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    1. Run Like a Mother: How to Get
    2. What to Expect When You're Expecting:
    3. Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy
    4. Baby 411: Clear Answers &
    5. Younger Next Year for Women: Live
    6. The Women's Health Big Book of
    7. Taking Charge of Your Fertility,
    8. What to Expect the First Year
    9. Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease:
    10. Belly Laughs: The Naked Truth
    11. The Expectant Father: Facts, Tips,
    12. The Girlfriends' Guide to Pregnancy
    13. Ina May's Guide to Childbirth
    14. Master Your Metabolism: The 3
    15. Why Do I Still Have Thyroid Symptoms?When
    16. Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom
    17. The Female Brain
    18. Your Best Body Now: Look and Feel
    19. What to Expect: Eating Well When
    20. Promise Me: How a Sister's Love

    1. Run Like a Mother: How to Get Moving--and Not Lose Your Family, Job, or Sanity
    by Sarah Bowen Shea, Dimity McDowell
    Kindle Edition (2010-03-23)
    list price: $14.99
    Asin: B003D3N2AQ
    Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing
    Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    In Run Like a Mother, authors Dimity McDowell and Sarah Bowen Shea offer both inspirational advice and practical strategies to help multitasking women make running part of their busy lives.

    McDowell and Shea understand the various external and internal forces in everyday life that can unintentionally keep a wife--mother--working woman from lacing up her shoes and going for a run. Because the authors are multihyphenates themselves, Run Like a Mother is driven by their own running expertise and real-world experience in ensuring that running is part of their lives.

    More than a book, Run Like a Mother is essentially a down-to-earth, encouraging conversation with the reader on all things running, with the overall goal of strengthening a woman's inner athlete.

    Of course, real achievement is a healthy mix of inspiration and perspiration, which is why the authors have grounded Run Like a Mother in a host of practical tips on shoes, training, racing, nutrition, and injuries, all designed to help women balance running with their professional and personal lives. ... Read more


    5-0 out of 5 stars An inspiring read to make you lace up the shoes
    I bought this book with a lot of hope and some trepidation. I'm a lapsed runner, and my last serious race dates back to the postpartum year after my first child was born, when I was eager to show myself I still had my athletic mojo. I just had my fifth child, and ordered this book to help me get inspired again. The authors' voices are real, thankfully, and the essays are honest and accessible. The training tips are great, because they're rooted in an understanding all the things mom use as excuses NOT to run. But what got me really lacing up my shoes again was the page full of short quotes by women saying how they feel after running. Powerful. Competent. Strong. Optimistic. It was like a quadruple dose of any of those herbal mood-boosters hocked by health magazines!

    5-0 out of 5 stars So relatable, it's sick!
    Since finding this book (and blog! and tweets!), I have been completely entertained and inspired and able to connect with a whole new community of runner-mamas.

    This book is so utterly relatable, it is sick! Even as a newbie runner! The moments of "O-M-G! That is EXACTLY how I feel" were countless, as a mom, spouse, runner, wannabe writer and overall multi-tasking-life balancer.

    The book inspired me, me made me laugh out loud causing my fellow commuter train riders to stop and stare (As soon as I would snort, I would hold up the book so everyone would get a peek...long enough for them to write down the title and and go buy it themselves!)

    This is my go-to book for prezzies for my runner mama friends and has saved the day with some much needed inspiration after the oh-let-it-be-over ugly runs.

    I savored every chapter like a rich ooey-gooey chocolately dessert and was thrilled to find more even more witty (and oh so true!) writing online through the blog

    Seriously, check it out, you won't be disappointed.

    5-0 out of 5 stars I'm not a mother, but could still relate
    I bought this book after hearing about it from several people. As my title says, I'm not a mother, but I could relate to most of the book.

    I found the writing very easy to follow--as if it were a conversation--and refreshing. I laughed out loud at some things and it gave me that little "umph" to get back to my running. I felt like I got to know Dimity and Sarah, just by following along in their journeys.

    I would definitely recommend this to others.

    5-0 out of 5 stars For Female Athletes Everywhere
    Run Like a Mother feels like one of those conversations you have with a friend on a long run. It's a book that all female athletes can relate to, regardless of motherhood status or running experience. However, for those of us who both run marathons and mother small children, it's an especially relatable book. At times it's part memoir--telling of Sarah's and Dimity's journeys as runners and marathoners (including a few race reports!), and other times it's more like a helpful training manual--giving advice on running gear, nutrition, and staging a post-pregnancy comeback. You won't find a 16-week marathon training plan in here, but you'll emerge from this book knowing what worked and didn't work for Sarah and Dimity as they trained. As a running coach, I liked the technical talk about running 8 X 400 meters and other training-specific tidbits. But as a mother and a fellow female athlete, I think I most enjoyed the deeply personal revelations about body image, weight, marriage, and mothering. I loved the personal essay format. By the end of the book, you'll feel like you have two new friends: Sarah Bowen Shea and Dimity McDowell.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Inspiring and laugh out loud entertaining
    I'm a mother of two and a fairly competitive runner (with myself). I love this book. The writers are honest and get right down to what is real. And this is what makes some of the excerpts laugh out loud funny. I so relate! But likewise, it is very honest about how difficult it is to run and be a strong runner while balancing kids and family. I read it an excerpt at night night for inspiration for the next day. It sounds corny, but I do. After having D, I know how hard it is to keep the fitness up. So many days I'd rather sit and hold the baby and be at home. But running makes me feel real, at peace and clean. I know this, but I also need the push. The pull, at times, is strong to stay home with the "kidlets." So thanks gals!

    Clothing tips, stories about racing, training, just everyday runs and how to pull yourself out of bed to get out on the road. Pregnancy and running, recovering from giving birth and beginning to run again and all that is involved in that. Right on and inspirational! The quotes and facts from regular runners make me feel part of a great club of women who push each other and support one another in our every day struggles to make the run happen. Totally inspiring. Sarah and Dimity know runners! And I totally feel a closer bond to all the mommy runners out there. I'm going to buy this book for all my mommy running friends.

    I just bought the book for my friend who is off to Boston in a week and am giving it to so she can indulge on her plane ride there. She has two kids, 5 and 3 and worked her butt off to get to Boston.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Must Read
    I purchased this book when I was training to walk/run my first half marathon in my life. As I am not a runner per se I was skeptical about how much this book would pertain to me. I was pleasantly suprised. The book is well written and truly is a must read for anyone who is a ruuner or thinking about becoming a runner. The book is entertaining, informative and fun. It also would make a great gift for a runner in your life.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Run Like A Mother Will Give You The Strength For Motherhood
    I love running. I especially love running as a mom. It is my "me" time, my recharge time and one of the few things that is just for me. I so enjoyed every bit of this book from the humor to the tips. I love any book that inspires moms to take care of themselves and to realize that they can run, will love to run and deserve to run!

    Thank you Sarah and Dimity for giving a shout out to Stroller Strides!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Read like a runner
    A friend of mine recommended this book to me as a new runner, and she was right! It's motivational and informative. I read part of it while on an airplane and it was all I could do not to run up and down the aisle! A great read for all running mothers!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great book for lady runners
    This one's for the ladies. The ones who like to move and move fast. It's called Run Like a Mother: How to Get Moving and Not Lose Your Family, Job, or Sanity by Dimity McDowell and Sarah Bowen Shea. It all started with two women who had just had children, trying to get back into running shape. They decided to pitch an article to Runner's World about their journey. That whole experience with them trying to balance family, work, and running lead them to write this book.

    There is a lot of great advice in here for runners of all ages, but it is geared toward time crunched mothers who have to consider their families in their decisions. They give advice on nutrition, racing, finding motivation, and managing children and husbands. Their insight is both humorous and helpful. This is a great read for women athletes who can relate to the authors' experiences and find inspiration in their successes.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Absolute greatness
    This book was absolutely wonderful. I have really enjoyed reading it and saddened by finishing the final chapter. The words of Sarah and Dimty really stayed with me - during runs, during my wanting to not run. I am buying this as gifts for all my running mother friends. I laughed out loud and found myself saying "thank you" for touching on all subjects that us mothers want to ask, but are afraid to. Loved it!!!! ... Read more

    2. What to Expect When You're Expecting: 4th Edition
    by Heidi Murkoff, Sharon Mazel
    list price: $14.95 -- our price: $8.97
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 0761148574
    Publisher: Workman Publishing Company
    Sales Rank: 270
    Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    Announcing a brand new, cover-to-cover revision of America's pregnancy bible. What to Expect When You're Expecting is a perennial New York Times bestseller and one of USA Today's 25 most influential books of the past 25 years. It's read by more than 90% of pregnant women who read a pregnancy book—the most iconic, must-have book for parents-to-be, with over 14.5 million copies in print.

    Now comes the Fourth Edition, a new book for a new generation of expectant moms—featuring a new look, a fresh perspective, and a friendlier-than-ever voice. It's filled with the most up-to-date information reflecting not only what's new in pregnancy, but what's relevant to pregnant women. Heidi Murkoff has rewritten every section of the book, answering dozens of new questions and including loads of new asked-for material, such as a detailed week-by-week fetal development section in each of the monthly chapters, an expanded chapter on pre-conception, and a brand new one on carrying multiples. More comprehensive, reassuring, and empathetic than ever, the Fourth Edition incorporates the most recent developments in obstetrics and addresses the most current lifestyle trends (from tattooing and belly piercing to Botox and aromatherapy). There's more than ever on pregnancy matters practical (including an expanded section on workplace concerns), physical (with more symptoms, more solutions), emotional (more advice on riding the mood roller coaster), nutritional (from low-carb to vegan, from junk food–dependent to caffeine-addicted), and sexual (what's hot and what's not in pregnant lovemaking), as well as much more support for that very important partner in parenting, the dad-to-be.

    Overflowing with tips, helpful hints, and humor (a pregnant woman's best friend), this new edition is more accessible and easier to use than ever before. It's everything parents-to-be have come to expect from What to Expect...only better?.
    ... Read more


    5-0 out of 5 stars The cute-ification of the writing upstages the value of the book, February 7, 2010
    Pregnancy is an exciting time and it's good to have fun with it, but the 4th edition takes the most simple descriptions and turns them into terms 15 year olds use. Sperm is routinely referred to as "the guys", and the following is taken from page 8, "Knowing when the Big O (ovulation) occurs is key when doing the Baby Dance (aka trying to conceive). Here are a few ways to help you pin down the big day--and pin each other down for baby-making activities."
    I will only use this until my new pregnancy book arrives at which point this is going to a book drive.

    1-0 out of 5 stars so condescending!, March 21, 2009
    This book assumes that pregnant women are idiots, and talks to them accordingly. It's full of cutsey language, puns, and linguistic tics that drove this English major up a wall. In terms of content, it contributes to our culture's position of "better safe than sorry" when it comes to kids - kids and pregnant women must be protected from anything and everything that might be the slightest bit upsetting. It does not provide any information on the research behind their advice, assuming that the pregnant woman is too stupid or lacking in self-control to make an informed decision for herself upon being presented with the facts, relying instead on making across the board recommendations on all kinds of things for which there is no scientific basis. I also hated that the miscarriage section had a big disclaimer warning pregnant women not to read it unless they actually had had a miscarriage, because the knowledge alone that miscarriage could happen would be so emotionally devastating to her that she couldn't handle it. After doing some research on my own and finding out how inaccurate and unnecessary many of their claims are, I find I no longer trust the book at all. I would not recommend it.

    1-0 out of 5 stars As per our Midwife's advice: Throw it away... now!, July 21, 2010
    This book is the worst book any newly pregnant woman can read. It is fear based to a degree that makes you wonder if Murkoff is intending to help you or to avoid a lawsuit. According to the book you are cursed if you do and if you don't. Diets are impossible to follow, and practically everything from green tea to vitamins can cause a birth defect. In terms of literary value, this book is filled with annoying and condescending cliches. Sadly, it becomes evident through the content that Heidi Murkoff has no formal training in these matters.

    I followed my midwife's advice and decided to throw it away. Please, do not give it to your girlfriends as a gift. It may say that is the pregnancy bible, but it is in fact a misinformed alarming guide to complete freak out. My anxieties indeed stopped when I got rid of this book.

    I would suggest "Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn: The Complete Guide," by Penny Simkin. It is written by actual professionals in the field.

    btw, I'm using my husband's account. This review comes from a pregnant woman :)

    1-0 out of 5 stars To All the Expecting Fathers ..., May 31, 2008
    Guys ... consider this a warning; this will be the worst book that your significant other can read and will make your life utterly miserable for the next nine months. It's been over four years since I had to deal with this serie's 3rd edition and I still can't stand the sight of it.

    It may have been intended as a self-help guide, but its alarmist tone and condescending attitude leads this to act more as a bible for every worst-case scenario imaginable. After spending a few hours perusing this book's contents, your wife, girlfriend, whomever will become so overworked and paranoid that every little ache, pain, and irritation will become a sign of the baby being born with a forked tongue and three heads. The diet your partner will be instructed to keep is impossible for any human being alive to follow. She will be told to try and avoid ... damn near everything it seems like.

