3-in-1 Book Review: Healthy 2019

If you have followed this blog over the years, you know of my pursuit to lose weight and my goal to become healthy in mind, body, and spirit.

Every doctor and medical professional over the past few years points out to me even before sitting down in their little rally-stool that I am fat. Some have even used the “O” word, obese. Then their immediate go-to next phrase (not a really a question) is, “have you considered weight loss surgery?” None of them have wanted to review my diet journal and literally snickered at my walking regime. So fuck’em.

Anyone over a single digit dress size is considered obese by the medical profession, big Pharma and clothing manufacturers.

Last week as I had my first visit with an orthopedist, I got the jump on the situation, fairly or unfairly, without giving the doctor a fair chance. “It’s nice to meet you,” I say, “but I have three things to share with you before we begin.” Without one word, the nice, young, Harvard-educated doctor sat on his rolly-stool and hesitantly said, “okay.”

Yes, I am fat. You don’t need to tell me the obvious. Yes, I know my weight plays a part in what I am here to discuss, but tell me something I don’t know. And three, no, I emphatically will not consider weight loss surgery,” I said.

Enough with the fat-shaming

I recently read an article, “Everything You Know About Obesity is Wrong” by Michael Hobbes. For many this article is an eye-opener, however, for me, I understand the pain of the women’s stories in this article. I encourage all to read and consider the stigma put on overweight people. Over the last few years, I have almost given up. Yet, I still wanted to learn what was causing me to gain weight no matter how little I ate or how much I exercised. My research led me to the following book.

obesity-code-300Book Review 1: “The Obesity Code – Unlocking the Secrets of Weight Loss” written by Jason Fung, MD

The book, “The Obesity Code – Unlocking the Secrets of Weight Loss” written by Jason Fung, MD published in 2016 by Greystone Books, British Columbia, Canada. Dr. Jason Fung is a nephrologist and is the founder of the Intensive Dietary Management Program for treating patients with Type 2 Diabetes and obesity.

In his book, I learned that Type 2 Diabetes is the single most common cause of kidney failure and kidney dialysis treats only the final symptoms of the underlying disease. Even more astounding as I read about his work with Type 2 Diabetes is that the disease was present 20 to perhaps 50 years in these patients. Dr. Fung set out the actual cause of obesity.

In my opinion, what is revolutionary about Dr. Fung’s book, The Obesity Code is that he examines the anthropology of what, how and when we eat food. His entire research is backed by human studies not studies performed on mice.

In the Introduction of the book, he writes, “We are not mice. We are not rats. We are not chimpanzees or spider monkeys. We are human beings, and therefore we should consider only human studies.”

The Obesity Code is a fascinating book by a compassionate doctor who teaches the reader why our body’s own insulin is the key to controlling our weight. This book is heavily annotated, and all his research is indexed. I love his no nonsense writing style as he gets down to the facts – not assumptions to why people are obese and the difficulty in managing weight. I was so impressed with his book, The Obesity Code, I immediately purchased his book, The Complete Guide to Fasting” also published in 2016 by Victoria Publishing, Las Vegas, Nevada.

complete guideBook Review 2: “The Complete Guide to Fasting” written by Jason Fung, MD with Jimmy Moore

The Complete Guide to Fasting is about how to heal the body through intermittent, alternate-day, and extended fasting.

I know what you are thinking.  I initially thought the same thing, “For the love of scotch! I can’t do that! I will be a raving, hangry lunatic.”

Seriously, I think I can do it. Why? This book is filled with honest people who have struggled and explain the truth of their weight management journey. It is not only a how-to but a why-to manual. These weight loss storytellers speak forthrightly their attempts, failures and perseverance. Everyone’s journey is different as is mine and yours too. It is a complete guide to expectations, pitfalls, and how to manage whatever fasting regime the reader decides is appropriate for their individual lifestyle.

“Intermittent fasting is weight loss surgery without the surgery and the complications from surgery.”

Can I be a fasting All-Star success story in 2019? Why not? Dr. Fung’s books have given me the scientific research that the medical profession, food manufacturers, and big Pharma haven’t given me or simply, won’t give me, as well as, the compassionate guidelines on how to help me manage my weight. I may initially fail at this intermittent fasting approach, but all I need do is re-read the fasting success stories to keep me motivated to persevere.

GF cookbookBook Review 3: America’s Test Kitchen, “The How can it be Gluten Free Cookbook”

My third book review is on America’s Test Kitchen, “The How can it be Gluten Free Cookbook,” edited and distributed by America’s Test Kitchen, Brookline, MA. My husband, Vinny Sal is the cook and baker in the house. He loves watching all the foodie cable shows, particularly the cable show, America’s Test Kitchen. America’s Test Kitchen has tried thousands of recipes and developed new techniques in cooking gluten-free.

