Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Mind-Body Books To Read--Or Not

Keep Your Brain Young by Guy McKhann and Marilyn Albert, Wiley 2002
A great brain book with discussions about everything from cataracts and migraine to Lyme disease and tumors. There's also a good reference section in the back to get you to important websites on each topic. I found myself getting depressed, though, reading the very medical/clinical aspects of these diseases. I'd like to see a more upbeat, positive approach to the solving of brain problems or their prevention.

How To Be, Do, or Have Anything by Laurence G. Boldt Ten Speed Press 2001
A neat book, as many of Ten Speed Press books are, "How To Be, Do, or Have Anything" has great ideas, implementation strategies, and good advice. Well worth reading if you have anything you'd like to change or accomplish and are looking for focus. It has an upbeat message, and you can do parts of it without the others. Some books and tapes are deliberately sequential so that you must complete the entire program before getting results, but I found that this was useful in parts as well.

The Ethical Brain by Michael Gazzaniga, The Dana Press 2005
The beginning is a little too political about fetuses and stem cells, and too gene-y for my tastes, but there are fascinating later discussions of memory, ethics, sound and reading one another's minds. I also feel that in this book there is a depressive outlook, and, having met Dr. Gazzaniga, I think this is so.

Things They Don't Want You To Know by Kevin Trudeau
This book worried me from the start, but I had hoped that there would be some answers to unusual questions and problems, but there weren't. After hundreds of pages claiming that the FDA was after him, gnashing his teeth and wringing his hands, he finally confessed to doing time in the pen for check-kiting and fraud. Just the sort of guy you want health advice from. His recommendations of raw organic milk and certain meats are downright dangerous from a food safety perspective. Beware. There are "Things You'll Never Know" after reading this book.

The China Study by T. Colin Campbell
A well-researched treatise on the best ways to eat, foods to avoid and those to include. He has been repressed and minimized by the meat/dairy lobby (a strong one) and by those who do not want to hear his message. If you want to be educated, though, you need to be willing to listen to almost everything and then make your decision. This book is a must read, just like Richard Rhodes "Deadly Feasts" was a few years ago
Welcome to Mind Body Bootcamp! Here are my first few thoughts:

Who can you really trust for good health and nutritional advice?

Some of my favorites include:

Andrew Weil-for his outside-the-box thinking and integrative approach, although he goes a bit far afield into ayurvedic medicine for my tastes. He's easy to find through Origins cosmetics, Arizona State University, or at his own websites.

Dean Ornish-The first in the fields of health and heart issues to push for alternative thinking about nutrition and lifestyle contributions to disease.

Varro Tyler-An herbal know-it-all (but not in a bad way...), he's got the real goods on herbs and efficacy. He writes for Prevention magazine.

Prevention magazine-Every home needs a subscription. It's the quickest source of relevant, sound science and information in an age of trickery and bad science.

Neal Barnard-Both he (a physician and heart disease specialist) and Colin Campbell (an old dairy farmer who became a PhD college professor) discuss the evils of animal foods and dairy products. I had a talk with Dr. Campbell and he explained how he was really into dairy, having been raised on a dairy farm and all, but it wasn't until he went to China (read about in his book, The China Study) and discovered how much overconsumption of dairy is hurting us. A very interesting book, anyway...

More to come...