating sensibly this summer and every season of the year. With a foreword by the renowned Dr. Kenneth Cooper, founder of the aerobics movement, Active Living Every […]
Review by

rim down and tighten up If the arrival of swimsuit season has strengthened your motivation to get in shape, the latest fitness books offer valuable advice on exercising and eating sensibly this summer and every season of the year.

With a foreword by the renowned Dr. Kenneth Cooper, founder of the aerobics movement, Active Living Every Day: 20 Weeks to Lifelong Vitality is not just another exercise book. Developed by scientists and presented in medical education agencies across the country, this is a self-paced, 20-step program that includes checklists, charts and color photos that make all the information clear and easy to understand. Particularly interesting are the “signpost” notations such as Activity Alerts, Myth Busters, Expert Advice, Up Close and Personal, Did You Know? and Weighing In. There’s no mystery about how to stay trim and tight, yet 40 to 50 million people don’t exercise at all. If you’re part of that group, this book will appeal to you especially if you’ve found it difficult to start and maintain an exercise program.

Suzanne Somers’ Eat, Cheat, and Melt the Fat Away will interest anyone who wants the basics on food-combining. Referring to the work of endocrinologist Diana Schwarzbein, Somers points out that sugar and starchy carbohydrates, not fat, are the real culprits that make you gain weight. Somers’ program has become popular because, in addition to offering delicious recipes, it is also convenient to maintain if you travel frequently. This latest book offers more than 100 new recipes and features desserts made with a new sweetener that won’t put on the pounds or raise your insulin level. Suzanne Somers’ Eat, Cheat, and Melt the Fat Away is perfect for those who want an uncomplicated nutrition plan with no calorie, fat or carbohydrate counting.

Personal trainer Jim Karas says his new volume, The Business Plan for the Body: Get Serious, Get Thin, Get Fit, is the “first book to apply the concepts of a business plan to a successful weight loss strategy.” To motivate readers, Karas uses language that every business professional will understand: Mission Statements, the Competition and the Management Team. We are the “largest nation in the western world, weighing on average 16 pounds more than our neighbors in Western Europe,” says Karas, a Wharton business school grad who creates fitness plans for CEOs. With the author’s advice, busy professionals will learn how to implement simple eating guidelines and stick to a regular exercise program. Dr. Shapiro’s Picture Perfect Weight Loss Shopper’s Guide is a small pocket companion for grocery store shopping. Dr. Howard Shapiro, author of the best-selling Picture Perfect Weight Loss: The Visual Program for Permanent Weight Loss, believes shedding pounds starts in the supermarket with “awareness training,” which involves making good food choices. Using color photos, check lists, tips and nutritional pointers, the book shows readers how to become supermarket-savvy by reading food labels, stocking the pantry with healthy items and adding variety to your weight loss program. Think you’re losing weight by eating reduced fat items? Then pay attention to the chapter on “Food Saboteurs.” Shapiro’s book offers common sense grocery shopping that everyone should practice.

Win the Fat War for Moms by Catherine Cassidy is a book for all mothers of young children. It offers 120 secrets to losing post-pregnancy pounds. The tables, photos and real-life stories motivate moms to do what seems impossible shed the baby weight. There are lists of foods that fend off prenatal discomforts, nutrient information for nursing moms and strength training tips to get mothers back on the road to postpartum fitness. The photos alone will convince any new mother that her curves need not be a thing of the past.

Pat Regel lectures on weight loss and fitness for business professionals and travelers.

rim down and tighten up If the arrival of swimsuit season has strengthened your motivation to get in shape, the latest fitness books offer valuable advice on exercising and eating sensibly this summer and every season of the year. With a foreword by the renowned Dr. Kenneth Cooper, founder of the aerobics movement, Active Living […]
Review by

down and tighten up If the arrival of swimsuit season has strengthened your motivation to get in shape, the latest fitness books offer valuable advice on exercising and eating sensibly this summer and every season of the year.

With a foreword by the renowned Dr. Kenneth Cooper, founder of the aerobics movement, Active Living Every Day: 20 Weeks to Lifelong Vitality is not just another exercise book. Developed by scientists and presented in medical education agencies across the country, this is a self-paced, 20-step program that includes checklists, charts and color photos that make all the information clear and easy to understand. Particularly interesting are the “signpost” notations such as Activity Alerts, Myth Busters, Expert Advice, Up Close and Personal, Did You Know? and Weighing In. There’s no mystery about how to stay trim and tight, yet 40 to 50 million people don’t exercise at all. If you’re part of that group, this book will appeal to you especially if you’ve found it difficult to start and maintain an exercise program.

Suzanne Somers’ Eat, Cheat, and Melt the Fat Away will interest anyone who wants the basics on food-combining. Referring to the work of endocrinologist Diana Schwarzbein, Somers points out that sugar and starchy carbohydrates, not fat, are the real culprits that make you gain weight. Somers’ program has become popular because, in addition to offering delicious recipes, it is also convenient to maintain if you travel frequently. This latest book offers more than 100 new recipes and features desserts made with a new sweetener that won’t put on the pounds or raise your insulin level. Suzanne Somers’ Eat, Cheat, and Melt the Fat Away is perfect for those who want an uncomplicated nutrition plan with no calorie, fat or carbohydrate counting.

