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Recommended Reading

 

Health Related Books

 
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I am always skeptical about books that claim to know the root cause of all illness and so, I was not an easy sell on the message of this book.  In retrospect, this book changed my life.  I had my first episode of Atrial Fib about 30 years ago and for many years I would end up in the emergency room at least once a year because of AFib.  This book educated me about the importance of magnesium and why so many people are magnesium deficient.   Dr. Dean developed her own form of magnesium supplement that is far more bio-available than other products.  Since taking her formula, I have not had to visit the emergency room for AFib.  That is about 12 years now.  I still get occasional arrhythmia and palpitations but I immediately take a dose of ReMag — her proprietary blend.  Invariably, I then realize I had forgotten to take my ReMag for several days.  I am convinced that most people can benefit from taking this Magnesium Supplement.

 
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This book was another game changer for me.  For years I had been trying to find a diet that would reduce my A1c (Diabetes) and achieve some significant weight loss.  I could do one or the other but not both.  The Personalized Diet is based on cutting-edge research into the microbiome.   The microbiome is a collection of about 4 pounds of bacteria, viruses, protozoa, and enzymes in our gut.  Its function is too break down our food and extract energy in a useful form.  It is more unique than our finger prints.  Since no two people are processing their food the same, we can't make any generalizations about food and diet.  This is why diets don't work for everyone and why a healthy lifestyle is not always enough.  This book gave me the information I needed to reverse diabetes in less than 5 months at age 75.  At the same time I lost 40 pounds, reduced my waist by 5 inches, went from Insulin Resistant to Insulin Sensitive, and significantly improved my cholesterol ratios.

 
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When I read this book, it made a strong case for a plant-based high carb / low fat diet.  I had been on the Keto diet for about a year and was getting bored with it.  (In retrospect, this was my fault.  I am now back on Keto but have learned a lot of recipes that make it more interesting.)  The authors said a shift in diet would cause an initial increase in glucose readings but this would reverse after a week or two.   They were accurate in their prediction.  I was excited about eating fruit again after avoiding it for so many years.  My A1c dropped and I was feeling good but there was no weight loss.  Eventually, I got tired of fruit.  In the book they have a list of Green Light Foods that are safe to eat while on this diet.  Grains and potatoes were on the list and I soon found myself eating whole grains for breakfast and potato salad and mashed potatoes later in the day.  After several months, I checked my A1c out of curiosity.  I was shocked to learn that I was no longer pre-diabetic.  I had graduated to fully diabetic.  While I think this book has a lot of great info, this approach did not work for me personally.

 
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This book was first published in 1977.  During the 1980s, I lost 95 pounds thanks to this relatively effortless weight-loss technique.  It requires very little discipline and no significant change of lifestyle.  In many ways, it is miraculous.  Though no one used the term at the time, it was my introduction to intermittent fasting.  The technique is to limit all food to an 8 hour period with two consecutive meals of pure protein.  The third meals is whatever you want with no calorie restrictions as long as the meal is completed in less than 90 minutes.  Although I lost weight, I was still 20 to 30 pounds above my "ideal" weight and looked sickly.  I was definitely thinner but didn't feel healthier.  In time I regained most of the weight.  I did return to the diet several times but never stayed committed and therefore never kept the weight off.  Like so many other books, there is a lot of good information here but not necessarily the ideal solution.

 
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​​Dr. Gundry is a former cardiac surgeon who now runs a health clinic and studies the relationship of diet to health. 

 

In this book, he focuses on how mitochondria create ATP and how "uncoupling" proteins and oxygen in the mitochondria wastes energy in a health way that results in more mitochondria producing more energy.

This wasteful process is seen as the key to Ketone production, fat burning, metabolic flexibility, and weight loss.  Foods and other methods of activating the uncoupling process are identified and discussed at length.  The book includes several lists of good and bad foods and practices.

A more flexible version of a ketogenic diet is presented.

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DR. Perlmutter makes a compelling case for Uric Acid as the root cause of all illness.  Though interesting, I was not totally convinced.  I needed to know my current level of uric acid before going any further.  He suggested a meter and test strips that could be used for home testing.  The combination was more than 3 times as expensive as glucose meters and test strips and the technique was basically the same.  I ordered the meter and test strips and took a reading.  It said I had a serious problem.  I checked with another test strip and it said I am in great shape.  I took 4 readings and they varied so much, the info was useless.  I returned the kit.  I took another pass at the book and learned the blood test C-Reactive Protein is an excellent indicator of Uric Acid since it measures inflammation in the body.  My C-Reactive Protein test is in the ideal range, so I went no further.  You should decide for yourself if there is merit to his claims.  I can't say for sure.

