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This book has much information about healthy diet, lifestyle and medicine. Dr. Mercola pointed out in a recent talk we attended in Philadelphia that the third leading cause of death for Americans was --doctors. Sorry, doc, but iatrogenic (doctor-caused) complications are plentiful. Still, this statistic may be misleading as a lot of doctoring goes on in the expensive, last few months of life for terminally-ill and geriatric patients. So the number of complications due to procedures and drug interactions is possibly skewed here--if you read the medicare reports and read between the lines.
STILL, I prefer prevention. Dr. Mercola is a sort of Dr. Weil for the millenium, similar advice, more detail and his own slant on diet and health. Essentially, he advises vegetables, low to no grains--reduces insulin fluctuations, and healthy meats. He insists most people find that they are not served well by a vegan (no milk, meat, egg) diet and actually it could harm them. Yes, some folks are more than well on a vegan diet; it depends on your metabolic type, according to Mercola. For many, meat or fish are important. This is the "Atkins" type diet with an emphasis on healthy choices.
We liked a lot of the recipes in this book. Some were even delicious; "zucchini spaghetti" is a boon for the low-carb eater, thin strips of squash serve as a low-carb base for a tasty sauce. And a home-made sausage patty I liked, plus a spicy Jamaican rub for chicken or fish.
The recipes in "Total Health" are for the most part, pretty easy. The ingredients are what's more difficult to come by--for example, free range poultry, bison (buffalo), raw milk and Alaskan salmon, tested free of detectible mercury. But even in our rural area, we can order bison and salmon to be shipped in, and the raw milk is available over the border in Amish country. So while not every area in the US can obtain organic veggies and meats by walking to the store, even remote areas can find ways to get these items. If you were to adhere to the Mercola diet, a chest freezer could be helpful to freeze sporadic purchases of organic perishables.
How to get in those vegetables for brekkie really stumped us, until we tried the fearsome green shake, consisting of vegetable juice, whey powder, egg and greens powder, with coconut for flavor and its own benefits. This powerful smoothie is a quick pick-me-up for the morning rush and easily assimilated. We liked it, surprised how much so.
This diet and lifestyle is not easy, and the guy at home frankly said "No WAY am I eating veggies for a snack, thank YOU very much!" but adding the additional greens and of course healthy choices is doing us good, we are sure. A provocative book, with a great number of resources.
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on March 14, 2005
As a naturopathic doctor, I am constantly immersed in the subject of diet and nutrition. Having been so for quite some time now, I have seen a number of books and ideas come and go about what is the diet to consume and how bes we should go about eating it. It was not until I picked up Dr. Mercola's Total Health Cookbook and Program that I felt I had ever found a book that effectively summed up everything I believe about nutrition and health.

This book truly does it all. However, the best thing about it is that it's not overwhelming. The ideas are all explained in a simple yet compelling manner and there is not a lot of extra medical jargon that most readers are not interested in. The book simply describes what we should and should not eat, why and how to do it. That's it. Plus, the recipes provided are delicious!

Although not all the science is presented here, the reader can rest assured that Dr. Mercola's information is based on sound scientific evidence and 20 years of clinical experience.

If you are looking for a book on nutrition whose ideas are based on facts and common sense, and whose goals are actually within reach, this one is for you.

I have never reviewed a nutrition book for amazon or anyone else before this one. I guess because I never felt a book deserved it until now.
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on March 9, 2005
When I got this book I was very interested to dig into it. I have a lot of trouble with low immunity due to chronic sinus infections and nearly constant use of antibiotics. So I've been on a bit of a health kick looking for ways to eat healtier and make my body stronger. This book offered some great insight into how to eat according to your metabolic type. I did the test in the book and scored very high as a pure protein type. This book has good stuff like why you should avoid dairy, what fish are safe to eat, and offered some surprising nutritional facts. And I was a "Shaklee vitamin kid". Nutrition was nothing new to me. We grew up popping vitamins, using honey instead of sugar, and eating homemade wheat bread.

My favorite part of the book was the recipes. You've heard a million times to eat more vegetables. But then you don't know "what to do with all of them." This book offers great recipes to help you find delicious ways of eating those "good for you" veggies. I really enjoyed the book and poured thru it in a day.
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on January 10, 2005
The book has some good general info. but the main reason I bought it was to take the test in the book to determine what my metabolic type was. If the test results proved inconclusive as mine did, you are then invited to purchase yet another book with a more detailed test, OR go to mercola.com and take the FULL
clinical test for $179. I wish I had known this before I bought the book.
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on April 19, 2007
Okay, I agree the book has some good information but I was a little mislead. I've read many of the same things in other books but what I didn't know is that the book is 75% cookbook and 25% actual reading material. I was disappointed with that and I did send the book back. If I wanted recipes I'd buy a cookbook. Just a warning to those who are expecting more.

Also, the few questions you are asked that tells you if you have a protein, carb, or mixed "metabolism" you could figure out on your own. Nothing revolutionary here. I think the Mercola website covers most, if not more, of this information already. I wouldn't waste the money on the book.
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on March 7, 2005
Dr. Mercola's Total Health Program was truly an amazing find. Not only has this book helped me learn the foods that are right for my specific body type (a concept known as metabolic typing, which has helped me sustain a positive energy level throughout the day, maintain a healthy, normal weight and fight and prevent disease) but it also highlighted the foods that contribute to a compromised lifestyle and poor overall health (i.e. artificial sweeteners and contaminated seafood).

