Sunday, November 15, 2009

An Apple a Day-Lit Review

I read this on the treadmill, over a couple of weeks- you can tackle a couple chapters in your half-hour of cardio if you can read and run/walk at the same time. And this book is about the easiest one to read if you are challenging your cerebellum by running and reading at the same time. Dr. Joe Schwarcz (author) is not a medical doctor, is an amateur magician and advocate for popularizing science- so the language is direct, simplistic and so tongue in cheek I couldn't help laughing, or at least 'chortling' between breaths on the run.
The tag-line is 'a must read for anxious eaters'- but don't let that deter you from reading it. On the contrary, if you believe food is just that- food, then pick this book up. Dr. Joe holds his doctorate in Chemistry- not medicine. So he talks about food in it's elemental form- and straight up sends the message to just 'chill' when it comes to what you eat. Make good choices, don't fret about organic too much, don't fall into the traps of modern advertising about this argument or that argument for or against fat content in your diet (as an example).
Structurally the book is unique- he devotes each chapter to a unique concept; for example, there is an entire chapter on Tomatoes. I love that we can all identify what a tomatoe is, so of course we get what that chapter will address. Further, he doesn't force his opinion, but rather discusses various research (including the sordid, and sometimes almost pop-culture drama of the researchers) about the different topics in the book. You can arrive at your own conclusion before he lays down his own. Never intrusive, and always thoughtful.
Pick this up and give it a go- especially if you have read any of Micheal Pollan's books. They come from very different points of view, and I find the differences between them very intriguing. Pollan talks about food as a whole, and the dangers of 'nutritionism' (breaking things down into parts) while Dr. Joe breaks it all down for us.
When read together, a balance is quite nice to behold mentally- and you can make up your own mind. Which is why we read anyway- right? None of us has ever read a book and then fallen head-over-heels with the prophet writer's works?
I did of course, when I read Brendan Brazier's Thrive Diet, directly after reading "An Apple a Day"- with unhealthy results (indicative, I think, of following anyone's word to the letter). But that, my friends, if for the next literature review.

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