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Body Transformation: Lose Weight, Gain Energy, & Reverse Premature Aging Hardcover – April 1, 2006
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Body Transformation by Julie Chrystyn certainly did receive a lot of hype. Not only was it the "only health book Princess Diana wanted to share with the world", but it was recommended by HRH Princess Elizabeth of Yugoslavia. The subtitle of this book also makes huge claims: "Lose Weight, Gain Energy & Reverse Premature Aging". Body Transformation is full of useful information, just not anything earth-shattering, or if you have other books about nutrition that you don't already know.
Here's the rundown for the curious:
Chapter 1 Emphasizes the importance of eating living, vital, unprocessed foods.
Chapter 2 Discusses how we need to change our attitudes towards food. It is critical of the foodie attitude towards food and emphasizes the importance of avoiding trigger foods. I strongly disagree with these viewpoints---I think that we are meant to enjoy all types of healthy, wholesome food (I am a confirmed foodie), and I disagree with the notion of "trigger foods". I believe that if there are foods we think we must avoid altogether or else we will totally lose control, it is a psychological difficulty, not a physiological difficulty. I also would not argue for our own powerlessness over food.
Chapter 3 Discusses "mind transformation" which conflicts with Chapter 2. However, the author makes many good points in this chapter that are helpful. Each chapter is fairly short, so none of these points are made in-depth.
Chapter 4 Makes the case for eating real, wholesome unprocessed foods. In some ways, this is a reiteration of Chapter 1.
Chapter 5 Touches on the problems with eating processed foods, including contaminated foods (non-organic, genetically modified, etc.)
Chapter 6 Encourages exercise.
Chapter 7 Explains about taking digestive enzymes when eating cooked foods.
Chapter 8 On "Immune Function Transformation" discusses superfoods and supplements.
Chapter 9 On the Acid-Alkaline Balance was a useful short summary of this controversial dietary theory; I happen to agree with the author, so I liked it...it was very short though, not in-depth.
Chapter 10 On Energy Transformation was more on superfoods and supplements, but specifically for energy.
Chapter 11 More on exercise, including the importance of strength training.
Chapter 12 Maintenance of body transformation...basically, be committed.
There is a glossary at the end of the book. Also, the author includes some brief protocols at the end of each chapter, examples of what you might eat to implement that chapter's focus.
If you eat a lot of processed food and know very, very little about nutrition, exercise, positive attitude, etc. then this book would be a quick read. It would really help you get started. This book would be great for the person who thinks of food supplements as "One-A-Day" vitamins from the grocery store, has never heard of people taking garlic capsules or drinking wheatgrass juice, who thinks that acupuncture is some weird Asian idea, who thinks that "clean meat" is something that hasn't fallen on the ground, etc. In other words someone who is living in the Dark Ages with respect to nutrition---and there are many, many, many people like that---I have met them! I am friends with some of them and related to others. However, for those of us who read most anything about self-care, this will be a rehash and a disappointment. It serves its purpose but definitely doesn't live up to the hype.
It was well worth the wait. When I read that I could eat more and still lose weight, I was just blown away, but Julie Chrystyn really is a treasure of a writer. Nothing preachy, nothing fancy -- just good and very readable advice on diet and longevity.
It's easy to see why Princess Diana wanted to be involved with this book, and I bet she's looking down from up above and smiling, knowing that Ms. Chrystyn did her proud.
I've been reading diet and health books for over 20 years, and I honestly don't ever remember reading one as insightful as "Body Transformation." I can recommend this book to anyone interested in health, Princess Diana or the secrets to a long life.