An excellent blend of common-sense nutritional advice and inviting recipes for mothers and their charges.

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FEED YOURSELF, FEED YOUR FAMILY

GOOD NUTRITION AND HEALTHY COOKING FOR NEW MOMS AND GROWING FAMILIES

La Leche League International presents a balanced diet for pregnant mothers, new mothers and, by extension, the whole family.

Once you are eating for two or serving two or more, the simple process of eating can become loaded with guilt, anxiety and stress. La Leche wants you to replace these feelings “with pleasure: the pleasure of preparing and eating good food for yourself and others, of feeding the ones you love, of joining together to nourish and nurture one another.” Though La Leche is best known for breastfeeding advocacy, it takes little imagination to make the connection between a healthy diet and a healthy breastfeeding experience, and the important shift from breast milk to other foodstuffs. Though the voice here is that of a committee and somewhat drained of personality, there is nonetheless a great deal of warmth and encouragement in these pages. La Leche tackles questions regarding caloric intake, major nutritional needs and their ebb and flow during various stages of mothering and the correct doses of supplements, should they be necessary. Thankfully, the authors place the emphasis on good science, rather than the latest trend, when it comes to salt, fat and sugar intake. The recipes convey an artful twining of balance and flavor—celery root and potato puree, crab tostadas, Greek meatballs and yogurt, salmon and horseradish sauce—while cooking tips help take the stress out of preparation. There are also important pointers on such topics as not spurning help (“If you refuse these offers, they have a way of stopping”), letting the baby lead the way from breast to solid food (“promotes independence in eating”) and the bonding conviviality of dinner at the table.

An excellent blend of common-sense nutritional advice and inviting recipes for mothers and their charges.

Pub Date: March 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-345-51846-0

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Ballantine

Review Posted Online: Nov. 21, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2011

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Skloot's meticulous, riveting account strikes a humanistic balance between sociological history, venerable portraiture and...

THE IMMORTAL LIFE OF HENRIETTA LACKS

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.

WHY WE SWIM

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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