by Galit Goldfarb ‧ RELEASE DATE: Oct. 7, 2015
A highly scientific, impressively researched map to better health through a plant-based diet.
Awards & Accolades
A diet and lifestyle guide based on evolutionary science that compares humans and gorillas.
At the age of 16, Goldfarb (The 6 Principle Strategy for Creating a Successful & Happy Life, 2015, etc.) became obsessed with finding the perfect diet. At the time, she struggled with eating disorders, and as an adult, she faced two bouts of cancer. She now has multiple degrees in nutrition and medical science, and here, she analyzes the similarities between humans and gorillas to explore the diet that restored her health. She divides the guide into two sections: the first traces evolutionary evidence of why her diet works, and the second outlines the lifestyle itself. Anthropology buffs will be impressed with the depth of Goldfarb’s supporting research, which makes up two-thirds of the book. Epigenetics—the study of how genes are expressed, based upon external or environmental factors—provides the basis for her theory for the ideal human diet. Gorillas have much in common with humans, she says, but the foods they consume stand in contrast to the typical Western diet. In captivity, gorillas who were fed processed foods suffered from obesity, heart disease, high cholesterol, and sugar addiction; after returning to their natural high-fiber, low-protein, and low-fat diet, the animals thrived. Similarly, she says, humans would benefit from a return to the food that led them to succeed as a species. Goldfarb provides examples of the consequences of eating too much animal protein, dairy, and processed foods, which may scare any burger-loving American reader straight. Taking on a natural, mostly plant-based diet, she says, helps people break free from disease and general malaise. For readers who aren’t convinced, Goldfarb provides evidence that leading an unhealthy lifestyle can predispose one’s children to disease and early death. The description of the Guerrilla/Gorilla Diet is dissimilar to those of other diets in that it provides intricate scientific and historic explanations. Such comprehensiveness may almost be too dense for casual readers, but even those seeking a new route to better health will find detailed 12-week and 30-day plans to follow as well as a bounty of food charts.A highly scientific, impressively researched map to better health through a plant-based diet.
Pub Date: Oct. 7, 2015
Page Count: 398
Review Posted Online: Dec. 11, 2015
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2016
Review Program: Kirkus Indie
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by Rebecca Skloot ‧ RELEASE DATE: Feb. 9, 2010
Skloot's meticulous, riveting account strikes a humanistic balance between sociological history, venerable portraiture and...
A dense, absorbing investigation into the medical community's exploitation of a dying woman and her family's struggle to salvage truth and dignity decades later.
In a well-paced, vibrant narrative, Popular Science contributor and Culture Dish blogger Skloot (Creative Writing/Univ. of Memphis) demonstrates that for every human cell put under a microscope, a complex life story is inexorably attached, to which doctors, researchers and laboratories have often been woefully insensitive and unaccountable. In 1951, Henrietta Lacks, an African-American mother of five, was diagnosed with what proved to be a fatal form of cervical cancer. At Johns Hopkins, the doctors harvested cells from her cervix without her permission and distributed them to labs around the globe, where they were multiplied and used for a diverse array of treatments. Known as HeLa cells, they became one of the world's most ubiquitous sources for medical research of everything from hormones, steroids and vitamins to gene mapping, in vitro fertilization, even the polio vaccine—all without the knowledge, must less consent, of the Lacks family. Skloot spent a decade interviewing every relative of Lacks she could find, excavating difficult memories and long-simmering outrage that had lay dormant since their loved one's sorrowful demise. Equal parts intimate biography and brutal clinical reportage, Skloot's graceful narrative adeptly navigates the wrenching Lack family recollections and the sobering, overarching realities of poverty and pre–civil-rights racism. The author's style is matched by a methodical scientific rigor and manifest expertise in the field.Skloot's meticulous, riveting account strikes a humanistic balance between sociological history, venerable portraiture and Petri dish politics.
Pub Date: Feb. 9, 2010
Page Count: 320
Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2010
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2010
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by Bonnie Tsui ‧ RELEASE DATE: April 14, 2020
An absorbing, wide-ranging story of humans’ relationship with the water.
A study of swimming as sport, survival method, basis for community, and route to physical and mental well-being.
For Bay Area writer Tsui (American Chinatown: A People's History of Five Neighborhoods, 2009), swimming is in her blood. As she recounts, her parents met in a Hong Kong swimming pool, and she often visited the beach as a child and competed on a swim team in high school. Midway through the engaging narrative, the author explains how she rejoined the team at age 40, just as her 6-year-old was signing up for the first time. Chronicling her interviews with scientists and swimmers alike, Tsui notes the many health benefits of swimming, some of which are mental. Swimmers often achieve the “flow” state and get their best ideas while in the water. Her travels took her from the California coast, where she dove for abalone and swam from Alcatraz back to San Francisco, to Tokyo, where she heard about the “samurai swimming” martial arts tradition. In Iceland, she met Guðlaugur Friðþórsson, a local celebrity who, in 1984, survived six hours in a winter sea after his fishing vessel capsized, earning him the nickname “the human seal.” Although humans are generally adapted to life on land, the author discovered that some have extra advantages in the water. The Bajau people of Indonesia, for instance, can do 10-minute free dives while hunting because their spleens are 50% larger than average. For most, though, it’s simply a matter of practice. Tsui discussed swimming with Dara Torres, who became the oldest Olympic swimmer at age 41, and swam with Kim Chambers, one of the few people to complete the daunting Oceans Seven marathon swim challenge. Drawing on personal experience, history, biology, and social science, the author conveys the appeal of “an unflinching giving-over to an element” and makes a convincing case for broader access to swimming education (372,000 people still drown annually).An absorbing, wide-ranging story of humans’ relationship with the water.
Pub Date: April 14, 2020
Page Count: 288
Review Posted Online: Jan. 4, 2020
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2020
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