Saturday, September 23, 2017

Book Reviews

I just finished reading a couple more books - puts the total to 43 for the year so far. I picked up this book by Louis Zamperini at the bookstore in Terre Haute when we were there last weekend - bought it Saturday morning and had it finished Sunday afternoon on the way home. Louis Zamperini is the guy from the book and movie Unbroken. I haven't seen the movie but the book is dynamite. This one I just finished is a collection of stories and advice on how to live your life from Zamperini. He's got some great stories and advice as you would expect from a man who went through what he did in the war and later in life as well. One of the things I found most interesting is his recommending schools requiring a survival course for everyone. In light of what's been happening with the hurricanes and earthquakes, sounds like a real good idea.

The Whole Foods Diet is by the owner of the Whole Foods grocery chain along with a couple of others in the know about what to eat. This one is from the library but if I could find a cheap copy, I'd buy it. It lays out a diet plan, not so much to lose weight, but to eat in a way that is good for your health and longevity. Basically, the plan in a nutshell is eat at least 90% whole foods that are plant based. Pretty simple. The thing I like most about the book is that the authors draw from experts in heart health and other fields and bring them all together in one spot. After I had my heart attack, I had to look all over to find a lot of the information and then sort out the good from the bad on my own. Here, all you have to do is read and practice it. There is a collection of recipes and a 28 day plan that will ease the decision making process if you decide to give it a try.

There's one chapter towards the end of the book that deals with the ethical aspects of a vegan diet. I became a half-assed vegan after the heart attack, not from any ethical or philosophical reason, but to optimize my odds of avoiding another heart attack. However, I have to agree with much of what was said about the ethical reasons to avoid eating meat and my thinking is becoming more in line with avoiding meat for the sake of the animals with the health benefits as a tremendous bonus. I'll still grab a breaded tenderloin when at the racetrack, however. I don't think I've ever seen a salad on the menu at the race track snack bar.

My diet now is pretty damn good compared to the majority of Americans. I exercise regularly, and I've removed much of the stress in my life. Blood pressure is good, resting pulse is down in the mid-fifties, A1-C number for the blood sugar is a bit high still but I'm making some changes that should help bring that down. Most importantly, I feel good. I'm starting to slow down a little but what the hell, I'm closing in on seventy. Not like I didn't know it was coming.

If you want to make some changes to improve your health, the Whole Foods Diet would be a good place to start. If you're not ready for a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle, remember that the authors are looking at a 90/10 plant based diet. That remaining 10% will allow for some bacon or a big juicy hamburger. Or in my case, that breaded pork tenderloin once in a while.

Shop Teacher Bob recommends reading both of these and then incorporating some of the advice into your lifestyle. You could become a tough, yet compassionate guy like Zamperini while subsisting on whole, plant based foods contributing to a healthier you and planet. Worth a try.

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