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"Eat to Live" - Healthy Living Insights through Reading

Monday, January 20, 2014

I came across this book through my dentists. They are the ones that recommended that I do the Take Shape for Life/Medifast program, and they are constantly providing tips and encouragement for me to keep that weight off. So one day, they told me about this book and how helpful it was to shedding weight and most importantly staying healthy. So I bought it.

Meanwhile, my friends were looking to lose weight in order to expand their family, and they found that this book and this health program would work best with their lifestyle and family situation. So, this is how I decided to read "Eat to Live" at the beginning of the new year.

I'm not particularly far into the book (page 39), but so far, I have mixed feelings.

On one hand, I feel like the book is almost like a self-help book. You know, those books that give great promises if you follow X, Y, and Z? That are almost too good to be true? Now, this is better than most of those kinds of books in that there are references and a bibliography.

The other thing that kinda turned me off was a flippant comment about how there was no such thing as being too thin, that anorexia was uncommon. Ummmm...really? Anorexia isn't that uncommon; many young woman struggle with it every day. And yes, being too thin IS as much of a problem as being too heavy.

And then the author goes to say that he thinks that the weight guidelines are too generous, that 85%, not 70% of Americans are fat, and I'm like, "Whut?"

This goes back to my basic premise: being overweight/obese isn't good, but what's most importantly is living a HEALTHY life. Eating healthy foods, exercising, drinking water, sleeping, etc. It's NOT about a number on the scale. It's NOT about having 1" of belly fat. It's NOT about being a size 2. It's about HEALTH of YOUR BODY.

I nearly gave up the book at that point because of that. Because while I do believe America has a problem with the food we eat, with how much extra weight we have, I feel making broad judgment statements like how there is no such thing as being too thin or that anorexia really isn't that common or that the guidelines are "too fat" really undermine the message that it's HEALTH not WEIGHT.

But I plugged on. Fortunately, the next chapter was better, looking more at Americans food choices and how the body reacts to low-nutrition/high-caloric foods. And diets that restrict calories don't work (Hint: they don't work because the foods we restrict don't give us enough nutrients).

Ultimately, I love the idea of going back to "whole foods". To foods that aren't some weird names on the back of a package. To foods that have smell and texture, that are fresh and vibrant. To foods that nourish and make you full instead of foods that stuff you and make you feel ill.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I have the cookbook that is paired with this book, but am skeptical of reading or following the original book the cookbook is based off of/shaped by...

    I think it is okay to eat sugar and all the other things it rails against in moderation...at least if you've been raised and grew up eating it, because once you've tried it and it's still all around you and everyone else is eating it, it's extremely difficult to avoid. Not just sugar, but salt, non sprouted grain bread, etc...

    I feel like people who limit a type of food like this and and aim to never have it ever again and had weight/health problems in the past will set themselves up to one day feel guilty when they decide to indulge. Especially if it won't cause major health problems if you are eating it only occassionally! The book you are talking about seems to say it is never okay...

    Unless they can somehow convince themselves that it's really, really bad for them and not have cravings for it (like for me, I gave up carbonated beverages and intend never to go back. I'm also a vegan but there are many reasons preventing me from eating meat or dairy again...but who knows) then I think cutting out or telling people to cut out (which seems even worse to me) certain foods that can be okay in moderation or once a person is healthy and can eat it, is not the best approach...

    I do like the Eat to Live cookbook because I do try to eat less table sugar, and increase my whole foods and veggie intakes, and the recipes are pretty good.
    1492 days ago
    I remember reading that and worried about girls with eating disorders reading that! Ugh, even though there were good ideas in the book...I would no want my teenage daughter to read that, I already worry that she not develop an eating disorder, she is at risk being a gymnast.
    1492 days ago
    America also has a "thing" for books about something they want to do/achieve. I'm glad that book has references, but it does sound like it states some dubious "facts".
    1492 days ago
  • LEWILL1982
    I think you're absolutely right. Some of those claims seem a little out there, but I would say, use what you know, what you've learned, what's helped you be so successful and take it with a grain of salt. I saw that book on the shelf at my gym a few weeks ago, I'm curious about it, now! Thanks for the insight and for sharing!
    1492 days ago
  • 123ELAINE456
    Awesome Blog!! Use what you like from the book and leave the rest alone. That is all You can do. Keep Sparking!!! Have a Great Day!!!
    1492 days ago
    I have the book also- my sister has been following the book and has lost close to 50 lbs and she would like to lose another 50

    I'm further into the book and there are some good things to look forward to
    which is how much our food pyramid is based on animal based food products like milk and meat -which because of their heavy agenda -they probably had a lot of 'say' in these recommendations

    the plan is a bit too extreme for me personally, but I am making small changes on a weekly basis to see how I feel
    some substitions I am making
    include -switching from dairy milk to almond milk and I tell you I can not tell a difference when I use almond milk in my smoothie as opposed to vanilla yogurt which use to be the base of my smoothies

    there are some good recipes
    -keep reading it has good info but as like all books you need to do what is right for your body
    1492 days ago
  • CHERYLA2012
    Good for you for taking what you can use and applying it to your own journey!

    1492 days ago
    emoticon with everything you say. You have learned so much since you started the program, and I am grateful that you have shared so much with us.
    1492 days ago
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