Friday, September 30, 2011

All Diets Work

Instantly, the title intrigued me. I mean, who reads something saying that all diets work, and that's a problem, and can resist reading more? Not me, even though I'd consider myself pretty well versed in what makes up a good or bad diet. (It's the sticking to it that's my issue, though that's going much better, thank goodness!)

I didn't know what to expect when I picked up this book. I noted that it wasn't thick (at 140 pages), and sat down for a fast, pleasant read. All Diets Work did not disappoint.

Jen Brewer gets down to the nitty-gritty in a friendly sort of way. The tone and voice of the book is informative and helpful. Jen has taken care to keep things short, sweet, and easy to remember.

The basics at the heart of most diets is what's shown here--those things which will work for most people and how to implement them. I like that All Diets Work emphasizes not only the basic need for calorie reduction, but explains in a matter-of-fact way why the type of calorie is important. A calorie isn't just a calorie isn't just a calorie.

I can see this book being extremely helpful for someone who knows nothing about diet and has just been told by their doctor that they need to shape up. Or for someone who is wanting to regain their health and needs an easy-to-understand book that goes to the heart of the matter, without a lot of medical jargon. This book would also be great to keep on hand for those times (And we all have them!) that we need some more encouragement.

The only thing I would add to this book is that while combining certain foods (like peanut butter and bread, for example) does make a complete protein, it is not necessary to do this as long as you have a balanced diet. The recommendation to combine foods at meals to make a complete protein stemmed from Frances Moore Lappe's research, chronicled in her 1971 book, Diet for a Small Planet. In the tenth anniversary edition published in 1981, Ms. Lappe wrote about her findings and went to great lengths to clarify her position--which had, in fact, changed. She states: "With a healthy, varied diet, concern about protein complementarity is not necessary for most of us." As a life-long vegetarian who has received a good deal of questions about protein, I felt this an important point to address. So in other words, if you have a varied diet, don't sweat it. If you don't, then you might want to eat more peanut butter sandwiches, or some of the other tasty suggestions in All Diets Work, but I'm not telling you what they are. You'll have to get the book for that. *wink*

One thing I found fascinating was the issue of sleep. Yes, sleep in a book on healthy weight! I knew a little about why, and cortisol and everything, but the way Jen puts it made a lot of sense and made me want to go to bed right away. In fact, thinking about this and the fact that it's late--I'd better wrap up this review and get to bed.

I recommend reading All Diets Work. Out of all the "diet" books out there (and I've read a ton), this weight control (not diet) book is one of my favorites. In it you will discover a no nonsense, basic approach to finding a good, balanced, healthy lifestyle. There are some great tips, and I also recommend going to the website. You will find blog posts by the author there, as well as menus, substitutions for favorite fast foods, printouts, and yummy-looking recipes.

Visit Jen Brewer's website here: All Diets Work

Purchase here: Amazon

* I was not paid in any way by anyone for my review. If I ever accepted payment (though no one has ever offered, thank goodness) I'd never be able to live with myself. Which means I'd never sleep, and gain 500 pounds because my fat hormones would be completely out of whack. See? Not worth it.*

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

An Open Day for Memories

When the mornings are brisk and crisp leaves begin falling, a thrill runs through me.

Fall is here.

Mornings snuggled up in blankets, sipping something warm before gathering my sleepy children together, and in the calm darkness of the morning, we begin our studies with prayer. The world outside our window is hesitant, almost holding its breath, then the sun warms and beckons and smiles down on our home.

Today we are studying kings and queens of the medieval times and writing paragraphs and doing math and making our sliding glass door into a stained glass window. We hope the tape sticks for a while, cellophane crinkling as we smooth a rainbow into a cheery hello for outdoor brown and yellow. At least we will, today.

In the afternoon, full of sandwiches and history, we'll go to the library and drop off knowledge, then fill our bag with more--so much more. Stacks of paper and bindings make me feel like a worker at the train station, flipping a switch and diverting carloads onto our tracks to be unloaded and examined and absorbed.

Then home and cookies and cleaning and reading and dinner and Zumba and projects and bed.

I'm loving today already.