Reviewed – Proteinaholic: How Our Obsession with Meat is Killing Us and what We Can Do About It

I knew about Dr. Garth Davis from the TLC reality show Big Medicine. Dr. Davis runs a weight loss clinic in Houston, Texas and consistently advised his patients to eat enough protein. As a Texas boy, Dr. Davis was a big meat eater. He was also unaware that animal protein caused illness. When Dr. Davis was in his mid-30s and saw his own health deteriorate, he began to investigate the role diet played in health.

The premise of this book is that we are eating too much protein, which is the ultimate cause of much disease. The book is exceedingly well-researched (you can tell it was written by a physician) and looks at the science behind many of the “milk does a body good” type studies. Now Dr. Davis is triathlete who follows a plant-based diet. He also fully admits that his “eat more protein” advice was misguided.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is suffering from health problems and is willing to consider a diet-based solution.

Reviewed – On Edge: A Journey Through Anxiety

At a family reunion last summer, I was shocked to learn that we had anxiety problems on every branch of our family tree. Second cousins who’d never met had lengthy school absences because they were too anxious to attend classes. Nieces and nephews made limiting life choices based on fears of getting a job or perusing higher education. Recognizing the impact of anxiety on my extended family was sad and sobering.

I think that’s why I appreciated On Edge: A Journey Through Anxiety by Andrea Petersen. She had her first panic attack as a college student in 1989 and has battled anxiety throughout her life. This book is part memoir, part mental health history, and part science of medication and a cure. Petersen’s grandmother was a 39-year-old Wisconsin housewife when she tried to set fire to her three young children while they slept. She lived most of her remaining life in a mental institution.

Much of the treatment for anxiety uses Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (essentially changing your thoughts about an anxious situation and forcing yourself to do it anyway). I found it especially interesting that there are now interventions for preschoolers to teach them how to cope with anxiety. This approach encourages bravery and taking small steps toward goals, versus letting the children quit an activity because they are afraid.

This book will be of interest to anyone with anxiety or who has loved ones who suffer.

Reviewed – The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich

This book was published in 2007 and is still a best-seller. I’ve always found the title unbelievable and had no desire to read the book. When my son got it out of the library recently (using my library card, of course), I decided that it was time to take a look.

The essence of The 4-Hour Workweek is that you streamline your business and outsource what you can, so that you are not stuck in the minutia of running a business. Ferris asks you to reflect on the question: “If you had a heart attack and had to work only two hours a day, what would you do?” He also believes that trying to fill the time between 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM with meaningless tasks is a holdover from traditional employment and that the New Rich (as he calls them) should be much more efficient with their time.

I think the title is misleading. Clearly the author spends a lot more than four hours a week working – given that he’s an author, blogger and active learner. The book does give a lot of strategies for focusing on the important parts of your business and relying on an empowered team to make decisions. Ferris is clearly an interesting character and I think most business owners could learn a lot from this book.

Reviewed – Your Life Can Be Better, Using Strategies for Adult ADD/ADHD

I read this book when researching an article on Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). I do not have ADHD, but I know many people who do. The author is a prominent psychiatrist with ADHD and understands the challenges both personally and professionally.

This book is well-written in a friendly tone with short, understandable chapters. As the title indicates, the book is totally focused on strategies that make living with ADHD easier. The author suggests identifying a problem, developing a strategy, making the strategy a rule, and then making the rule a habit. One of his first examples is that his keys always go on a specific table. It is now a habit and he no longer loses his keys.

The author includes several interviews and case studies about how to cope with ADHD. One of my favorite was a gentleman who carries a folded piece of paper in his pocket. Each quarter page is labeled as follows:

1. Things to do today

2. Appointments

3. Calls to Make

4. Ideas to Remember

I really enjoyed this book. It helped me understand the challenges of a person with ADHD. It also provided several strategies for getting organized that can be beneficial to everyone.