“Our Test Kitchen doesn’t settle for second best. Why Should you? – Giving up gluten doesn’t mean you have to give up the dishes you love, or make do with second-rate accommodations.”

Since my youngest son and I have high food sensitivities and food allergies, this recipe book has become Vinny Sal’s go to for gluten-free recipes and techniques. The book provides a generous portion of basics in gluten-free cooking. There is so much to love about this gluten-free recipe book, especially the gluten-free flour blend that helps convert everyone’s favorite comfort food into gluten-free favorites – pastas, breads, desserts – you name it.

We LOVE this recipe book. If you read Dr. Fung’s books, you may also want to consider going gluten-free. Many people have intestinal issues which can often be the result from the changes in the farming production and manufacturing of our current wheat products.

All three books receive a 5-Hoot Rating!

1 to 5 Hoot Scale

The Obesity Code – Unlocking the Secrets of Weight Loss, written by Jason Fung, MD

The Complete Guide to Fasting – Heal Your Body through Intermittent, Alternate-Day, and Extended Fasting, written by Jason Fung, MD with Jimmy Moore.

The How Can it be Gluten-Free Cookbook – Revolutionary Techniques, Groundbreaking Recipes developed, edited, and distributed by America’s Test Kitchen.

Happy and Healthy New Year!

Sheri Head Shot

The Blogging Owl

 

Any Book Recommendations?

Give me a hoot by email: Hoot@TheBloggingOwl.com.

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(c) 2017-2018 All Rights Reserved

Finding Joy – A Photograph

No doubt you awoke this morning to see friends and family post all their merry holiday photos on social media. For many, it is a time of joy in family and friend seasonal traditions. You cannot help but notice the smiles, wonder, and merriment on the faces of everyone big and small, old and young in these holiday photos.

Where most find joy others find sadness, loneliness and loss. Someone may be missing from the photo for any number of reasons – death, divorce, or a decision. There are empty chairs. Or chairs now occupied by someone else. Time passes. Things change. And so, do we.

Change is an opportunity to find Joy

Sometimes it is difficult to find joy when reviewing social media timelines from this past year. Others seemingly enjoying vacations, new additions to the family, and opportunities in various ways all the while we may be stuck in a rut in one way or another in mind, body and spirit.

While our individual pursuits may not be as happy, significant, or wanting such as a finding spouse, having a baby, deciding on a career, getting hired, obtaining a college degree, finding a literary agent, or still chasing elusive answers to health or whatever may be keeping each of us from finding purpose or pleasure in our lives, there is still JOY to be found even in this chaotic and corrupt world.

Finding Joy

Starting today and every day going forward, post a photo of where you found joy on your social media feeds. If you don’t use any type of social media, take a photo each day with your phone to remind you of where you found joy. If your phone doesn’t have photography capabilities, write down in a pocket-size Moleskin journal where you found joy. Carry joy with you every single day!

Joy is different for each person.

I find joy in the silliness of my dogs playing. I find joy in a hot cup of black coffee. I find joy in the breakfast my husband serves me even if the bacon is too well done for my taste. Who cannot find joy in someone making breakfast for you? I find joy in helping someone at work find an answer or solution to a problem. I find joy not only in the grand things of life when my oldest son receives a promotion, or my youngest son who is now getting healthier; but in the very simple things we take for granted, like the beauty of a red cardinal sitting on a bare tree limb in wintertime – a season I am not fond of to be honest with you.

prince of peace

Where I found joy today

I found joy today in writing this blog post and sharing my love of writing with you. Whatever your passion, whatever your gift, use it to find joy in your day.

I found joy in a pecan pie square that my husband made and a cup of hot black coffee in an owl mug that was a Christmas present from a co-worker.

Christmas mug

I found joy in the love of family and my four-legged ones too. Someone out there needs your love – volunteer, foster, adopt – young, old, two-legged or four-legged. You will find not only joy but love too. I know it. Don’t forget to post photos when you do!!

I found joy in your photos of people smiling and finding joy. You don’t need to know their personal names to find joy in photos.

I found joy today in many ways. I found joy in celebrating the gift of Jesus Christ. Though you may celebrate differently than I do, I pray you find joy today.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Sheri Head Shot

The Blogging Owl

 

(c) 2017-2018 All Rights Reserved – The Blogging Owl – SL Prielipp-Falzone

2019 – Three Words to Live By

A year ago, I posted my three words to live by for 2018.

Frugality (updated to minimalism). Grace. Truth.

