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Tuesday, December 01, 2020

My review of Mindful Eating for Lasting Weight Loss by Simone E. Clark

About the book:

It is estimated that 45 million Americans go on a diet every year, yet most of those who manage to lose weight regain it in a matter of years.

The diet industry thrives on our desire to lose weight, but ultimately, it does more to trim our finances than it does to trim our waistlines.

The truth is that the more we diet, the more out of touch we become with our bodies.

Every second we’re counting calories or banning food groups from our plates, we become less aware of what our body truly needs. And the irony is, it is only when we know what our body needs that we can lose weight in a realistic and sustainable way.

So if diets don’t work; if calorie counting is a waste of time, how will we ever manage to reach our goal weight?

The answer is mindful eating.

This has become a bit of a buzz word in recent years, but that’s no reason to dismiss it. Mindful eating is the simple concept of being aware of what you’re eating and its relationship to your body, and it can change your whole world.

Simply by understanding the mind-body connection and learning to differentiate between what you need and what you want, you can see serious health benefits and lose the extra weight for good--without ever going on a diet again.

My review:

Sometimes books make you think a little bit and other times they make you think a lot. This one made me pay attention to behavior around food and how much attention I paid to food when I would eat.  Sometimes the trigger would not be physical hunger, but emotional hunger. That's a good thing to be mindful of since it can lead to food addiction. I remember a time when candy was my go-to stress reliever like smoking would be to my peers. Thankfully getting sugar out of my diet several years ago helped me to break that cycle. So many times we eat for the wrong reasons or we eat without paying much attention to the food at all. 

This author has found a way to reach into lives with her message that we need to pay attention to how our bodies feel as a result of what we are eating and to fully live in the moment (and enjoy) when we are indulging or simply sustaining life. I learned years ago how to eat slowly and allow my body to realize a sense of fullness.  She brought this to mind. The book also discussed how to eat mindfully when you are with others. I really liked this section.

The author also goes into the calorie counting and how it doesn't work. She's right about that and I agreed with the points that she made. She also went into stress and weight issues (gaining and losing as a result) and the information given to help reduce stress and thus improve overall health was very well done. I wasn't fond of chapter 7 though. I found the techniques and descriptions of them a bid tedious so I skimmed that section. 

I loved the section about taste, function and nutrition (chapter 8) and it really made me think about food in a different way. Last, the advice given on how to prepare for social events so you don't eat mindlessly while attending was a perfect way to wrap things up. Overall I enjoyed this book and feel that it is worth reading and sharing with a friend. 

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

My review of the Heretic's Wife by Brenda Rickman Vantrease

The Heretic’s WifeThe Heretic’s Wife by Brenda Rickman Vantrease
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this book. Like most people these days, I am looking at my phone more and holding an actual book less often, but I want to change that habit and knock out some of the books I own. This book was a pleasure to read. I found the characterization to be well done and I identified with the main character. While this was a mainstream title and not inspirational fiction, I found it to be tastefully written and historically based, which is my preference when reading a book. The heroine was married to one of William Tyndale's peers and included the perspectives (on occasion) of Anne Boleyn and Thomas Moore, both on opposing sides of the religious spectrum of the day. There were a few other perspectives as well such as the husband and a ship captain. I liked how the author included historical quotes or writings at the beginning of each chapter to establish the fact from where she derived her fiction.

The trials endured in by the characters in this book were well executed and realistically portrayed. I am always more grateful for minor struggles when I read stories that include true hardships. Since I am an avid fan of Tudor era fiction, and I read a lot of it, I have to say I felt like I was living in that time period while reading this novel. I sensed the anxiety the characters had over the possibility of being burned at the stake for their beliefs. Even though this is not classified as Christian fiction, the author inserted a faith element that was spot-on in regards to how protestants viewed the bible and its interpretation. The author inspired me whenever I read the parts where the characters' faith was tested. Bottom line, I enjoyed this book more than I thought I would. And that's a good thing.

