Friday, May 31, 2013

Book Recommendation: The Plan


I’m clearly interested in the topic of maximizing health and fitness. I’ve been studying and practicing it for as long as I can remember, starting with religiously watching the Jack LaLanne show on television before school as early as third grade. Many people have asked why I don’t write a book. It makes sense to wonder.

And, admittedly, there have been times when I’ve sat down to get the book started. If I did write one, I’d want it to be about all of the facets that I consider crucial to address to create a healthy lifestyle.  These are all of the factors that I consider whenever I’m helping a client achieve his/her goals: Water, Food, Sleep, Exercise, Stretching, Play and Avoiding Toxins.

My biggest stumbling block in writing the book is the fact that everyone’s situation is so different, it was hard to write to one audience without misleading another. And this is also the big problem I have with the majority of books out there that have already been written. I am of the firm belief that we are all chemically and emotionally different and have different needs, so there is no ONE WAY that’s best for everyone.

I would literally need to write a different book for everybody.

So, as of yet, I have not written it.

But I recently stumbled upon a very good book at the recommendation of a friend and colleague. She knows the way I feel about food, nutrition and health and thought that this particular book was aligned with my way of thinking.

She could not have been more right.

I don’t usually recommend nutrition books, but this is an exception. I would go so far as to say that this is the book I would have written, if I ever sat down to write one.
In “The Plan,” Lyn-Genet Recitas talks about how inflammation is the root cause of most disease in the body. This is something I’ve believed for a long time, too. She has done extensive research and real life experimentation with hundreds of people over decades of work and has come up with a wonderful idea for finding out which foods should and should not be included in an individual’s diet. 

The great thing about the book is its acknowledgment that we all have different needs and will have different ideal diets. The idea is that she takes the reader on a 20 day food experiment designed to show which foods are ‘friendly’ and which cause an inflammatory response.

Through her practice, over the years, Ms Recitas has discovered that many foods commonly considered healthy actually cause many people an inflammatory reaction, which will in turn cause weight gain and set the stage for disease. Foods like salmon, asparagus, oatmeal and greek yogurt are common culprits here.

My recommendation of the book comes with a big caution.  While I think there is a lot of good information to learn from this book, I also think the experiments can be very confusing and the data collected is effected by so many variables that it really requires someone who is in charge of every minute detail of their lives and skilled at analyzing data in order to glean accurate results.

I have the luxury of being proficient in the kitchen, and of having the free time available to spend making and buying the food required for the tests. I also am fortunate to live in a major city with many of the resources required for the diet available to me. 

Anyone with a strict schedule, a fear of the kitchen, or limited access to esoteric groceries will likely find the system quite challenging if not altogether useless.

Another caveat I can see was made evident when I joined a facebook group that offered support for people doing The Plan. I had some questions about some of the results I was getting and about how to interpret them. What I discovered pretty quickly was that I was the least ‘lost’ of anyone in the group and I soon became the resident expert. The people in the group where having so many problems staying on the plan, and even when they were able to stay on it, there seemed to be a lot of confusion regarding how to understand and apply the results.

What I noticed happening in the group was that people would stick with certain aspects of the plan but not stick with the plan entirely. This renders the plan fairly useless and it becomes just another diet to blindly follow without learning anything.

In a nutshell, Lyn-Genet lays out everything to eat for 20 days, including doing some ‘tests’ to find out the level of reactivity certain foods have in your body. And then, in the third section of the book, she teaches the reader how to continue using the same protocol on your own.

If one were to follow her laid-out 20-day plan, it would be a very healthful, weight loss diet. So that alone is worth the cost of the book. But she goes way beyond that. The whole emphasis of the book is to make the reader independent of the book. Hoooray!

A good portion of the book is recipes. They are healthful recipes and actually quite delicious. They will be enjoyed even by people who have no desire to eat healthfully. So if you want to go on the program, you will most likely find that your family will not resist. In fact, some of the recipes in the book have become favorites in our house.

I have been a member of the Amazon.com affiliate program for about three years. In that time, I think I’ve only recommended one or two things. But now this is going on my list.
I will include a link here in case you want to purchase this book from Amazon.com. If you use this link to purchase it, I will make a little bit of commission. But I want to be clear: I’m not recommending this book just because I’ll make a few cents, Actually quite the opposite. I’m making a few cents off of it because it’s a good book.

As I took myself through the 20-day program known as The Plan, I took careful notes and shared my deliberations and thought processes on my blog.  Check out my entries here:

1. Food Testing
2. Cheese
3. Rye & Chocolate
4. Beef
5. Potato Chips
6. Wheat Bread
7. Scallops
8. Tomatoes
9. Rice cereal & Eggs
10. Exercise
11. Two Animal Proteins in One Day
12. Dulse (seaweed)
13. Sleep
14. Lima Beans
15. Pie Crust
16. Snack Bar

You'll notice, as you read through my experience, that I was often quite baffled by the results. And I've made a living out of this type of study. I can only imagine how confounding the test results might be to the average lay - person. So as I said, this book gets my recommendation but with certain cautions, as previously mentioned.

1 comment:

Kristie said...

Love the journey and your findings! Very interesting.