Book Summary

Meet Dr. Weil.  That is one big sexy beard, am I right?  You actually might think so by the time you are done reading this.

I’m halfway through this book (on my sidebar), and I thought I’d just give a little summary, because it’s awesome.  Dr. Weil is a “Natural Doctor,” who has a clinic and teaches medical school.  I love his philosophies so far and he is big on prevention, and so am I.  He says there is too much “health” info in the media and online and lots of it is wrong.  Plus, ideas about health keep changing (remember when olive oil used to be bad for your heart? And now it’s golden?), so we need to keep educating ourselves and experimenting.

So here’s a breakdown of the first five chapters and what stood out to me.  I can really talk for HOURS about these things, so it’s hard to narrow it down. 🙂

**I should note here that this is just one perspective, and doesn’t necessarily represent all of my personal views.  I will expound on some points in future posts, and if something intrigues you, feel free to check out the book.

Chapter 1: What Should I eat?

  • It’s confusing, and there are convincing arguments about every category of food (including fruits and vegetables!)
  • Diet alone does not cause disease/illness and diet alone cannot cure disease/illness.  It is just one factor (an important one) in shaping health.
  • The food guide pyramid is guaranteed to produce obesity in many people.  I AGREE

Tips for Eating:

  1. Eat with your senses, not with your intellect (LOVE THIS!).  We are all so busy these days that lots of times, eating is so hurried or in the car, or BOTH!  What sounds so good to you right now?  What color is it?  What does it smell like?  What is the texture like?  Is it spicy? Sweet?  Is there an aftertaste?  How do you feel after a bite?  Eating could really be an art if we let it. It’s supposed to be FUN!  Let your senses dictate how enjoyable a food is.  Not your brain (i.e. “I should eat a carrot even though I hate them.”).
  2. Eat with your full attention, and with gusto.  Food is to be enjoyed and savored.
  3. Eat a widely varied diet.
  4. Eat fresh foods
  5. Learn to appreciate simple foods, like a fresh tomato from your garden, sliced with salt and pepper.
  6. Eat a balanced diet
  7. Eat your vegetables
  8. Experiment with your diet.

Chapter 2: Answers to Common Questions About Diet and Health

  • Eat Fiber.
  • Controlling cholesterol is more about what not to eat than what to eat.
  • Yes, you need to worry about additives in foods you buy (some more than others).
  • Pesticides are not good.
  • Make smart food choices when traveling.  He even packs healthy stuff in his suitcase.
  • Offer children healthy food and don’t use it as a bribe or a reward (I have so much to say about this…another post…).
  • Use microwaves for defrosting or reheating only. Not for cooking.
  • Limit salt.
  • Diets do not work.  Lifestyles do.

Chapter 3: What Will You Have to Drink?

  • WATER!  Make it pure and clean.
  • Have your tap tested for chemicals, especially chlorine and lead.

To reduce the chance of ingesting lead and other harmful chemicals in your pipes:

  1. Let water run 3-5 minutes from the tap in the morning and anytime after it has not been used for a while if you are going to use it.
  2. Never use hot water from the tap for cooking.  It leaches impurities from the pipes.  Just use cold and heat it up.

Chapter 4: Air and Breath

This is an interesting chapter.  I’ve read and heard a great deal about this subject and want to learn more.  It makes a lot of sense to me since all of our body systems are impacted by oxygen.

  • Breathe Clean Air.
  • Practice Deep Breathing Techniques Regularly.

An interesting quote: “I know people who eat excellent diets and exercise faithfully and are not very healthy.  I know some healthy people who eat bad diets and do not exercise.  I do not know any healthy people who do not breathe well.”

He talked about an Osteopath colleague of his who only used manipulation and breathing techniques with his patients, and he shared some truly remarkable stories.  Including how he commonly cured chronic ear infections in children!  Fascinating stuff.  I really need to learn more about this…

Chapter 5:  A Guide to Exercise for People Who Hate the Whole Idea of  It

I had a college professor who once said “Anyone who says exercise is fun has never really exercised.” I disagree and so does Dr. Weil. True, it can be hard work if your are training or on a team, but it is difficult to stick with something that is truly torturous.

  • Make it fun!
  • Force yourself to do it until it is a habit and then your body will crave it.  I am a testament to this.  I do not feel good mentally or physically unless I have gotten in some form of activity.  Just ask the Mr.  He’s had to deal with the unpleasant aftermath.
  • Try to get 30 minutes a day.

I laughed out loud when I read this about running:  “Many people run addictively.  That is, with a compulsive quality that takes over their lives.  If circumstances prevent them from running, they may be impossible to live with.”

And I might add, “So can two year olds.”

Phew! That’s it! I will probably be done with the rest this week and will fill you in at a later date.  Oh the SUSPENSE!!!!!  Just keepin it real!

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