View all my reviews

Long absent poster is back

I thought my account had been closed or I would have posted much sooner. So after moving across the county in November and retiring from Arizona State service, I decided to revive my book reviewing. Hope you enjoy this renewal of my opinions on books.

Tuesday, January 08, 2019

My review of The Last Kingdom by Bernard Cornwell

About the book:

This is the story of the making of England in the 9th and 10th centuries, the years in which King Alfred the Great, his son and grandson defeated the Danish Vikings who had invaded and occupied three of England’s four kingdoms.

The story is seen through the eyes of Uhtred, a dispossessed nobleman, who is captured as a child by the Danes and then raised by them so that, by the time the Northmen begin their assault on Wessex (Alfred’s kingdom and the last territory in English hands) Uhtred almost thinks of himself as a Dane. He certainly has no love for Alfred, whom he considers a pious weakling and no match for Viking savagery, yet when Alfred unexpectedly defeats the Danes and the Danes themselves turn on Uhtred, he is finally forced to choose sides. By now he is a young man, in love, trained to fight and ready to take his place in the dreaded shield wall. Above all, though, he wishes to recover his father’s land, the enchanting fort of Bebbanburg by the wild northern sea.

This thrilling adventure—based on existing records of Bernard Cornwell’s ancestors—depicts a time when law and order were ripped violently apart by a pagan assault on Christian England, an assault that came very close to destroying England.

My review:

I decided to read this book because I watched the Netflix series three times. Then I joined a Facebook fan group and people talked about how good the books were. So I decided to try the series. The first book pretty much captures the first season. While there are some variations that don't exactly match the TV series, the book and the heart of the story (and characters) are the same. What I enjoyed about the book was how well the author developed the main character. He was easy to relate to and the content moved at a fast enough pace that it held my attention. Since I watched the show before I read the books I prefer the television adaptation, however, I plan to read the rest of the books in the series because I love reading history and the author is able to transport me to the era by his vivid description of the times. I would definitely recommend this book for people who love European history and battle scenes.

The Last Kingdom was published in 2006 by Harper Collins. 

Saturday, December 01, 2018

My review of “Why We Get Fat and What to Fo About It” by Gary Taubes

About the Book:

What’s making us fat? And how can we change? Building upon his critical work in Good Calories, Bad Calories and presenting fresh evidence for his claim, bestselling author Gary Taubes revisits these urgent questions. 

Taubes reveals the bad nutritional science of the last century—none more damaging or misguided than the “calories-in, calories-out” model of why we get fat—and the good science that has been ignored. He also answers the most persistent questions: Why are some people thin and others fat? What roles do exercise and genetics play in our weight? What foods should we eat, and what foods should we avoid? Persuasive, straightforward, and practical, Why We Get Fat is an essential guide to nutrition and weight management.
Complete with an easy-to-follow diet.  Featuring a new afterword with answers to frequently asked questions. 

My review

I actually finished this book. I enjoyed it more than I thought I would and found myself talking about it with people during lunch and as I went about my day. My youngest son already avoids carbs but I have always been a skeptic. At the same time I saw that his avoidance of carbs had merit and he looked great. Healthy too.  

Now in my fifties I thought about all of the people I’ve known who have gotten sick over the years with diabetes due to high carb diets and now I see the truth.  Metabolic issues are caused by eating the wrong foods for years on end. I found the science and research in the book compelling. I started to pay attention to what I ate and felt better than I have in a long time. Then I noticed if I did eat some sugar that my stomach would hurt and I just didn’t feel good. When I ate it all the time I couldn’t sense a difference but when I steered clear of carbs for a few days and then ate sugary food it really hurt my stomach. 

My body clearly agrees with the author of this book’s premise. I am glad I read it as it has motivated me to take better care of myself and pay more attention to what I eat. Well worth the money. 
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