    I was also incensed that after reading up on the author, all of this "wonderful" information was being brought to me by someone with NO MEDICAL BACKGROUND. If I'm going to want advice on dealing with pregnancy issues, wouldn't I want to consult an expert (i.e. someone with a degree)? Murkoff is no more an expert then I am ...

    I'll be blunt, WTEWYE seems to be an EXTREMELY popular gift for someone who's pregnant for the first time and it's probably unavoidable. I came into three copies without any effort at all. I'm not going to stand here and pretend I know of a better source for information either, because (outside of ... oh I don't know ... a doctor) I don't. All I know is that if THIS is the definitive volume on the pregnancy experience, then God help us all.

    I absolutely guarantee you, someone your partner knows WILL buy this for her. Your mission is to "lose it." If you're already stuck with it and you can't hide it or burn it, at least do your best to temper its pages with as much perspective as you possibly can. Again, for a first-time mom-to-be, who, frankly, is probably a bit nervous anyway about all the changes her body is going through, all this volume is going to accomplish is completely freaking her out.

    Batten down the hatches and break out the antacid my friends, it's gonna be a long nine months

    1-0 out of 5 stars Dry, bland, and uninformative, June 4, 2008
    Unfortunately, this book wasn't really what I expected. If you are looking to be scared by you pregnancy, than I suggest this book to you. However, the offensive and judgmental tone of this book will do you no good. Try something else that won't make you feel bad while you read it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The classic guide to pregnancy., April 16, 2009
    A MUST have: If you are looking for a thorough pregnancy book, this has to be it. When I got it from my doctor (he gives one out to each new, expectant mom) I was suprised at how big it was. Wow! A lot of reading material. However, this one covers just about everything you want to know about pregnacny and then some. There was also some stuff in here that I particularily didn't want to know!! However, it's a good, solid read and one of the best. A classic. I also liked Really Pregnant! Confessions of a New Mom-To-Be or Why I Couldn't Stop Eating Brownies.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Not "alarmist" or "fear-mongering.", December 14, 2009
    Luckily I purchased this book before reading the reviews. The reviewers that gave this book a poor rating, claiming it is "alarmist" and "fear-mongering," are using exactly the kind of hyperbolic language they accuse the authors of using. I am normally overly self-aware and concerned about every little pain or abnormal feeling I have; if anything, the book's month-to-month description of possible symptoms and conditions helped reassure me that all the things I went through were normal and easily explained. It made for a convenient reference to further research things that were pertinent to my situation. I didn't find the book frightening or agenda-pushing at all. In fact, I thought it was much less concerning than the book that the doctor's office gave me.

    The section on birthing options seemed fairly diverse to me. It did not condone using medications or seem to favor hospital birthing in any way. It encourages you at around 7 months to start thinking about and preparing your birthing plan so you can make sure it is carried out in the way you want it to be.

    There is a whole section, at the back of the book, SEPARATE from the month to month sections, which covers the various conditions that can potentially complicate pregnancies. I think this section is more for mothers who are pre-disposed to these conditions or have already been diagnosed with them. The book in no way made me feel like I was at risk for any and all complications or that I had to sleep with all eyes and ears open. I myself have been at-risk with a short cervix so I found that section, and the section on the signs of preterm labor, to be helpful, informative, and unbiased.

    The best and first place you ought to go with a pregnancy concern is of course your doctor or midwife. But if you'd like some handy and concise information on the kinds of things you MAY encounter month-to-month, why these things happen, and some possible ways to deal with them, then this is a fine book. I did not find the tone threatening, condescending, or heavily prescriptive by any means. I'm not sure why anyone would give it one star.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Really unhelpful and alarmist, August 5, 2008
    This book offers only one version of pregnancy and childbirth - a managed, highly medicalized version. Which is totally fine if this is what you want, but this book doesn't present it as, "Well, you have this option or this option." It is straight away one version of high-drama childbirth that totally discounts the ability of most women to have a healthy, normal birth and healthy normal baby. Granted, all birth books seem to have a slant, but why not err on the side of what is healthiest for mom and baby? Sure, if you feel like you cannot birth without drugs or you don't care about having an episiotomy, this is fine and good, but lots of people find that when they are not scared into these procedures, and scared by birth in general, things tend to go more easily. The Sears pregnancy and birth books acknowledge the need/option for fetal monitoring, ultra-sounds, c-sections, drugs, etc., but at least give you the information about them rather than assuming that they are routine and 100% without risk. More on the alternative side is Having a Baby, Naturally: The Mothering Magazine Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth, but even if you don't end up going that route, everything in the book is well documented by studies, so it is a great source of information. I'm not trying to be harsh on this book, but it really stinks at giving a balanced, comprehensive view of your options, or of portraying birth as a natural, normal process. Try to avoid it if you can - it just makes you feel more nervous and stressed.

    1-0 out of 5 stars scary!, July 23, 2009
    DON'T READ THIS WHEN YOU'RE EXPECTING!!!!!!! This book will only serve to scare you! Try "Pregnancy, Childbirth and the Newborn: the Complete Guide" by Simkin, Whalley & Keppler instead.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Read this if you like having meltdowns, November 7, 2008
    To make a long story short, after getting about 120 pages into this book, I called my best friend nearly in tears. I told her I was reading the book, and before I could go into details, she said "oh for goodness sakes, don't read THAT! It's all about what you can't do and what can go wrong."

    Turns out that three other friends of mine echoed the same sentiments with no prompting.

    This book is a great way to make a (probably already nauseous) pregnant woman even more miserable. ... Read more

    3. Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy
    by Mayo Clinic
    list price: $21.99 -- our price: $14.48
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 0060746378
    Publisher: Harper Paperbacks
    Sales Rank: 777
    Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    This new Mayo Clinic book on pregnancy provides you with practical information and reassurance on pregnancy and childbirth. Compiled by Mayo Clinic experts in obstetrics, it offers a clear, thorough and reliable reference for this exciting and sometimes unpredictable journey. This comprehensive book includes:

    • A month-by-month look at mom and baby
    • In-depth "Decision Guides" to help you make informed decisions on topics such as how to select a health care provider, prenatal testing options, pain relief for childbirth, and many others
    • An easy-to-use reference guide that covers topics such as morning sickness, heartburn, back pain, headaches and yeast infections, among others
    • Information on pregnancy health concerns, including preterm labor, gestational diabetes and preeclampsia, along with an overview on being pregnant when you have pre-existing health conditions such as asthma, diabetes or hyperthyroidism
    ... Read more


    5-0 out of 5 stars Superior to "What to Expect...", August 14, 2005
    Back when babies were just daydreams, I recieved "What to Expect When You're Expecting" (3rd ed.) from a pregnant friend who had an extra copy. Not knowing any better, I was quite pleased. Once I became pregnant and actually needed a guide, however, that changed. I found the book to be poorly organized, overly conversational and condescending in tone (especially given my plans to be a stay-at-home mom), and generally useless for anything other than instilling fear and paranoia. Most exasperating, though, was the "organization." Symptoms that can arise during varying parts of pregnancy are scattered haphazardly amongst the monthly chapters. This means that the book must be read cover to cover and all material retained in memory if hunting through the index and flipping back and forth between sections doesn't sound appealing.

    Enter the "Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy." Hallelujah! Not wanting to suffer through another mediocre guide to pregnancy, I looked through every book I could get my hands on, and this was the only one that satisfied my criteria. It is written by trustworthy professionals in clear yet -professional- language, it provides information on "pregnancy, childbirth and your newborn" in chronological order, and best of all, it contains separate sections entitled, appropriately, "decision guides for pregnancy, childbirth and parenthood," "pregnancy reference guide," and "complications of pregnancy and childbirth," each with a table of contents at the beginning of the section. Instead of having to take a wild guess at which chapter (or, more likely, chapters) cramping might have landed in in "What to Expect" or searching the entire index, I could find it, along with all the other things I might be wondering about, in the reference guide. Blessed simplicity!

    The "Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy" was the only book I needed. Once I found it, "What to Expect When You're Expecting" went back on the shelf and stayed there.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Best pregnancy book ever, May 6, 2005
    When we started trying, I bought a lot of pregnancy books. I am now towards the end of my first trimester and this book has been by far the best book I own on this topic.

    This book is extremely well organized, very informative and objective, and covers a wide range of topics from pregnancy to birth to breastfeeding.

    It is very easy to find what you are looking for. For each week, it explains what your body is going through, how your baby is growing and what emotional changes you could expect. In each month, there is a summary page that lists the problems you may have in that period and tells you when you should call your doctor. There are very nice drawings that show what your baby looks like and how big it is. (Some pictures are real size, for others the book tells what percentage of the real thing the picture is.)

    This book had answers to all my questions so far - and I should say, being a very curious first time mom, I had a lot of questions.

    Thanks and congratulations to Mayo Clinic.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Saved my Baby, October 10, 2005
    This is the best book out there by far. I had 3 other pregnancy books in addition to this one. This book answered every question I had during pregancy. And I had lots of them. At the week 38, I wasn't feeling great but I wasn't dying either. Just not feeling too well. I was having some minor chills, and NO fever. No other symptom. I opened the book and it said to call my OBGYN right away. I did so and my OBGYN wasn't too sure that it was urgent. My OBGYN then changed her mind 5 min later called me back and told me to go to the hospital for a quick checkup. My babies heartrate was over 200/min. They managed to stabilize him and 15 min his heartrate dropped to 80/min. Needless to say, my OBGYN did and emergency C-section. Had I not had this book and been so persistent with my doctor, my baby might be not be alive. Well worth every penny it costs.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Better than "What to Expect When You're Expecting", May 4, 2005
    This was the first book I got from the library when I found out that I was pregnant. Unfortunately, after numerous renewals, the library wants it back (the nerve!). I'm currently 15 weeks pregnant with my first child and so far this book has been great. It's from a trusted source and the week by week information on what's happening to the baby and possibly to me is more informative and detailed than other books that I have (i.e. "What to Expect...," "Your Pregnancy Week by Week," etc.) While this book has a lot of information dealing with specific circumstances, I just skipped the sections that didn't pertain to me. This book didn't scare the hell out of me like some of the others did. I am purchasing this book for my own "library."

    5-0 out of 5 stars The ONLY book you need, January 21, 2006
    I had bought several pregnancy books, including the Mother of All Pregnancy books and a couple of others, shortly after finding out I was pregnant. I kept getting disappointed by them - either the tone of the book would be off, or the information wouldn't be complete enough, or the book would be too cutesy for me to stomach. I got a recommendation from someone for this book, and after I read it I was sorry that I had wasted any money on other books. This is the only pregnancy book I need.

    It's hard to describe just how comprehensive the information is. If you, as a pregnant woman, need to know about something, it's discussed in this book. There's a large section on pregnancy discomforts and problems, but it's written in such a way that it's not depressing at all. The book is very straightforward about common pregnancy symptoms - if something hurts, they don't pussyfoot around, they say "this hurts" - but yet not negative about the experience of pregnancy either. The tone of the book is very straightforward, but yet upbeat at the same time. There are great week-by-week descriptions of what's happening with your baby, complete with illustrations, and in the week-by-week chapters there are also discussions of issues relevant to your pregnancy and suggestions about things you might want to think about or make some decisions about at that stage. There is VERY extensive information about prenatal testing, complete with great diagrams (this was the first book that showed me what really happens during CVS testing) and the information is presented in a neutral, nonbiased way that really aids decision-making when it comes to prenatal tests.

    One of the most helpful features of this book are the "decision-making guides" in the middle. These are short articles about things like breastfeeding, deciding to have another child, etc. that present the pros and the cons in a very balanced and neutral way, so that you as a parent can make decisions for yourself. The book recommends breastfeeding and provides detailed instructions on breastfeeding, but also provides plenty of information on formula feeding, complete with instructions on how to formula feed, which is something I have not seen in many other books. I plan to breastfeed but if you are not planning to, or find you cannot, this book has some great information for you about formula feeding.

    One other extremely helpful feature of the book are the charts for each trimester that help you decide when you should talk to your doctor about certain kinds of symptoms. I was surprised to find that some things I would think would be not that serious are actually things that warrant an immediate call to the doctor. I know I will be referring back to those tables over and over my entire pregnancy.