Before reading Dr. Mercola's book, I was consistently depending on drugs and medications--an Advil here, an ibuprofen there--to get me through the day. But now, after learning all you have to do is eat a healthy diet, follow an exercise plan and get the right amount of sleep...basically start making healthy lifestyle choices, I was able to eliminate my reliance on drugs all together.

What's more, this book has helped improve the health of my family as well. Until recently, my brother struggled with an acne problem. He tried everything (lotions, face washes, over-the-counter drugs, prescribed medications) to clear up his skin. However, it wasn't until I turned him onto Dr. Mercola's Total Health Program that he started seeing a noticeable improvement. He followed Dr. Mercola's advice on cutting back--with hopes of eventually eliminating--sugars and grains and now faces each day confident and worry-free.

So for anyone who is interested in improving their health and addressing health concerns, whether it be obesity, a weakened immune system, unhealthy eating habits, depression, stress, acne, a seditary lifestyle (the list goes on and on) then this book is for you. It's easy, educational and the results are phenomenal. It really was one of the best investments I've ever made!
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on August 1, 2004
I highly regret purchasing this book and plan to return it. If I had reviewed it in a store before making an online purchase, I definitely would never have made the purchase. Rather than being a "Total Health Cookbook and Program" it is simply a cookbook, a rather poor cookbook at that. This book only contains roughly 5% Dr. Mercola's health program. The actual health program is in his book "The No-Grain Diet." "Dr. Mercola's Total Health Cookbook and Program" appears to be motivated by a desire to build upon the success of his earlier book. A more accurate price for this book would have been $12.95.
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on January 11, 2007
Most of the information in this book is available on Dr. Mercola's website. Furthermore, it's really only half a book -- the other half is all recipes. If you LIKE recipes using healthy food, this book may be something worth buying.

What disappointed me in a big way was the fact that Mercola pushes a diet by metabolic type. OK, so you buy the book to find out your metabolic type. Arriving on p. 38, you find a nine (9) question quiz with a scale of 1-10 for your answers. It's both confusing and slapdash in nature.

After the quiz, Mercola explains that it is only a "rough estimate" of your metabolic type. To find out your true metabolic type, all you need do is go to his website, click here, buy a much more thorough test and talk at length to a consultant -- all for the mere price (at press time) of $179.

So I guess I forked over the cost of this book only to learn that I'd have to fork over many more times the cost of the book to learn my metabolic type -- this from a book that has on its cover the words "Learn What Proportion of Fats, Carbs & Protein are Right for Your Unique Body Chemistry."

Uh, not quite. Deceptive advertising? You be the judge. I give it two stars because some of the information is useful for those interested in healthy diets. But the main selling point left me with an empty feeling.
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on March 28, 2004
This book outlines some of the fundamental eating habits that we all need to integrate into our lives. I have worked in the natural health industry for almost 20 years and have followed many different trends. In my opinion, this program offers a basic, comprehensive and logical approach to eating for today. We need to work together to support sustainable agriculture. Dr. Mercola is clearly aware of the issues surrounding the food industry. Instead of finding excuses, we need to go out of our way to find real food from real farmers.
Although I would have appreciated seeing more resources in the appendix section, the book helps increase your awareness about obtaining the healthiest ingredients possible in order to increase one's own health. The recipes were clearly written to accommodate our fast-paced lives. Not only are the recipes easy to prepare and healthy, they taste great!
Metabolic typing is an interesting method and merits consideration. It is a progressive approach that surpasses other popular programs currently available.
This is a multi-dimensional book which emphasizes emotional, spiritual, environmental, agricultural and physical health.
The authors have done a wonderful job conveying this information in such a concise, clearly written format.
Overall, it is an excellent book.
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on January 16, 2007
It's true what some of these reviews say that you can get more thorough info from other sources (Mary Enig and Weston Price for example). However, this is a very simple and concise summary of many of the main points from the increasingly popular "traditional holistic" diet inspired by Dr.Weston Price's famous studies. Mercola's descriptions are brief b/c they're being marketed to the avg person who doesn't want to sift through a lot of studies. He does cite these studies, so one could do that if interested.

Mercola (and Weston, Fallon, Enig, etc) are putting forth very challenging views, going against everything that medicine has told us for the last 50 years. Some will dismiss these as quackery. I guess the question is, how's that mainstream medicine working for you? Take a walk down the aisle of a regular grocery store and read the labels on the products. Yuck. I'm convinced that what we're eating is slowly killing us.

I love Fallon's Nourishing Traditions and though my chronic skin conditions show improvement, my weight has gone up since implementing it. My husband's weight had gone down, and he's feeling great. I realized I needed more help figuring out what I should be eating from this whole foods/traditional diet. Many folks here complained about the cookbook portion of this book. I actually like that that there are simple, healthy recipes using good fats and balancing carbs with protein.

Mercola does do the hard sell on many of his products. This is why I give it 4 stars. I don't mind him offering things (so does Wiel) but I do feel he goes a bit overboard in the book and on his site.

To summarize, I think this is a helpful simple book to get folks started on the right path.
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