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Sexy by Nature: The Whole Foods Solution to Radiant Health, Life-Long Sex Appeal, and Soaring Confidence by Stefani Ruper (2014-03-18) Hardcover – 1703
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Top Customer Reviews
For a science-centered book, _Sexy by Nature_ is very easy to read, especially compared to other ancestral health science books like _Perfect Health Diet_. The language is plain, and there are a few diagrams when appropriate to better demonstrate concepts. I read large portions in single sittings, whereas that's usually difficult for me when the material is technical.
The book is divided into five sections, which do seem a bit disjointed (the only negative thing I can say!). The first section was a set of "Old Rules" and a new set of "Nature Rules" to replace them with. This section wasn't very useful to me, but that's largely because I've been following an ancestral health approach for 3 years now, and it was more focused on debunking conventional wisdom--something I've already bought into. If you're new to ancestral health, though, the first section can be very useful background.
The second section focuses on eating the right foods, and Ruper does a good job explaining exactly how each food benefits a female body in particular--its effect on hormones, fertility, etc.. The third and fourth sections were the best sections in my opinion. They focus on lifestyle changes beyond nutrition and how to overcome specific problems such as acne, infertility, and PMS. Having followed the advice for PMS, I can tell you IT WORKS.
The final section focuses on loving yourself. One of the things that sets this book apart is that Ruper doesn't just give you a diet and a means of healing your body. She also focuses on giving you the mental and psychological tools to deal with the changes your body is making, and to love your body regardless of whether or not it meets an ideal set by yourself, another person in your life, or the media/society in general. True healing for women is two-fold: physical and psychological, and this book seeks to offer you tools to heal in both ways.
I highly recommend this book for any woman who has seen success with a Paleo/Primal/PHD way of eating but has some lingering issues. Or, really, for any other woman at all. I think it's going to become my go-to gift for all my female friends.
Sexy by Nature, by Stephani Ruper, is a well-researched, positive, organized, and holistic guide to women's health. She explains diet (a paleo approach tailored towards the specific needs of women in various stages of life) and lifestyle (exercise, sex, sleep, stress, and more) and gives the reader specific information, guidelines and tools in an approachable and easy-to-comprehend manner that is also grounded in science and practical wisdom. She helps the reader troubleshoot common health concerns, such as low libido, family planning, weight management, and PMS, in ways that are specific to the special needs of women. Throughout the book, she explores the importance of self-love and acceptance, and why they are so important to health and vitality for women. A thorough index makes finding particular information easy. Stephani comes across as a caring, intelligent and genuine person. I highly recommend this book for any woman, no matter where you are on your journey towards health and wellness. For me personally, I learned things that have helped me to heal physically and have compassion and patience with myself.
I first discovered Sexy by Nature when I saw the book recommended by a paleo blogger I follow. From the title, I wasn't sure what kind of book it was, though I recognized the author, Stephani Ruper, from her blog [...], and I remembered reading several excellent articles on hormones and female-specific issues there. After listening to Stephani on several podcasts, I realized this book was likely different from any other paleo or other health book I'd read. Within the first few pages, it was obvious that Stephani was offering a holistic, balanced and positive approach to women's health, and that she was someone I wanted to listen to and learn from.
Broken down into five distinct but connected sections, Sexy by Nature begins by looking at the old paradigms that permeate our culture and replacing them with new, positive ones that provide a balanced framework for how to approach health. This first section is titled Trailblaze, and I was sure that I could skip it, seeing as I was a well-educated woman who considers herself a feminist. I am glad I didn't, because I learned new things, and was led to new insights. Most profoundly, several parts of this sections helped me to understand myself as a teenager and young adult, and to have sympathy for myself during times of struggle. Old Rule #3 Punishment and its accompanying New Rule #3 Love particularly struck a chord with me, as Stephani wrote: "...there is no good reason to be hard on yourself. Your body does its best to be healthy and happy...Your body is always looking for ways to heal itself." After reading that, I found myself sitting up straighter, and in the days to follow, found numerous opportunities to be impressed with my body. Stephani framed the rules in a way that made it easy for me to connect with and apply to my daily life, and helped me to feel compassion towards myself.