    Overall, I can't recommend this book highly enough. Loads of information to help you make the best decisions you can in your pregnancy. Don't bother buying any other book. This is the one you will go back to for information and reassurance over and over throughout your pregnancy.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Real great book!, October 17, 2005
    I borrowed many pregnancy books at the library and found this book from far the best and I decided to buy it! It is written by doctors and explains everything simply but also scientifically. Do not buy "what to expect when you are expecting" which is too alarmist and not as complete as the Mayo Clinic Guide.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Best of the bunch!, April 14, 2005
    I wanted a book written for intelligent adults that provided all the necessary information without the hype that this pregnancy will be an event around which the universe will revolve. (I've got plenty of time after my child is born to believe that.) After staring down the dizzying array of books on pregnancy, this was my pick. Not only do I love it, but my husband thought it was great and not too "jr. high sex ed class" oriented like many of the picture-heavy books. It's packed with information presented in a no-nonsense format that really lays out all your options for every aspect of pregnancy without taking sides. The organization is terrific with charts, graphs, and sidebars on all the things you want to know. The decision guides make you feel like you can handle anything that comes up. And it lets you easily find what you want whether it's weekly updates on how you and your baby are doing, guides for the big decisions about breastfeeding and circumcision, or specialized advice based on medical difficulties or multiple pregnancies. Great book from the Mayo Clinic!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Finally...A book for First timers and repeat moms!!!, January 11, 2005
    I am in my 3rd pregnancy, and bought the tried and true copy of 'What to expect when you're expecting.' Boy..was I dissapointed. It was so basic, missing so much info I wanted. AFter some research I heard about this book and went to take a look at my local store. All I can say is...WOW WOW WOW. It's not only a monthly guide to your body, emotions and baby..but a weekly. There is so much wonderful information..everything from snoring to in depth analysis of birth control for after delivery. They have a great section on dealing with depression before, during and after pregnancy. NOT JUST BABY BLUES. I was so impressed. I'd never read such great and easy to understand material. They have a huge reference guide for all the little and not so little aches and pains in pregnancy. Each month has a 'how soon to call your doctor' section for possible problems. It was nice that it didn't spend the whole time speaking only about working moms and prenancy (although it is covered) or insult my intelligence as a repeat mother. I highly recommend this to repeat and new moms alike. You will be so much more prepared than with the others I've read.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Very informative-not my favorite though, March 31, 2005
    I really liked this book and I think it is a wonderful reference tool. I am glad I had the book on hand. However, my favorite book during pregnancy was "Pregnancy Week By Week". I think it went more into detail as each week passed. And being a first time mom, I wanted to know every detail that was going on developmentally with my baby.

    5-0 out of 5 stars This is the book to get!, November 30, 2005
    During my last pregnancy, I bought "What To Expect When You're Expecting," but lent it to a friend afterwards. So, now, for this pregnancy I bought this book. I like this one much better! It is well-organized, easy to reference, and has consistent categories month-by-month. I would definitely recommend this as the book to get!!! ... Read more

    4. Baby 411: Clear Answers & Smart Advice for Your Baby's First Year (Baby 411: Clear Answers and Smart Advice for Your Baby's First Year)
    by Denise Fields, Ari Brown
    list price: $14.95 -- our price: $10.17
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 1889392340
    Publisher: Windsor Peak Press
    Sales Rank: 859
    Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    You are having a baby! Congratulations! Now the reality hits you: what the heck am I doing? What if you could bottle the wisdom of all those parents who've come before you and mix it with the solid medical advice from an nationally-renowned pediatrician? Baby 411 is the answer! Think of it as the ultimate FAQ for new parents.

    Baby 411 hits today's hot-button issues head-on. Inside the revised and updated 3rd edition, you'll find info on: picking a pediatrician, with savvy questions to ask and insider tips; finding the best way to get your baby to sleep through the night; deciding what to do when baby gets sick, including when to worry and when not to; discovering secrets to soothing a fussy baby; breastfeeding your baby and introducing new, improved formulas and solid food, with detailed nutritional information and step-by-step guide. ... Read more


    5-0 out of 5 stars Pediatrician recommended!, March 2, 2009
    I am a pediatrician, and when I was pregnant with my daughter (my first) I was looking for a medical advice book for all those things they DON'T teach you in medical school. Also I like to read the books that my patients' parents are reading. I guess you could ask why a pediatrician would need to read an advice book.... and I will tell you that most of the parenting skills and ideas you need to survive everyday life with your child are not a part of medical training. This book is an excellent combination of the very latest medical evidence and practical parenting advice. I find myself turning to it each time we enter a new "phase" (sleeping training, introducing solids, etc.)

    The book is not meant to be read cover to cover in one sitting, but I did read the entire book on a vacation to see if I agreed with Dr. Brown's medical advice. I find her approach to complex medical issues to be balanced and backed by scientific evidence which is lacking in many books.

    Baby 411 is a modern-day "Dr. Spock" advice book that every parent should have on their shelf for middle of the night symptom searching and for everyday parenting questions.

    4-0 out of 5 stars My "go-to" book for minor baby health crises, September 21, 2007
    This is my go-to book for basic health questions about my baby. Unlike a number of other baby books on my shelf, the information is presented in just enough detail to be helpful in a minor crisis (A whole chapter on poop and vomiting? Yay!) Most sections about common symptoms and illnesses are very reassuring, but contain a useful "Red Flags" list immediately following that lets you know when you need to push the speed-dial number for your pediatrician. I find the reference section really helpful, particularly when I don't feel the need to wake my pediatrician at 1A.M. to ask a basic question about medication or illness. The authors do express strong opinions about some controversial issues, like circumcision and vaccination, which will turn some readers off; and I've seen a few parents who susbscribe to the attachment-parenting theory complain that some of the behavioral advice (specifically regarding co-sleeping and sleep training) is harsh or closed-minded. If you have your own strong opinions about these issues, ignore these sections of the book--there's lots of other useful information here.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent book, except form factor, April 4, 2009
    This is a wonderful book for parents. It provides a lot of useful information to help put first time parents at ease. The sections on birth and the first few weeks of feeding helped us understand whether we were on track with quantities of breast milk.

    The book continues with good information on hygine, pooping/peeing, vaccinations, and has become a frequently-accessed reference. Many sections are organized in a way that you can find information on your baby according to his/her current age, which is helpful.

    I would give this book 5 stars except for one issue I consider significant - it's almost impossible to read while holding your baby! The book measures 10x5x1.5 inches, and if you try to keep it open with one hand, it slaps shut. And, it won't stay open by itself on a flat surface.

    Ability to read the book while taking care of the baby would have been a huge plus.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Must Have Book for first time parents!!, July 18, 2008
    I can't say enough good things about this book! It has helped me with so many questions since my son was born. I bought this book during pregnancy but didn't get around to reading it. Once I brought my baby home, I had a million questions and no time to read. The format of this book (Q&A style) made it possible to find the answers I needed quickly and with thorough but concise explanations. The authors are great at balancing info so that you feel assured and informed. As many other readers have said, I love that they give "red flags" so that you know when something is hands-down an emergency or time to call the doctor. This book is the only one my skeptical husband will read when he wants to find something out for the baby. If you buy only one baby book, make it this one. PS- Better than "Mother of All Baby Books"

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent, easily read advice and information, January 27, 2009
    I am a new mom and an Emergency physician, and I bought this book after reading some other reviews on amazon. Well, I can't agree more with the positive reviews. This book is worded in simple and clear language and gives frank and detailed advice. After reading it cover to cover, ( I couldn't get enough), I thought, why didn't I think to get this before? So many of my patients ask these questions and I give the advice that is easily accessible for less than 20 dollars- in a book- while they are spending time and money to go to the ED to relieve their worries. I will definitely recommend this book to friends, family and patients.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Best baby guide out there!, December 11, 2007
    I'm so glad that i had this as a reference guide when raising my first baby (now my toddler). It had the most information in the most condense format. It was wonderful to read through cover to cover and to also use just as a look-up reference when ear infections, bumps, illness, or diaper rashes cropped up. The authors are funny, sympathetic, informative, and realistic. They recognize that when they give the stock doctor's answer of "take your child to the pediatrian's office -- again", it's aggravating for parents b/c of all the co-pays and time involved, but they justify themselves. They guarantee that this book will pay for itself by saving you the co-pay of at least one doctor's visit, and it definitely did so for me. After seeing my daughter's diaper rash get progressively worse after airing it out, using Aquaphor, Balmex, and Triple paste, we looked it up and found she had a yeast infection type rash. OTC athlete's food ointment and (ta da!) no more rash. They saved me $25. I have the Baby 411 and the Toddler 411 and I just want to thank them again and again. The one wish I have is that they would detail their child development section more thoroughly since it is what EVERY parents seems to be most concerned about. I know I poured over it again and again.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent advice for new parents!, May 5, 2008
    I love this book. It's great for when we feel like we don't know what we're doing or what to expect. (We have 4 1/2 month old twin boys.) We often refer to this and even re-read sections. I purchased this copy as a gift for my cousin and his wife who are expecting their first baby next month.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great for first-time parents!, August 22, 2007
    This book is especially helpful for first time parents. The information is delivered in a clear and easy-to-understand format, with a little bit of humor thrown in. You almost feel like you are talking directly with the authors. Ever since this came out, I've made it a point to give the latest edition as a gift to new parents.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Informative, Well-Balanced, Straight to the Point, & Entertaining, June 3, 2008
    I should have bought this book when I realized how incredible "Baby Bargains" was. I waited until my daughter was 4 months old before I bought this book and I wish that I had not waited so long. I will be giving this to everyone that I know that is expecting moving forward.

    This is very well-written. There is a wide variety of information that is up-to-date and straight-forward. It offers balanced information on hot topics without getting caught up in emotion. Too often author's of baby books get caught up in the political hype. However, if you are ever in doubt with anything regarding your child- check with your pediatrician.

    There is so much unnecessary "stuff" out there for new parents that it can be overwhelming. Marketers of baby items often times prey on the vulnerability of new parents. This author does not do that. In my opinion, the reviewers who thought that this author has a hidden agenda are clouded by their own agendas. This book offers parents easy to read information so that you can make the best decisions for you and your family.
    This is a must have for any parent who wants straight forward advice. I can't wait to read the follow-up book.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Helpful for First Time Parents!, September 13, 2007
    I received a promotional copy of this book for free from my OB/GYN's office while I was pregnant earlier this year. My husband and I have found it invaluable, especially for those first few weeks after bringing our first baby home! It is well written and easy to understand. We find ourselves referring to this book first when we have any questions, and have found that the baby's pediatrician has agreed with all the advice in here so far! Highly recommended and I'll be giving this as a gift at baby showers from now on. ... Read more

    5. Younger Next Year for Women: Live Strong, Fit, and Sexy - Until You're 80 and Beyond
    by Chris Crowley, Henry S. LodgeM.D. M.D.
    list price: $12.95 -- our price: $9.32
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 0761147748
    Publisher: Workman Publishing Company
    Sales Rank: 960
    Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    Co-written by one of the country's most prominent internists, Dr. Henry "Harry" Lodge, and his star patient, the 73-year-old Chris Crowley, Younger Next Year for Women is a book of hope, a guide to aging without fear or anxiety. This is a book of hope, a guide to aging without fear or anxiety. Using the same inspired structure of alternating voices, Chris and Harry have recastmaterial specifically for women, who already live longer and take better care of themselves than men. New material covers menopause and post-menopause, as well as cardiac disease, osteoporosis, sexuality, and more.

    This is the book that can show us how to turn back our biological clocks—how to put off 70% of the normal problems of aging (weakness, sore joints, bad balance) and eliminate 50% of serious illness and injury. The key to the program is found in Harry's Rules: Exercise six days a week. Don't eat crap. Connect and commit to others. There are seven rules all together, based on the latest findings in cell physiology, evolutionary biology, anthropology, and experimental psychology. Dr. Lodge explains how and why they work—and Chris Crowley, who is living proof of their effectiveness (skiing better today, for example, than he did twenty years ago), gives the just-as-essential motivation.

    Both men and women can become functionally younger every year for the next five to ten years, then continue to live with newfound vitality and pleasure deep into our 80s and beyond. ... Read more


    5-0 out of 5 stars Puts a Fire in your tailpipe to get up and go, January 3, 2007
    I read Dr. Lodges and Chris Crowley's book and it changed me forever. I first saw these two authors on CBN and then ordered the book, "Younger Next Year for Women". What I like about this book in terms of its style and reading is that it is balanced between Dr. Lodge's biology and DNA subject matter and Chris Crowley's shoot from the hip style. Yes, they do advocate exercise, but nothing so mundane as you find in typical exercise or motivation books. Nothing in any other exercise book ever woke me up like this book. More than just another exercise or fitness book, this book explains why and how we age, why we get fat, why and how we program our body and cells to die instead of grow. This book explains how our modern life style has confused the programming of our body and caused us to get fat, grow old, get stiff, get diseased and finally die. These things don't just happen to us - we cause them to happen! That's right, we program our DNA and cells to age and die by our life style and activity, or lack thereof, which tells our body what to do with the next generation of cells. It also goes into what our bodies were designed for and how to work in harmony with that perfect design to obtain optimum performance. Once I learned this, I suddenly became aware that I had been setting my body up to die, day by day, one dead cell after another. I changed in the instant I read the first couple of chapters. This book is a real eye opener and instead of motivating you to do push ups or do this or that, this book integrates the whole life system of human evolution and biology and social attitude based on the design and makeup of the human genetic machine. It puts you on the right track to do what your body and cells were made to do and to do it well for a long and healthy life. I read this book cover to cover and it motivated me to begin an exercise and "life" program which completely changed my health for the better. I now do six days a week of cardio and exercise, have more energy, more drive, more motivation each day than I've ever had in my life and for the first time in my life, I'm pain free with more flexibility, endurance, and resiliancy than ever before. I've lost 15 lbs and dropped to a size 2 and can meet my daily work challenges with so much energy, I'm amazed. I have no longer programmed my body and cells to die but to live, and live fully and live each day with zeal and motivation. In changing my diet I also discovered I had food allergies which I never knew I had before. This book took me into a new direction and opened a whole other area of thought about my health, diet and exercise and spurned me in a new direction of wellness and wellness research. I've told many people about it and am buying several copies for friends and family. I highly recommend it for anyone who wants to awaken their minds and bodies and be alive again. And especially for anyone in that age zone where health becomes a daily issue of concern.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The best is yet to come!!!, July 26, 2006
    I can't even count the number of self-help books I have read. I have a degree in holistic science. I "know" all the things we are supposed to do. But having come thru a particularly tough phase in life, including the loss of a committed relationship, two cross country relocations and two job changes all within the last 5-6 years, I hit the age of 60 wondering, where did all the time go? what do I do now? is it true, as I always believed, that it is "never too late"? While I was pondering those questions, the age of 61 rolled around, and all of a sudden I felt everything from the last few years finally took its toll. I tried adding up the positives: I finally live in my most favorite place; I am consistently thought to look younger than I am; I work for a wonderful organization that serves a great cause; I have had amazingly good health and I am the only one I know past 60 who has no aches nor pains; I ran a half-marathon this spring; I have great friends; I have a meaningful spiritual life. Yet I still felt like I had run out of luck, and the downhill slide was before me.