 
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I decided to include this book as an example of things to avoid.  There is no useful information in this extremely poorly-written book.  The author is a poor writer, but that could be overlooked if he actually said something about this important topic. 

His entire book can be summarized by the title.  He goes no further than to present evidence that the mind and gut communicate with each other.  That was no surprise to me and probably not to you either.

 
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A fair presentation on the microbiome.  Fairly well written and not totally boring in spite of excessive use of technical terms and bacterial names.

Most of the book is just general information about the microbiome and how it will likely change the medical profession.  I have my doubts because the profit margin is not likely to match that of drugs.  We will have to wait and see.

Most of the useful information — although still vague — is in the last 13 pages of the book.

 
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Well-written and densely packed with useful information.  Dr. Monk draws on many years of helping people who had nearly lost hope through a Big Picture approach to restoring health.

He believes that chronic illness is the result of imbalances in the body's teeter-totter relationships that often start from adrenal dominance.  The flight or fight response leads to nutritional deficiencies that can only be corrected by identifying the deficiency and supplementing only that deficiency.  Often less is more when dealing with nutrition.

Short and interesting cases studies are included for inspiration, motivation, and developing hope.

 
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Dr. Berg spent 29 years as a full-time practitioner in Alexandria, Virginia, where he helped over 40,000 clients with weight loss and other health challenges through natural, nutritional methods. 

He is now an expert on the Ketogenic Diet and Intermittent Fasting with nearly 7 million YouTube Subscribers.  His passion for health related education has helped thousands including myself.

In this book, he will help you to identify the underlying source of your health issues based on where you store fat.  He then recommends specific treatments and even includes recipes to help along the way.

 

Instant Pot Books Cookbooks

 
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Densely packed recipes in relatively small print and no photos.

When you are documenting 1000 recipes, this seems reasonable.  Nutritional data is included for each recipe and instructions are concise.

For me, just having this many Keto recipes is a wonderful thing.  Several years ago, I quit Keto for a while because I got bored with eating the same things over and over.  After learning some great Keto recipes, I return to Keto with gusto and have never looked back.

 
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A great introduction to the Instant Pot.  She talks about the 3-quart and 6-quart versions.  There is one thing that is incorrect.  She says there is no steamer basket for the 3-quart Instant Pot.  I have one.

A lot of great recipes for one in a pleasing format.

Nutritional info for each recipe plus many high quality photos.

 
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This paperback book is trimmed to 8 1/2 X 11 which allows the recipes to be printed in a comfortable type size.

 

Recipes and instructions are concise but easy to follow.  Prep and cook times are included but no Nutritional Data.

 
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Just as advertised.

A great Instant Pot introduction followed by 100 recipes.  Every step is identified and explained thoroughly with high quality photos.

No nutritional data.

 
 

Gardening Books

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Writing a book for beginners is never as easy as it seems.  This is a good one!

Well-illustrated with drawings and photos, this book educates without insulting in a very organized way.  Each step of the process is identified and thoroughly explained.

Once the basics are covered there is a collection of plant-specific instructions with photos.  Twenty nine of the most popular plants are included in this section (Chapter 6).

Also includes a list of resources and a "Plant Hardiness Zone" Map

 
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In 1975, a recently retired engineer, Mel Bartholomew, decided to take up gardening as a hobby.  He was struck by the wastefulness and labor intensity of the traditional row method of gardening.  Weeds in particular were a problem and the reason why so many people lost enthusiasm after only a few months.  He decided to develop a better way to garden and over the next few years began teaching others the Square Foot Gardening Method.  Mel died in 2016 but his work lives on in the SFG Foundation who published this third edition of Square Foot Gardening.

Join the thousands of people around the world who are producing enough veggies for their needs in 20% of the space and with 2% of the work of traditional row planting.

 
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A great book with a very misleading title.

This book is filled with valuable information and an abundance of useful photos.  Being a true beginner, I can't imaging there is anything to know that is not covered in this book.  Every type of container and every approach to gardening in a small space is covered in detail.

The only thing missing is the 3 square feet of garden space.  This doesn't diminish the value of the book but it does beg the question — why the deception?