GUT GUIDE 101 by Mari J Hahn


Three Weeks to Better Digestion and Increased Energy
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Debut writer Hahn offers a plan for improving health through better digestion.

The author, a health coach, has a massage therapy background as well as additional training in integrative nutrition, which made her start seeing the body as “a whole organism” with “multiple amazing systems to keep itself in balance.” In this book, she presents a wealth of information about how to make healthier eating choices, and uses examples and statistics to convince readers of the need for change. For example, she cites research that shows that “kids born today are the first generation of Americans whose life expectancy is less than their parents.” She notes that most self-help books urge “big changes to your daily schedule and lifestyle,” which, in turn, leads to low success rates. She calls her method “a moderate approach—based on the idea that small changes can make a big difference.” Along the way, she identifies familiar, everyday problems, such as the easy availability of junk food and the prevalence of high stress levels. The book also looks at many contemporary health concerns, including chronic inflammation, diabetes, and autism. Hahn then outlines a three-week, incremental plan for change, which unusually adds foods, rather than limiting or eliminating them. The first week of her program, for example, includes breakfast changes and the addition of a healthy smoothie (for which she includes a recipe); the second week focuses on adding probiotics and antioxidants; and the third adds exercise and more healthy food choices. She also explores the concept of the “Inner Doctor,” and provides supporting charts and questionnaires to increase readers’ self-awareness. Overall, Hahn’s plan is common-sense and easy to implement. “Gut friendly” recipes and healthier suggestions for eating out, even at fast-food restaurants, make this book a practical, realistic, and potentially life-changing guide for regular folks. However, Hahn advocates shunning genetically modified foods on the chance that “digestive distress or health problems…could be because of gut damage caused by GMO foods” and that many people who make the change start to feel “instant relief from their digestive symptoms or other autoimmune symptoms.” Although this book is generally well-cited, such broad generalizations may give readers grounded in the scientific method pause.

An informative guide to healthy eating choices that’s more concerned with overall well-being than weight loss.

Pub Date: Oct. 17th, 2014
ISBN: 978-0990744702
Page count: 182pp
Publisher: Alive and Well
Program: Kirkus Indie
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