Cooking, Health, Non-Fiction, Trescott-Mickey

#812 The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook by Mickey Trescott

The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook by Mickey TrescottThe Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook by Mickey Trescott

We all know what Paleo is, or we’ve all heard of it. It’s the diet where a person simulates the diet of a Neanderthal, basically. You don’t eat grains and you don’t eat dairy. You don’t eat a lot of stuff. A more in-depth version of Paleo is known as autoimmune Paleo, or AIP. This version of Paleo further restricts what you can and cannot have in an attempt to heal damage to your digestive system, and generally your body. As healing occurs, you can experiment with adding things back in.

This book is a cookbook, but it’s also a why behind AIP. Why would you do it? Why would you need to? What is the diet going to do? What is ok and what’s not ok? All of that is in this book. It also has some nice pictures.

It’s easy to follow, so if you’re endeavoring to go AIP, this book will start you off on the right foot. There’s a meal plan. There’s a pantry list. You can learn how to make bone broth, if you didn’t know already.

What I liked

The presentation of this book is very nice. The information is informative and the recipes aren’t bad, none of them are extremely difficult. I do like the idea of a meal plan in this book, not that I’m going to follow it, but it’s a nice touch.

Since I have to go AIP for a while, this book is a very good resource. Most people will find AIP much too restrictive and would go with regular Paleo, but if you had to go AIP, I think this book is a very good help.

What I didn’t like

I would have loved a lower carb meal plan in this book. Paleo itself is not low carb, neither is AIP, although it’s typically lower carb than your traditional American diet. If you wanted to lose weight right away while doing AIP, there is a chance it may not happen with the included meal plan. It might, but it might not. For many of us, getting healthier involves losing at least a little weight. If I’m already drastically changing my diet, I would love to see some results that I can see. Getting lower or higher whatevers on your laboratory results are wonderful, and healthy, but it’s also nice to know that your drastic changes are paying off in a visible way.

Overall

Get ready for kale.

Weigh In

Do you prefer your cook books to have pictures?

Do you think Paleo is great?

#812 The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook by Mickey Trescott was originally published on One-elevenbooks

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Health, inspirational, Meyer-Joyce, Non-Fiction, Self-help

#754 Good Health Good Life by Joyce Meyer

Good Health Good Life by Joyce MeyerGood Health Good Life by Joyce Meyer

In this book Joyce Meyer outlines 12 keys for being a healthier person. She advises to start small and always remember that God can help you through any changes you’re trying to make in your life. She also outlines good goals procedures. It’s better to make easily definable goals and build on them.

What I liked

Unfortunately, I can’t get into a huge summary without really going into Joyce’s keys. Ultimately, it’s pretty simple, make a choice to be healthier and make small manageable goals remembering that God is on your side.

Joyce is religious and it definitely comes across in this book, but it’s not annoying. Joyce is able to be religious in a book without sounding patronizing or “holier than thou.” I haven’t read anything of Joyce’s before, and, yes, I do know who she is, and I was pleasantly surprised with her book. I even had to get up and go fill up my water bottle during the part of the book about drinking water. I feel like Joyce is a good motivational person, one that doesn’t make a person feel bad for themselves. I feel like Joyce has an eye on improvement that builds on a person, rather than trying to guilt a person into changing.

I feel like Joyce is more of an encouraging grandmother and that’s not a bad thing.

What I didn’t like

Joyce says never to get fries when you’re eating out in order to reduce refined carbohydrates. As if, Joyce. I mean, I try to eat healthy, but if I’m out, I’ll get fries. Fries are my favorite fast food. Wendy’s and McDonald’s have the best fries. I will almost always get fries when I’m out, unless I’m just particularly feeling a salad, actually, there are lots of times when I pick a steamed vegetable, or coleslaw, or green beans. There is only so much bland steamed broccoli a person can take though, at least season the stuff. Sometimes I’ll get a fry and a side salad at a restaurant and that will be my meal. In all honesty, if you do eat out a lot, it’s probably better to get something other than fries when you’re out. Get the dollar burger and the side salad, whatever.

