They’ve been piling up behind my chair long enough now. Over the past few months I’ve been taking a look at all the wonderful new and notable low-carb, nutrition and health books that have been floating around out there which include some outstanding resources along with a few not-so-great ones. That’s one of the things I try to provide as a service to you so you don’t waste your money on a book that sounded great but really wasn’t what you expected it to be. A good many of these authors I have booked for my podcast show , so be sure to listen in the coming months if you’d like to hear more about these specific books. ENJOY!
If anyone knows about “statin damage” in the world today, it’s got to be former astronaut Dr. Duane Graveline. As a medical doctor himself, Dr. Graveline realized that something was gravely wrong with him when he went to see his NASA physicians for his annual checkup and they diagnosed him with having amnesia as well other other neurological problems. At the time he was taking the popular statin drug Lipitor for his “high cholesterol” and was none the wiser about what this prescription was doing to him until he began researching it more for himself.
What Dr. Graveline discovered about these popular statins like Lipitor and Crestor is that they do a lot more damage to people than the FDA are letting on to the public and he sincerely believes we are in a state of “crisis” from it as a result. I used to take both Lipitor and Crestor myself prior to losing 180 pounds on the Atkins diet in 2004 and I experienced massive muscle and joint point that was so excruciating. Even now, five years later, I STILL have trouble with my finger joints getting sore when I play recreational sports like basketball or volleyball as a result of the damaging effects of taking these cholesterol-lowering medications.
This book explains exactly how statin drugs work, what they are physically doing to your body when you take them, why “high cholesterol” isn’t the great health disaster that these pharmaceutical companies and medical professionals want you to believe it is, how chronic inflammation from consuming too many carbohydrates is a much bigger health issue to deal with regarding heart health, the role recommended diets like low-fat have played in this national calamity, and proven ways to reduce inflammation without the use of these risky statin drugs. Dr. Graveline has lived it himself, so he knows exactly what he’s talking about. Reading his story of how he is struggling to this day because of what the statins did to him in both sad and eye-opening. He has committed his life to exposing this for all the world to see.
If you or someone you know is suffering from a statin-related illness which could include ALS, peripheral neuropathy, myopathy, chronic neuromuscular degeneration, Gulf War Syndrome, or aches in your joints and muscles while taking one of these drugs, then you owe it to yourself to read what Dr. Graveline has to share in this amazing book. He is trying to save millions more from suffering the same ill effects that he has while educating them that they probably don’t need to be taking that statin prescription to begin with if they want to protect themselves against heart disease. Highly-recommended for anyone concerned about living healthy and staying healthy.
At first blush, you’d think a diet book for a “drinking man” has to be some kind of joke. Nobody can seriously think they’ll lose weight drinking alcoholic beverages in their menus, right? Well, don’t tell that to award-winning photographer Robert Cameron who has enjoyed having a drink or two throughout his lifetime. Back in 1964, long before anyone ever heard of Dr. Robert C. Atkins, he wrote a book about consuming a carbohydrate-restricted diet for weight loss and health entitled THE DRINKING MAN’S DIET which went on to sell over 2 million copies.
Because of the success of that book and the desire by people to have recipes to follow on the plan, Cameron followed up in 1967 with THE DRINKING MAN’S DIET COOKBOOK. Forty years later, the book is still around and has been updated with all the contents of the original book for you to benefit from. Cameron focuses on the quality of the calories you receive from high-satiety foods while mixing it with a low-carb nutritional approach of about 60g daily.
After a fateful meeting with a nutrition expert at UC-Berkeley during his Air Force years, Cameron realized that carbs lead to stored fat and that cutting back on your intake of them will reduce the amount of fat in the body. He was taught that green leafy vegetables provide an excellent source of carbohydrate, although he was also told being in a state of ketosis is “unpleasant.” Hmmm, I don’t know what’s so bad about it, but this non-ketogenic low-carb diet seems to work for Cameron because he’s still on it to this very day in the twilight of his life.
The book is written specifically for people who enjoy having a good time going to parties, drinking a glass of wine or two with friends, and anyone who is hosting guests in their home or at an event. Frequent tips about how to cut down on the carbohydrates in your personal diet and in the food you prepare are included along with so many delicious low-carb recipes that include appetizers, seafood, meat dishes, gourmet sauces, dairy delights, the right kind of veggies, salads, soups, “your best friend” bread (since he allows for 60g carbs daily), and even desserts! Most of these are fine, although I’m not convinced his recommendations on the carb counts jive with what the most recent research is saying about this macronutrient and health.
So what about the “drinking” part? Oh yeah, there’s plenty of that with recommended wines and other alcoholic beverages to eat with each dish. Allowing for more carbohydrates gives you the flexibility to add this into your diet if you so choose. I’m not a drinker, so this wouldn’t appeal to me at all. But perhaps someone who feels they can’t give up alcohol in their life completely could benefit from Cameron’s plan.