I will continue to live by those three words in 2019 and I will be adding to those words three new words. I wrote this post three weeks ago on November 26th, but after reading what I had written I posted the following on The Blogging Owl Facebook page:

“Sometimes you just have to remove your hands from the keyboard and allow what has been written to marinate for as long as it takes be become tender.”  – The Blogging Owl

While my three words to live by in 2019 are the same, this post is much different than the one I wrote on November 26th.

Wisdom (seek)

The world demands our immediate response because of the fast pace of technology. My three words to live by in 2018 – minimalismgracetruth – have taught me to slow down in mind, body, and spirit.

How often have I given an opinion or posted a comment here, elsewhere or in person that didn’t legitimately seek to understand but resulted in derision and divisiveness?

While owls are supposedly known for their wisdom (I don’t include myself here), I have chosen my first word to be – Wisdom.

To seek knowledge of what is true or right, coupled with just judgment as to action, discernment, or insight. (Dictionary.com)

“To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best day and night to make you like everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight and never stop fighting.”  – e.e. cummings

In this owl’s opinion, if a person does not feed the brain, the person becomes greedy. If a person does not feed the heart, the person becomes needy. And in both cases, the person becomes self-serving in spirit.

Proverbs 2:6-11 GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)
6 The LORD gives wisdom.
From his mouth come knowledge and understanding.
7 He has reserved priceless wisdom for decent people.
He is a shield for those who walk in integrity
8 in order to guard those on the paths of justice
and to watch over the way of his godly ones.
9 Then you will understand what is right and just and fair—
every good course in life.
10 Wisdom will come into your heart.
Knowledge will be pleasant to your soul.
11 Foresight will protect you.
Understanding will guard you.

Honor (speak)

My second word to live by in 2019 is – Honor. Honor goes hand in hand with wisdom.

“To speak with honesty, fairness, or integrity in one’s beliefs and actions.” (Dictionary.com)

Bold convictions do not require me to be unkind, but rather with emotional intelligence to reach understanding. There is a difference between understanding and acceptance that must be said. We are all made by God and I accept that person. Period. My goal is to do my best to understand that person or circumstance.

The best place to be at in any given moment is when I am surrounded by people who support me and lift me higher in mind, body and spirit whether they are family, friends, church, community or where I am employed. Even so, in or out of that cocoon, they and the world will challenge my opinions and even my heart. I accept, and I understand that reality.

Proverbs 4:6-8 GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)
6 Do not abandon wisdom, and it will watch over you.
Love wisdom, and it will protect you.
7 The beginning of wisdom is to acquire wisdom.
Acquire understanding with all that you have.
8 Cherish wisdom.
It will raise you up.
It will bring you honor when you embrace it.

Joy (share)

For. The. Love. of. Scotch!

JOY! Is all around us if we just take the time to look for it, believe it, and feel it.

“To share happiness caused by living in the present, of finding delight in what is good.” (Dictionary.com)

“Self-confinement makes joy impossible. Feed my fears and my faith will starve. Feed my faith and my fear starves.” The Blogging Owl

Feeding my faith every day in mind, body and spirit helps me to find joy and share it even when it is purely the simple act of sharing a smile, opening a door for someone, or  just listening to someone who is struggling in mind, body and spirit.

The smallest act of kindness toward someone maybe the biggest part of that person’s day. Be the biggest part of someone’s day. – The Blogging Owl

“Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet.” Thich Nhat Hanh

Looking forward to 2019

There was a reason for taking my hands away from the keyboard 3 weeks ago. God still had much to teach me with my words to live by in 2018 in minimalism, grace and truth. After attending two separate funeral visitations of people who left this earth too soon, I have been called to write something very special in 2019 and to share that joy will take those 3 words to live in 2018 and plenty of wisdom and honor.

Words to Live By 2019.jpg
“Your profession is not what brings home your weekly paycheck, your profession is what you’re put here on earth to do, with such passion and such intensity that it becomes spiritual in calling.”  Vincent van Gogh

Writing is my calling.

In the words of the poet, June Jordan,“As I am a poet, I express what I believe, and I fight against it whatever I oppose, in poetry.”

In minimalist fashion, may I write with grace, truth, wisdom and honor and with the understanding of sharing my joy with you.

Peace,

Sheri Head Shot
The Blogging Owl

Whether it is here at The Blogging Owl, on my poetry site TheOwlPoet.com, on my journal site, ThePrayerJournals.com and on a new blog, TheCorkedOwl.com, I hope you will follow, share, and comment on all of the Owl blogs.

 

(c) 2017-2018 All Rights Reserved – The Blogging Owl – SL Prielipp-Falzone