You’re not going to find anything revelatory in this book. If you’ve read any self-help health improvement books, you will have heard many things like Joyce’s advice, but like I said, I do think Joyce is a little more encouraging in the manner that she presents her ideas.

Overall

Let’s all go eat an apple and drink more water.

Weigh In

Do you like Joyce Meyer?

Would you skip the fries?

Health, Maisel-Eric, Non-Fiction, Self-help, social commentary

#638 Why Smart People Hurt by Eric Maisel

Why Smart People Hurt by Eric MaiselWhy Smart People Hurt by Eric Maisel

When you’re smarter than the average bear, it may seem like an advantage and a blessing, but it can also be a curse. Smart people can be put down by society for being smart. Sure being smart is good, depending on your background. What if you’re born into a poverty line family? What if you’re born into a poorer region of the country? What if your social norms say that a girl cannot be smart?

Even if you are encouraged to be smart, your smartness will be put into a box. You have to be a doctor or a lawyer or whatever it is that smart people do. Going even further, you have to be a pediatrician or a criminal lawyer, not just a lawyer. You are not free in society to be the many things you may desire to be as a “gifted” person.

Going even further, the gifted person is more understanding of the nature of life due to the extra intelligence they possess and all the thinking they do. Smart people are more prone to be depressed, have OCD, or have anxiety.

On top of that, brains don’t come with off switches, so smart people have to learn how to harness their thoughts to better themselves rather than to run away with their mind and ultimately cause problems in other areas of life.

Eric encourages smart people to find something in life that gives them meaning and to work on harnessing their thoughts. The thing that gives your life meaning may not necessarily be religion, or lots of money, but could be something simple that a person enjoys doing and uses their intelligence.

What I liked

This book was very informative and Eric is absolutely right, about pretty much everything. Smart people can be ostracized. Don’t rock the boat. How dare you propose that society operate any other way than what is does? How dare you challenge people to think for themselves? If you think outside of the norm of society, you’re seen as weird, even if your thoughts are highly intelligent and rational as presented to certain problems.

Smart people from the poverty line are definitely not encouraged to be smart. Let’s take my extended family, for example. My family is super smart, yet, hardly any of them have been to college and may appear and sound as country people upon first speech with them. My grandfather can build things from scratch that you couldn’t imagine. He could put a model T back together from memory. One of my great uncles can solve complex physics problems. Another built his own generator. I have a cousin who can pick up languages in nothing flat. My mom could be a volcanologist. Given the chance to have gone to college and to be educated, these members of my family would be rocket scientists and doctors and not what they are today. My family comes form a migrant farming background. Intelligence isn’t really lauded in that background.

I grew up in an area where smartness was not praised. Being stupid was. I know, and knew, people who bragged about never finishing a single book. You were supposed to brag about failing that algebra test. You were supposed to brag about how college wasn’t going to do you any good. That was the thing to do. Newsflash–those people who bragged about this stuff work minimum wage jobs and barely have the money to get by and can’t see why their lives are so tough. Guess you should have tried a little harder on that algebra test.

I think it’s definitely true that gifted, smart, or creative people are more subject to mental disorders. Look at Van Gogh. Look at Robin Williams. Name almost any artist or musical genius or top scientist and you will find that there is a mental disorder lurking somewhere in there. I think smart people definitely are more subject to mental maladies. They can’t turn their brain off and stop thinking thoughts. They can’t be satisfied with the mediocrity that less smart, or less gifted, or less creative people are satisfied with.

I know that I would never be happy in a subdivision because it’s boring and not creative, but I know many, many other people are perfectly happy in subdivisions.

I think this book could be very helpful, but it takes more than one read-through. This is the type of book that takes at least a couple of reads and some note-taking.

What I didn’t like

This book takes more than one read to get a lot of benefit out of. I think a person would have to sit down with a notebook and read this book. There would need to be highlighters and pencils involved to use this book to the optimal degree.

Overall

Being smart is cool, guys.

Weigh In

Was smartness discouraged in your culture?

Is smartness discouraged in your family?

