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My Short-Short Health & Fitness Book Report!

Posted Jan 26 2012 12:27am

Thanks to Turbo Jennie (who got it from Leah? Or Sara?) for the vid! Totally safe for work. In fact, this video should become the theme for your next office party. Awesome. Click through to see the video if you get this via e-mail or RSS.

Relaxation is such a personal thing. Some people get pedicures, others watch a show, still others crawl into the butt-end of a Dope Zebra and get all Party Rocker up in their backyard. Me? I read stuff. Not even fun stuff but non-fiction science-y stuff. I love it. But not everyone has the time or interest to read it all so here’s my book report. And in the interest of efficiency – I have a tendency to write reallly looong pooosts – I’m doing each report in three sentences. Enjoy! Or just enjoy the dope zebra. Whatever boot scoots your boogie.

Why Women Need Fat: How “Healthy” Food Makes Us Gain Excess Weight and the Surprising Solution to Losing It Forever * **

Gist: Processed food is bad for you – you may have heard? – but these evolutionary scientists have figured out that it’s because of the over abundance of Omega-6 fatty acids from corn, soybean, safflower and other processed oils. In addition they make a very compelling case for why women a) need to be fatter than men and b) need to be fatter than our current standard of beauty.

Best advice: Ditch the Omega-6′s in your diet by breaking up with processed foods and increase your intake of Omega-3 fats by adding fish, fish oil, walnuts and canola oil to your diet. Oh, and stop hating your thighs that touch – they’re why your kids are so smart.

Who should read it: Everyone! It’s awesome and the fact that the last 60 pages are nothing but dense citations make me trust it even more. Check out my post Women Are Supposed to be Fat for a more nuanced review.

Just 10 LBS: Easy Steps to Weighing What You Want (Finally)  * **

Gist: I got to interview Brad Lamm for a Shape piece on Adderall abuse but his real expertise lies in helping people overcoming addictions of all kinds, especially to food. He presents a very thoughtful and loving way to lose weight.

Best advice: Don’t making loving yourself conditional upon losing weight. Love yourself first.

Who should read it: Anyone who is trying to lose weight in a healthy positive way and develop the life skills to keep it off. Also, be prepared to go slowly with this one – crash diet it’s not (and that’s a good thing!)

The Playful Brain: The Surprising Science of How Puzzles Improve Your Mind  * **

Gist: Solving all kinds of puzzles helps your brain stay younger and healthier.

Best advice: Go beyond crosswords and Sudoku to challenge and strengthen different parts of your brain. I found myself skipping all the spatial puzzles (like those stupid matchstick puzzles they stick on every IQ test) and then I realized that’s because I’m super bad at them… which means I really need to do them to strengthen the spatial processing center in my brain. Gah.

Who should read it: Not for casual puzzle buffs just looking for a fun bathroom book but more for people really interested in the why and how – it really delves into the science.

The Mindful Way through Depression: Freeing Yourself from Chronic Unhappiness  *

Gist: Focusing on the Eastern philosophy of mindfulness, this book takes you step by step through how to change your thoughts, actions and lifestyle to rewire your brain and make it more resilient when it comes to depression and other mood disorders.

Best advice: We are not at the mercy of our moods, we can change the way we think and consequently the way we feel. As a girl who has struggled most of my life with depression and anxiety, I found the message of this book to be both helpful and hopeful and it also made a lot of sense to me – although I’m still working on implementing it.

Who should read it: For anyone who struggles with “chronic unhappiness” this book is a game changer.

Gist: Intermittent fasting guru Brad Pilon takes you through all the research supporting using fasting both as a diet and a healthy lifestyle tool. He advocates fasting (abstaining from all food and caloric beverages) for 1 – 2 days a week for 18-30 hour periods.

Best advice: Fasting gets a bad rap as being extreme but done properly (i.e. not in an eating disordered way) it is an immensely powerful tool for health. It’s also not as hard or scary as people think it will be.

Who should read it: Anyone who wants to know all the science behind IF and/or be convinced to try it. You don’t need the e-book to learn the technique, it’s simple: don’t eat or drink anything with calories for 24 hours.

Anything Goes Diet  **

Gist: The subtitle of this e-book is “weight loss without the rules” and it’s kind of like Intuitive Eating but a little more in depth.

Best advice: I’ll admit I was surprised as I assumed it would be just another diet book saying what to eat and what not to eat but it’s really a sane system of tapping into what your body wants and needs. It’s not a quick-fix diet.

Who should read it: People who have started Intuitive Eating but maybe need a little more structure.

The Physique 57(R) Solution: The Groundbreaking 2-Week Plan for a Lean, Beautiful Body  * **

Gist: This book is the basis of this month’s Experiment but it basically details and expands upon the Lotte Berk method of using ballet techniques as a workout program.

Best advice: Ballerinas are tough, don’t discount a workout that pretty much only uses body weight as resistance until you’ve tried it. It’s a long workout but we sure are sore afterward!

Who should read it: Anyone who was a ballerina growing up or ever wanted to be a ballerina although expect mainly barre work. There are no dance moves, sadly.

Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption  *

Bonus: This isn’t a health or fitness book but ohmygoodness is it amazing! It’s a true story and proves the saying that truth is stranger than fiction. I absolutely could not put it down. You’ll be surprised, impressed and inspired.

What good books have you read lately? Anyone have a favorite Internet meme to make me giggle?

*The link is an Amazon affiliate link. I figure since I went to the trouble of reviewing them, I’d love it if you used my link if you decide to purchase it! And for my local friends – you’re always welcome to borrow my copy!!

**I received a copy for free for review purposes

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