Monday, November 12, 2018

What I Read Way Back When In October, 2018 And It Was All Nonfiction

1. The Obesity Code - Jason Fung, M.D. (nonfiction)
 Last month, I talked about a book I read about intermittent fasting called Eat Stop Eat by Brad Pilon. Like Pilon, Jason Fung is Canadian. Fung is, by training a doctor specializing in kidney disease, and seeing so many of his patients with complications led him to get his Sherlock on and trace back the path of how we can or do end up this way. Long story short: Insulin makes us fat, and it's not how much we eat, it's how often we eat. If we would permit ourselves longer periods of fasting and/or shorter eating windows, we wouldn't produce as much insulin and we would enjoy better health. Also: diets don't work because our bodies are smart and adaptable. If you try to make a change, your body is onto your shenanigans in no time, and don't you forget it! Also: it's not our fault! Food is in our faces 24/7, and the food industry wants to make sure it really is in our faces all the time. There is a lot of science, but Fung breaks it down into manageable chunks and with startlingly fun examples. My favorite: "Diet is Batman. Exercise is Robin." I'm oversimplifying a compelling read. Try it for yourself.

 2. Dead Wake - Erik Larson. (nonfiction)
 I feel embarrassed that I knew nearly nothing about the Lusitania, except than it sank sometime around the beginning of World War I. As The Devil in the White City, Larson cuts back and forth with cinematic sharpness between four stories: The Lusitania's last journey and the many stories of the passengers and crew; the U-Boat captain and crew intent on making a quota of tons of ships sunk; British intelligence, who see very clearly their chance to influence history; and finally, newly widowed, grief-stricken President Woodrow Wilson finding new love. To be sure, Wilson's story isn't as gripping as the other events unfolding. I'm sure Larson included it to give readers a pause to catch their collective breath. I started this one on audiobook and became so impatient for the end that I ran to the library and got out the print copy.

3. The Laid Back Guide to Intermittent Fasting - Kayla Cox. (nonfiction)
A young mother with three children who is in her early 30s, Kayla Cox struggled with her weight, and diets and exercise worked, but never permanently. After an unflattering photo* on Facebook and a few paradigm shifts, Cox discovered intermittent fasting and decided to incorporate it into her life in a way that would feel effortless but still get results. After much patience and experimentation, she found that walking six miles a day and OMAD (one meal a day) in the evenings helped her lose 80 pounds. Her YouTube channel, Six Miles to Supper, is about a year old and has inspired people of all ages. I have picked up some useful tips about walking for my arsenal.  The Laid Back Guide to Intermittent Fasting is full of sensible advice: Find what works for you and don't get in a hurry. If you veer from your plan, do so with intention. No forbidden food. Kayla also allows herself a cheat day every week so that she doesn't get too caught up in perfectionism. (I think it's a good idea because it keeps the body confounded!)  My favorite quote is one that she borrowed from the Navy SEALs: "Slow is smooth and smooth is fast."

Common Bonds in October's Reading:

The Obesity Code and The Laid Back Guide to Intermittent Fasting both deal with eating windows.

* I really feel Kayla's pain about the photo! Two years ago, during the primaries, I went to vote and a reporter from my hometown newspaper asked for my name and if she could photograph me. I said sure, proud to be seen doing my civic duty. After voting, I hung around for a moment, waiting to have my picture made, but the reporter was off talking to someone else. That evening, I saw myself in the online edition of the paper. Or, more accurately, I saw a horrifying medley of ass and double chin, bent over the table, signing my voter registration card. Of course, the picture was captioned with my name spelled correctly. Yikes.

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