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 – End Overwhelm Now: A Proven Process for Taking Control of Your Life

I came across this book as I was researching my own book about entrepreneurial overwhelm and burnout. This is a truly excellent book with lots of great strategies and ideas for ending overwhelm. The author’s premise is that overwhelm is created by our response to stress – and that we can make a different decision than going to the place of “I can’t do this.”

One of the gems was her 4-step process for organizing thoughts in a way that is empowering and encouraging problem solving. These questions are:

  1. What is the specific outcome you want to accomplish?
  2. Why do I want to complete this project?
  3. How will I achieve this outcome?
  4. When should this project be completed?

Answering these questions requires being specific about accomplishments, being willing to find help, reducing projects to small steps, and putting aside non-urgent projects. The author also writes a lot about changing your self-talk from “I’m so overwhelmed that I could die” to “I am empowered and have done difficult tasks in the past.” This is a wonderful empowering read that I’m sure will be of use to anyone experiencing overwhelm.

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 – 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.