Personal trainer Jim Karas says his new volume, The Business Plan for the Body: Get Serious, Get Thin, Get Fit, is the “first book to apply the concepts of a business plan to a successful weight loss strategy.” To motivate readers, Karas uses language that every business professional will understand: Mission Statements, the Competition and the Management Team. We are the “largest nation in the western world, weighing on average 16 pounds more than our neighbors in Western Europe,” says Karas, a Wharton business school grad who creates fitness plans for CEOs. With the author’s advice, busy professionals will learn how to implement simple eating guidelines and stick to a regular exercise program. Dr. Shapiro’s Picture Perfect Weight Loss Shopper’s Guide is a small pocket companion for grocery store shopping. Dr. Howard Shapiro, author of the best-selling Picture Perfect Weight Loss: The Visual Program for Permanent Weight Loss, believes shedding pounds starts in the supermarket with “awareness training,” which involves making good food choices. Using color photos, check lists, tips and nutritional pointers, the book shows readers how to become supermarket-savvy by reading food labels, stocking the pantry with healthy items and adding variety to your weight loss program. Think you’re losing weight by eating reduced fat items? Then pay attention to the chapter on “Food Saboteurs.” Shapiro’s book offers common sense grocery shopping that everyone should practice.

Win the Fat War for Moms by Catherine Cassidy is a book for all mothers of young children. It offers 120 secrets to losing post-pregnancy pounds. The tables, photos and real-life stories motivate moms to do what seems impossible shed the baby weight. There are lists of foods that fend off prenatal discomforts, nutrient information for nursing moms and strength training tips to get mothers back on the road to postpartum fitness. The photos alone will convince any new mother that her curves need not be a thing of the past.

Pat Regel lectures on weight loss and fitness for business professionals and travelers.

down and tighten up If the arrival of swimsuit season has strengthened your motivation to get in shape, the latest fitness books offer valuable advice on exercising and eating sensibly this summer and every season of the year. With a foreword by the renowned Dr. Kenneth Cooper, founder of the aerobics movement, Active Living Every […]
Review by

rim down and tighten up If the arrival of swimsuit season has strengthened your motivation to get in shape, the latest fitness books offer valuable advice on exercising and eating sensibly this summer and every season of the year.

With a foreword by the renowned Dr. Kenneth Cooper, founder of the aerobics movement, Active Living Every Day: 20 Weeks to Lifelong Vitality is not just another exercise book. Developed by scientists and presented in medical education agencies across the country, this is a self-paced, 20-step program that includes checklists, charts and color photos that make all the information clear and easy to understand. Particularly interesting are the “signpost” notations such as Activity Alerts, Myth Busters, Expert Advice, Up Close and Personal, Did You Know? and Weighing In. There’s no mystery about how to stay trim and tight, yet 40 to 50 million people don’t exercise at all. If you’re part of that group, this book will appeal to you especially if you’ve found it difficult to start and maintain an exercise program.

Suzanne Somers’ Eat, Cheat, and Melt the Fat Away will interest anyone who wants the basics on food-combining. Referring to the work of endocrinologist Diana Schwarzbein, Somers points out that sugar and starchy carbohydrates, not fat, are the real culprits that make you gain weight. Somers’ program has become popular because, in addition to offering delicious recipes, it is also convenient to maintain if you travel frequently. This latest book offers more than 100 new recipes and features desserts made with a new sweetener that won’t put on the pounds or raise your insulin level. Suzanne Somers’ Eat, Cheat, and Melt the Fat Away is perfect for those who want an uncomplicated nutrition plan with no calorie, fat or carbohydrate counting.

Personal trainer Jim Karas says his new volume, The Business Plan for the Body: Get Serious, Get Thin, Get Fit, is the “first book to apply the concepts of a business plan to a successful weight loss strategy.” To motivate readers, Karas uses language that every business professional will understand: Mission Statements, the Competition and the Management Team. We are the “largest nation in the western world, weighing on average 16 pounds more than our neighbors in Western Europe,” says Karas, a Wharton business school grad who creates fitness plans for CEOs. With the author’s advice, busy professionals will learn how to implement simple eating guidelines and stick to a regular exercise program. Dr. Shapiro’s Picture Perfect Weight Loss Shopper’s Guide is a small pocket companion for grocery store shopping. Dr. Howard Shapiro, author of the best-selling Picture Perfect Weight Loss: The Visual Program for Permanent Weight Loss, believes shedding pounds starts in the supermarket with “awareness training,” which involves making good food choices. Using color photos, check lists, tips and nutritional pointers, the book shows readers how to become supermarket-savvy by reading food labels, stocking the pantry with healthy items and adding variety to your weight loss program. Think you’re losing weight by eating reduced fat items? Then pay attention to the chapter on “Food Saboteurs.” Shapiro’s book offers common sense grocery shopping that everyone should practice.