Health, Ingall-Marjorie, inspirational, Memoir, Non-Fiction, Renn-Crystal, social commentary

#571 Hungry by Crystal Renn

Hungry by Crystal RennHungry by Crystal Renn

Crystal Renn is a model, but she’s not your average stick-thin model, she’s considered a plus-size model, even though she’s only a size 12, an average size. Crystal didn’t always want to be a model nor was she always her current size. This is Crystal’s story.

Crystal’s mother left her to her grandmother to raise from a young age. Crystal called her grandmother “Mom” and her great-grandmother “Grandma.” Crystal speaks of her life growing up in Miami, Florida. It wasn’t the easiest place to grow up, but Crystal didn’t feel that out of sorts there. All young people feel out of sorts at some point in their lives, but Crystal didn’t experience much out-of-sort-ness in Miami.

It wasn’t until Crystal and her mother moved to be close to Crystal’s biological mother that Crystal felt out of sorts. She didn’t fit in with the blonde-headed kids at her school. She wasn’t quite as small as they were. Crystal didn’t fit in. She tried. She went out for cheer-leading and tried her best at her life.

It wasn’t until a model scout saw her that her world changed. He told her that she could be a mode, if she lost weight. Crystal dieted, exercised, and starved herself down to around a 100 pounds. She was signed as a model for being thin and pretty. Modeling turned out to be heck for Crystal. She spent every minute she wasn’t on a job working out. She worked out for hours and hours each day. She ate hardly anything. She would cut her vegetables into small pieces. She looked sick. Not many people wanted to work with Crystal because she didn’t have much of a personality.

One day Crystal was done. She was tired of starving herself and tired of having an eating disorder. She talked to her agent. The agent said she could do plus modeling. Crystal decided she would do it. She gained weight back and even went up to a size 16 for a while but came back to be around a size 12. Crystal started getting jobs. She got into Vogue, which is the magazine Crystal had dreamed about modeling for. More jobs flowed in. She had a personality now. She wasn’t so worried about keeping her weight down.

Crystal’s life seemed to blossom after she decided not to starve herself anymore. She didn’t spend all her time working out. She had time for other things, friends and romance. Crystal met a man she admired. Crystal got married. Crystal feels good in her skin, but she’s always careful not to slide back into her old ways.

What I liked

Crystal’s story is amazing. She saw skinny and skinny wasn’t good to her, so she went back to her natural body size. Crystal doesn’t look overweight, she looks fine. The photos of her skinny look ghastly. There are a few included in the book, so if you want to see, you’ll get a chance when you read the book. Crystal is very body-positive and there is a lot of research included in her book. She cites studies. She cites surveys and so on. Crystal is an average size and she is healthy. The majority of people considered obese in America are also around Crystal’s size, but according to BMI, they’re unhealthy, when in fact, studies have shown people in that weight range are just fine and healthier than their skinny counterparts. It’s only when people get into the super-obese category that real health problems are a concern.

Crystal was obviously not meant to weigh a hundred pounds. She looked sick. She looks great now. I’m glad she can feel confident in her own skin. We need books like Crystal’s because of the epidemic that has seized women. We are told, “Be thin, or else.” The “or else” is a lot of things. We think we have to weigh 110 lbs to do anything in life, when in truth, a lot of us would look awfully sick at 110 lbs. I don’t care who you are or what you say, some people just aren’t meant to be that skinny.

This book gives us a glance into Crystal’s inner mania while she was thin. She had to work all day long, every day, to stay that way. That is no kind of life.

In truth, there is prejudice and discrimination for people who might even be the slightest bit overweight. Get the heck over it. It’s no different from being a different race or a different sex, neither of which you’re supposed to discriminate against. There is a difference in being healthy and being emaciated. If you’re overweight enough to have problems as a result, then you know you’re too heavy. If you’re overweight and you don’t have any problems, your body is fine with where you’re at, maybe not forever, but for now, it is. The thing is, skinny people have health problems too and it’s definitely not because they’re overweight. Not every ill in society can be attributed to being overweight. It would be great if people would stop thinking that being overweight is the root of all evil.

