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The Hormone Boost

The Hormone Boost

How to Power Up Your Six Essential Hormones for Strength, Energy and Weight Loss
edition:Paperback
also available: Hardcover
tagged : diets, nutrition
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Excerpt

The conversation that started me down the Hormone Boost path made me realize how many people these days fit into a “just okay” mold—a way of existing from day to day that isn’t awful but sure isn’t great, either. Perhaps you feel the same way. When I stopped and really thought about it, I realized this shouldn’t have come as a surprise. In my practice, I hear from people all the time—all day, every day, in fact—about what they want more of, or what they want to improve. There’s a lot of common ground in these discussions, and chances are good that you’ve had the same thoughts from time to time (or maybe more often). This, then, is where we begin: with the biggest and most important areas in need of a boost.

How ’bout a Boost of These?.?.?.

While there is an almost endless supply of areas in our daily lives that can be improved, the following seven are the ones that crop up most often in the discussions I’ve had about well-being.

Energy

Regular sleep and regular exercise combined with a thoughtful diet should be sufficient to give anyone the energy they need for a busy life. The thing is, if we’re not getting the right kinds of sleep, practicing the right exercises or eating the right foods, we can wreak havoc on our energy levels without even knowing it. If part of how you’re managing your days right now requires the assistance of regular caffeine intake or high-sugar foods or an afternoon nap, you’ll be interested in The Hormone Boost’s plan to power up your energy by targeting the specific hormones and habits that affect it most intensely.

Strength

Being strong isn’t just about being able to open the pickle jar without special implements or assistance. It’s also about creating the optimum conditions for your body to take care of itself and move freely through the world. Whatever your limitations are (in terms of health, work or mobility), a stronger body will improve your energy and quality of life. It can even make sitting at a desk for several hours more manageable, and allow you to burn more fat while doing it! Strong bodies also age more gracefully and recover from illness and injury more quickly. We’re not able to get any younger, but we can always get stronger. The Hormone Boost plan will show you how.

Memory

We might not notice our memory gaps in this always connected ultra-digital world. Can’t remember a celebrity’s name? You can IMDB it. Worried about forgetting a new contact’s number? Put it in your smartphone. Never before have we had so many devices stand in for memory. As a result, unsurprisingly, our memories are not as strong as they used to be. (I once nearly drove myself crazy trying to remember an actor’s name—and I refused to look it up online. It took me three days but I trusted that her name was in there, and sure enough, it was: Reese Witherspoon. Boom.) It’s impractical to disengage completely from all of your devices and external reminders, but you can give your memory a genuine boost by attending to the hormones that give it strength and longevity. Quicker, more intense memory recall is part of a strong, active brain—and it supports your mental acuity.

Metabolism

It’s hard to be healthy and energetic and fit without metabolic support. As I mentioned previously, I went through an intense struggle with my metabolism after graduating from university, and again six years later, after naturopathic medical school. During both periods, my strict diet and rigorous exercise sessions failed to help me lose weight or keep it off. It was during those times that my hormonal health concerns forced me to realize that the formula calories in – calories burned = weight loss was by no means complete. Hormones are the body’s powerhouse; the processes they drive sustain every aspect of health and fat-burning potential (a.k.a. metabolism). Boosting your metabolism means augmenting your capacity to generate and use energy—and that is naturally connected to your health, energy and fitness levels.

Confidence

Regardless of your size or style, you should be confident. Full stop. The people I am most drawn to are those who just seem entirely comfortable with themselves—people who own their worth, who wouldn’t trade places with anyone. This is what I wish for all of my patients and friends, because it can make such a massive difference in every area of your life: professionally, personally (especially in intimate relationships), physically. Confidence walks with a straight back and long strides and a general peace with the world. Balancing your hormones, especially those discussed in this book, will allow you to generate confidence in your sense of surety and comfort with your body, your life and your relationships.

Immunity
The twenty-first century has brought with it an amazing number of quick fixes and surface shortcuts—and we rely on them to make our lives easier in countless ways. Too often, though, we don’t stop and think about the challenges this reliance is creating. Take hand sanitizer. While effective in the immediate biological sense (e.g., after using the toilet), its prevalence is making it harder and harder for our bodies to build up their own immunities. Ditto for antibiotics, which, when overprescribed, compromise our ability to fight off seemingly minor viruses and bacteria. I’m not suggesting you swear off sanitizer entirely or avoid a doctor’s prescription, but I invite you to explore what a hormonally boosted immune system can do. If the metabolism is the body’s powerhouse, the immune system is Neighborhood Watch: it monitors comings and goings and does its best to ensure you’re safe. A hormone boost to the metabolism increases not only its efficacy but also your overall safety.

