I’m sure you’ve heard about this book already. The day I got it in the mail I actually saw it on Dr. Oz. (oh Dr. Oz). It’s all over the Book Stores too. I had the wonderful opportunity to have one sent to me by the lovely Michelle at Simon & Schuster Canada for Review.
Before I go on with my belated Review of this book, I need to say firstly that I am Fearsley Passionate about Health. I am also a pretty Sensitive person. Sometimes the two don’t make for a very good combo :(
Anyways, I started off unsure about the entire book just by seeing the cover shot. A goofy looking guy trying to do a chin up? Was he even trying? Was he standing on a chair? Probably faking it. I could feel myself getting defensive about the Natural Health industry already, I thought the book would just mock it, mock what I passionately believe in, remember, I’m sensitive that way; but I opened it up & started reading.
Chapter 1: Stomach This was such a great place to start! The Stomach! ………. But within just a few pages I thought it was a joke…. Taking care of yourself with Wine, Coffee & Chocolate? I knew it! This book was going to poke fun at all that I believed in! I was done & I had hardly cracked the spine of this book! (I kind of wanted to crack his spine~ but not really ;) ) There were old man jokes (my absolute NOT favorite kind, ask my hubby!) & I really thought this was going nowhere. But then it turned a small corner, he talked about portion size (we have become a ‘super~sized’ nation right!), mindful eating (don’t jut shovel food into your mouth) & the practice of chewing your food properly & enough (they say between 20~35 chews per bite). A few good points. I was going to give him another chance by reading a few more chapters….
Chapter 2: Exercise! How can he make fun of this? Such an important component of True Lasting Health. But then he starts talking about ‘Caveman’ life? I was not impressed…. I’m not saying there isn’t such a thing, or that it’s not valid, but starting with something less mainstream then say, jogging, yoga, or the gym. Bahh. Not impressed (again) Sorry A.J. :(
Chapter 3: Ears. They are important yes. Loud noises are harmful & our world is so very very loud now~a~days. I agree, but he’s losing me….
Chapter 4: Admittedly I took a week break from the book. I was a little upset. I didn’t want to waste my time reading something that (I felt) was making fun of Health. I wanted a great book with answers & idea’s & wonderful ways to boost your immune system & cure dis~ease. This was not it…..
But I picked up the book again & continued on. In this chapter A.J talked about the sedentary life. All of us are spending our work day sitting at a desk, we sit in the car on the way home & then we sit on the couch! & those of us that do go & run or workout are apparently still sitting too much during the day to even make it worth it? This made me stand up & take notice (literally!) I don’t sit at a desk all day, but I’m sure I sit more than is healthy. I’ve now made a conscious effort to sit less. Thanks A.J.
Chapter 5: Immune System. He talks about hating germs & I can relate. It’s one of those thoughts that can get out of control really fast! When I hear of someone at the boys school having the stomach flu I feel sick to my stomach (literally). I hold my breath when strangers sneeze around me & walk quickly towards fresh air. I don’t, on the other hand use anti~bacterial anything (I worry about super~bugs). But when these thoughts aren’t out of control life is good. & as A.J. learnt, it’s all mind over matter. Most germs are harmless & what’s not in your control, you need to let go, just take care of what you can. Wash your hands!!!
Chapter 6: Stomach (again). Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice? But it wasn’t old man jokes! Yah! Here he wrote about eating more Greens (duh), reducing your sugar & processed food intake (duh) as well as all the Unhealthy food items out there that are masquerading as Healthy Good for you Items! (such as most, ok all cereals, ‘health’ bars AKA Granola Bars, etc). These foods are still packaged & processed. Just because they use Organic sugar doesn’t mean that it’s healthy! I really got into the book here as this is where I fall hard into my passion for teaching! I totally agree with Ms. Nestle that there are no ‘superfoods’ (you will see a section on my site for SuperFoods Focus, but notice that they are everyday things. Not some exotic beyond pricey fix~it~alls). I learnt that Blueberries were Marketed after a bad year as super~antioxidants (we still ‘fall’ for it, but they really aren’t better than any other berry). A.J. admitted here about his delusion of Vitamin Water (hate that stuff!).
*side note* If you are interested in learning more about how to maneuver your way thru a Grocery store, Please contact me for rates or check out my Events & Workshop Page*
Chapter 7: Genitals. Well, seeing as he wrote about Male parts & I’m a female (plus he adding in some oh so humours ‘old man jokes’), I just didn’t get into it so much. He wondered a bit how much Sex was Healthy, I think most men want more, most women are just fine the way things are.
