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.

I would love it if you would follow this blog and at The Blogging Owl on Facebook, as well as, on Twitter @TheBloggingOwl and Instagram.

(c) 2017-2018 All Rights Reserved

2018 Book of the Year, In My Opinion

As I do practically every year, I read dozens of books. I usually read three books at any one given time from different genres that inform, inspire, motivate or purely for entertainment. The books I read typically are new authors or first editions of the established authors, but not necessarily. Sometimes, I do not become aware of a book that urges me to read it until perhaps years after its’ first publishing date.

The best book I read in 2018 was first published in 2010 and copyrighted again in 2016. What attracted me to this book was the book’s title and premise as it related to one of my three words to live by in 2018, the word, frugality.

After selling our tiny cottage in the lower peninsula of northwest Michigan, I realized (not for the first time because my husband is good at reminding me) that I am a pack rat. Everything is a memory to me, especially when the item reminds in some way of my children. I also tend to hang on to things I think I can reuse or re-purpose without ever finding the use or purpose. The cleaning out and moving experience with our cottage inspired me to the idea of minimalism. After unburdening of myself of so many things at the cottage, I found myself freer and lighter in mind, body, and spirit that I felt motivated to declutter our primary home in southeastern Michigan.

The Joy of Less Cover

After researching books on frugality and minimalism and reading many book reviews on the topics, my research led me to the book, “The Joy of Less – A Minimalist Guide to Declutter, Organize, and Simply” by Francine Jay, Miss Minimalist. The book’s first copyright was in 2010 published by Anja Press, and then again in 2016 published by the First Chronicle Books LLC, San Francisco, CA.

The Joy of Less

The book discusses the philosophy of the minimalist lifestyle and achieving that lifestyle through the author’s STREAMLINE method – the effective techniques for achieving and maintaining a decluttered home. But this book is much more than then the book’s premise I just described. The author’s non-judgmental approach to thought-provoking questions to root out the reasons for the reader’s materialism and clutter was inspiring and motivating. I felt her kindness through her phrasing and ability to guide me through the process of “useful stuff, beautiful stuff, and emotional stuff,” as well as, her compartmentalizing action steps into “trash, treasure, and transfer.”

Life Lessons

From the author’s bio on the inside back cover, Francine Jay appears to be a very young woman, however, her book, The Joy of Less revealed to me that she is an old soul. Not only did she share a different way of looking at the material things I have collected but helped me understand why I have something in the first place, why I have held on to it, and helped me to decide whether keeping an item would enhance my life.

In Francine Jay’s words, “decide which objects enhance our lives and put only those things back into our space.”

But the lesson Francine Jay taught me best was written just before those words, words that would change the way I think not only with material objects, but how I must think in mind, body and spirit.

“Decluttering is infinitely easier when you think of it as deciding what to keep, rather than deciding what to throw away.”

That one sentence blew me away.

The minimalist lifestyle

Although I was devouring the book, The Joy of Less, I put the book down for a few days to take in what I just read. I went back and read my blog post, Three Words to Live by, and I realized I had not entirely lived those words in 2018. And that is why I must choose this book, The Joy of Less – Minimalist Guide to Declutter, Organize, and Simply for my personal choice for the book of the year in 2018.

“… sacred space not a storage space.”

I love this phrase from the author, Francine Jay. That concept must not only apply to my physical living space, but be applied to my mind, body and spirit space as well.

Applying minimalism to the mind, body and spirit

What am I storing?

Why am I storing it?

Is what I am storing enhancing my life?

What and who do I choose to keep in my life?

The author continued to endear herself to my heart not only in reading the rest of her book, but including the wonderful words from the Haiku poet, Basho who wrote after his house burned down that he had a better view of the moon.

A better view of the moon

As I reflect on my three words to live by in 2018 and moving forward into 2019, I have a better view of the moon after reading Francine Jay’s book, The Joy of Less. As she reminds the reader that this is a book to be kept out on the coffee table or desk as a reference guide. Achieving a minimalist lifestyle is an ongoing process even after the initial decluttering, and I would add, even in mind, body, and spirit. I think I found my new therapist in Francine Jay.

Hoot Rating

On a hoot scale of 1 to 5, The Joy of Less by author and Miss Minimalist, Francine Jay receives an enthusiastic 5 Hoots from The Blogging Owl!

Read more about author, Francine Jay and the minimalism on her website at http://www.missminimalist.com and on follow her on Twitter at @MissMinimalist.

1 to 5 Hoot Scale

Any Book Recommendations?

Give me a hoot by email: Hoot@TheBloggingOwl.com. I would love it if you would follow this blog and at The Blogging Owl on Facebook, as well as, on Twitter @TheBloggingOwl and Instagram.

(c) 2017-2018 All Rights Reserved

Review: The Drifter by Nick Petrie

The DrifterI like to scan the bargain priced books at my local bookseller. Not because I am cheap (only when I have exceeded my monthly book budget), but I typically find good first novels. I found this gem, The Drifter by Nick Petrie, published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons, New York, New York.

I loved the characters in Nick Petrie’s debut novel, especially Peter Ash, a veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The author gives the reader an opportunity to learn not only how coming home from war can impact a veteran’s daily life but finding their mission at home.

This thriller debut novel is about Peter Ash’s personal investigation to get to the truth about the suicide of a friend from the Marines. It is a riveting story with complex characters filling the reader with a range of emotions to get to the truth.

I thoroughly enjoyed Mr. Petrie’s writing style and character development. The author’s storytelling is not overwrought nor is it simple. I am always in awe of the bravery of men and women who have served in the war including the grit of their families left behind as evidence in this novel. Readers of Mr. Petrie’s first novel, The Drifter will enjoy this crime fiction on all fronts.

The Drifter is the first in a series of Peter Ash novels. I am not a book series kind of reader; however, Nick Petrie has released the second novel, Burning Bright and third book, Light It Up with the fourth book, Tear It Down to be released in January 2019. Although I am a little shame-faced to know I am behind the times with this new crime fiction author, I may just be persuaded to add Mr. Petrie’s latest Peter Ash entries to my reading list.

The moral of this book review

Don’t walk past the bargain priced book aisle!

Hoot Rating

Genre:
Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Thrillers & Suspense > Military
Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Thrillers & Suspense > Crime > Murder
Literature & Fiction > Literary

On a scale of 1 to 5 HOOTS, The Drifter by Nick Petrie earns a 4 hoot rating.

4 hoot rating

Happy Reading!

New web photo - Sheri

Any Book Recommendations?

Hoot at me by email: Hoot@TheBloggingOwl.com. I would love it if you would follow this blog and at The Blogging Owl on Facebook, as well as, on Twitter @TheBloggingOwl.

(c) 2017-2018 All Rights Reserved