With all this said, there is such a thing as “too much.” Nobody is meant to weigh so much that they have a plethora of health problems as a result or their knees ache every second of the day. Also, flip side of this people–you’re not meant to be so skinny that you have health problems because of it and you obsess over it every second of the day. Capisce?

What I didn’t like

I thought Crystal’s story was great, what does give me a little concern is that she doesn’t mention getting any psychological help for any of this. I don’t know if she actually did or not, but if she did, she should have put it in the book so girls would know that they might need some counseling to deal with eating disorders.

Overall

Crystal is definitely someone to be admired.

Weigh In

Do you think Crystal’s obsessive behavior over being thin could ever be condoned? Why or why not?

Do you believe we discriminate based on weight?

Health, Non-Fiction, Shomon-Mary J.

#570 The Thyroid Diet Revolution by Mary J. Shomon

The Thyroid Diet Revolution by Mary J. ShomonThe Thyroid Diet Revolution by Mary J. Shomon

In the beginning of Mary’s book she explains that there are all kinds of people who have thyroid disease in the United States, but that there are also all kinds of doctors who are using outdated scales to judge thyroid disease and they’re often not performing complete tests.

The old thyroid range is 0.5-5.5 for TSH and the new range is 0.3-3.0 for TSH. That’s quite the difference. So people are being told that they do not have thyroid conditions because their levels fall in the old normal range, when, in fact, they are abnormal compared to the new range. People are sent home and told they’re too fat and lazy, when they’re hardly eating anything and may be exercising up a storm.

Mary goes on with her book. She gives eating guidelines, which is not a conventional diet per se, but gives a person an idea how much of so-and-so they should eat each day. She is careful to speak about carbohydrates and their effect on blood sugar levels. She is also careful to mention goiterogens, which are food that may promote the growth of goiters depending on how much you eat of them. The super food Kale is included in this list, FYI.

Mary then goes on to recommend vitamins and supplements that support thyroid function. She also recommends exercises. The last part of Mary’s book speaks of mind over matter and how sometimes having a positive mindset can help the whole thing.

What I liked

This is an informative book. If you didn’t know anything about thyroid disease this book would be a good place to start. If you’re already well-versed in health matters, a lot of this book is going to be a repeat. Mary takes the time to explain how some endocrinologists are just out of date with their testing methods. This is important information to know if you suspect you might have a thyroid disorder.

I like the fact that I think Mary has struggled as much with this disorder as anyone else might have. She’s informed about what she’s writing about.

What I didn’t like

This isn’t necessarily a diet book. This book gives you a guideline for a way of living, but it’s not a specific diet. It doesn’t say, “Eat X amount of this for four days, and then X amount of that for five days.” Mary recommends various diets and she explains why each might be good or bad, but she doesn’t create a diet herself. This could be seen as a good thing or as a bad thing. So is this book an actual diet book? No, it’s not. It’s more of a guideline book.

There are no meal examples.

Mary also doesn’t even begin to suggest the idea of treating your thyroid disorder naturally. She gives you tips for going to the doctor and getting a prescription, but nowhere does she say, “…but you could also try so-and-so instead of Synthroid.”

Overall

It’s a great start.

Weigh In

Do you think we should always take to heart what a doctor says?

Do you think we treat people with thyroid conditions unfairly?

Fulda-Jennette, Health, inspirational, Memoir, Non-Fiction, social commentary

#566 Half-Assed by Jennette Fulda

Half-Assed by Jenette FuldaHalf-Assed by Jennette Fulda

Jennette spent most of her life being overweight and obese, one day, she decided to change. She knew she was heading for a world of health problems and was over three-hundred pounds. Jennette decided to do something about it. She started a weight-loss blog. She started learning about healthy foods. She started walking.

Jennette encountered hurdles along the way, of course. There were pieces of cake that called her name and people who argued that maybe she should just be happy with who she was.

Fortunately, for Jennette, although she had been made fun of and ignored for her weight, her family did not tell her to lose weight and they were quite supportive of her.

