A well-illustrated and comprehensive low-stress program for eating and exercising better.

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THE PULSESTEP PROGRAM

EAT AND STEP YOUR WAY TO A HEALTHIER YOU

A debut step-by-step guide focuses on achieving a healthier lifestyle through diet and exercise.

Digenio opens his well-designed manual with some sobering observations about American life in modern times: increased stress, high intakes of saturated and trans fats, increased portion sizes, and a growth of what the author calls “sedentarism,” adults spending more and more hours sitting around. These and other factors have led to an upsurge in chronic health problems, and the solution is obvious: a shift from curative reactions toward preventative approaches that modify unhealthy behaviors in order to circumvent future long-term complications. To combat sedentarism and obesity, the author—a Uruguay-born physician with extensive training in cardiovascular care who lives in New Jersey—developed a PulseStep Lifestyle Program. He illustrates this plan throughout the book with the example of Jason, a 43-year-old overweight man with Type 2 diabetes. When Jason’s doctors urge him to go on a weight-loss program, he and his wife, Brenda, conduct some research on various dietary plans. After considering alternatives, they decide to use PulseStep, which is based on three pillars: “a healthy, low-calorie Mediterranean diet, an increase in physical activity, and behavior-therapy strategies.” Jason is encouraged to assess his current level of exercise and dietary health, equipped with a pedometer (and told that he should add at least 500 steps to his daily goal each week), and reminded of the basics: “Fewer calories in and more calories out.” Progress is to be monitored with weekly weigh-ins. In clear and heavily bullet-pointed prose, accompanied by extensive full-color images by debut illustrator Ponce, the guide takes readers through the three pillars of Digenio’s program. The details of a Mediterranean diet are explored: more fresh foods, fewer processed items, healthy fats, fish, and moderate amounts of wine (a useful food pyramid and daily portion breakdown are provided). A plan for regular walking is laid out with sensible goals and cautions against overdoing things—a demonstration of the sympathetic approach the author employs throughout the book. He anticipates all the usual excuses people make to avoid exercising, and he gently but firmly short-circuits all of them. This is first and foremost an achievable weight-loss regimen, complete with  Digenio’s common-sense advice on the whole range of smarter eating techniques, from devouring smaller portions to consuming food more slowly and simply waiting when the urge to snack surfaces. The manual’s recurrent use of Jason as an Everyman example of somebody seeking to lose weight and get healthier, combined with its copious charts and graphs, makes it easy for readers to grasp the whole program and visualize its possible outcomes. The author examines both the customary discouragements of starting to learn so many new habits and the typical advantages that result from sticking with the course. All of it is presented in such straightforward, optimistic tones that even readers who’ve tried and failed at other dieting routines should find this one easy to embrace.

A well-illustrated and comprehensive low-stress program for eating and exercising better.

Pub Date: N/A

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Kurti Publishing

Review Posted Online: March 11, 2019

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Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

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UNTAMED

More life reflections from the bestselling author on themes of societal captivity and the catharsis of personal freedom.

In her third book, Doyle (Love Warrior, 2016, etc.) begins with a life-changing event. “Four years ago,” she writes, “married to the father of my three children, I fell in love with a woman.” That woman, Abby Wambach, would become her wife. Emblematically arranged into three sections—“Caged,” “Keys,” “Freedom”—the narrative offers, among other elements, vignettes about the soulful author’s girlhood, when she was bulimic and felt like a zoo animal, a “caged girl made for wide-open skies.” She followed the path that seemed right and appropriate based on her Catholic upbringing and adolescent conditioning. After a downward spiral into “drinking, drugging, and purging,” Doyle found sobriety and the authentic self she’d been suppressing. Still, there was trouble: Straining an already troubled marriage was her husband’s infidelity, which eventually led to life-altering choices and the discovery of a love she’d never experienced before. Throughout the book, Doyle remains open and candid, whether she’s admitting to rigging a high school homecoming court election or denouncing the doting perfectionism of “cream cheese parenting,” which is about “giving your children the best of everything.” The author’s fears and concerns are often mirrored by real-world issues: gender roles and bias, white privilege, racism, and religion-fueled homophobia and hypocrisy. Some stories merely skim the surface of larger issues, but Doyle revisits them in later sections and digs deeper, using friends and familial references to personify their impact on her life, both past and present. Shorter pieces, some only a page in length, manage to effectively translate an emotional gut punch, as when Doyle’s therapist called her blooming extramarital lesbian love a “dangerous distraction.” Ultimately, the narrative is an in-depth look at a courageous woman eager to share the wealth of her experiences by embracing vulnerability and reclaiming her inner strength and resiliency.

Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

Pub Date: March 10, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-0125-8

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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Not an easy read but an essential one.

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HOW TO BE AN ANTIRACIST

Title notwithstanding, this latest from the National Book Award–winning author is no guidebook to getting woke.

In fact, the word “woke” appears nowhere within its pages. Rather, it is a combination memoir and extension of Atlantic columnist Kendi’s towering Stamped From the Beginning (2016) that leads readers through a taxonomy of racist thought to anti-racist action. Never wavering from the thesis introduced in his previous book, that “racism is a powerful collection of racist policies that lead to racial inequity and are substantiated by racist ideas,” the author posits a seemingly simple binary: “Antiracism is a powerful collection of antiracist policies that lead to racial equity and are substantiated by antiracist ideas.” The author, founding director of American University’s Antiracist Research and Policy Center, chronicles how he grew from a childhood steeped in black liberation Christianity to his doctoral studies, identifying and dispelling the layers of racist thought under which he had operated. “Internalized racism,” he writes, “is the real Black on Black Crime.” Kendi methodically examines racism through numerous lenses: power, biology, ethnicity, body, culture, and so forth, all the way to the intersectional constructs of gender racism and queer racism (the only section of the book that feels rushed). Each chapter examines one facet of racism, the authorial camera alternately zooming in on an episode from Kendi’s life that exemplifies it—e.g., as a teen, he wore light-colored contact lenses, wanting “to be Black but…not…to look Black”—and then panning to the history that informs it (the antebellum hierarchy that valued light skin over dark). The author then reframes those received ideas with inexorable logic: “Either racist policy or Black inferiority explains why White people are wealthier, healthier, and more powerful than Black people today.” If Kendi is justifiably hard on America, he’s just as hard on himself. When he began college, “anti-Black racist ideas covered my freshman eyes like my orange contacts.” This unsparing honesty helps readers, both white and people of color, navigate this difficult intellectual territory.

Not an easy read but an essential one.

Pub Date: Aug. 13, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-525-50928-8

Page Count: 320

Publisher: One World/Random House

Review Posted Online: April 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2019

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