A clear, concise introduction to ayurvedic cooking.

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SACRED & DELICIOUS

A MODERN AYURVEDIC COOKBOOK

Mitchell’s debut book follows the guiding principle of the ancient system of medicine known as ayurveda—to heal thyself with nurturing food.

Ayurveda refers to the interplay between various “constitutions” of the body, called “doshas.” The author argues that when the three doshas (vata, pitta, and kapha) are out of balance, it can result in pain, illness, and, ultimately, chronic disease. According to Mitchell, a professional wellness mentor and cooking instructor, readers must first identify which of their doshas are out of balance so they can focus on the primary goal of ayurveda—eating foods that will bring the doshas back into equilibrium. She not only includes an explanation of the three doshas here, but also a rundown of physical signs to look for to determine which one needs attention. The book also offers examples of specific foods to promote balance in each dosha as well as eight general lifestyle guidelines; some offer common sense, such as avoiding junk food, but others are more surprising, such as avoiding combining fruit with other types of food or eating cold victuals. However, the author doesn’t lay out these rules with a strict or radical tone; instead, she encourages readers to make changes in moderation and to eat animal protein or cooked onions when necessary—although these items aren’t usually part of an ayurvedic diet. The recipe section is where this book really shines, however, as it showcases beautiful full-color photos of select dishes. There are two separate sections for vegetable- and legume-based soups, and a chapter on entrees is separated into dishes for weekdays (which take 30 minutes to an hour of “active” preparation) and dishes for the weekend, which may take up to two hours. Readers might have benefited from tips on where to find uncommon ingredients, such as Bragg Liquid Aminos or asafetida. Also, some recipes take quite a long time to cook, but this aligns with the ayurvedic guideline to eat slowly and savor what one has prepared.

A clear, concise introduction to ayurvedic cooking.

Pub Date: Oct. 16, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-63152-347-2

Page Count: 256

Publisher: She Writes Press

Review Posted Online: Jan. 30, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2019

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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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