A new, colorful angle on eating food from the earth.

THE SECRET POWERS OF COLORFUL FOODS

ENHANCING TRUST, SENSUALITY, SELF-CONFIDENCE, LOVE, FORGIVENESS, INTUITION AND SPIRITUALITY

In this spiritually minded cookbook, Dennis and food writer Lyons (The New EBONY Cookbook, 1999) argue that the colors of the foods we eat can balance our moods, improve our deficiencies and enhance our overall well-being.

The authors divide fruits and vegetables into color palettes and aim to show readers how to “select colorful foods according to [their] mental, emotional, and spiritual needs.” The suggestions are guided by ancient Hindu philosophy that says that people have seven energy currents, called chakras, running along their spines that each emit a specific color. To maintain harmonious inner lives, the authors say, these pathways must remain clear and balanced. Accordingly, the authors attempt to help readers identify which chakras need attention, and “prescribe” certain foods and recipes to address them. The best course of action, they suggest, is to eat a “rainbow” of foods, and they offer instructions on “how to throw a Rainbow Party.” The book attempts to demystify the process of identifying imbalances; for example, if you have trouble trusting your intuition, the book asserts that you may need help in the “brow” chakra, and refers you to purple foods, such as blueberries and cabbage. In addition to simple, healthy menu ideas, the book offers engaging exercises and meditations to address each chakra and coordinating emotion. Feeling tense and sapped of creativity? Your sacral chakra may be out of balance, say the authors; a cantaloupe ginger smoothie and oven-roasted pumpkin may do the trick, along with some deep breaths and practiced belly laughs. Readers who are already familiar with the concept of energy work, or who already eat a heavily plant-based diet, may be most open to the recommendations here. The authors keep well within their knowledge base, and to their credit, they keep the book’s scope fairly small and lighthearted, never overreaching into territories best left to nutritionists, doctors or researchers.

A new, colorful angle on eating food from the earth.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2014

ISBN: 978-1452586052

Page Count: 142

Publisher: BalboaPress

Review Posted Online: Nov. 11, 2014

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Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

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UNTAMED

More life reflections from the bestselling author on themes of societal captivity and the catharsis of personal freedom.

In her third book, Doyle (Love Warrior, 2016, etc.) begins with a life-changing event. “Four years ago,” she writes, “married to the father of my three children, I fell in love with a woman.” That woman, Abby Wambach, would become her wife. Emblematically arranged into three sections—“Caged,” “Keys,” “Freedom”—the narrative offers, among other elements, vignettes about the soulful author’s girlhood, when she was bulimic and felt like a zoo animal, a “caged girl made for wide-open skies.” She followed the path that seemed right and appropriate based on her Catholic upbringing and adolescent conditioning. After a downward spiral into “drinking, drugging, and purging,” Doyle found sobriety and the authentic self she’d been suppressing. Still, there was trouble: Straining an already troubled marriage was her husband’s infidelity, which eventually led to life-altering choices and the discovery of a love she’d never experienced before. Throughout the book, Doyle remains open and candid, whether she’s admitting to rigging a high school homecoming court election or denouncing the doting perfectionism of “cream cheese parenting,” which is about “giving your children the best of everything.” The author’s fears and concerns are often mirrored by real-world issues: gender roles and bias, white privilege, racism, and religion-fueled homophobia and hypocrisy. Some stories merely skim the surface of larger issues, but Doyle revisits them in later sections and digs deeper, using friends and familial references to personify their impact on her life, both past and present. Shorter pieces, some only a page in length, manage to effectively translate an emotional gut punch, as when Doyle’s therapist called her blooming extramarital lesbian love a “dangerous distraction.” Ultimately, the narrative is an in-depth look at a courageous woman eager to share the wealth of her experiences by embracing vulnerability and reclaiming her inner strength and resiliency.

Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

Pub Date: March 10, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-0125-8

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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The Stoics did much better with the much shorter Enchiridion.

THE LAWS OF HUMAN NATURE

A follow-on to the author’s garbled but popular 48 Laws of Power, promising that readers will learn how to win friends and influence people, to say nothing of outfoxing all those “toxic types” out in the world.

Greene (Mastery, 2012, etc.) begins with a big sell, averring that his book “is designed to immerse you in all aspects of human behavior and illuminate its root causes.” To gauge by this fat compendium, human behavior is mostly rotten, a presumption that fits with the author’s neo-Machiavellian program of self-validation and eventual strategic supremacy. The author works to formula: First, state a “law,” such as “confront your dark side” or “know your limits,” the latter of which seems pale compared to the Delphic oracle’s “nothing in excess.” Next, elaborate on that law with what might seem to be as plain as day: “Losing contact with reality, we make irrational decisions. That is why our success often does not last.” One imagines there might be other reasons for the evanescence of glory, but there you go. Finally, spin out a long tutelary yarn, seemingly the longer the better, to shore up the truism—in this case, the cometary rise and fall of one-time Disney CEO Michael Eisner, with the warning, “his fate could easily be yours, albeit most likely on a smaller scale,” which ranks right up there with the fortuneteller’s “I sense that someone you know has died" in orders of probability. It’s enough to inspire a new law: Beware of those who spend too much time telling you what you already know, even when it’s dressed up in fresh-sounding terms. “Continually mix the visceral with the analytic” is the language of a consultant’s report, more important-sounding than “go with your gut but use your head, too.”

The Stoics did much better with the much shorter Enchiridion.

Pub Date: Oct. 23, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-525-42814-5

Page Count: 580

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: July 31, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2018

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