“Most health advice can be summed up in five words: Eat less, move more, relax. The question is: How do you do that? That is my struggle.”
— A.J. Jacobs, “Drop Dead Healthy”
I was enjoying June’s PB Fingers Book Club selection, “Drop Dead Healthy,” before I came to that line. But it was at that moment, which my Kindle app tells me is at 46%, that I knew Jacobs is a kindred spirit.
How many times have I said something similar? Too many to count, I’m sure. It’s not the knowledge that eludes me, but the motivation to keep making the hard choice — the healthy choice — day in and day out, even when I’m not seeing the fruits of that labor.
Ahem. You can tell “Drop Dead Healthy” struck a nerve or two for me, eh?
I found last month’s book, “Still Missing,” entertaining and harrowing at the same time. I couldn’t put it down. I also zipped through “Drop Dead Healthy,” although not quite as quickly. There were a lot of facts and ideas to digest.
I liked Jacobs’ writing style and sense of humor. He made his quest to become the world’s healthiest man both interesting and informative.
Especially useful are the Appendices in the back of the book. They compile the healthy living tips he accumulated in bulleted lists. Among the topics: How to turn the world into your gym; The art and science of portion control; Stress reduction; Five toxins I now avoid; and (my favorite) The 10 best pieces of food advice I’ve gotten all year.
Tips in the food advice section include:
- Avoid white foods (including potatoes)
- Shop the perimeter of the store
- Have protein and fats for breakfast (“If I were to round up the people who caused the the obesity epidemic, I’d start with 19th-century health guru John Harvey Kellogg,” Jacobs writes. He explains Kellogg thought protein was “the devil,” so crusaded to have people eat his cereals instead. “Which is why millions of Americans eat bowls full of gut-expanding simple carbs every morning.”)
- Eat your colors (“Not to be confused with ‘taste the rainbow,’ the official slogan of the Skittles diet,” he cracks.)
“Drop Dead Healthy” was easy to read, entertaining and informative. It was refreshing to read something from a man’s perspective — and find out we share a lot of the same struggles. I’m not the only one who struggles to reconcile the conflicting health advice that bombards us every day … or fights to find motivation.
It’s somehow comforting to confirm (again) that I’m not alone.