Interestingly, Cameron notes that the largest HMO in the United States tells its members to cut down on the carbohydrates like white bread, pasta, white rice, potatoes, and sugar because those foods are packed with calories and not nutrient-dense. He describes sugary sodas as “liquid corn” alluding to the high-fructose corn syrup they put in soft drinks these days. And his overall message is to lower the amount of food you are eating to get slim and healthy and stay that way. I like his no-nonsense approach to this idea of being on a diet like his. Here’s what Cameron says:
“It’s your choice. But little by little it will become an obvious choice.”
At the end of the day, that’s really what managing your weight and health is all about — making the “obvious choice” to live a permanent and healthy lifestyle change forever and ever. You certainly can’t argue with the results Robert Cameron has seen over the years.
How can you NOT love an outstanding weight loss success story like Doug Varrieur? As a former 260-pounder who was tired of living his life as a fat guy, he took action to change his life forever and shed an incredible 100 pounds off of his body by implementing some key strategies into his routine. And for those of us who are livin’ la vida low-carb and lovin’ it, this story will bring a great big smile to your face.
Half-autobiographical/half-children’s book-style, Varrieur definitely wanted to capture your attention while hopefully imparting to you everything he has learned about weight control and health over the past few years with the book. It’s quite entertaining with all the cute illustrations that hammer home the various points and the strategic use of an all-caps “FAT” anytime that word is used in the book. You can tell Varrieur has quite a creative mind for communicating his message and he does so very well throughout.
Varrieur says foods like corn, sugar, vegetables, grains, and other carbohydrate-filled foods are doing nothing more than than leading to stored body FAT. Again, he uses all-caps when sharing about SUGAR because he wants people to realize eating foods that contain it or turn to it in the body will make them FAT. On page 22 alone he capitalizes SUGAR sixteen times. I guess you could say he believes it’s a point worth repeating (and I tee-totally agree with him!).
The concept of measuring food in terms of “teaspoons of sugar” is not a new one, but it is not talked about nearly enough. Varrieur does so brilliantly yet again by looking at the SUGAR contained in French fries, soda, the bun, and a pie from a fast food restaurant. The way the numbers add up so quickly are shocking…and it’s a message people need to hear loud and clear. Obviously, if people can cut down on these “teaspoons of sugar” in their diet, then they’ll be a lot better off in their efforts to losing weight “fast and easy.”
Half of the book is filled with recipes that Varrieur himself uses on his low-carb plan as well as some key low-carb foods and substitutions in his diet that have helped him keep his “skinny” body. Eating low-carb has obviously worked for him not just for weight loss but radically improved health markers too. His triglycerides plummeted from 400 down to 70, but I was somewhat concerned to see Varrieur concerned about his cholesterol levels so much that he feels the need to take a statin drug like Lipitor to lower them.
A high-fat, low-carb nutritional approach has been shown to lower triglyceride levels well below 100, raise HDL “good” cholesterol above 50, and make your LDL cholesterol the large, fluffy, and protective kind that you don’t need to be concerned with. Sadly, Varrieur has bought into the notion shared to him by his doctor that he needs to take these risky prescription drugs with his low-carb diet to make his heart arteries “healthy.” Additionally, he cuts down on healthy saturated fats, meat and egg consumption, and opts for low-fat cheeses, fish and soy for protein instead.
It is such a shame that Doug Varrieur and so many others like him have it right about the carbohydrates being at the root cause of obesity and health that far too many people are dealing with these days, but then are still caught up in conventional wisdom regarding the unproven and disastrous cholesterol-heart hypothesis that Ancel Keys unleashed on America so many decades ago. While I’m happy for his 100-pound weight loss success, I hope Varrieur will continue to do his own personal research on what will keep his heart and health strong for many years to come.
Being a physician for four decades doesn’t necessarily mean you know very much about what it takes to produce “permanent weight loss.” But Dr. Barnet Meltzer realized in recent years that his medical practice should be more about preventing disease from happening in the first place through deliberate strategies that target keeping weight under control while arming your body with the best nutrients to make you happy and healthy for a very long time. That’s what this book encompasses.
Dr. Meltzer realizes that in order to change your weight and health you absolutely MUST make certain changes in your lifestyle, including adding exercise, making smart choices about the foods you consume, keeping insulin levels stabilized, allowing your liver to function at optimal levels, removing unnecessary stress from your life, and supplementing with the proper vitamins daily. These are all a part of his “LYF-Style” factors that go into improving your metabolism. Detoxifying your body and setting it up for success first will get you going on the right track.
He shares about what he thinks are the proper ways to eat to be healthy which unfortunately focus too heavily on the low-fat options to resolve what is referred to as “appetitus,” but I have to give Dr. Meltzer some credence for making people become more aware of what and why they are feeding themselves the way that they do. His holistic approach to dealing with these mental and psychological reasons why people eat like they do is certainly something that makes him stand apart from the other so-called health “experts” out there. Bringing about these necessary behavior modifications are a necessary starting point for anyone regardless of what nutritional plan you choose to get there.