    I am literally driving my car around with three crates of books I need to get rid of, but somehow I got captured once again by a book club that offers those 5-6 books for 99 cents. One of the clinchers was the title of this book. I thought, how crazy can I be - falling for a title like that?!

    Earlier this week my book package came, and last night I read almost this whole book (I recommend reading Part II well before you finish Part I, it is totally inspirational). The two-generational perspective of Chris and Harry is unique; Chris' wit and his own story often fool the reader into thinking it's the voice of the younger one. Harry has the scientific backup and puts the nuts and bolts into Chris' idealism. This is truly one of the best books I have ever read, or perhaps it was just what I needed at the time of life I have reached - whether you want to use Gail Sheehy's term "Second Adulthood" or the Third Act or however you want to think of what used to be called the "golden years."

    I saw retirement kill my father in his early 80s, so I had already decided that I didn't want to go that route. My financial condition assures that! One reviewer herein commented that the book did not address mental fitness - it certainly does. Chris makes much of getting involved in new relationships, in taking on new causes and interests and activities - I love his, just say "yes" when you have an opportunity to become involved in something but feel like sitting home and watching TV. I couldn't believe I reached a point in life where I was turning into a couch potato.

    Having been a regular runner and a fair tennis player, I felt my half-marathon last spring was my last hurrah. I have been going home after work and taking naps, something I have never done in my life. I have wept at the thought of never receiving another hug or a kiss, as there are no prospects of connectedness for me (I am probably wearing my negativity on my face, driving anyone away who still has a zest for life). I lost a great love, having found him after I was 50, so I have become convinced, after 60, the odds are totally against me. And even what enthusiasm I may have had for life has been drowned in a horror that no matter what good may come my way, OLD WOMAN is stamped on every succeeding day.

    Today I have a new lease on life from this book. That crazy sign-up for yet another book club must have been Providence. I can't get back my youth but I am taking back my life. I took a brisk walk before breakfast this morning, did a few minutes of yoga, and went online to Amazon to see if I could get this book - every woman I know, my friends from their 40s to their 70s, is getting this book for the next birthday or holiday gift.

    Get it, read it, live it, give it. I finally feel like I am going to have a great life again, and I'll be such a magnet of goodness and joy and warmth, like Chris - maybe there will even be love again. For now I am going to hug my cat a little more and spend more time with friends and less time with the TV. The science in this book is sound, and the inspiration is unmatched. Thanks to Harry and Chris for snapping me out of the gloom and doom and - their word - decay. I am 61 years young!!!!

    4-0 out of 5 stars Motivating Book, July 29, 2007
    Chris and Harry tag-team throughout this book to provide good information and inspiration. As other reviewers have stated, most of the information isn't new, but it's said in a way that makes it relevant and useful. And Chris is a jolly role model for all of us.

    I'm not sure why this book motivates me when I already knew much of the information in it. Maybe it was the ongoing (relentless) mention of aging as decay in the US. Or pounding home the point of how much control we have over how we age. Or maybe just wanting to have fun being 71 like Chris. (My mom, 78, has heart disease. Her sister died at 71 and her other sister, 69, has cancer.)

    I love the dead honest tone of this book. No diet plan, no recipes, no Kumbaya, no gimmicks - just straight talk with some humor thrown in.

    A bit of criticism: I wish they had added a female author for this book. Getting the male perspective on female aging was usually fine, but sometimes seemed lacking. Chris and Harry could quote statistics and give examples, but they really don't know. (Notable difference between reading Gail Sheehy's books on menopause and female aging, and reading this book.)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Younger Next Year? It's Up to You, May 1, 2006
    So what's the deal? Can you really be younger next year? As another reviewer says, "Well, maybe." But the "maybe" isn't based on sketchy science, less-than-reliable studies, or even unclear advice; the "maybe" is based on whether or not the reader is willing to follow the very clear and well-supported advice, which is based on new but exciting discoveries in the science of aging bodies.

    The advice? Seven basic and fairly straightforward rules, beginning with exercise (6 days a week for the rest of your life) and ending with finding something to be committed to and excited about (for the rest of your life), with some talk about not eating crap and a few other recommendations in between. Simple to understand, but not so simple to do, maybe most especially that thing about working out 6 days a week, every week, until they carry you out. That's a tough pill to swallow for many of us, but the authors make a clear and convincing case that it can be a magic pill, a pill that can promote wellness and firmness into our 80s and beyond, and help most of us replace what might have been a frail and desperate old age with a vigorous, joyful "next third" of our lives.

    And what a great job they do of making that case, not only in the sense of presenting a clear and persuasive argument, but also in presenting it in a witty, entertaining, but also very direct style. The authors are one doctor and one of his patients, and they alternate chapters, sort of a team-teaching style, where Harry, the doc, gives you the science, and Chris, the regular guy, talks about how the science plays out in your life, and has in his. Interestingly enough, while Harry is the scientist, he has a pleasant, almost gentle bedside-or, in this case, bookside-manner, and Chris is the one who's inclined to be a little severe, though in an encouraging, coach-like way. So while Chris admits he wanted Rule #1 to be something like "Exercise 7 days a week," he tells us that Harry persuaded him to let us off with 6 days a week. Chris scolds us severely when we ask, as he imagines us doing, "How about 5 days, or even one day? Isn't that better than nothing?" No! Chris insists (you can almost see him stamping his foot), it's NOT better than nothing. But then he patiently explains his point, and leads us carefully through the reasons why one day, or even three, four, or five days, are not better than nothing. (In a former life, Chris was an attorney, and you can hear the litigator's flawless logic and attention to detailed argument in the way he builds his case for exercise. It's really quite wonderful!)

    But Chris is no monster. (Here, take a minute to run over all the old lawyer jokes in your head and get it out of your system.) Again, he's the coach, variously demanding compliance or cajoling when it makes sense, browbeating when he has to, telling a joke now and then, and through it all, leading you along the path to success. He has lots of little tips and tricks to offer about all the rules. And he's a bit of wit at it, too. I've read lots of books on the subject of getting in shape, and none of them have made me smile, even chuckle, as this one does. As I was finishing the last chapter or so, I found that I was unhappy that it was all about to end, the way you're sorry that you've reached the end of a good novel or a wonderful movie. Fortunately, the authors have developed a very supportive website where you can ask questions, join a forum, get in on a chat now and then, and get more detailed advice about exercise and nutrition.

    Some say there's not much "substance" or nothing new here. OK, if you don't count the several chapters that explain new scientific understandings of how important daily strenuous exercise is to our health as we age; if you don't count the bibliography that offers titles to fill in the stuff that the authors don't claim to be able to offer; if you don't count the entertaining, inspiring, and always on-topic message of the book: work out almost every day, quit eating junk, and find something in life to give a rip about.

    To learn more, you'll have to read the book. You owe it yourself. But don't delay-the clock is ticking.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Nothing New, but......., August 19, 2006
    There isn't anything we don't already know we should doing in this book. And having said that, I do heartily recommend it. I love the chatty informality of the authors. The easy going style gets your attention and keeps it. Its like talking with old friends you haven't seen in a while. And that is one of the points in the book. You SHOULD keep in touch with old friends AND make new ones. So...after you've read this book, get off the couch and get going! It's never too late to start taking care of yourself!

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Great Read, January 6, 2006
    What a great read - an enjoyable approach to a very important topic - women's health. It provides a simple, reasoned and understandable plan for an improved quality of life for women of any age - not just those over 50. Crowley is a gifted story teller, motivator, and a big bonus, hilariously funny.

    4-0 out of 5 stars The book for men is better, January 11, 2007
    I love "Younger Next Year". This is a rewrite that clearly IS a rewrite intended for women... a chapter on menopause added, etc, but the original book is fresher and I have other resources on female aging if I need them. Not bad but buy the other book and try to preview this one before you decide you need to own both.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Highly motivating!, January 18, 2006
    Having hit that "certain age" I've read several books lately on successful aging. These authors reached right out and slapped me silly - I love this book. For the first time I feel motivated to do the right things for myself -- and have started. Between the no-nonsense medical information from the Doc and the chatty, acerbic style of the attorney, these guys have nailed it. They've made the goals and rules for reaching them seem attainable and fun.They seem to cherish women of all ages - how refreshing and confidence-inspiring for someone with silver hair. I got this book from the library and will be purchasing my own copy for future reference. It's a must read.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Some good stuff, but not up to the full hype!, September 27, 2007
    This book gives advice and encouragement to women who have falsely come to believe that deterioration comes with age and there is nothing we can do about it. I enjoyed it and sometimes recommend it just for some parts of it and the main idea, but I still want to make the following comments: it belabored the value of exercise to the point where I felt like shouting "OK, I get it, I get...we need to exercise!". In a way, I kept waiting for the book to also talk about OTHER things too, but really this was the sum total focus of the book. I also thought that it would have been nice if the authors included some women doctors' perspectives too (it was weird getting all that advice on how we women should live our lives from two men who constantly refer to how they live theirs). I felt that the recommendation (strongly and repeatedly given) to exercise for HOURS a day, every day preferably, was fine for the retired author of the book who, as another reviewer also mentioned, was spending ALOT of time doing things that are not easily affordable by the average woman. He obviously has a huge amount of vacation/play time to enjoy high-end exercise, like biking trips and skiing trips...but that's not realistic for the kinds of lives most women, age 50-60 at least, really live in today's world (lives filled with the time demands of jobs combined with children, homes, care of elderly parents, grandchildren, etc.). It may be that this much exercise is what is really needed to turn back the clock, but I'm hoping that's not true- since so few of us have THAT much time to devote to exercise (the authors seemed to think that if you had your priorities straight, you'd find the time). The authors did convince me that one needs to add strength training to cardio training, and that cardio training is not enough. Just that knowledge and conviction alone may make me (and you) 'younger next year', if we actually do what is recommended.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great wake up call!, March 11, 2006
    This is a great book that gets your attention. Though I never really thought I needed to know all the medical "stuff" they tell you about in this book, it sure helps me understand more about how I can live healthier for the rest of my life and it makes sense. I have chronic back pain and am looking forward to seeing if I can get relief by excercising and staying in shape. ... Read more