The journey took Jennette a couple of years, but she eventually lost around 190 lbs, which was half of her weight. Jennette became strong and felt good about herself. Jennette learned to enjoy being healthy and doing healthy things. Jennette took charge of her life. Good for her.

What I liked

I liked that Jennette did this. She decided to freaking change her life and she did it. That takes dedication. It takes a lot of hard work. Losing 190 lbs? That’s a monumental effort. If I lost 190 lbs, I’d be dead. I like that Jennette was able to do something that improved her life. She improved herself so much. She learned so much. Awesome for Jennette!

I liked that Jennette did include references in her book, not that I looked any of them up, I took her word for it. I also liked that she addresses some societal attitudes in her book. She speaks of how she was treated differently when she was extremely overweight as compared to when she lost weight. She wrote about how people who are overweight sometimes take on the attitude of being sorry for just being there. She wrote about fat shaming and also about body acceptance, both real things with their particular problems.

These things Jennette wrong about perceptions and attitudes towards overweight people are correct. People can really be jerks about it without any real reason. It’s our society’s new leprosy. Don’t touch them, you might catch the fat! People are surveyed and said they would rather lose their job, or lose a year of their life than be fat. Seriously? Is being fat really that bad? Jennette points these things out and she’s right to. It’s stupid is what it is.

What I didn’t like

First off, while Jennette’s story is harrowing in its own way, it’s not exactly life and death. Yes, I do know that if Jennette continued on the path that she was on, she would probably suffer an innumerable amount of health problems. She hadn’t had a heart attack. She hadn’t had a boyfriend break up with her because she was fat. She didn’t lose a job because she was fat. She wasn’t belittled by her parents because she was fat. Jennette’s life turned out pretty great, despite the fact that she was overweight. I like Jennette’s story, but it’s just not that emotional looking at it from the outside, although, I’m sure it was more than enough emotional for Jennette.

Second of all, Jennette dieted and exercised and she lost weight. This is in my “didn’t like” for a couple of reasons. First of all, Jennette didn’t have weight loss surgery. She just dieted and exercise and she lost weight. It’s kind of boring actually. She didn’t even have any funny exercise stories. For example, she could have said something like, “One time when was doing P-90X, I accidentally stepped on the bottom of my pants and they came off in front of my entire exercise group.” She didn’t have any overly emotional sessions with herself and her thoughts. Her journey just kind of was. The second reason I do not like that she just dieted and exercised is the fact that it just plain doesn’t work for everyone. Everyone thinks dieting and exercising is so difficult, and I’m sure Jennette put in a lot of effort for this, but it’s not that difficult. There are things that could make it difficult, none of which Jennette had standing in her way. What is difficult is when you do diet and exercise and nothing happens due to some medical disorder or medication. That’s a kick to the teeth right there.

Overall

I’m happy that Jennette was able to do this, but I’m not overly impressed with her journey.

Weigh In

No pun intended here, people.

Do you think that Jennette’s story was too impersonal?

Do you think the attitude of losing a job over being fat is a healthy attitude for our society to have?

Bourdain-Anthony, Health, History, Memoir, Non-Fiction, social commentary, True strange Happenings

#555 Typhoid Mary By Anthony Bourdain

Typhoid Mary By Anthony BourdainTyphoid Mary By Anthony Bourdain

Back in the day when everything could, and often did, kill you, typhoid was a huge problem. We’re not talking about the flu, which was also pretty deadly back in the day, we’re talking about a severe bacterial infection. It’s actually caused by a form of salmonella.

Before people were certain as to what salmonella actually was and how it was transmitted, people had all kinds of crazy theories of how one actually became ill from typhoid.

Mary Mallon was a clean cook, or so she thought, but unbeknownst to her, she was a carrier of typhoid. Mary was asymptomatic; she appeared healthy, and, in fact, was quite healthy for her age, as demonstrated by her resistance to being apprehended. She fared better than many of the time, but that didn’t stop one man named George Soper from tracking her down after he figured out that Mary was the common denominator in a string of typhoid illnesses in well-to-do households.

