My time allotment for reading changed quite a bit (i.e., decreased dramatically) this month because I started a new job. Nonetheless, I did manage to read two non-fiction books.
My dad gave me this book several months ago, but it was only recently that I decided to pick it up; I think I’m in a phase in which topics related to parenting are of particular interest. Anyway, this book is not new, so you might have heard of it by now. In essence, the author writes 250+ pages comparing American and French parenting styles, mostly explaining all the mistakes the Americans are making. It’s true though–a lot of the young American children I meet (my own included) are what the French would call “child kings” who dictate their parents’ lives on a daily basis. The parts of the book that I found most interesting related to food (shocking, I know). We Americans tend to use food as a cure-all for any situation in which a child is not completely content, whether they are bored, upset, angry, or scared. I’m guilty of this myself, even though I definitely know better. I love that French children all generally follow the same meal schedule: three snacks and a gouter, (rather than the unending snack routine that sometimes takes over our household). The menus described for early childhood education centers are amazing; those kids develop an appreciation for real, good food from an early age. I also enjoyed reading about how French women do not surrender their whole lives to motherhood. Rather, having children is an obvious and joyful milestone…but it doesn’t mean losing your sense of self and sacrificing your adult life completely. Overall, there was some good advice in this book that I plan to implement at home.
State of Slim by James O. Hill and Holly R. Wyatt
Full disclosure, I read this book to prepare for my job; the weight loss intervention described in this book is very close to the strategy used in the research project I am working on. However, this is a mainstream diet book published by Rodale, so it is geared toward the general population (and not just nutrition nerds like myself). Hence my decision to discuss it here. This book was written by a PhD and an MD, so unlike most diet books out there, the information contained within its pages is based on solid, empirical evidence. In essence, the book is a guide to “fix your metabolism” (i.e., gain “metabolic flexibility”) such that your body can adapt to changing dietary circumstances without resulting in weight gain. As with any diet I recommend to patients or participants, I plan on trying it myself. The first phase (which lasts just two weeks) is quite restrictive, but that is typical of any weight loss program as a means of “resetting” your diet. The second two phases seem quite doable, particularly for someone such as myself who is experienced in any sort of carbohydrate restriction. My only concern is the lack of fat! This plan requires only a few servings per day (~2), whereas I routinely have a serving of fat at every meal and snack. It will take some adjustment, but I’m sure it will provide helpful insight for future nutrition counseling sessions. If you’re looking to lose a significant amount of weight (at least 10-15 pounds), I would recommend reading this book as a well-researched strategy to shed fat in a relatively short time frame.
What did you read in April?