Friday, September 23, 2011

Review: Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back to Health by William Davis, MD

Synopsis: A renowned cardiologist explains how eliminating wheat from our diets can prevent fat storage, shrink unsightly bulges, and reverse myriad health problems. Every day, over 200 million Americans consume food products made of wheat. As a result, over 100 million of them experience some form of adverse health effect, ranging from minor rashes and high blood sugar to the unattractive stomach bulges that preventive cardiologist William Davis calls “wheat bellies.” According to Davis, that excess fat has nothing to do with gluttony, sloth, or too much butter: It’s due to the whole grain wraps we eat for lunch. After witnessing over 2,000 patients regain their health after giving up wheat, Davis reached the disturbing conclusion that wheat is the single largest contributor to the nationwide obesity epidemic— and its elimination is key to dramatic weight loss and optimal health. In Wheat Belly, Davis exposes the harmful effects of what is actually a product of genetic tinkering and agribusiness being sold to the American public as “wheat”—and provides readers with a user-friendly, step-by-step plan to navigate a new, wheat-free lifestyle. Informed by cutting-edge science and nutrition, along with case studies from men and women who have experienced life-changing transformations in their health after waving goodbye to wheat, Wheat Belly is an illuminating look at what is truly making Americans sick and an action plan to clear our plates of this seemingly benign ingredient. (From the Back of the Book)

Review: As a newbie to the Paleo Diet idea, I wanted to read more about why so many people are shunning wheat (and most grains). I've had success on a low-carb diet and was interested in the science behind the craze. This book was excellent! The author used heavy science, but made it accessible to the layman and included almost 16 pages of studies and report to back up his ideas. He also included examples from his own life and medical practice and was clear about what is and is not possible from giving up wheat.
The book is divided into chapters that each take one cause or molecule in wheat and explains what happens when you body ingests it or how it effect the common medical ailments of our time (heart disease, diabetes, celiac disease).
I found this book an excellent learning experience and I would recommend it to anyway who is struggling with weight or who has family members (or themselves) that deal with heart trouble or diabetes.
I admit I'm not completely sold on his theories, but I haven't heard anything better, and his logic is hard to refute.

Bookmarks: 8 of 10

Awards: None

Date Finished: 9-19-2011
Pages: 304

Review: Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman's Soul by John and Stasi Eldredge

Synopsis: What Wild at Heart did for men, Captivating is doing for women. Setting their hearts free. This groundbreaking book shows readers the glorious design of women before the fall, describes how the feminine heart can be restored, and casts a vision for the power, freedom, and beauty of a woman released to be all she was meant to be. (From the back of the book)

Review: First, let me say that I don't think this is a terrible book. I think, for some, it might speak truth into their lives and be the exact right message they need to hear. However, I did not like this book. Perhaps because this sort of fluff goes against my personality, perhaps because I was unable to connect with most of what the authors said, perhaps because I tend to be suspicious of works that make anyone believe they are the victim (Yes, you have bad things happen to you. They happen to everyone. It's called Sin - yours and others).

I felt there was WAY too much use of movie and book metaphors and a sparse sprinkling of Bible - and what Bible was used was often out of context or 2-3 words instead of the whole verse.

In the end, I was not impressed or impacted by this book - not as I thought I would be. To use a Pauline metaphor - too much milk, not enough meat. I would still recommend it for women seeking healing, but perhaps more for women who aren't yet sure of Christ, who need to be drawn in more. But for most Christian women, I would say stick with the solid Christian authors, or better yet, the Bible.

Bookmarks: 5 of 10

Awards: None

Date Finished: 9-16-2011
Pages: 256

Review: The Slow Burn Fitness Revolution: The Slow Motion Exercise That Will Change Your Body in 30 Minutes a Week by Fredrick Hahn et. al.

Synopsis: Hahn, along with husband-and-wife physicians Michael and Mary Eades, wrote this book as a companion to their book Protein Power. They postulate that a low-impact weighting lifting program down in a precise manor (slow) for about 30 minutes a week as all the exercise you need (Assuming you aren't a couch potato, of course). The book is divided into two parts: why and how. The why is mostly lite science and the how is clear, carefully instructions with pictures.

Review: I picked this up because 1) I don't have time to exercise 60mins a day, 7 days a week and 2) I have damaged knee joints and can't do most of the recommended cardio exercises. Also, having a good experience with low-carb/high-protein diets, I was willing to read with an open mind.
First, what I liked: Hahn writes clearly and concise, albeit with some repetition. He lays out why he believes in this method with conviction and logic. The instructions for the exercises are clear and have pictures. He lists helpful diet hints, menus and such in the back along with a bibliography. He mixes his prose well with scientific facts, examples and reason.
Second, what I don't like: It seems to good to be true.
Now, I haven't tried his method yet on my best source for analysis - myself. I plan too start soon and then we shall see. Until then, I remain skeptical.

Bookmarks: 7 of 10

Awards: None

Date Finished: 9-11-2011
Pages: 192

Review: The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross

Synopsis: In 1897 England, sixteen-year-old Finley Jayne has no one…except the "thing" inside her.When a young lord tries to take advantage of Finley, she fights back. And wins. But no normal Victorian girl has a darker side that makes her capable of knocking out a full-grown man with one punch….Only Griffin King sees the magical darkness inside her that says she's special, says she's one of them. The orphaned duke takes her in from the gaslit streets against the wishes of his band of misfits: Emily, who has her own special abilities and an unrequited love for Sam, who is part robot; and Jasper, an American cowboy with a shadowy secret.Griffin's investigating a criminal called The Machinist, the mastermind behind several recent crimes by automatons. Finley thinks she can help—and finally be a part of something, finally fit in.But The Machinist wants to tear Griff's little company of strays apart, and it isn't long before trust is tested on all sides. At least Finley knows whose side she's on—even if it seems no one believes her. (From the Back of the Book)

Review: I purchased this book after reading the first chapter. It was so well down and so intriguing, I had to have it. Sadly, it went quickly down hill after that. Not that it was bad, it was just...not great. The characters were well-done and complex - almost. The story was exiting and well-told - almost. The book was a page-turner, keep you up at night story - almost.

The author stated she wanted to write story were X-Men meets the League of Extraordinary Gentleman. She did that, and it's not bad. I don't feel reading this was a waste of time. But given how gripping the first chapter was, I wish she had been able to carry that through the entire novel. Now, I will confess that I intend to buy and read the second in this series. I am willing to give Cross the chance to improve and to see where this story goes. Plus, I rather like the Finley Jayne.

Bookmarks: 6 of 10

Awards: None

Date Finished: 9-8-2011
Pages: 480

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Aquisitions: Assorted

Icelandic Folk and Fairy Tales pub. by Forlagid

The Metamorphosis and Other Stories by Franz Kafka

The Writing Life by Anne Dillard

For Men Only by Shaunti and Jeff Feldhahn

Getting Near to Baby by Audry Couloumbis

The Magic of Ordinary Days by Ann Howard Creel

Heist Society by Ally Carter

Only the Good Spy Young by Ally Carter

Primal Body, Primal Mind by Nora T. Gedgaudas

The Slow Burn Revolution by Fredrick Hahn, et. al.

Wheat Belly by William Davis

Good Calories, Bad Calories: Fats, Carbs and the Controversial Science of Diet and Health by Gary Taubes