Beer Belly Blues – Book Review

I recently read this book when I was asked to by my patient. He is a 60 year old man with a beer belly. This book by Brad King is very easy to read and explains how a man’s body works as his hormones change. There was a lot you could take away from this book and here are some tips you can consider for yourself or the man in your life.

– Have lab blood tests done and analyzed

– Drink more water

– Lift weights – 3 sets of each exercise maximizes the effects

– Consume a Whey protein – get a hormone-free version. We sell some at the clinic.

– Work with a health professional to create a personalized plan for you.

The China Study

Well this book was all that I expected and more.

Collin Campbell makes a compelling case for eating a vegan diet.  I am now reading Gary Taubes book Why we get fat and what to do about it again.  When I read that book I was fairly well convinced that grains were the culprit.  Now, I’m not so sure.

Let me say this: I don’t know how anyone can make sense of what to eat anymore.  I have a pretty solid base to be reading these books from and I’m confused and second guessing everything.  I will continue to keep you posted as to what my latest thoughts are.  It would appear that they will change over time.

First off, what I like about Collins book is that it is based solely on research studies and many of them were human studies.  This is something that most books do not offer and why it is so compelling.

His human study, known as the China Study, drew many relationships between food and disease.  Most notably, he demonstrated that while we’ve been focusing on the saturated fat as the culprit, the evidence actually suggests that it’s the animal product itself not just the fat.  They linked animal product consumption to heart disease, osteoporosis, diabetes, cancer, MS, and more.  Virtually every Western diesease can be linked up.

What’s so interesting is that when they take a population where these diseases are virtually non-existant (say rural China) and put these people into the ‘Western way’, they develop these conditions at the same rate as those who have been ‘Westerenized’ forever.  Well that puts a damper in the genetic argument for these diseases.

In another of his studies, they were actually turning tumour growth on and off in rats by giving them casein (the protein in dairy) or a plant based protein.

This book has made my family virtually dairy-free.  We were still using goat milk and now we are almond milk.  I will still put cream in my coffee when I have it but that’s it folks.

As for meat, well, my family is not prepared to go totally vegan.  We will reduce it to a few times a week instead of daily.  As our vegetarian recipe collection gets larger, maybe it will be cut back even more.  Who knows.

Why was I so easily convinced?

Firstly, like I said, he wrote his book based on research findings, not opinion.

Secondly, I have understood the connection between animal products and inflammation for years.  I’ve had many patients with psoriasis, eczema, MS, firbromyalgia, and heart disease adopt a plant-based diet with great success.  When his research and my clinical experience line up, it’s an easy sell.

Thirdly, he makes the point (constantly throughout the book) that it’s a ‘whole-food plant-based diet’ that makes these diseases disappear.  Being vegan is not enough by itself.  Eating french fries, drinking soda pop, and lots of bread won’t cut it.

this also ties in with what I know to be true about inflammation.  Unsteady blood sugar levels (read refined products) cause inflammation.

Next week I will comment more on the Gary Taubes/Paleo argument when I’ve read more.

Coming back stronger

I got a kindle for Christmas 🙂

I love it because it can hold so many books at the same time.  You see, I am always reading a book about eating or weight loss, an autobiography or biography, and something else.  Variety is important to me as my mood dictates what I want to read.  I love that I don’t have to cart around three books anymore.

Coming Back Stronger by Drew Brees was a fantastic book.

He is a star NFL quarterback that has faced many challenges.  In his book, he shares these challenges with such humility.  Here are a few of my favorite clippings:

  • You have to see the truth about your situation and accept it in order to heal right and then return stronger.

This hit home for me as my competitive nature tends to have me go out like gangbusters with the best of intentions, only to get hurt and sabotage my efforts.

  • You can’t always determine your circumstances, but you can always determine your attitude.

Drew is certainly not the first one to write this and every time that I read it or hear it I’m glad that I did.  It’s so easy to blame my mood or attitude on the circumstances or people in my life.  This is a good reminder that it is always my choice how I choose to face my life.

  • The most important game of the season is always the next game.

Today is the most important day of my life.  The current moment is the most important moment of my life.  It’s so easy to get lost in goal setting and dreaming of the future.  While this is important, nay crucial, to achieving success in any aspect (finances, weight, fitness) it is equally crucial to not stay dreaming of then.  We live in this moment, and this is the moment that needs our full attention.  Once the planning is done, then the work to get there is done now.

These are just  a few of the quotes that I took out of this book.  I highly recommend it.

Happy reading


The Path to Permanent Weight Loss

I loved teaching the Learn How to Eat, Not How to Diet program.  Every week I was giving the wonderful gift of being with people who so openly shared their struggles and successes with eating and body image.

The program is on hiatus until I figure out how to share my thoughts and ideas about what leads to permanent weight loss.  I am on a personal quest of finding out what works.

I have shared about Geneen Roth in the past – a brilliant author that shares openly about her struggles to stop dieting and be a healthy weight.

Now I want to share about another program that I have experienced by Tony Robbins.  It is called The Path To Permanent Weight Loss.  What had me purchase the program was that it is not a diet program.  It is a ‘head’ program.

I listen to the CD’s at least a couple of times a week as I still learn something new each time that I listen.  He presents women who have come to seminars wanting to lose weight.  He takes them through a process (just talking) to understand what is driving them to the behaviour of over-eating.  I learned something about myself from each of the women presented.

The last CD has a process of action to move towards a more authentic way of being.  I did the process a few weeks ago.  The very next day, each person that I saw told me how beautiful that I looked.  Not one of them knew that I had done this program.

As with anything, participation in the process is key.  If you are ready to really be honest and look at what you believe to be true that is leading you to overeat, this is the program for you.  It was worth every penny and more.


The Happiness Project – Book Review

I had the pleasure of reading this book on my honeymoon – yes I took time to relax with a book. The Happiness Project is a 12 month synopsis of how one normal women brings more happiness into her life. Simple things like singing in the morning to her children and not eating “fake” food.

I liked the fact that she chose to call her tasks resolutions and not goals. Goals are attained and then forgotten, what next? But resolutions are things you are continually striving towards. She had a new resolution each week that she would add to the previous. This book is great for anyone who can have low moods sometimes and for people who want to live their best life and not let their lives pass them by.

This month my resolutions are about work. Week 1: Don’t take work home with you

Try your own happiness project and send me an email or let me know on facebook how you are doing.!/pages/Barrie-Naturopathic-Doctor-Whitney-Young/260230922738

yours in health,


A Long Walk to Freedom

Nelson Mandela’s autobiography Long Walk to Freedom was amazing.

It seems so crazy to me that that level of oppression was happening in my lifetime.  It will take a long time for that country to overcome the damages caused.

On the last page he writes “But I have discovered the secret that after climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb.  I have taken a moment here to rest, to steal a view of the glorious vista that surrounds me, to look back on the distance I have come.  But I can rest only for a moment, for with freedom come responsibilities, and I dare not linger, for my long walk is not yet ended.”

This passage struck me.  I have been realizing that I have a fantasy.  This fantasy is that one day I will wake up and my struggles will be over.  I won’t have to consider what I eat, how much money that I have, or the health and safety of my family.  When I read this passage I was reminded again, that life is a series of hills.   Climb with earnest, pause at the top to triumph the accomplishment.  Enjoy the relative ease of the downhill.  But rest assured, the next hill is coming.  Use the rest as for certain I will need the energy for the next climb.