    6. The Women's Health Big Book of Exercises: Four Weeks to a Leaner, Sexier, Healthier YOU!
    by Adam Campbell MSCSCS
    list price: $24.99 -- our price: $16.49
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 1605295493
    Publisher: Rodale Books
    Sales Rank: 1245
    Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    The Women's Health Big Book of Exercises is the essential workout guide for anyone who wants a better body. As the most comprehensive collection of exercises ever created, this makeover manual is a body-shaping power tool for both beginners and longtime fitness buffs alike. From start to finish, this 480-page makeover manual bulges with hundreds of useful tips, the latest findings in exercise science, and cutting-edge workouts from the world's top trainers.
    Inside The Women's Health Big Book of Exercises you'll find:
    619 Exercises!
    All expertly demonstrated with color photographs, with dozens of movements for every muscle in your body, including:
    * More than 100 core exercises! You'll never run out of ways to sculpt your abs.
    * 74 biceps, triceps, and forearm exercises: Tone your arms faster than ever before.
    * 64 chest exercises, to burn more calories and even help give your bosom a lift.
    * 103 back exercises, to make sure you turn heads in your backless dress.
    * 40 shoulder exercises, so you can wear a tank top with confidence.
    * 99 quadriceps and calves exercises, to help you look great in a pair of shorts.
    * 62 glutes and hamstrings exercises, for the perfect backside.
    Hundreds of workouts!
    From cover to cover, you'll quickly see that there's a training plan for every fitness goal—whether you want to shrink your hip, find your abs, or shape your arms. Highlights include:
    * The World's Greatest 4-Week Diet and Exercise Plan
    Lose 10 pounds of pure fat in 30 days! This scientifically proven plan, based on research from the University of Connecticut, shows what's truly possible when you combine the right kind of diet with the right kind of exercise. You'll build muscle and lose fat faster than ever.
    * The Get-Your-Body-Back (Fast!) Guide
    If you've never even picked up a weight, you'll want to try this plan from Joe Dowdell, C.S.C.S. Joe makes his living training models, athletes, and celebrities, and has worked with such names as Anne Hathaway, Claire Danes, Molly Sims, and Kate Hudson, as well as Victoria’s Secret and Sports Illustrated swimsuit models. And the strategies he uses when designing workouts for his high-profile clientele are the same ones he employs to help you quickly burn fat, firm up, and improve your overall fitness.
    * The Bikini-Ready Workout
    This fitness plan will help you flatten your stomach and tighten your butt. It’s designed by celebrity trainer Valerie Waters, who has perfected the body-shaping workouts you’ll find here on dozens of Hollywood stars, including Jennifer Garner, Rachel Nichols, Kate Beckinsale, and Jessica Biel. Add your name to Valerie’s client list to tone your total body and feel more confident than ever.
    * The Skinny Jeans Workout
    Want to look sexier in a pair of Sevens? Try this routine from Women’s Health fitness advisor Rachel Cosgrove, CSCS. In a pilot study at Rachel’s gym, clients who tried the plan dropped two jean sizes in just 8 weeks.
    * The Wedding Workout
    Look great—just in time for the big day (and your honeymoon!)
    * The Hard-Body Workout
    Use this 12-week plan to tone your legs, arms, and abs faster than ever
    * The Lose-the-Last-10-Pounds Workout
    Your guide to finishing off that last bit of flab for good
    * The Total-body Arm-shaping Workout
    Blast fat as you shape and firm your arms
    * The Best Three-Exercise Workouts
    Shrink your hips with just three simple moves
    * The Prenatal Workout
    Stay fit and healthy during your pregnancy
    * The Best Workouts for a Crowded Gym
    Sculpt a lean, fit body—no waiting!
    * The Time-Saving Couples Workout
    Burn fat together (it's the secret to better sex!)
    * The Best Bodyweight Workouts
    Take your workout anywhere with these no-weight routines
    * The 10 Best 15-Minute Workouts

    Bust stress, blast fat, and build muscle in almost no time
    Every page of The Women's Health Big Book of Exercises is filled with the fitness and nutrition tips and tricks you need to sculpt the body you want.
    Throughout the book, you'll discover:
    * The secret to burning 40 percent more fat.
    * The 18 fitness mistakes you should never make
    * The best stretch for every muscle
    * The fastest cardio workout of all-time (just 4 minutes!)
    * The best exercises you've never done
    * The 8 healthiest foods you aren't eating
    * The 4 perfect fitness foods
    * The 25 super snacks that keep you lean
    * The 5 biggest nutrition lies—exposed!
    * The truth about saturated fat
    * The simple way to master the pushup
    * The 20 ways lifting weights helps you look great, stay healthy, and live longer
    ... Read more


    5-0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive & Incredibly Useful, December 29, 2009
    Very comprehensive overview of hundreds of exercises that can be done using gym equipment, home equipment (stability balls, dumbbells, etc.), and/or no equipment. The photos detailing each exercise are in full color and the accompanying explanations are detailed, specific, and easy to follow.

    The book is broken down into chapters dedicated to body parts: Chest, Back, Shoulders, Arms, Quadriceps & Calves, Glutes & Hamstrings, Core, as well as chapters for Total Body and Warmup Exercises. There is also a chapter on how to put various exercises together for specific-goal workouts (e.g. "The Get Your Body Back Workout", "The Skinny Jeans Workout", "The Bikini-Ready Workout", "The Best Sports Workout", "The Best Three-Exercise Workouts"). In addition, there are chapters dedicated to Nutrition, Cardio Workouts, the importance of Weights, etc.

    All in all, this is an extremely comprehensive book that is not at all about gimmicks or shortcuts but is simply well researched and well presented. It will literally replace several books I've bought on this subject in past years. I'm not easily impressed by books on this subject and yet I'm extremely impressed by this compilation. Well done Adam Campbell and contributors!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Amazing book!, February 24, 2010
    I just received this book in the mail and I am much happier with it than I could have ever expected. The book is comprised of the following: a FAQ section, a diet and exercise plan, 14 exercise programs to choose from, a nutrition chapter, a cardio chapter, and chapters of exercises for each of the following: chest, back, shoulders, arms, quads & calves, glutes & hamstrings, core, total body, and warmup exercises. The pictures in the book are very clear and easy to follow. As for the equipment needed, I've found that most of the chapters have exercises that can be done with or without access to a gym.
    My favorite part about this book is the chapter on different exercise programs. This book offers the following exercise plans: "The Get Your Body Back Workout," "The Best Workouts for a Crowded Gym," "The Skinny Jeans Workout," "The Bikini Ready Workout," "The Wedding Workout," "The Hard Body Workout," "The Lose the Last 10 Pounds Workout," "The Best Sports Workout," "The Best Three Exercise Workouts," "The Prenatal Workout," "The Time Saving Couples Workout," "The Best Body-Weight Workouts," "The Best 15 Minute Workouts," and "The Spartacus Workout."
    Overall, I would highly recommend this product. This is the only book I'll ever need for weight lifting exercises!

    3-0 out of 5 stars It's Alright., February 4, 2010
    The book is excellent for having colorful detailed pictures of 619 varying forms of exercise movements using weight or strength training. My only issue with the book is that the Women's version is nearly identical to the Men's version. I bought both, one for me and the other for my husband, thinking it would offer something different, because a woman's body is different than a man's and does not lose weight or build muscle at the same degree. I was sadly disappointed. Buying both is a waste of money. The information is exactly the same as well as the exercises, it also has the EXACT amount of pages in each book.

    The diet plan section was too brief and did not go into enough detail. The cardio section was dismal at best. Some of the nutritional information was iffy, like High Fructose Corn Syrup being nutritional similiar to sugar,that's a crock. Look up HFCS and find out how they manufacture it. Any synthetic food should be limited, but natural is better thank synthetic, and as the book states both should be limited. But it didn't say any of the harmful effects that HCFS has on your liver and how it's works harder trying to process HFCS. My theory, if God didn't grow it, don't eat it.

    What I did like was the exercises, I like how the sections were divided and how it went into detail describing the muscles being worked for that section and why it is important to work that particular muscle group. It's very easy to navigate through and it has exercises to perform for home or for the gym.

    I think the price is too high for what they deliver, but if you can find it cheaper than the listed retail price which is 24.99 plus shipping which is nearly $4, I say go for it. But it's definitely not worth 28.00.

    I will be sending this book back and keeping the Men's Big Book for my husband.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Resource, October 18, 2010
    I work in physical therapy and as a personal trainer and this is one of the best exercise books I have ever seen. Not only is it full of good exercises, but the pictures show them being done with perfect form (something you don't see often.) It is the only book of exercises I would recommend to everyone.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A personal trainer on your services for life, September 13, 2010
    i have a degree in the science of sports and physical education and i ve been working for a long time with athletes and people who want to improve their general health.i ll say with certainty that this book is one of the best alternatives for someone who cant afford hiring a personal trainer but he's willing to impove his health,physical condition and overall quality of life on[[ASIN:1605295493 The Women's Health Big Book of Exercises: Four Weeks to a Leaner, Sexier, Healthier YOU!] his own with the less equipment possible..its wrtten in a very simple way, its accurate and detailed concerning the description of the exercises and it can be used from people of all physical condition levels.i hghly reccomend it .

    5-0 out of 5 stars Who needs a personal trainer when you have a book like this?!, July 22, 2010
    I used to have a personal trainer, but after 20 sessions I had to quit. I missed having someone show me different exercises to transform my body but not anymore! After ordering several exercise books that were sorely disappointing, I was skeptical about this one. But after reading all of the positive reviews I thought I would give it a try. I am SO glad that I did! There are TONS of exercises for EVERY body part and the best feature is that the pictures are ALL in color! There is an example for every single exercise in the book and variations or modifications for many of the exercises too! I have always enjoyed the Women's Health magazine and this book exceeded my expectations as well. This is a must have for any fitness enthusiast!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Best exercise book ever!, July 3, 2010
    This book is fabulous! I do a lot of working out, but was doing a lot of it wrong so I ended up in physical therapy. My PT showed me different exercises in the book to do as I was healing up. There are multiple levels of each exercise so if one is too easy, you can step up to a more challenging version. I have done one of the circuits in the back of the book, and yes it is hard, but I have really strengthened up now. I have purchased this book for two others now also. It's awesome!

    4-0 out of 5 stars Valuable Resource For All Levels, January 27, 2010
    As this is the beginning of a new year, it seems appropriate to be doing a fitness book review. The Women's Health Big Book of Exercises by Adam Campbell is a comprehensive and valuable guide to fitness for women. There are fantastic color photos used for examples, hundreds of exercises targeting specific body areas, and it even includes specializedworkouts and great information on nutrition. It reviews the importance of using weights in a workout program and why it is so important.

    Overall, I really liked this book. It has an enormous amount of useful information that is broken down into simple terms and examples, so that even a beginner can use it effectively. It truly has something for everyone. However, it may be best for someone who has access to a gym which already has all the required equipment. Many women (particularly those just starting out in fitness) simply don't have all (if any) of the equipment required to accomplish many of these exercises. Other than that, it really is a valuable resource!

    This book was provided to me for review by Rodale Publishers.

    5-0 out of 5 stars One of the best fitness books ever., October 30, 2010
    I've been into fitness and healthy lifestyle all my life. I've purchased countless books and DVD's (at one time VHS tapes) on the subject and I have to say that this book is in my top 5. Maybe even top 3.

    The photos are outstanding. The exercises are excellent. The information in this book is simply awesome.

    The diet section of this book is also great for a general "good health and weight loss" program. Follow this and you will see results. But, if you really want to "get ripped" and blow everyone away in a bikini come summer time (awesome abs, super sexy butt and legs, well defined arms, etc), most people will have to diet harder than this book suggests.

    If you're on the fence on this book, get off of it and buy it. It will help you no matter what stage of fitness you are at.

    4-0 out of 5 stars No mention of vegetarian protein options but great resource overall..., August 17, 2010
    This book is fabulous!
    I won't reiterate what the other reviewers have mentioned about how well the book is organized - suffice it to say I totally agree.
    My only disappointment was with the diet section. I wish they had included tofu, soymilk and some other vegetarian protein options for those of us who don't rely soley on animal protein.
    Perhaps the next edition will be more on trend with the growing number of people who are seeking out protein alternatives to meat, dairy and cheese - even if only for variety.
    Otherwise, its well worth the price! ... Read more

    7. Taking Charge of Your Fertility, 10th Anniversary Edition: The Definitive Guide to Natural Birth Control, Pregnancy Achievement, and Reproductive Health
    by Toni Weschler
    list price: $24.99 -- our price: $16.49
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 0060881909
    Publisher: Harper Paperbacks
    Sales Rank: 1414
    Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    Celebrating 10 years of helping hundreds of thousands of women achieve pregnancy, avoid pregnancy naturally, and gain better control of their health and lives, the 10th Anniversary Edition of the classic bestseller will include:

    •New 'Preface to the 10th Anniversary Edition"

    •Updates on new fertility technologies

    •Natural approaches to conception

    •Updated Resources and Books

    For any woman unhappy with her current method of birth control; demoralized by her quest to have a baby; or experiencing confusing symptoms in her cycle, this book provides answers to all these questions, plus amazing insights into a woman's body. Weschler thoroughly explains the empowering Fertility Awareness Method, which in only a couple minutes a day allows a woman to:

    •Enjoy highly effective, scientifically proven birth control without chemicals or devices

    •Maximize her chances of conception or expedite fertility treatment by identifying impediments to conception

    •Increase the likelihood of choosing the gender of her baby

    •Gain control of her sexual and gynecological health

    ... Read more


    5-0 out of 5 stars Required reading for EVERY woman!, May 4, 2003
    I honestly thought that just being a woman ~ I knew all I needed to know to get pregnant. I am 35 now and ready to have a baby, so I stopped taking the pill and waited 2 cycles and thought all I had to do was plan our night of fun close to Ovulation "Day 14". Was I ever wrong!!

    After trying unsuccessfully on my own for 5 months, I started to question my fertility. I purchased ovulation test strips and they wouldn't show a peak ovulation. I found others online who were trying to conceive and recommended this book. Once I received the book, I couldn't put it down! I was amazed at what little information I actually knew about my cycle ~ my own body and what it had been telling me all along. I just didn't understand it.

    I learned not everyone ovulates on "Day 14", for me it is actually "Day 23". I assumed I wasn't ovulating and got frustrated at day 20-21 and would stop testing. I now know to look for signals to show when I'm ovulating and now test in the correct window.