The book is very science-minded with a flair for explaining some oftentimes difficult concepts into layman’s language so you’re not left asking yourself “What’s he talking about?” after reading it. And Dr. Meltzer doesn’t talk down to you either — he acknowledges the hurt and pain you have gone through becoming overweight or obese and offers up real-life solutions for making that happen. Plus, he accurately identifies the addiction to food (especially sugary, high-carb ones!) and the constant overall obsession with food that far too many Americans are allowing to encompass their lives. Best of all, he offers strategies for breaking this ruthless cycle once and for all.
After you implement his metabolic changes and physical disciplines into your life, Dr. Meltzer then shows you how to revolutionize the way you think so you will create permanency in the new lifestyle you are now living. This “dynamic willpower” as he describes it is the key to keeping weight off forever. I’m not a big fan at all of the concept of willpower when it comes to weight loss, but instead having a steadfast resolve to make better choices for the sake of your health. But Dr. Meltzer makes a compelling argument for thinking much more positively in the direction of a can-do attitude regarding implementing these disciplines and applying active self-control certainly isn’t a bad way to get there.
All in all, this 450-page book is loaded with some useful information for anyone deciding the time is right to grab hold of this weight problem and get it under control once and for all. Dr. Barnet Meltzer and his son Jordan are applying the concepts that have worked with the people they’ve come into contact with and they work by “outsmarting” the typical ebb and flow that happens when you usually go on a diet. Proven-science or psycho-babble? YOU DECIDE!
I generally only review diet and health-related books because that’s what I’m focused on in my writings. So what’s up with a book about conservation, renewable sources of energy, and being environmentally aware? Plenty! While it wouldn’t seem like the kind of book that is pertinent to nutrition and wellness, Plan C is actually ALL about finding ways to deal with the pending global food crisis that is upon us.
You may have noticed in recent years some of the things happening with the world food market, including major price increases on certain key staples, scarcity of food that has always been in abundance, an exponential rise in the world population, droughts, deforestation, global warming, and skyrocketing oil prices. There have been food riots breaking out as a result of this unrest and while things have calmed down somewhat because of the drop in oil prices over the past year, the United Nations is concerned there will be even more outrage as record-high prices are expected to return in the next decade.
This book outlines many of the issues impacting the sustainable food supply and offers solutions about what can be done regarding the problems that are on the horizon. There is grave concern that the food crisis will become inevitable by the year 2015 when global oil production will hit its peak. Why is this important for the food supply? Because most of the food is grown using these fossil fuels for energy. That’s why Pat Murphy decided to write out his own “plan” for dealing with this BEFORE it happens.
I love this quote from Murphy in the book when he says “The understanding of good food and nutrition is also disappearing” and he’s exactly right! People tend to take for granted that food will always be there, but food security is a very real concern that people need to take more seriously now while there’s still time to do something about it. Preemptive measures if implemented deliberately and strategically to counteract this can be effective with a shift in our food culture. This includes eschewing those foods that are heavily subsidized by the U.S. government like corn and wheat and instead purchasing locally-grown fruits and vegetables and grass-fed beef at your neighborhood farmer’s market, for example.
Murphy shares some key statistics in his book regarding how much energy is burned creating the food we eating, including the fact that it takes 10 calories of fossil fuels for every 1 calorie of food consumed by Americans, less than four percent of agricultural land in the United States is used to harvest fruits, vegetables, nuts, and legumes, and the price of fruits and veggies has sharply risen while HFCS-sweetened soda has dropped by nearly 25 percent. There’s a little bit of vegetarian bias in the book as Murphy laments that it takes 25 calories of fossil fuel energy to create one calorie of “factory-raised beef protein” and that livestock produce 18 percent of the greenhouse gasses worldwide. But he does encourage buying local from farmers who aren’t implementing these energy-wasting techniques and believes this is the wave of the future that needs to happen much sooner than later.
An intriguing aspect of this book that I think might be worth pursuing is the concept of “kicking the media habit.” Murphy says there’s a bit too much pro-corporation positive spin happening on television and in newspapers for people to be indoctrinated with the wrong messages. He encourages readers to give up some of our technological advances and get back to enjoying the life where we live by volunteering to give up a day, a week, or even a full month of Internet, television, radio, reading books, watching movies, etc. to see how you react to it. Instead, go out to hear local bands, spend long conversations with friends and family members, and get back to living life the way it used to be. I don’t know if I’m ready to take that plunge just yet, but it certainly sounds enticing.
All in all, Plan C seems to be grounded in a reality that far too many Americans are utterly clueless about. For their sake, I hope they learn about it long before it’s too late.
MORE BOOK REVIEWS COMING SOON!!!