Monday, July 4, 2016

Four books about managing our diet

I'm obviously no expert on this subject, and there are plenty of times when I'd rather not give a whole lot of thought about the food I put in my mouth. For that very reason, maybe a list of books on this topic could come over better from a novice like me, who admits I'm clueless, if you feel you can relate to me. 

I'm limiting this list to four because it's so handy to avoid the complication created by the glut of advice out there about what and how we should eat. Rather than delving into any specific regime, these four focus on common sense principles and allow us to craft our own culinary lifestyles. It's confusing for a novice to try and weigh up the pros and cons of the Paleo diet, the Dukan diet, the blood type diet, the Atkins diet, the Hallelujah diet, and the claims of hundreds of others which are laid out step by step. Especially when they all get their fair share of negative exposure, making us wonder what's really going on. I'd rather shy away from the word 'diet' completely because that single word carries ideas of judgement, temporary measures and limitation. I prefer sensible tools that enable us to help ourselves for the long term, over strict formulas, weekly plans and recipes which will help us shape up and then leave us in the deep end.

The advice of an ancient Chinese proverb probably works here. I'm sure these aren't the exact words, but it was something like, Better to give a man a rod and teach him to fish for a lifetime, than feed him fish for a week. These books aim to do that.

1) Think and Eat Yourself Smart by Dr Caroline Leaf
Think and Eat Yourself Smart: A Neuroscientific Approach to a Sharper Mind and Healthier Life This is a well respected scientist's advice about shaping up your lifestyle where food choice is concerned, and empowering yourself with knowledge of what to avoid. Only recently published, it's already gone over well with many readers. I found it a bit technical at times, but that sort of information is right there for people who may appreciate it. My review is here.

2) Kale and Coffee by Kevin Gianni
Kale and Coffee: A Renegade’s Guide to Health, Happiness, and Longevity I got many laughs from this book. The author has a humorous way of expressing himself, and there were also plenty of interesting revelations that I'd never have worked out on my own. They are not just about the food we eat, but 'aha' moments about exercise, genetic make-up, emotions, and other things we may be overlooking. They were the sorts of things I wanted to discuss with others, and I also keep the tips in mind instead of automatically doing my old thing. My review is here.

3) Eat, Move, Sleep by Tom Rath
Eat Move Sleep: How Small Choices Lead to Big Changes This is a slap-in-the-face type of book which may make you say, 'Whoa, my diet and lifestyle really aren't all that healthy,' when you're going along merrily thinking that they're not too bad. I admit, it wasn't one of my favourites. Too brutally frank and overwhelming, perhaps. But Rath presents his advice in bite-sized nuggets which we may dig into whenever we feel we need a little shake up. There's no loophole for us to say, 'I didn't really get it.' My review is here.

4) The Slow Down Diet by Marc David
The Slow Down Diet: Eating for Pleasure, Energy, and Weight Loss This is my very favourite. The author has convinced me that incorporating good eating habits and loving our food is just part of what makes a beautiful life. It's like a poem at times. I never imagined I'd consider a book about diet to be a page turner, but Marc David managed to make it so. I couldn't wait to get to each new chapter. My review is here.

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