Book Reviews

Written by on September 28, 2009 in Books, Reviews

Staying Healthy With NutritionElson M. Hass, MD, Staying Healthy with Nutrition: The Complete Guide to Diet and Nutritional Medicine, Celestial Arts, Berkeley, CA, 2006. $39.95

Leaving no area of nutrition untouched while answering the mystery of how to put it all together to create a healthy diet for an energetic and well balanced life, Elson M. Hass, MD brings the planet to your plate with the updated edition of Staying Healthy with Nutrition. Accessible enough for every bookshelf yet detailed enough for use by health professionals, Hass covers everything from the biochemistry of digestion to investigation of pollutants and toxins to nutritional suggestions for many common ailments, all with an eye on keeping the earth healthy. In teaching how to balance amino acids for a vegetarian diet, Haas illustrates that “rice’s deficiency in the amino acid lysine has been accommodated over the ages by the use of spices (such as fenugreek, mustard seed, and turmeric- all high in lysine).” Pointing out that the balance of omega-6 to omega-3 EFAs has been linked to the likelihood of weight-loss and to chronic inflammation, Hass suggests replacing high omega-6 peanuts with high omega-3 sesame seeds and pumpkin seeds. Listing the most important foods to buy organic- such as baby food, strawberries, milk and bananas, Hass warns that attractive conventional produce often remains laced with pesticides, such as cucumber which has the second-highest level of carcinogenic pesticides used. Instead she offers her motto: good food (natural, organic, fresh), good thoughts, good actions. Providing meal plans and recipes for every stage of life including infancy and adolescence, during lactation or when taking birth control pills, and diets for anti-stress and healthy travel, this easy to use and comprehensive tome can be considered the owners manual for the human body.
Your Body Speaks Your MindDeb Shapiro, Your Body Speaks Your Mind: Decoding the Emotional, Psychological, and Spiritual Messages That Underlie Illness, Sounds True, Boulder CO, 2006. $19.95

Battling insomnia? If so, has someone broken your trust or is there something you are holding on to that is preventing you from releasing into sleep? Receding gums? If so, have you failed to maintain healthy boundaries or experienced a loss of power? Take back control by becoming fluent in the language of the bodymind. Speaking through its symptoms, the body concisely expresses the state of your mind and emotions. “Any emotion that is repressed, denied, or ignored will get stuck in the body,” explains Shapiro. This blockage leads to the symptoms you experience as illness. Using everyday language to detail the medical complexities of the body, Deb Shapiro, in this updated edition of Your Body Speaks Your Mind, provides an excellent place to begin querying what emotional, psychological or spiritual problem your body is trying to solve by creating illness, while accounting for other factors at play such as environment and genetics. Expertly weaving together the best minds in the field, Shapiro presents a host of suggestions and questions to explore the hidden inner realms of specific illnesses ranging from food allergies to loss of balance. In addition, she supplies a CD that guides you through turning your body from a stranger into a friend. Stopping short of claiming that fluency in bodymind speak will cure illness, Shapiro instead offers a powerful tool in the healing process. After all “As you think, so you become.”
UnstuckJames S. Gordon, MD, Unstuck: Your Guide to the Seven-Stage Journey Out of Depression, The Penguin Press, New York NY 2008. $25.95. ISBN 978-1-59420-166-0

We have all felt the affects of depression at some point, whether personally or through witnessing the suffering of a loved one. Beginning with the sense of being lost, trapped or adrift, then compounded by a feeling of dependence and frustration at being unable to change, the sufferer comes to feel isolated and stuck. With Unstuck: Your Guide to the Seven-Stage Journey Out of Depression, psychiatrist Dr. James Gordon offers a plan to take charge of depression by repairing the imbalances that create and maintain it. With over forty years of experience treating depression, Gordon has seen first-hand the failure of the usual drugs and therapies to truly fix depression. Instead, Gordon advocates a real and lasting cure — to change the lifestyle that led to the depression in the first place. Guiding you through this life overhaul, Gordon lays out a seven-point plan incorporating nutrition, exercise, meditation, and other healthful habits to promote wellness on all levels: physical, mental, and spiritual. Offering far more than just his medical expertise, Gordon shines light on depression by sharing his broad life experience and keen insight into human nature. Interspersing lessons from sources as diverse as neurology and Greek drama with anecdotes from his psychiatric practice and an abundance of helpful sidebars, Gordon empowers through a combination of education and support. Through warm, friendly, and reassuring writing, Gordon helps even the most depressed to open their minds to solutions instead of dwelling on problems. But those looking to Unstuck for a quick fix won’t find one. Instead, Gordon focuses on lasting change born from what may be a long and sometimes difficult path, but also a good one, full of movement, laughter, and finally joy.

Alec Franklor and Charles Duncan work for, an online directory of spiritual and healing retreats. They can be reached at:

About Tony Cecala

Tony is a business strategist. He publishes the Holistic Networker and produces the Wellness Expo. In his spare time he reads about technology and the mind.

About the Author

About the Author: Tony is a business strategist. He publishes the Holistic Networker and produces the Wellness Expo. In his spare time he reads about technology and the mind. .


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  1. Chrissy says:

    I’ve been learning about decode messages from a book called Decoding The Spiritual Messages of Everyday Life by Dr. Paul DeBell. What’s amaxing about this book is you will learn messages will help you deepen your understanding of your tradition. People from all traditions, capacities and life-circumstances receive messages in everyday life.