Win the Fat War for Moms by Catherine Cassidy is a book for all mothers of young children. It offers 120 secrets to losing post-pregnancy pounds. The tables, photos and real-life stories motivate moms to do what seems impossible shed the baby weight. There are lists of foods that fend off prenatal discomforts, nutrient information for nursing moms and strength training tips to get mothers back on the road to postpartum fitness. The photos alone will convince any new mother that her curves need not be a thing of the past.

Pat Regel lectures on weight loss and fitness for business professionals and travelers.

rim down and tighten up If the arrival of swimsuit season has strengthened your motivation to get in shape, the latest fitness books offer valuable advice on exercising and eating sensibly this summer and every season of the year. With a foreword by the renowned Dr. Kenneth Cooper, founder of the aerobics movement, Active Living […]
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r. Christiane Northrup, one of American women’s most trusted medical advisers, challenged conventional wisdom in Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom by arguing that common medical problems are often rooted in the basic circumstances of women’s lives and can be addressed by listening to their bodies. Now, in The Wisdom of Menopause, Northrup once again contests the axiom that menopause is a collection of physical ailments to be fixed through drugs or herbs. Rather, she contends that this stage in a woman’s life is an opportunity for growth not available since puberty. Instead of dreading menopause, the book urges women to understand that Midlife is when we hear the wake-up call that demands that we start honoring our own needs. This new book stresses how the choices a woman makes at midlife, from the quality of her relationships to the quality of her diet, either ensure or confound her emotional and physical health into old age.

Much of the advice in The Wisdom of Menopause is presented in a reassuring manner designed to give confidence to those approaching or going through menopause. Northrup offers a piece of common sense that binds all the advice in the book together: Our state of health and happiness depends more upon our perception of life events around us than upon the events themselves. By integrating the latest in medical techniques (hormone replacement) with the best natural remedies (diet, exercise and herb therapy), Northrup’s holistic, mind/body approach offers guidance on choosing the right avenue for almost every aspect of this important time in a woman’s life.

Intimate case histories from Northrup’s practice and her own life illustrate how menopause literally rewires the brain, triggering a shift of priorities from caretaking and nesting to personal growth and more outward focuses. This rewiring occurs, according to the book, whether the change has come about naturally, surgically or pharmaceutically.

In addition to outlining the kinds of alterations a woman’s body undergoes, the book elucidates how the body adjusts naturally to changing hormones; how to make personalized decisions about hormone replacement therapy and alternative supplements; how to rebalance metabolic shifts and prevent middle-age spread; how to prevent long-term health problems such as heart disease, hormone-related cancers and memory loss; and how to deal with the myths and realities of sexual changes and appearance issues. Ultimately, listening to the wake-up calls inherent in women’s cyclic nature allows them to hear the true messages their bodies are sending: that menopause is a time of personal empowerment and positive energy, a time for women to break free and thrive.

Kelly Koepke writes from Albuquerque, New Mexico.

r. Christiane Northrup, one of American women’s most trusted medical advisers, challenged conventional wisdom in Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom by arguing that common medical problems are often rooted in the basic circumstances of women’s lives and can be addressed by listening to their bodies. Now, in The Wisdom of Menopause, Northrup once again contests the […]
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Bookstores may find it difficult to shelve The Kabbalah of Food: Conscious Eating for Physical, Emotional, and Spiritual Health. Should it go in Health or Religion? Rabbi Nilton Bonder’s point is that the two subjects should not be separated; and if they are, it is to our cost.

Kabbalah is the name given to the general body of Jewish mystical activity. Concerned less with law than with investigating the essence of the Divine, it is controversial and little known outside the work of scholars, rabbis, and practicing kabbalists (the latter are usually Hasidic Jews). Incidentally (and curiously), Kabbalah is enjoying a moment of glory in the media thanks to Madonna, Sarah Bernhardt, and Roseanne. Bonder argues that our eating habits are symbolic of our attitudes toward “receiving nourishment on many levels, not just the physical.” To be connected to the flow of life, one must “follow an outer code in each and every exchange” to ensure a healthy interaction between the self and what it takes in. The code will discipline us to pay close attention to not only what we eat, but when we eat, where we eat, and why we eat. Given that the majority of people are starved for physical, emotional, and spiritual health, The Kabbalah of Food may result in a large, and quite healthy body of followers. It is a rich source of complex but practical insights into achieving holistic health. L’Chaim.

Reviewed by Joanna Brichetto.

Bookstores may find it difficult to shelve The Kabbalah of Food: Conscious Eating for Physical, Emotional, and Spiritual Health. Should it go in Health or Religion? Rabbi Nilton Bonder’s point is that the two subjects should not be separated; and if they are, it is to our cost. Kabbalah is the name given to the […]

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