Mary refused to believe that she could be a carrier of the disease, but she was. Soper was able to convince the local health authorities to detain Mary in a hospital for testing; it was no small feat as Mary put up a heck of a fight. She tested positive for typhoid.

She was then sent to North Brother Island. The island is currently abandoned, but the ruined hospital is still there. Nobody wanted sick people around, so they were sent to live on islands away from everyone else. Mary stayed there for some time, but a court case ensued.

Was it legal to keep her there? What were her rights? What about other typhoid carriers–were they detained as well?

Mary did not infect anybody maliciously; she simply didn’t know that she carried the disease, nor did she understand how the disease was transmitted.

Mary was able to leave the island after three years providing she never became a cook again. Cook money was hard to come by in other professions, for women anyway. Mary soon returned to being a cook, under assumed names, and outbreaks of typhoid once again followed Mary around. The last outbreak was at a hospital of all things. Mary was again detained, and again, taken to North Brother Island, where she lived out the rest of her days doing little odd jobs before suffering a stroke and remaining bed ridden for six-years before her death.

Mary’s reputation was ruined permanently by being called Typhoid Mary and being depicted as a cruel woman who infected people on purpose and she spent the rest of her life in confinement because of this.

What I liked

I’ve never read anything Anthony has written before and I’m impressed. They haven’t given the man at least two television shows because he’s an idiot; he knows what he’s going on about. He researches things fairly thoroughly and I’m impressed. I was quite taken with the idea that Anthony went to visit the grave of Mary in his research.

I believe Anthony has done Mary justice. He has depicted her as human and not just some she-monster who found joy in infecting people with typhoid.

I haven’t done a lot of reading about Mary. What I knew of Mary before this, I had learned from various television documentaries on illness and contagion. This book was the most complete version of Mary’s story that I have personally encountered, thus far. I appreciate Anthony for doing so well with it.

I also really like Anthony’s attitude about the whole thing. He doesn’t shy away from telling it how it would have been. He put some color into Mary’s story; it wasn’t just the facts presented in a dry manner.

What I didn’t like

I have nothing bad to say about Anthony or about how he told this story.

I have bad things to say about how Mary was treated. I have concerns, really.

I get why she was locked away. She was infecting people, and while not doing it on purpose, she didn’t exactly follow the guidelines that were handed down to her. With a person like that, what are you supposed to do? Are you really just supposed to let them live out in the world, continuing to infect people, and continuing not to follow orders?

In our modern-day typhoid is not that big of a deal; it could still kill you, but it’s not at the top of our illness concerns list. Ebola, as deadly as it is, isn’t even as large of a concern as it once used to be. Despite our ability to cure some diseases and bring people safely through others, there are still diseases we’re scared of. If you have a contagious disease and you go around spreading it with no regard to other human life, then, yes, you can be locked away.

If you have AIDS and you go around having unprotected sex, you can be charged with assault with a deadly weapon; that’s no joke. Why would we keep you out in the general public, if you were doing that? You’re risking our lives because you refuse to follow the rules.

I understand why Mary was locked away, but I still feel it was done improperly. They gave her a chance, she didn’t follow orders. She shouldn’t have been locked away for so long in the first place without a good and proper reason. Someone should have explicitly sat this woman down, with facts, and said, “You have typhoid. You are spreading it around by cooking for other people. It is dangerous to others to have you out and about spreading this disease around, which we currently don’t have a completely functioning vaccine for. We need you to stay here.”

She probably wouldn’t have been happy about it, nobody would, but someone could have treated her like a human being and explained things rationally to her. George Soper was apparently very bad at being rational and tactful.

Before releasing Mary back out into the world, for the time that she was out, they should have given her a replacement place in the world. She needed a new job, of equal pay. She needed a place to stay. Somebody should have given the poor woman a new name.

They took away her life, but didn’t want to give her anything to replace it with. Hooray we saved everyone else! …but we screwed over this one woman to do it, and, well, who cares…

Overall

I enjoyed this look at Mary’s sad life.

Weigh In

Should Mary have been contained?

Is it right to contain diseased persons, without proper explanation in fears of the disease transferring to the larger population?