    By reading this book I now have a clear understanding of my cycle. At my age, I want to have a baby sooner than later, so I plan on taking a more aggressive approach to my fertilization. I talked with my doctor after 6 months, rather than 1 year. With the help of this book and charting, I was able to explain my cycle and show my doctor all my charts. I was able to provide all the information needed to show I have a short luteal phase. By providing this information to the doctor, we will be able to treat the ovulation problem that much quicker. My doctor commented that I was extremely organized and it really helped things along.

    This book is very easy to read and understand. You will be able to clearly read your own body signals during your cycle, and have a better understanding of your fertilization ~ whether you want to become pregnant - or not.

    I will share this book with other women and would recommend it for every woman!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent, excellent, excellent, October 8, 2002
    I consider myself to be a reasonably intelligent, college-educated woman with a pretty darn firm grasp on How Babies Are Made, so when my husband and I decided to start a family, I thought it would be as easy as tossing the birth control pills aside and Let The Fun Begin! After almost a year with NO baby, followed by a miscarriage, I was starting to question my fertility. (After all, how hard can this be?) I went to the OBGYN, who immediately recommended Clomid and sex on the 14th day of my "cycle." I wasn't comfortable with the fertility pill concept, and saw a recommendation for this book instead. So, I picked it up.

    WOW! Why don't they teach THIS in Sex Ed?? I wish I'd known this stuff when I was 13! I sure knew the mechanics of sex, alright, but not the mechanics of my own body. I was amazed at what I didn't know; while I had observed the various signs that are talked about, I didn't have the slightest clue what they meant. They never worried me, but they never gave me any insight, either. I started charting, figured out what day of the cycle I REALLY ovulated, and on the third try -SURPRISE!- we were pregnant! While the OB said to try on day 14, we REALLY needed to try on day 19. Sperm only live for 5 days max, so we would have missed our window of opportunity every time. :(

    I have recommended this book to complete strangers whose friends were "trying to get pregnant," and lent it to my best friend when she mentioned going off the pill. She's due in December!

    Now that my cycle is back, I've reclaimed the book back again to avoid another baby until we're ready. We're still breastfeeding, and using this as a birth control method doesn't come with the risk of drying up my milk supply. (I know, Micronor (mini-pill) is breastfeeding-friendly, but I don't think I'm ready for that yet.)

    I am SO pleased with this book and the knowledge I gained from it; I can't believe I didn't know all this before my mid-twenties!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Brilliantly enlightening!, August 18, 1999
    I bought this book after 4 unsuccessful months of trying, which was after 3 months of waiting after having 2 miscarriages. Since I'd gotten pregnant right away with my first child, I figured there might be something I needed to learn and I couldn't have been more right. This book is an absolute must for anyone, whether you're trying to get pregnant or not. I learned more about my body in the day and a half it took me to read the book than I ever did in any of the sex ed classes in school. After 4 months of what we thought was perfect timing and no success, we thought there might be a problem. I bought the book to learn about detecting ovulation and potential fertility problems. I got pregnant the first cycle I charted because of the knowledge I gained about ovulation and its signals. I learned through charting that I ovulated on Day 21 rather than Day 14. I was also able to determine I was pregnant without even taking a test! I'm so thrilled about the knowledge I've gained by reading this book and I feel much more in tune with my body now that I am pregnant. I urge any woman to get this book if you are at all interested in your body, pregnancy achievement, or pregnancy avoidance. This book is very well written in plain English that is easy to understand. The illustrations, color photographs, and numerous charting patterns were especially helpful to me. I can't say enough about this book!

    4-0 out of 5 stars An invaluable resource, but skepticism prevents heartache, January 27, 2002
    'TCOYF,' as it is known in pre-conception communities, is definitely an invaluable resource for any woman or couple wanting a child (it is often referred to as the 'bible' of pre-conception). It arms you with the knowledge necessary to maximize chances of conception (or lower the risks of pregnancy in those who do not wish to conceive) and does so in an enjoyable, easy-to-read manner that does not belittle or overwhelm its audience. The wealth of information in this book about a woman's cycle and how to chart it are absolutely fantastic, and one is left with a sense of 'how could I not have known all this was going on in my body before?' Although I highly recommend this book, I would also like to offer a much-needed word of warning about it: page after page after page of success stories are presented, leaving the general impression that the whole process of conception is MUCH easier than it is. The author repeatedly presents 'case studies' of women who conceived after only ONE MONTH of using the methods in this book. The overall effect is one of effortless and immediate conception if the guidelines provided by the author are followed religiously. Although I do not believe it is intentional, I have to say I feel the book is deceptive in this regard. It also promotes methods of determining pregnancy that absolutely are NOT definite and that, if taken to heart by the reader, can leave one devestated at the end of a cycle, when the feeling of 'but I don't understand, the book said I must be pregnant' take over. I have seen too many women experience these disappointments to consider any honest review of this book complete without mentioning these things. The reader should use a healthy dose of skepticism about some of her more controversial ideas and use the book mainly as a guide to getting to know one's body and learn how to determine ovulation. It truly is invaluable in that regard. But don't let all those case studies get you overexcited or build up unrealistic expectations. Conception still is not an exact science, no matter how much knowledge you have at your disposal, and you still may be in for a wait, no matter how faithfully you follow these guidelines.

    5-0 out of 5 stars You've got to have this book - and recommend it to friends!!, May 4, 1999
    After over 4 months of trying to get pregnant, a good friend of mine recommended this book. She told me that if nothing else I would feel more knowledgeable about my body, its cycles, and what it was telling me when. So I ordered it. It is so well written that I found myself looking forward to reading it. It is incredibly informative and easy to understand. And I immediately knew from reading it what my husband and I were doing wrong (we were a little late in my cycle each month). Thanks to the charting I knew that having a mild flu with fever delayed my cycle's ovulation date *and* I knew when to keep going before ovulation. I'm happy to write that thanks to my first cycle of charting I'm now 3 weeks pregnant. I very very highly recommend this book. It helped me to relax and, literally, go with my body's flow. (I wish there were one this good for during pregnancy!!) THANKS TONI!!!!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Essential for every woman, especially teens, June 19, 2000
    This is not just a guide to getting pregnant. It is about knowing your body without being embarassed. It is quite liberating to read this book and then be able to recognize exactly where you are in your fertility cycle. Too often, women are made to feel guilty or shamed about even looking at our bodies. It's beyond imagination for some women to examine themselves or to ask questions about what exactly their bodies do. Weschler helps break this barrier and shows us why it's critical to overcome the societal embarassment or reluctance.

    She makes a very good point: why is it that men are fertile all of the time, that women are fertile for just 5 days a month, yet the majority of birth control involves a woman taking a drug 30 days a month, or inserting a contraceptive device before every sexual encounter? Forget about the burden being placed on women (as long as we bear the children we will be ultimately responsible). Think about the ridiculousness of taking powerful hormonal drugs every day or having to use contraception when you're not even fertile! The drug and contraceptive industries are having a field day!

    This book has three very distinct values:

    1. An essential part of every adolescent girl's education about her changing body. This book will do more than almost anything else in preparing her for responsible sexual encounters, and will help her self esteem by getting rid of her trepidation about her body.

    2. Tool for avoiding pregnancy.

    3. Tool for achieving pregnancy.

    It boils down to three basic fertility signs: basal temperature, cervical fluid, and height of cervix. Once you read the book and become accomplished at tracking each of the three signs, you can put away the thermometer. Weschler urges you to track the basal temperature faithfully for several months. But, especially if you're using the method as birth control, you can judge by the other two signs and safely avoid pregnancy. And it takes absolutely no extra effort or monitoring.

    Most of us have heard the jokes about natural family planning. Weschler discusses those criticisms and shows why this book is different and reliable.

    "Taking Charge of Your Fertility" will ease your mind and give you the confidence of being certain when you are fertile or not fertile.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Excellent information - but take with a grain of salt, February 22, 2005
    If you are anything like me, you were about 12 years old when you learned everything you know about the female body. Of course back then we were more concerned about guessing who had gotten their period so far and too busy avoiding eye contact with the boys in the room to really pay much attention.

    Now, both as an adult and as a woman actively trying to achieve pregnancy, this is invaluable information that I wish I had known all along. Through Ms. Weschler's clear and easy to understand writing, you'll learn to fill in those blanks: how everything works, what exactly goes on during your cycle, how best to time sex for conception (I learned within the first month of charting that we were off by about 10 days - no wonder our first attempts didn't work!) and so much more...including how HIS parts work (700 million sperm at any given time? OH MY!).

    However, I would also take Ms. Weschler's blatant distain for the medical community with a grain of salt. YES, her methods provide invaluable knowledge for women and YES this is information I believe each woman should be armed with, but I do bristle at her constant dismissal of all doctors and her negative portrayal of them. Especially alarming was her description of colonoscopy as "demoralizing." No, this procedure isn't as fun as trip to Disneyland, but it has indisputably saved thousands of lives despite the stigma many would place on it. My hope is that women read this to learn more about themselves...but not shy away from seeking medical help when and if they need it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars An Amazing Learning Experience for Every Woman!, October 22, 2000
    This book is absolutely wonderful. My sister sent it to me. I stopped birth control pills in March and with the charting of my cycles, purposely avoided conceiving. July was the first month I actually tried to get pregnant and I did...on the first month! I knew I was pregnant before I "missed my period" and before I took a test. My sister read it before me, and while off the pill, avoided pregnancy for over a year. The first month she decided to try to achieve pregnancy, she too, conceived...first month! We are both expecting in the spring...2 1/2 weeks apart.

    I have sent this book to several friends and recommend it to everyone. It is such an important learning tool for all women, whether they are thinking of pregnancy or not. I learned so much about my body. It is just an incredible book and method. It is such a shame that doctors do not recommend fertility awareness to women. BUY THIS will LOVE it!!!

    5-0 out of 5 stars A terrific guide to understanding our bodies!, October 11, 1999
    My husband and I had been trying to get pregnant for six months when I heard about this book through a website. I purchased the book on and started charting my cycles right away. Within two months my husband and I realized our fertility problems were nothing more than timing. We got pregnant on the second month of charting. Our son's due date is in December. I have recommended this book to so many people. There is so much information in it that you just never learned in school. Above everything else I realized it is normal not to be "normal". This book saved us the agony of fertility testing and unnecessary stress. For the first time we felt in control! I showed my charts to my doctor and he was extremely impressed with accuracy and teachings of the book. My sister-in-law is now using the book as a guide for her fertility problems. She is currently taking Clomid to overcome a medical condition. "Taking Charge" is helping her to keep track of her cycles and gives her a guideline to help deal with the unsympathetic doctors!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Irregular periods? Save valuable time, read this book NOW!, January 6, 2000
    If your cycles are irregular, read this book NOW. I went to my gynecologist a FULL YEAR before I wanted to start trying for pregnancy (because I'm older and wanted to speed things up when the time came), said: What do I read/do now to get ready because I'm very irregular and my cycles are unpredictable? She talked about genetic compatability screenings, but never mentioned cervical fluid or going off the pill right away to determine what my non-pill-controlled cycles were like. She sent me off to "try for 6 cycles" (which in my case took nearly a year due to long cycles during which, I now know, thanks to Toni's wonderful book, I wasn't even ovulating!) What a waste of a 35-year-old woman's precious time! I haven't conceived instantaneously like many of the other woman testifying here, but I'm confident I'm now finally truly on my way. Even though there are almost 200 reviews posted about this book at the time of this writing, I felt I must add my comments (and endorsement), in the hopes they will push one more woman to order this book NOW and truly get educated about our body's awe-inspiring ability to tell us what we need to know to get pregnant. ... Read more

    8. What to Expect the First Year
    by Heidi Murkoff
    list price: $16.95 -- our price: $10.17
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 0761152121
    Publisher: Workman Publishing Company
    Sales Rank: 1097
    Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    Everything new parents need to know about the care (and feeding) of an infant, from the authors of What to Expect When You're Expecting. Covers monthly growth and development, feeding for every age and stage, sleep strategies that really work.

    Filled with the most practical tips (how to give a bath, decode your baby's crying, what to buy for baby, and when to return to work) and the most up-to-date medical advice (the latest on vaccines, vitamins, illnesses, SIDS, safety, and more).

    Reassuring Answers to Hundreds of Questions:

    • What's the best kind of car seat for my newborn?
    • How do I know if my baby's getting enough to eat?
    • How can I tell if my baby is really sick? When should I call the doctor?
    • Should I sign my baby up for classes?
    • Should I be worried that my baby isn't crawling yet?
    • How do I cope with my colicky baby?

