The book is divided into an eight-week program to change your food habits for life. I have been assimilating it more than adhering to it so far, but I think the New Year is the proper time to put it into action. The opening paragraph in the Preface spoke to me:
“This may be the most unique and life-changing diet book you’ll ever read. It will go against much of what you’ve learned previously about eating healthy and losing weight. It will challenge some of the most cherished advice the experts have offered. It won’t disfavor you with yet another dietary prescription that dictates precisely what to eat, when to eat it, and how much. Nor will it seduce you with a system that’s difficult to follow and so destined to fall by the wayside.”
The book is based on the premise that we can remedy our metabolic sluggishness by slowing down. “We need to work less to achieve more. We need to stop fighting food and start embracing it. We need to stop punishing our bodies and start providing for them. We need to slow down and enjoy and then we’ll get the results we’ve been looking for—and sooner than we expect.”
A brief, week-by-week breakdown of the book is as follows:
This opening week on relaxation and the metabolic boost it gives you, opens appropriately with a quote from the greatest food writer of all time, M. F. K. Fisher.
If time, so fleeting, must see humans die, let it be filled with good food and good talk, and then embalmed with the perfumes of conviviality. The first week is about eating slowly. Simply put, the same part of our brain that turns on stress turns off digestion, therefore being in the ideal state to digest and assimilate food is crucial to success.
Chapter two is entitled The Metabolic Power of Quality and is opened with a quote from yet another great gourmand and writer: The discovery of a new dish does more for the happiness of mankind than the discovery of a new star.—Jean Brillat-Savarin. Rather than tell you what to eat and in what amount, the focus is on the quality of the food you eat. Elevate the quality of your food. No matter what food you eat, choose the highest quality version of that food.
This week is about being aware of what you eat—digestion begins in the mind. The mind-set you sit down to eat with (and you do want to sit down) is going to affect your metabolic power. If you choose not to be aware of your meal (falling asleep at the plate), you are metabolizing your food at 60-70 percent efficiency.
Rhythm is the theme and the most powerful statement for me was this: Plan your breakfast, plan your lunch, plan your dinner and enjoy them as if each were your first meal on Earth, or your last. Either make the choice right now for nourishment to be a daily priority, or find another planet where stressful, haphazard meals of boring food make people happy and healthy.
The Metabolic Power of Pleasure. When you’re turned on by food, you turn on metabolism. There are some pretty interesting studies cited in this chapter on the pleasure of food, including one that tells us we are built for sweet, and built for fat. And built to be healthy and slender while including sweets and fats.
The Metabolic Power of Thought. This chapter dwells on the power of your thoughts in connection with food. It uses the numerous studies on the placebo effect to bring home the message. Very thought-provoking.
I found this chapter extremely interesting and the one that deviated the most from all other dieting literature. It opens with Muriel Rukeyser, a poet, saying “The universe is made up of stories, not atoms.” Your medical history is one part of your story and your metabolic history another. This is where your personal relationship with food will help you discover how to create the ending to your story.
A spiritual component of the diet, written beautifully and in a completely inclusive way adds the missing dimension to just dealing with all the above strategies in a vacuum.
I believe this book can lead me on a worthwhile journey to better health and enjoyment as well as to a better body. Let me know if you agree.