Mood

Boosting your mood has a more subtle impact, in some ways, than boosting your metabolism or immune system. A mood boost won’t necessarily help you lose a few pounds or fend off the flu that’s going around. But our moods are pervasive, and they have the power to change our perspective, our schedule and our interactions. Wake up in a bad mood? You might swear at the thought of hard-boiled eggs for breakfast and grab a croissant instead. Have an unexpectedly tense confrontation with a client or colleague? You might “treat” yourself to a beer as soon as you get in the door, to help unwind after that adrenalin-inducing conversation. When you’re in a good mood, you are more patient (you’ll walk home rather than jump in a cab), make better choices (cheerfully crunch that salad—and those abs!) and attract the good energies of others (that stranger you bumped into at the produce stand just happens to be a trainer at your local gym and invites you in for a free session). Boosting your mood will have a thousand small positive effects in every area of your life.

The Hormone Boost has been diligently researched and designed to boost every part of you. We’ll explore each boost area and its corresponding hormones thoroughly, unpacking the science behind hormonal health and tracing the connections between what we do and how we feel. I’m also thrilled to be able to share with you some amazing successes from my practice; they demonstrate just how important hormonal health is in all areas of your life. And each chapter will leave you with my recommendations for boosting the hormones that are integral to powering up your body, your mind and your fat-loss efforts. Specifically, we’re going to focus on a group of hormones I’ve come to think of as “the fat-loss six.”

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The Diabetes Code

Prevent and Reverse Type 2 Diabetes Naturally
edition:Paperback
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The Obesity Code

The Obesity Code

Unlocking the Secrets of Weight Loss
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The Thrive Diet, 10th Anniversary Edition

The Thrive Diet, 10th Anniversary Edition

The Plant-Based Whole Foods Way to Staying Healthy for Life
edition:Paperback
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Excerpt

PREFACE TO THE 10TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

When the first edition of The Thrive Diet was published 10 years ago, my hope for it far exceeded my expectation. After all, my belief in how plant-based nutrition could boost athletic performance while also reducing the strain on the environment was, at the time, considered fringe at best. A national bestselling book in North America, The Thrive Diet has since been published in several countries, benefiting the lives of millions of people. It’s been a rewarding journey, sharing the principles of The Thrive Diet and the benefits of plant-based nutrition, whether I’m talking at conferences, universities, or companies or simply having a conversation with people interested in learning more about or adopting a plant-based diet.
     Ten years later, it’s now common for people to speak of their “plant-based diet.” Even “vegan” is a familiar word, seen on the most conventional restaurants’ menus. The importance of avoiding animal products in our diet, whether for heath, physical and mental performance, environmental, ethical, or a combination of these reasons, is now well understood and widely accepted.
     As well, in the past decade a whole new generation, the millennials, has come of age. This socially conscious generation—numbering over 80 million in the United States alone (greater than one-quarter of the population)—cares about themselves and their individual health, of course, but they also care deeply about the health of the planet and how their choices and actions affect others. They care about social issues and how their food choices can sway industry. They want to know where their food comes from, and at what cost. And “cost” to them isn’t simply monetary. It extends to the environment. In other words, how much of each natural resource is expended to get nutrition? Land, water, fossil fuels, and carbon footprint are all part of the equation. I wrote about this extensively in my third book, Whole Foods to Thrive, when the topic was still somewhat new. But today, these are the questions people regularly ask, because cost and return is better understood. I believe this socially minded consumption will become of even greater value as time goes by.
     Millennials are also the first generation who understand that a greater amount of something is not necessarily a better deal. They understand that volume, weight, or amount of calories is no longer a value proposition, and they ask informed questions such as, “What’s the nutrient density?” and “What’s the cost-to-nutrient ratio?” They know that the value of food ought to be measured in nutrients contained in it, not in caloric “value,” and certainly not in weight or sheer size.
     Also, benefit is now more appreciated than ever. Millennials are less likely to aspire to owning a car, a bike, or even a song. Instead, they use car-share services and communal bike systems, and they stream music as opposed to buying it. They don’t want things per se; they simply want the benefit that things can provide.
     This way of thinking is crossing over into millennials’ view of food as well. More than previous generations, they appreciate the outcome of mindful eating, and therefore base their eating decisions largely on functional result. Will the food give them more sustainable energy? Will it improve their fat metabolism, enhance their skin elasticity, boost their ability to concentrate, improve their sleep quality, and so on? They want answers to these questions before they decide what to eat.
     I believe the Thrive Diet is more relevant now than ever before. Approaching eating as an opportunity to benefit oneself—having a desired function and a purpose in mind for the meal or snack—this is the new way. Food as a means of change and progress. Food and the way in which it’s produced as a way to affect billions of lives, human, non-human, and the planet’s.

In this 10th anniversary edition, I have left the main text of the original intact, as the principles of the Thrive Diet continue to hold true today. If you are new to the Thrive Diet, today you have access to so many nutrient-dense whole foods that are widely available in grocery stores. A lot has changed in 10 years, and it is definitely progress in the right direction for those embracing a healthier way of eating. I’ve created 25  new Thrive Diet recipes for this edition that I hope you enjoy.

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Dairy-Free

Dairy-Free

21 Days of Menus
edition:Paperback
tagged : allergies, diets
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Cholesterol

Cholesterol

21 Days of Menus
edition:Paperback
tagged : diets
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