    The only book on infant care to address the physical as well as the emotional needs of the entire family.
    ... Read more


    5-0 out of 5 stars I was suprised, May 24, 2003
    I was suprised how much I liked this book, since I didn't like the What to Expect pregnancy guide. I consider myself a fairly intelligent person, with three sibilings I helped take care of and a I was a Red Cross certified babysitter for years. But, when I had my own baby, I realized how much I had forgotten or simply didn't know. What is the normal body temperature for an infant? How many times a day should he have a bowel movement or a wet diaper, and why is that something important to know to keep track of baby's health? When is it okay to begin feeding your baby rice cereal? When is it okay to start on solids? When can you begin giving him those "risk of allergy" foods, such as strawberries, nuts and wheat? I found this book a wonderful resource of imformation, since the doctor's office is not open at 3 a.m., but I'm up taking care of the baby, wondering these things.
    There are some very sensitive childraising issues which they present in this book. One of which is breastfeeding vs. bottle feeding. This book presents a non-biased view of the reasons behind each choice. If you are bottlefeeding, it contains information on how to do it safely and with love. If you are breastfeeding, you will need more information than is presented here, and I suggest you read up on books specifically covering breastfeeding and join the la leche league for support and to answer your questions.
    The other huge issue in this book, is laying your baby down to "cry it out" and training your baby to sleep through the night. If you are a supporter of the family bed, just ignore the information on sleeping through the night and make use of the rest of the advice in the book.
    This book DOES NOT accuse your baby of being manipulative, or accuse you of spoiling your baby by picking him up and holding him. This book also does not demand that you put your baby on a rigid schedule to supress their little will. A matter of fact, the book states specifically that you cannot spoil a baby by holding them, and tells you that it is medically necessary for the baby to wake you up in the middle of the night to eat during the first three months of life. What the authors are talking about when they talk about "crying it out" is that, babies will cry because they are tired or overstimulated, in which case they NEED to just lay down for 10 to 15 minutes so that he/she can go to sleep. If you believe differently, fine. You should raise your baby how you believe is right, not how ANY book tells you to. But, dismissing this book in entirety means missing out on a very useful informative source.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Great Resource, July 16, 2001
    First, I would like to tell that despite one objection I have against this book, I loved it and my husband loves it and we use it frequently.

    This book will give you insight about various child-care issues (from first bath, through first feeding of solids, to the home safety issues parents of a baby need to be aware of), it will answer numerous questions new mothers have (sometimes even those you might be ashamed to ask because they seem like something you should know without asking), it will show you basics of baby CPR, help you decide when to call doctor (and how to select one). You will find there overview of basic baby illnesses as well as various recipes for your baby's newly found taste for solids. It will show you how to stimulate your baby's development and how to make the time you spend with your baby the "quality time". It will encourage you to hug and cuddle with your baby as well as gently teach your baby some basic behavioral lessons. The best thing is that it never makes a pressure (or guilt) on you as to which course of action to take when raising your baby; it leaves the decision up to you.

    Readers should remember though, that they need to read the authors' notes about the book and they should also check on any information they disagree with (in any book, website, or flier) instead of blindly taking for granted everything that's on the paper. This would ease the frustration of many readers that doubted the worth of this book.

    I've read the Sear's Baby Book that many readers liked so much, and I must say that it is not really reasonable to follow for a family with average income and average work-schedule. I tried to follow advice in Sear's book and only ended up exhausted, guilt-ridden (I could never do enough) with fussy baby. Then I switched to "What to expect..." and I'm still with this book. It's great resource. My only one objection about this book as well as explanation why some readers might not have enjoyed it too much follows.

    My only dislike about this book is the opinion that breastfeeding should be stopped at nine months. Few years ago, APA recommended that mothers should try breastfeed at least one year. This book needs new reviewed edition that reflects this recommendation.

    About people's comments: * First, realize that this book is not and can not be the "know-it-all-be-always-right" book about babies. The topic here is so broad that that you will for sure find yourself disagreeing on some items while liking other ones. Authors themselves say that there is not one "right" parenting style; you have to decide which parenting style you like and which one is therefore right for you. The style described in this book works for me great though -- I spend lots of time with my baby, but I still manage the household tasks and help my husband pay the bills with my part-time job.

    *Second, read and remember authors' notes saying that babies develop in their own pace and the monthly-development guidelines are only approximate. I found this especially true. One big lesson parents get is that babies do new things when THEY are ready (gosh, it was hard to master concept though); you can help them, but at the end, it's them who decides that it's the right time. This book tries to teach you that. Therefore, do not get influenced by those readers that complain about the month-to-month develompment guidelines, they probably missed the note under those guidelines. Also, the books advises you to check with pediatrician when you are uncertain about your baby's development -- great advice that can save you lots of worries (and unfortunatelly, many baby books do not really try to work with pediatricians).

    *Third, the question/answer format of references is great WHEN you use index in the back of the book (as is logical for book that offers such an amount of information about such wide topic). I easily found answer for most of my questions in this book and it saved me numerous trips to my doctor.

    *Fourth, the "crying it out" concept is an option/suggestion from authors of the book. They do not say you have to do that, it is advice for somebody who is interested in opinion. If you are not interested in opinion, or if it frustrates you, do not read it and do not follow it. There can't be right answer for everyone. As authors mention, there are many parenting styles and almost none of them are wrong. It's up to you which one you choose. And whatever you choose, it's right. Many critical comments about this book failed to see this principle and failed to be tolerant to other people's parenting styles.

    *Fifth, you should not taky any book as you exclusive source of information. Always talk to your pediatrition about your concerns, search the internet, talk to other mothers. Pick what you think is best. It may be something else than this or other book says, but hey, if you think it's the best, it probably is.

    Overall, this book is great resource and I recommend it to everybody.

    4-0 out of 5 stars I like it, but it has some flaws, January 9, 2007
    I absolutely hated What to Expect When You're Expecting. Hated it. So when a friend gave me this book as a gift when I was pregnant, I kind of put it to the side, never expecting to use it.

    Well, I surprised myself. I actually refer to this book a lot in caring for my now almost-6-month-old son.

    What I like about the book is that the questions that it addresses are very much like real-life questions people ask about their babies. Some of the questions are word-for-word questions my husband and I have asked each other. That makes the information very accessible and I think, reassuring. You get a sense that "Oh good, my five-month-old is not the only one in the world who seems to be coughing just to get my attention."

    There's a really comprehensive amount of information about nearly every parenting topic you can think of. In particular, the section about infant illness is invaluable. Great charts of symptoms and treatments for those symptoms, explanations about how to do home treatments, etc. My son has gotten a couple of colds, one of which brought on a croupy cough, and the book's advice about steam treatments and a quick trip outside helping were right-on, and exactly what my mom and grandma had told me worked to help croup. Without the book's specific description of what croup and stridor sound like, and how to treat it, I probably would have ended up in the emergency room with my son.

    That being said, here are the things I don't like about this book.
    - The information is supposedly unbiased, but the author comes down firmly on the pro or con side of an issue and there's not a lot of doubt about what the author feels you "should" or "should not" do. The author is against pacifiers, against co-sleeping, is much too cautionary about babywearing, and advocates CIO as a way to get a baby to sleep - there's a whole section about how to do CIO in the six-month chapter. The book is also very, VERY pro-breastfeeding. I breastfeed, so it didn't "bother" me, per se, but if a mom has to or chooses to formula feed, the constant references to breastfeeding and questions about breastfeeding that are found over and over and OVER in the book's pages would probably be a big turnoff. There's some lip service paid to "well, formula feeding is an OK choice" but there's a VERY clear and VERY strong message that you should breastfeed until your child is a year old, period. I know a lot of women who tried valiantly to breastfeed and just could not, and I have had my own challenges with it. I am all for breastfeeding advocacy and I consider myself an advocate for breastfeeding, but the tone and the repeated admonishments to breastfeed for a year were over-the-top even for me.
    - The aforementioned section about CIO was pretty terrible. There were no discussions about ways to avoid CIO other than extended family bedsharing (which the author was lukewarm about recommending, at best), and there is a middle ground between the two. There was also no discussion about the fact that CIO doesn't work for all children - some kids are crying escalators, they don't calm down after crying for an extended period but instead get more upset, and trying CIO with a baby like that is going to be traumatizing for all involved. There's a pretty terrifying section that talks about how to deal with the noise of CIO, by notifying your neighbors, trying to muffle sound, etc. I just have to say, if your baby is crying that loud, that piercingly, and that long when you try CIO, you should consider the possibility that CIO is not working and is actually scaring or harming your child. CIO is a great tool for some kids, but not for all kids, and the book treats CIO like it is the cure-all for sleep problems. You get a sense, reading that section, that there really is no alternative to CIO other than having your baby sleep with you until they're 10, and there are other options (the No Cry Sleep Solution has some great suggestions about the sleep issue). There's also no discussion of the idea that nightwaking, especially for breastfed babies, is a developmentally normal and appropriate thing and will get better with time even without resorting to sleep training measures.
    - The developmental milestones are treated as gospel truth and there is some alarmist information about "if your kid doesn't do X by Y month there could be a BIG PROBLEM." There's no discussion about what developmental milestones really mean in terms of development or the idea that babies can have developmental strengths in one area and weaknesses in another. My baby has always been WAY ahead in his gross motor development and lagging in his fine motor, which is a totally normal thing. But there's really no allowance for that, or explanation for why that would happen, in this book.

    Overall I think this book is good and I don't think it's nearly as guilt- or panic-inducing as the Expecting book, or the Sears Baby Book (which is a whole other review). I think it's a worthwhile addition to the library of any new parent, if you can take some of the information in it with a grain of salt.

    1-0 out of 5 stars There are much better books than this one., February 27, 2007
    I wholeheartedly agree with the reviewers who found this book alarmist and overly one-sided on many issues. My pediatrician agrees, and instead recommends the American Academy of Pediatrics' CARING FOR YOUR BABY AND YOUNG CHILD, REVISED EDITION, BIRTH TO AGE 5. What to Expect is a great book as long as your child does everything exactly as the authors prescribe. Otherwise, you're up a creek. Today's example: My 8-month-old isn't incredibly interested in finger foods yet, and this book makes it sound like she's doomed to eat Gerber purees for the rest of her life as a result. It also suggested that I was setting her up for a childhood of poor eating habits. A new mom, of course I called my pediatrician and he said I had nothing to worry about! Go with the other book instead. Rather than month-to-month guidelines which make you feel like your child is "behind" if he doesn't do something "on time," the AAP book wisely speaks about 4-7 month-olds, 8-12 month-olds, etc., at once. The authors recognize that every baby proceeds at her own pace. (What to Expect puts in its disclaimer that every baby is different, but its tone on many topics suggests otherwise).

    2-0 out of 5 stars Poor organization & dated material, May 22, 2000
    This book, unfortunately, is not the same quality as "What to Expect when You're Expecting". The information is okay but it has not been thoroughly updated. (Example: the current breastfeeding recommendation is 12 months, but the book says 6 months.) Moreover, it uses the month-by-month organization that the previous "What to Expect" book did. The month-by-month organization does not work when following baby's development. There is too much variability. For example, some babies will start crawling by the 4th or 5th month. Mine was almost 8 months old before she started. Example #2: Solids are covered in the 4th month chapter, however, you can start as late as 6 months.

    As a result, I had to consult several chapters to get all the information on a particular subject (sleeping problems, for example). Then I had to mark the pages so I could find it again later. Sometimes I could not find what I was looking for until after a lengthy search. (Let's see, would that be in the 2nd month or the 4th? Hmmm...not here...which chapter could it be?)

    It wasn't long before I looked for a new baby book. I've found "The Baby Book" by Sears & Sears to be excellent. The information is well-organized, quite current, and quite thorough. It is organized more by subject than by month, but it still has a list of suggested milestones for each month. There's also plenty of suggestions and real-life examples as experienced by the Sears and by their patients. I use it all the time and I haven't gone back to the "What to Expect the First Year" book even once!

