171 of 172 people found the following review helpful
The Core Balance Diet is a must-read for women who have, well...gotten off balance (which would include probably 85-95% of American women). And Marcelle (with Genevieve) include six common ways that we have lost our balance: digestive, hormonal, adrenal, neurotransmitter, inflammatory, and detoxification. Which of us has not experienced imbalance in one of those areas, let alone two or three?
Marcelle challenges the woman who thinks she would be too overwhelmed to make some dietary and lifestyle changes: "If you could help your partner to lose weight, or help protect your child's health, by changing what he or she ate for a month, wouldn't you try and do it? Now, aren't you worth that same amount of attention?" And she is only asking you to try her program for a month! After that, she assures you, you'll be free from your food addictions and hooked on your feeling great!
Balance, as you might suppose, also entails eating approximately a 30/30/40 ratio of healthy fats, protein and complex carbs (though not as strict as the Zone Diet). But it includes much, much more than that.
The book begins with an explanation of how imbalances lead to weight gain and aging and provides a layman's easy-to-read explanation of the systems.
Marcelle provides a Core Balance quiz for you to determine which of your systems are weakest. This is followed by a chapter on each system. Each chapter (which is delight to read even if they don't apply to you as much as the others) contains the following: information on the imbalance and how to correct it; sidebars and boxes with interesting tidbits of info; a list of "Marcelle's prescriptions " for that imbalance; diagnostic tests to note the progress of that imbalance; foods to include and foods to avoid; supplements to take; "a day in the life" schedule for the lifestyle changes needed (exercise, when to eat, self- nurturing, etc.); a one-week menu; and frequently asked questions.
There are also 60 pages of recipes. Except for the medical diagnostic tests, this is a complete do-it-yourself book.
True to the Hay House spirit, there is also a chapter on the mind-body connection with the cute title, "Your Issues Are in Your Tissues" which alerts you to negative thinking and self-destructive behavior patterns that can sabotage your health.
I have read hundreds of books on health and nutrition (even wrote one myself!) and I give this book a hearty two thumbs up! I learned lots of interesting tidbits, such as how the liver is taxed on a low-fat diet, how Vitamin D deficiency is linked to obesity, and how not flossing can lead to body-wide inflammation. The only thing Marcelle could do to make it more complete would be to have a chapter on the importance of eating more raw foods since a raw diet taxes the digestive system far less.
This is a diet that can be, with a bit of imagination, used by anyone who has any dietary slant (vegan, vegetarian, raw fooder, etc). For example, if one is raw vegan, substitute raw hemp protein powder in place of meat and don't cook the vegetables.
158 of 161 people found the following review helpful
on April 15, 2009
I opened the Core Balance Diet expecting to fail, to not follow the plan, to not see results. I was willing to give it 30 days, which in the whole scheme of things was small in comparison to the years I neglected my health.
I was very impressed with the recipes in the book. Not only were they easy to prepare, but they were downright delicious! I had my favorites, which I made on more than one occasion. After a few weeks on the plan, I had a feel for what was 'allowed' and was able to make some minor adjustments without affecting the plan.
I have a hard time planning meals and eating early, so I decided I would double up on the recipes and freeze individual portions to take to work - this one choice is why I was able to stick to the meal plans so closely for the 30 days!
I only had a few issues overall. I was very fatigued the first few weeks, but it got better as the month wore on. Marcelle explained in the book that this was from the body releasing the toxins I had stored in my fat cells, so I wasn't concerned. My energy did start to come back. The only other issue I had was that I was so 'satisfied' all the time that I had a hard time fitting in the snacks between meals!
Not only did my digestive system balance out and act 'normal' for the first time in decades, but I lost 15 pounds over the course of the month. I am 5' 9" tall, and started the program approximately 60 pounds over weight, for those who might wonder.
The biggest news, is that I tried going back to my old eating habits, and my body very clearly told me it didn't like my 'old ways'! I have decided to stick with the healty lifestyle ongoing.
Thank you Marcelle!!!
115 of 124 people found the following review helpful
on June 28, 2009
I thought this book had a lot of good information about how the bodies metabolism works, how it can get screwed up and what one can do to heal it naturally. However, I found some of the claims about certain herbs and how to use them not very well supported. I also found the book too much of a marketing tool for expensive programs or products offered by the author's clinic. While I have no problem with that information being shared, it was the constant loop back to them I found somewhat offensive.
47 of 48 people found the following review helpful
on April 29, 2009
This book really clicked for me (and like most, I've read many, many diet books). The premise of The Core Balance Diet is that successful weight loss happens only when key imbalances in the body are corrected (named in the book as digestive sensitivities, hormonal, neurotransmitter, adrenal imbalances, inflammation, and detoxification issues). Excess weight - especially weight carried around the middle or stubborn to lose pounds - is a key sign that the body is experiencing an underlying problem. As Pick writes in the opening chapter, "Extra weight is not a sin, it's a symptom--a sign of a core imbalance, an injury that must be healed before the body will feel safe enough to let go of its reserves." The first few chapters go on to describe in detail the physiology and mind-body connection behind weight gain, weight loss, and "toxic weight", pounds the body throws on from too much stress and eating too much processed food. The second part prescribes a 14-day detox period and offers menus, lists of foods to avoid, exercise recs, and encouragement for what these diet and lifestyle changes will bring the body. After following the 14-day detox, readers then take a series of quizzes to see what their core imbalance(s) might be. Separate chapters for each imbalance follow - all come with structured menu plans, exercise tips, etc. The last few chapters focus heavily on emotional healing and state of mind - these chapters alone would make a very powerful book. The resources section includes more recipes than you'll ever need to successfully follow the Core Balance eating plan.