Chapter 8: Nervous System. A.J. talks about how pain is unreliable. But I truly don’t agree. I think there is always a reason you have pain. Your back doesn’t hurt because you’re healthy, it probably hurts because you are over~weight, eat poorly or have horrible posture. I do acknowledge that missing limbs can ‘hurt’ in some individuals, but that doesn’t mean that pain should not be trusted or listened to. *Also, it’s here that A.J. says that the Placebo effect is real, yet on page 71 he says the evidence is weak linking optimism & cancer recovery. Hmmmm. I must agree on the Placebo effect being real, call me an optimist, but I do believe what we think about we can bring about.
Chapter 9: Intestines! Oh those beautiful intestines. I’ll admit that I laughed out loud when he wrote about people getting surgery to improve the sound of their farts! But besides it being ridiculous, the only great health points he made was about the way we should be going to the toilet. It’s unrealistic for most people to squat, but it really is the best way! As for people not needing to have a bowel movement for a few day? BAH, this is why people are so TOXIC! People come on! You need to have AT LEAST 1 bowel movement a day. If that is not happening you need to talk to a Health Conscious Practitioner or contact me. This is vital to Health! At least once a day, not a few times a week.
Chapter 10: Adrenal Glands. These babies are tiny but vital. The adrenals are what get us thru stress, & now~a~days there is so much stress, they are maxed out. Adrenal Fatigue is a very real, very serious issue that is all too often hidden & not spoken about. A.J. writes about how there is no scientific evidence linking stress & cancer. At this point in the book I considered using the pages for our Cat’s litter box. No connection? Really? ‘Then can’t be a connection with your Lipitor & the Cholesterol that you say has improved’ I Scream! (I’m also very glad that the Laughter Yoga people laughed just a little bit extra when you introduced yourself as a writer!) :) I will admit that the idea of Out~Sourcing your worry to someone else (stranger or not) is an A+ idea. Wonder if it will catch on. (but I’m still up in arms about the ‘lack of connection’)
Chapter 11: Brain. Important to health. Defiantly. Can’t live without the Brain. I loved the idea of doing daily actions differently one day a week. I’ve read about it before; drive to work a different way, do your run in a different route. Great way to stay sharp.
Chapter 12: Toxins. Oh a cause dear to my heart. This topic scares, disgusts & spurs me into action. It also surprises me on a daily basis how many people don’t know, or don’t care to know of the extend of these bad life sucking spores around us. They will destroy your DNA, corrupt your Endocrine system & wreak havoc on our offspring (& their offspring & their offspring~ if we all make it that long). Toxins = Bad. OK? Let’s move on.
Chapter 13: Teeth Health. A surprisingly less known daily habit that has an incredibly strong connection to Heart & Whole Body Health. The basic few things you need to know are; Floss everyday, Brush everyday for at least 2 minutes, don’t get Mercury fillings & stop chewing gum with Sugar or Sugar substitutes.
Chapter 14: Feet: Here A.J. wrote about BareFoot running. As a runner it intrigues me. I don’t think it’s a fad, but it is a real personal choice, as is the question of using insoles. I use insoles half the time. But I believe that if you don’t use your feet (& rely on insoles too much) then you won’t be able to go without them either. Use it or Lose it right! I really enjoyed how he told about the proper running technique (land lightly on the front of your foot (toes) & just let your heels ‘kiss’ the ground, smaller steps are better) *hmmm, my hubby wasn’t just running to make me laugh, he was really on to something! ;)
Chapter 15: Lungs. As an ex~smoker (tsk tsk, but I did quit!!). I know the importance of clean lungs & clean breathing. As a Female, I also know what it’s like to belly~breath (it makes your kick~ass abs look flabby) :( . What’s the balance? Dunno. You need to decide. I do however believe in the notion that everyone has only a certain number of breathes in their lives. If you want to live longer, take deeper, slower breathes. It’s been proven!
Chapter 16: Stomach. Again. Isn’t this the 3rd time? What has he missed, what else can we learn? But oh there is so much. A.J. here writes about Raw food, Atkins diet, Paleo diet, & others. Yes there are some crazy quack diets out there, but try to remember: Eat mostly Plants (some steamed, some raw). He talks about staying away from Sugar. It’s getting a lot of press right now, & for good reason. It is now been shown to have the same affect as Cocaine. Nice right? Still want your kids hoped up on that stuff? A.J. talks about chosing Sauvignon Blanc instead of Chardonnay because of the sugar content, I don’t go that far!
Chapter 17: Skin. As I’ve mentioned before & many people know, the skin is the largest organ & has the capabilities of removing many toxins from our body. I thought that was something that he was going to mention. Instead A.J. slathered a horrific amount of (toxic I’m sure) sunscreen & said that Vitamin D was ‘trendy’. If it’s not safe enough to Eat, it’s not safe enough to be put on your body either! I’m starting to re~think this book again…..