In the second section, Nourish, I was impressed with the breadth and depth of discussion on healthy foods, as well as the biochemistry behind them. For me, the 'why' was important, and once again the information was well-organized and accessible. I already knew from other books, articles and most importantly *my own experience* that a paleo diet (grain-, dairy-, sugar- and legume-free diet) was the most healthy framework for food I could have. And I knew the 'why' behind the diet - but the way Stephani shared the information was different, and helped me to see the cross-connections between food, immunity, mental health and hormones, and why I want to continue avoiding grains, seed oils, processed food and significant amounts of sugar (even natural sugars). Her explanations on what foods to eat included a guide to helping you figure out if dairy may be a problem for you, and a large section devoted to how you should eat.
This section could be particularly important for women, since we have a disproportionate amount of disordered eating habits (to say nothing of eating disorders) compared to men. Stephani coaches you on how to balance your meals without counting calories or ratios. In fact, she specifically tells you not to be concerned with calories or strict ratios, and instead focus on hunger and satiety cues from your body. There is also guidance on how to navigate the world outside your kitchen, as you take your new way of eating to work and on vacation. Stephani reminds you again to not restrict or punish yourself, and that if you have or have had struggles with disordered eating, emotional eating or any other unhealthy relationship with food, to consider seeking additional help.
In the third section, Live, Stephani outlines her 10 S's - which I think of as 'beyond food'. The first S, stress, is the one that hits home for me personally right now. She details how stress negatively affects your body, digestion, hormones and immunity, and then discusses multiple strategies for dealing with stress. Other S's include strength and sprinting (how to exercise), sex and sunlight. Stephani also stresses the importance of 'striving' - finding purpose in your life and setting goals. There is a lot of information in this section, and again, it is written with women and our particular needs in mind. I haven't included as much on this section, because I have not yet explored it beyond a quick read, save for the section on stress.
The fourth section is titled Overcome and addresses some specific health concerns and how to troubleshoot them. But right up front, Stephani encourages you to seek the help of healthcare professionals you trust, and reminds you that the body is interconnected. Topics covered include energy, family planning, energy, skin health, PMS and more. For example, in the section on weight management, she first explains how weight gain and fat loss work in the body, then explores the fat needs of women in particular, for fertility, hormone balance and production and metabolism. Then she gives many different avenues for healing metabolic dysfunction that are specific to women. I particularly like how each health concern is organized into sections, allowing the reader to skim for pertinent information, or read in-depth.
The fifth and final section, Strut, is all about self-love, embracing empowered womanhood, and self-actualization. This last section should not be dismissed as 'feel-good fluff' - the entire book Stephani has been professing the importance of self-love and its role in health. Here, she implores us to break down negative thoughts, have patience with yourself on your journey, praise your body, and to love your body and your brains, and to love yourself as a inherently worthy creature of this world. She talks about sex appeal being an inside-out system, and that it starts with us as women feeling sexy before we can be sexy. And by sexy, Stephani means confident, self-determined, and self-loving - not so much clothing, BMI and makeup. Her 'sexy tips' include accepting and forgiving yourself, meditating, body awareness, practicing gratitude for your body, and eating well.
Finally, Stephani pours a bit of her heart out to you, the reader. She is empathetic and supportive, and reminds you that you are worthy of self-love and good health, and that there is an entire community of women on a similar journey (there is!!) who will support and guide you, and lend a listening ear. Stephani Ruper is an invaluable, positive part of this community, and her book Sexy by Nature is an important resource for any woman who is seeking better health, vitality, and healing. I whole-heartedly recommend Sexy by Nature and believe that it will be a well-read and frequently-referenced part of your bookshelf.
(Oh, and the well-done index isn't glamorous, but is important for when you find yourself wanting to know more about a topic!)
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Caring, nourishing and full of helpful guidance for any women young or old to feel free to embrace her feminityRead more