I've followed Atkins, WW, South Beach, you name it, and after reading Core Balance (and now following the 14-day detox - worst part, giving up coffee, but I'm actually feeling a bit better now 3 days in), I can immediately tell the difference between a diet plan that just says, "Eat this, do this, and see? You'll lose weight" and the Core Balance plan. From this book, I finally understand why I've struggled so much in the past with weight. Best of all, I now have a customized plan in hand for how to heal my body and shed the pounds. Definitely five stars for that! Plus, I just absolutely love Marcelle Pick's warm, chatty writing style. Page turner diet books are hard to come by, but this is one. Bottom line? A truly unique standout in the current crop of diet/weight loss books!
53 of 60 people found the following review helpful
on April 14, 2009
I was one of the fortunate people who got to test this program before the book was published, and I've never been so excited about a diet because for once, the focus wasn't on "how to get skinny" but on how to get HEALTHY. I never knew that there could be health issues that stopped weight loss--all I knew was that I could exercise and try to watch my food intake, yet the scale stayed the same, and my post-pregnancy spare tire stayed put. Once I took the health quizzes and found out where my health issues were, the light dawned, and I started making big changes in the way I thought about a lot of things--food, exercise, even rest! I sleep better, I feel less stressed, I'm still exercising but doing different things that I enjoy more, and little by little, I'm getting to a point at which the weight will come off. Not there yet, but I feel SO much better that it's only a matter of time. The only thing that made me give this a 4-star rating is just that the program is very difficult for someone with young kids--there are a lot of recommendations that I simply cannot incorporate because my time for myself is so limited, and it's frustrating. That's not really the book's fault but the diet is aimed more at women who have the ability & time to put a fair amount of planning into their weight loss efforts. This is probably a better choice for women who don't have families, or who have school-age children/grown children, than for mothers with high-maintenance little ones. But that said, it still gives me a lot more to work with than the standard diets out there (and eventually the kids will grow up enough for me to do the rest of it!) That's actually the biggest difference in this diet--it's something I am continuing to do long after my "test" ended and can see myself doing for the long run. So I highly recommend this book to anyone who has been frustrated in losing weight, or in keeping weight off.
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on July 26, 2010
I have a new way of eating because of this book. I lost 23 pounds and have so much more energy. My knees were starting to hurt all the time and now they don't!
I eat nothing but natural foods now, no processed foods or refined sugars, no white flour, no artificial sweeteners. I am 62 and feel great and love the food I'm eating. The recipes in the book are delicious!
Now I am 63 and still eating the Core balance plan. I have lost 30 pounds, (from 162 to 132)and feel wonderful! I went from a size 12 to a size 8. I enjoy eating this way and I feel like my body is the size it's supposed to be!
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on June 2, 2009
I can't tell you how wonderful this book has been for me. I stopped feeling like I was fat and lazy, and started feeling empowered to make changes. I stopped eating sugar, wheat and processed foods. It has been amazing! I'm lighter and I move with more ease, I have lots more energy, my skin is clear, and I am much calmer. The changes suggested in this book made me a happier person.
71 of 83 people found the following review helpful
on April 29, 2009
Up front I will say, I am a very conscientious eater, I do a lot of research on healthy eating, as well as healthy lifestyles, but I don't think I am so far advanced above those who will probably choose to buy this book. That being said, I am sooooooo sick of common sense diets which really require no imagination. Every diet book gives you the same sensible diet, lean protein for breakfast with whole grains and fruit, a salad for lunch with a lean protein, some sort of steamed protein for dinner along with some boring steamed veges and whole grain on the side. Lets not forget the exciting snacks in between, protein like nuts or cheese and fruit or raw carrots. How interesting is that? Not very.
I could have written the diet portion of this book. Every condition mentioned has almost the exact same food plan. Don't buy this book if you are looking for a weight loss plan that is different from anyone else's plan you will be sadly disappointed. Some of the advice is really great, but the problem is, in order to get any of the recommended supplements you have to go to [..](a doctors office online really) and get on their vitamin plan. The great thing about that is you can try them for 60 days free. What a marketing gimic that is.
Here's my advice to those thinking they are discovering some fountain of knowledge here, eat smart, exercise and try to take care of your spirit. Oh and slow down and smell the roses. Get one of Rosemary Gladstar's or Susun Weed's books on herbs to help you deal with the health conditions in this book. These ladies are fountains of knowledge about women's issues. Or just read something that makes you happy, leave this book for those who have no idea what so ever how to care for their health. I gave this three stars for those persons.
31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
on April 14, 2009
Curious, I picked up an advanced copy of "The Core Balance Diet" at a friend's and breezed through it in just one night -- its pages are blessedly easy to turn. Though I don't have a serious weight problem, I found the adrenal imbalance program astonishingly beneficial. I'd just been running on fumes for a couple years, and was inspired to select certain aspects and recipes from both the programs for adrenal and neurotransmitter imbalance to improve my sleeplessness and daytime fatigue. It's true what Marcelle Pick says, that our food speaks to our genes *and* our jeans -- both seem to be fitting and functioning a lot better! The focus isn't about quick weight loss so much as regaining maintaining core balance -- once I was able to do that everything else fell easily into place.
24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on April 14, 2009
The Core Balance Diet has a real readable quality because, amazingly, it does not actually focus on the weight loss process. Instead, Pick starts with the very logical premise that in order for women to lose weight, they need to improve their health first. I know. What a crazy idea!!! Plus she talks a lot about how stress can make it impossible to drop any pounds, which is pretty well-documented these days. Pick has an easy style that's fun to read, another first for a diet book! The diet/lifestyle recommendations make sense, but I might need to make them one or two at a time. It's a process, just like life. The book might really help someone who has "tried everything" to lose weight because there are some new ideas in here that could make a difference for lots of women.