Sunday, April 23, 2017

Wellth, by Jason Wachob

Author Jason Wachob is an entrepreneur and founder of mindbodygreen, a healthy lifestyle web site with articles such as "If you only have 2 minutes to meditate, do this" and "The best spring & summer overnight oat recipes on the internet." In Wellth: How to Build a Life, Not a Resume, he shares his own and others' stories to illustrate the principles that he believes will transform your life.

Through short chapters with titles such as Eat, Move, Work, Believe, Explore, Breathe, Feel, Love, Heal, Thank, Ground, Live, and Laugh, he describes his key points on how to be both physically and mentally healthy, and how to live a balanced lifestyle. Each chapter includes inspiring quotes from people as varied as Bill Maher and Shakespeare. Each chapter includes a section called "Grow Your Life Savings" that is written by an expert on the subject of that particular chapter. This is followed by a short section called "A Quick Deposit in Your Wellth Account," which lists four tips that sum up the chapter. Mr. Wachob uses anecdotes from his own life to share how he learned lessons in each of these areas. Wellth also includes an index and a notes and references section.

I personally enjoy reading books that provide tips on how to be healthy, whether through an improved diet, exercise, meditation, yoga, or other methods. Because I've read so many of these types of books, not to mention magazine and internet articles, this book didn't have much to teach me. That isn't to say that I didn't enjoy it; in fact, I did. It's an easy read on a topic that I'm familiar with and enjoy reading about. I found one particular discussion interesting; this was the chapter on health (Heal), in which Mr. Wachob discusses how Eastern and Western medicine can complement each other. However, as with the rest of the book, the discussions are only introductory; for anything in depth, you'll have to investigate elsewhere. In this sense, the book reflects the author's web site, which provides short magazine-style articles. I enjoy reading them, but there's not a lot of substance. Nevertheless, for someone who's just beginning to think about these issues, I think this would be a good introductory book. It introduces the reader to many issues that are problems for people today; it has a friendly and easy style, and it's a quick read. For others who are already steeped in the healthy lifestyle literature, I recommend looking for something with more depth.

I received this book for review from Blogging for Books.

Jason Wachob. Wellth: How to Build a Life, not a Resume. New York: Harmony Books, 2016. 1st paperback edition. 244 pages. ISBN 9781101904503.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

The Acid Watcher Diet, by Jonathan Aviv

If you've suffered from heartburn or acid reflux, this book will teach you how to heal and prevent future episodes of either. Dr. Jonathan Aviv is the clinical director for the Voice and Swallowing Center of ENT and Allergy Associates as well as a clinical professor of otolaryngology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York. With a clear and concise writing style, Dr. Aviv explains the causes of heartburn and acid reflux, and how to heal and prevent them.

The Acid Watcher Diet is composed of three part. The first addresses the various diseases caused by acid reflux. Esophageal cancer, caused by chronic heartburn and acid reflux, is given its own chapter. Inflammation caused by acid reflux can generate problems beyond the stomach and esophagus. In the second part, Dr. Aviv discusses diet, fiber, low versus high pH foods, and how to break dietary habits that promote acidity. Finally, a 28-day plan for healing is described, as well as follow up maintenance plans. This includes meal plans and recipes.

The 28-day plan will be difficult for many to achieve. It includes eliminating carbonated sodas, coffee and tea, citrus fruits, tomatoes, vinegar, wine, caffeine, chocolate, alcohol, mint, raw onion, and raw garlic. Dr. Aviv also recommends eliminating smoking, processed foods, and fried foods. He further recommends regular exercise, and predicts that anyone who eats his recommended diet will also likely lose weight.

I found Dr. Aviv's arguments entirely convincing and recommend The Acid Watcher Diet to anyone who suffers from heartburn, acid reflux, or similar ailments. I received this book from Blogging for Books.

Jonathan Aviv. The Acid Watcher Diet: A 28-Day Reflux Prevention and Healing Program. New York: Harmony Books, 2017. 293 pages. ISBN 9781101905586.

A Deadly Wandering, by Matt Richtel

A Deadly Wandering tells the story of a young man named Reggie Shaw who was texting while driving to work one morning. He was weaving from side to side on a highway in Utah, and eventually side-swiped a car going in the other direction, causing it to go into a spin. The spinning car crossed into the other lane and was T-boned by a truck pulling a trailer with tons of heavy equipment. The momentum of the crash killed the two men in the car instantly. Reggie was barely scratched.

Author Matt Richtel had previously investigated how texting and other distractions affect driving. In A Deadly Wandering he delves deeply into the research of attention as well as the growing public awareness of the dangers of distracted driving. At the time of the crash depicted in this book, only one state had outlawed texting while driving, but cases like this would bring about a rapid change in the laws across the country.

Mr. Richtel also tells Reggie's story. For more than a year he was in denial that his texting caused the crash. He denied texting at the time of the crash and it was only when it was proven through the cell carrier's phone records that he had been sending and receiving texts at the time of the crash that he took responsibility for his actions. Since then he has become an evangelist for driving safety and regularly speaks to young people about the dangers of driving and texting.

Withe A Deadly Wandering, Mr. Richtel brings together not only Reggie's story, but also those of the victims and their advocates who wanted only to find justice. Combined with the story of the neuroscientists who are investigating the impact of distraction on the human brain, this book is a warning for anyone who has been tempted to answer the phone or look at a text while driving.

Matt Richtel. A Deadly Wandering: A Tale of Tragedy and Redemption in the Age of Attention. New York: William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins, 2014. Advance Reader's Edition. 389 pages. ISBN 9780062284068.