Chapter 18: The Heart (again). Running a tri~athalon is a huge feat. I’m currently training for my 1/2 Marathon & know it can be hard. A.J. took it upon himself to do a tri, I think the Pressure, Goals, Motivation & sense of Accomplishment can be an amazing feeling for most. He is right, training for something like this should be interspersed with Regular exercise. Too much of one is not better than nothing at all.
Chapter 19: Eyes. A.J. wrote about sleep here not about eyes. Wierd. But sleep is good I’m glad because it’s something that most people are seriously deprived of! Some points he makes ( & that I agree with!) the more sleep you get before 10pm the better, we all need different amounts of sleep (no 8 hours a night for everyone, some of us actually need 7 or 9). There’s a strong correlation between lack of quality sleep & stress, dis~ease, & so much more. Sleep people! Sleep! A.J. touches on a trend that I’ve heard of which is Spouses sleeping separately. I’m not sure I could ever, ever do that, but I guess if that’s your think, have~at~it!
Chapter 20: Bladder. When you think about it, the things you drink should be as healthy (if not more) then what you eat. Liquids are absorbed into our system much faster than food that needs to be broken down & digested. A.J. tried a smoothie/juice cleanse. At least he tried tho, he mentioned that there was no science behind it all, but I really wonder what side of the fence he is getting this info from! A.J. says he didn’t have an Epiphany, but it’s not that common with a first cleanse (especially the simple one he did), & being grumpy during a cleanse although is not fun, it is part of the process of eliminating the toxins! I also 100% disagree with drinking cold water. A.J. says it burns more calories, but as far as digestion goes, it can stop it COLD! Drink your water at room temperature please!
Chapter 21: Gonads. Again, not a guy, so I didn’t really get into the chapter. But if my husband took drugs for a reason that wasn’t life or death & not only didn’t tell me, but went behind my back ….. well, I’d think that there was a serious issue in our relationship.
Chapter 22: Nose. I understand congestion & using a Neti~pot, but I never thought of our sense of smell as being that important to health. After reading this chapter & all the exercises he did to increase his sence of smell, I now wish I had a nose like a bloodhound. I mean, how cool would it be to be able to smell so many things! A.J. mentioned that AromaTherapy is not scientific enough, that may be true (I whole~heartedly doubt it), but it does have a million times less side effects the any medication! I did find it interesting how very personal different scents can be. To some Vanilla reminds them of Grammas house & to others maybe an old friend.
Chapter 23: Hands. This chapter wasn’t too eventful. Basically, use it or lose it applies here. Exercise your hands & fingers. OK. Done.
Chapter 24. Back. Are we done the book yet? Posture is pretty critical for a healthy back. Especially for all of us who sit too much. The way we walk, sit & stand effects that. I recommend going to a Chiropractor to see what they can do for you. Sit up straight (bum as close to the back of the chair as possible), & walk leaning forward slightly.
Chapter 25: Eyes. Interesting enough A.J. spoke with the guy who invented Lasik eye surgery, & what do you know, the guy hasn’t gotten the surgery done! He says he’s too wary of the risks involved. He also talks about being able to see better if you just think you can. Hmmm, I don’t think A.J. is very consistent about his views. Placebo’s do work, No Scientific evidence that Aromatherapy works, If you believe you can see you will see, no connection between stress & cancer, yikes!
Chapter 26: Skull. Nearly done now. Keep going. Don’t lose me now A.J….. He’s wearing a Helmet. Not just while riding a bike, but all the time. Well, I guess you have to control what you can & not worry too much about the things you can’t!
Chapter 27: I think I was just over~joyed to be near the end of the book. I don’t recall what this chapter was about, but I do remember A.J. saying to be Moderate in all things, including Moderation! THat being said, there is room for Immoderation (celebrating with a meal or training for a triathlon)
SO…. Points that I loved at the end of the Book. Here are my favorite ones to Remember!
Walk as much as Possible
Watch your Portion sizes & eat mindfully. Also Chew.
Outsource as much worry as you can to others.
Get a pet (my husband can attest to that)
Don’t eat white anything (bread, pasta, etc)
Have some quiet in your life.
Avoid Toxins. (organic foods, stay clear of fish & meats & plastics)
Overall I must say that the book was pretty good. I don’t care for old man jokes, but A.J. did have some great pointers for getting Healthier. It took him a long time to get all this info & try all these different approaches to health (2 years if I recall). I think it’s great & hope more people can get out of their comfort zones & pursue some kind of new Health Approach. If you have a chance to grab this book go for it! Happy Reading!