Full of visual aids and a lead-by-example attitude, this refreshing book of recipes is a useful tool in promoting a healthy...




A guide for dieters who like to keep food journals, measure portions and count calories.

In line with the mantra “if you cannot measure it, you cannot control it,” the work’s “eight guiding truths” are a familiar combination of portion control, nutritional balance and daily exercise. After a brief introduction the book launches into the food diaries of 42 people who have lost weight using the system and whose “before” and “after” photographs have been renamed “then” and “now” to inspire a lifestyle change rather than a fixed goal. Along with personal anecdotes from the dieters comes a day’s worth of recipes for healthy breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks paired with calorie content. The recipes are appealing and artfully photographed, with a good balance of leafy greens and indulgences like ice cream and red wine. Commentary from the dieters adds a personal flavor to the recipes, like this description of a protein shake: “Great after a strenuous workout. Tastes like liquid gingerbread.” Each journal entry includes a Health Reflection™ Nutrition Facts Report, a personalized Food and Drug Administration-style food label that calculates the calories and nutrients the dieter consumed that day and color-codes the daily value percentages either red or green depending on whether or not the daily recommendations have been met. All the entries represent a “green day” in which the meals have worked together to create a healthy nutritional balance. The book is a companion to the NutriMirror website, where readers can use the online version of the Nutrition Facts Report to record their own food intake and calculate the results. Online weight loss calculator tools are inherently fun to use and this one is especially clever. But even without the website, the book offers enough nutritious, low-calorie recipes for readers to get an idea of which foods to eat in order to maintain a healthy weight.

Full of visual aids and a lead-by-example attitude, this refreshing book of recipes is a useful tool in promoting a healthy lifestyle and gradual weight loss.

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-1936292004

Page Count: 306

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: June 28, 2010

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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

ISBN: 978-1-4000-5217-2

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2010

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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

ISBN: 978-1-61620-786-1

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Algonquin

Review Posted Online: Jan. 5, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2020

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