Well-reasoned self-help for reaching wellness goals.

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Think Yourself Thin

THE DNA SYSTEM TO REPROGRAM YOUR OWN BRAIN TO LOSE WEIGHT AND KEEP IT OFF

A Canadian life coach shares advice on developing a healthier mindset regarding eating and exercise in this how-to guide.

Plamondon-Thomas (When You’re Hungry, You Gotta Eat, 2011, etc.) warns upfront that her narrative is “more a book about ‘working in’ vs. ‘working out.’ ” Specifically, she discusses her “D.N.A system,” a mindfulness-focused approach that she uses with her own fitness clients, informed by the principles of “neuro-linguistic programming,” of which she’s a certified master practitioner. Her process consists of determining “how to elicit what you want (desire),” “how to make room for what you want and…clear any negative impact from your past (new you)” and finally “to program your brain with what you want (actualize).” She leads readers through a variety of exercises to explore these steps, including answering questions to uncover unconscious and/or self-limiting beliefs and then “recalibrate” and “rephrase” negative behaviors and statements: “Is it your belief that losing weight is hard? It could just as easily be easy. You have to believe that it’s easy and that it will work.” She also includes activities to amplify desired behaviors through recall visualization (such as summoning up times that one ate healthier) and use physical and spatial anchors (such as pressing one’s hands together and imagining oneself in a “circle of excellence”). Plamondon-Thomas passionately makes the case that a NLP–focused reset may well be the best weapon against self-sabotage and that it can allow one to achieve lasting, healthier eating and exercising habits. Her activities are at times a bit complex, such as her directive to “bring your integrated symbol with you along with your core and your potential” while advancing along an “identity matrix” grid. Still, Plamondon-Thomas’ enthusiasm for NLP is ultimately infectious, making this an effective, engaging self-mastery primer.

Well-reasoned self-help for reaching wellness goals.

Pub Date: Jan. 20, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4917-8467-9

Page Count: 196

Publisher: iUniverse

Review Posted Online: Sept. 16, 2016

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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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