    4-0 out of 5 stars Mostly helpful--use some common sense!!!, August 9, 1999
    Good Grief! After reading some of the other reviews of this book, you would think the authors are advocating child abuse or something. I just reviewed the section on diapers and I don't get where the reviewer is coming from who says the authors think cloth is the "worst thing you can do for your child." Looks to me like they are offering pros/cons of BOTH cloth and disposable (yes, disposables have some advantages!) and letting parents make an INFORMED decision. Yes, they discuss weaning from the breast at one year--guess what, some mothers are ready to wean by then and don't need a guilt trip for their choice! If you're not ready to wean by then, don't. Its that simple. I appreciated the way they gave BOTH sides of issues, acknowledging that every child/parent is different and what works for one may not work for another. Unlike Dr. Sears, who implies that if you let your child sleep in a crib, alone (gasp!) you must be a cold, unfeeling parent. Bottom line--take what you find useful from this book, ignore the rest. USE YOUR COMMON SENSE!!!!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Handy reference, October 26, 2003
    This book has great monthly "what to expect" lists that tell you what most babies at that age are doing, or learning. It covers the typical issues for a certain month of age and gives lots of tips. The index is complete so you can find what you're looking for. One warning! If you are a breastfeeding, co-sleeping, slinging type of family you'll need to read this with caution as much of the advice is not supportive of these things. I'd recommend you also look at Gentle Baby Care by Elizabeth Pantley for a more supportive read in these areas.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Invaluable Reference Book, November 17, 1998
    I too was absolutely flabbergasted at the number of people (or is it one person posting several times?) who dismissed this 800 page encyclopedia because of two small and unimportant sections on breast-feeding and "cry-it-out." You're not going to agree with everything in here. But the authors never intend that. Instead, they offer an invaluable reference book for parents. Want to know what that red blotch on your kid's arm is? This is the only book that will tell you. (It's probably a strawberry birthmark, very common, rarely lasts beyond age 10, etc.) The Q&A style is great, it leaves you feeling that you're not the only one who has these questions. And 99% of the book's content is pretty straightforward (why is my baby fascinated by mirrors? why are her eyes that weird bluish-brown color?)We found the authors' pregnancy book invaluable for the same reason-- it was a bit too treacly about pregnancy (e.g. "If you're feeling nauseous knit a sweater") but provided a wonderful, factual guide to what was going on with both fetus and mother.Parenting is 99% instinct. You can't rely on a book to tell you WHAT to do. This book is great in that it explains WHY things are happening.We find the Sears to be unrealistic and believe that people who fanatically follow their advice run the risk of losing any sense of self, which is way more harmful than the occasional bottle of formula, since babies rarely thrive with parents who resent them.A good supplement to this book (What to Expect) is Vicki Iovine's "Girlfriend's Guide To The First Year." It's hilarious and guaranteed to make you feel that you're a pretty good parent after all.Use this book to answer all the "why" questions you have. It'll cut down on the number of calls you make to the pediatrician (or at the very least make you feel a little more knowledgeable when you do.)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Great Reference Guide.. give it a chance, January 28, 2000
    A very good book for quick reference. It seems like every question that my husband and I have had, has been found pretty quickly in the book. A lot of the following give terrible reviews especially when it comes to breastfeeding. I certainly don't agree with them. I breastfed my first for 1 year and I'm planning on breastfeeding by 10 1/2 month old for another couple of months. Believe me, I agree whole-heartedly that breastfeeding is the absolute best for your baby, and I did not find this book opposed to it at all. Don't read this book from cover to cover while your pregnant.. it will scare you.. but read it month by month as your baby grows. Or, just get it off the shelf when a question comes up.. you're sure to find the answer. This book is not a bible, but it sure is a helpful guide. I would highly recommend it for any new mother! Have fun and welcome to the most precious honor ever to be given.. motherhood!

    3-0 out of 5 stars Buy the Sears' book instead, February 2, 2000
    I really didn't like the parts in this book about baby carriers, crying it out and co sleeping. Some of the medical advice conflicts what is given in other books written by doctors. I also found this with "What to Expect when You're Expecting." The Q&A format was not easy for me to follow at all. There is some good stuff in this book but after reading their comments about the above things, I wondered whether their advice was accurate or not. ... Read more

    9. Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease: The Revolutionary, Scientifically Proven, Nutrition-Based Cure
    by Jr., M.D., Caldwell B. Esselstyn
    list price: $17.00 -- our price: $11.56
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 1583333002
    Publisher: Avery Trade
    Sales Rank: 1335
    Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    A powerful call for a paradigm shift in heart disease therapy.

    Based on the groundbreaking results of a twenty-year nutritional study by Dr. Esselstyn, a preeminent researcher and clinician, this book illustrates that a plant-based, oil-free diet can not only prevent and stop the progression of heart disease but can also reverse its effects. The proof lies in the incredible outcomes for patients who have followed Dr. Esselstyn's program, including a number of patients in his original study who had been told by their cardiologists that they had less than a year to live. Within months of starting the program, Dr. Esselstyn's patients began to improve dramatically, and twenty years later, they remain free of symptoms.

    Complete with more than 150 delicious recipes, this book explains the science behind the simple plan that has drastically changed the lives of Dr. Esselstyn's patients forever. It will empower readers to take control of their heart health.
    ... Read more


    5-0 out of 5 stars Meet Dr. Esselstyn, say goodbye to your cardiologist, February 10, 2007
    Dr. Esselstyn's brand new book, Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease, delivers just what the title promises. 21 years ago, Dr. Esselstyn took 17 people who were very sick. They had had heart attacks, bypass operations, angioplasty, pills, you name it. These people had by and large been sent home to die by their cardiologists, their heart disease so severe nothing further could be done. Doctors told several they would be dead in "less than a year."

    But they didn't die. Instead, each agreed to become part of Dr. Esselstyn's study, and adopted a low-fat plant-based diet as their medicine. 12 years later every one of these patients was alive, free of heart disease, and living full, active lives. Even those originally given a death sentence of "one year to live" are alive today 21 years later; and all thank Dr. Esselstyn for giving them knowledge, inspiration -- and recipes -- to save their lives. Their experiences as well as the many in his ongoing counseling, are documented in this amazing, highly readable book and backed up by 20 years of rock hard, peer reviewed science.

    This is not a book just for people with heart disease (one out of every two Americans will die of heart disease). This is a book for anyone wanting to regain or preserve their health, anyone wanting to enjoy great health throughout their entire life.

    The infomation in Dr. Esselstyn's book can save your life, and the recipes alone make it a must-have.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The land of Esselstyn... where the living is easy!, September 6, 2007
    My cousin turned me on the Esselstyn lifestyle. Her husband, who has suffered from genetically high cholesterol, had seen many male family members die before their time due to heart disease. When vegetarianism and then veganism didn't solve his problem, they went hardcore into the Esselstyn lifestyle.

    In 5 short months, my cousin (average size 12 American female) lost almost 30 pounds, much of it by foregoing the core of their vegan diet: olive oil, nuts, avocados, etc. Her husband also lost weight; better yet, his high cholesterol finally responded and is now in the excellent range.

    My cousin then recommended the Esselstyn book to me, as my husband's cholesterol has stubbornly remained above 200, and he, too, has a history of heart disease in his immediate family. Though we believed we were already eating a healthy diet, several hours of reading through Esselstyn's findings soon proved we were wrong. We made a pact to try the diet for just 1 month and evaluate where we stood.

    Well, 1 short month convinced us that this is the way to eat for life! We've now been following the program for 37 days, and the changes are already obvious. My husband has lost about 12 pounds and 3" in his waistline. He feels "lighter" and less bloated, and is "completely satisfied" (his words) by the wide variety of natural and delicious foods we eat.

    As for me, I have lost about 9 pounds and a total of 12"; I will soon need new jeans! My mid-afternoon cravings are miraculously gone. And no one was more surprised than I to discover that we do not miss eating the staples of our previous diet, such as grilled salmon, eggs, olive oil, fat-free dairy products, dark chocolate, and an occasional 96% Laura's Lean sirloinburger. Another side benefit is that we are spending less at the grocery store!

    If you're on the fence about this one, do what we did... try it for just 1 month (but be sure to give it 100%) and then make your decision.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Probably accurate but very difficult to follow, March 5, 2009
    After searching for books on reversing cardiovascular disease I came across this one. He makes an excellent case for reversing heart disease and provides before & after angiogram pictures as well. I have no argument with the science. I also have a bone to pick with experts that don't like this doctor because he is not a heart specialist. Since when do all things correct have to come from only specialists? This guy treats patients that cardiologists have given up on when their invasive treatements fail. Angioplasty & bypass only relieve symptoms & do not cure the disease. My father found that out! After seeing what he was like after bypass surgery perhaps we need to do nearly anything to avoid that like the plague.

    While the science is very compelling, and I believe it is right, the diet itself is extremly hard to follow unless you really love eating beans & vegetables, some fruit, and grains (no white bread or white pasta). The basis of his recommendations are no dairy at all, no meat, no fish, no eggs (not even egg whites), no cheese, no oil of any kind, no high-fat vegetable sources like nuts & avocado. Pretty sparce eating to me.

    The author says that eating any oil at all, whether in animal or vegetable form, affects the arteries in a negative way & in at least one patient contributed to his angina. That statement ups the ante and leads you to believe that oil is not just undesireable but extremely dangerous. I find that eating out is nearly impossible as just about all food not prepared on your own is cooked in oil or has oil as part of the food....refried beans, soup, bread, crackers, tortillas, etc. Wanna eat out? You are pretty limited to steamed vegetables & some fruit, maybe rice (no sauces unless they are totally fat-free, and who can know if the marinara sauce has soybean oil in it?). Thinking that eating salad will solve your problems? Naw, not unless you like to eat it naked or carry around your own homemade dressing. Commercial fat-free salad dressing is NOT fat-free, and ANY vegetable oil at all is not allowed.

    Sticking to this diet has been a huge struggle, but I've only been on the diet for 14 days. The hardest part is finding prepared foods, like bread, that have no fat at all in them. So far I've only found one manufacturer and the loaf costs $4.00. Can't even find tortillas that meet that criteria, and you really have to pay attention to labels. Fats go under other names like glycerin, mono & diglicerides, lethecin.

    Do I sound frustrated? Yeah, I am. Most of the positive reviews I've read are written by folks with blocked arteries who welcome anything to keep them out of surgery, and having had a parent who had quadruple bypass surgery I totally get that. My dad's mother died of a heart attack, and so did her father. So, despite my frustration I'm going to adhere to this diet because I am convinced the author is right & I hope to avoid the fate of my relatives.

    I have cooked many of the recipies in the book and did not like the majority of them. I don't like vegetables very much, and therein is my struggle. Try them anyway........

    Do I like the book? Yes, it's very thorough. Do I like the diet it recommends? Nope, but I'm going to do it anyway.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A must read for anyone who wants to remain alive as long as possible, February 8, 2007
    This is an extremely important book. Dr. Esselstyn has conducted the longest-running study, with the most impressive results, of any study in which heart disease has been arrested and reversed. I have read it once and plan to read it a second time. I had known of Dr. Esselstyn's work prior to reading this book, but it is wonderful to have all of his thinking and recommendations available in one easy-to-read book, together with a treasure trove of wonderful recipes supplied by his wife Ann Crile Esselstyn. Dr. Esselstyn points out that everyone over 60 who has been eating the standard American diet has some level of heart disease and it is increasingly found to be starting in children and young adults.

    I used to think that there was nothing one could do about the chronic diseases of aging such as heart disease and strokes. It is exciting and heartening to learn that there is something one can do to prevent, arrest and even reverse heart disease. The proof is shown in the stunning photos of actual angiograms before and after Dr. Esslestyn's treatment (you can actually see that the arteries are wider after the treatment!) and more importantly, in the remarkable improvement in his patients that he tells about.

    I have decided to follow Dr. Esselstyn's lifestyle guidance and I encourage all of my friends and associates to do the same. I direct a residential special needs school and have changed the menu plans for the 230 students at our school to follow Dr. Esselstyn's guidelines. I plan to send a copy to a cardiologist I know. I wish every physician would read this book. Do yourself a favor and read this book. It could be a life-saver, literally.

    Matthew L. Israel,Ph.D.
    Executive Director
    Judge Rotenberg Center
    Canton, MA 02021

    5-0 out of 5 stars Lucky To Be Onboard!, February 21, 2007
    I was lucky enough to find Dr. Esselstyn almost 3 years ago after a stress test showed an insufficient blood flow during exercise. Rather than undergoing a quadruple by-pass operation (standard procedure), I adopted his healthy life style and my last two annual stress tests showed no blood flow deficiency. Each day I eat healthily I feel in control of my life. My stamina has returned, my indigestion has gone and my optimism is back. Don't feel deprived. Feel empowered! Edward Flax, Syosset, N.Y.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Does it really work?, April 4, 2008
    With all of the promises being made regarding health cures it is hard to figure out which ones really work & which are vehicles to remove dollars from your wallet. I am a skeptic about these apparent fad cures & diets because most ultimately fail while an author or guru gets rich.

    I have heart disease and things were going well after my bypass over 7 years ago. After the surgery I changed to a lowfat diet, exercised more and felt good. Throughout my 20's I was a triathlete and was top condition - training 2 to 3 hours 5-6 days a week and understood, so I thought, the value of exercise and an effective diet.

    Thinking I had my heart problem beat (pardon the metaphor) after favorable results from 2 extensive thalium treadmill tests 3 & 5 years ago, I went about eating the great American Diet that included the occasional burgers, sodas and the rest.

    I found that I was short of breath during heavy exercise (Jiu Jitsu), I decided to have my heart tested with the elaborate systems in the hospital - thinking that it must be my age of 53 years catching up with me and nothing else. I got the shocking news that my heart condition had gotten 50% worse since I had the same test 3 years before! That was truly bad news...

    Being fully depressed but determined to not have my quality of life wither away, I decided to do something about it and not wait for the doctors to give me more meds since surgery was not an option. My doctor said that the only reason he could see for my diminishing condition was an increase in cholesterol in my diet that has started to block other heart vessels.

    I stumbled upon this book with this bold title including "reversing" written by a heart surgeon - a heart surgeon indeed!

    I read it along with the China Study (if you want a tech book about the western diet, this will blow your mind) and made the dietary change - of course, family members gave me grief for eating a plant based diet.

    Four months later my results are as follows: Cholesterol went from 230 to 150. Weight 236 to 202, great for someone who is 6'4". My energy during exercise is 50% better than before my checking 4 months ago. Mental clarity improved significantly and that is the short list.

    So, does it really work? Try it and find out.

    One family member & wife who scoffed loudly is now on the diet simply by seeing my results (I had no interest in defending or arguing about my choice because I decided to extend my life). They read the China Study as well and decided to give the fast food industry a miss from their eating habits. Read it and you will think twice about it as well.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Caldwell Esselstyn, June 7, 2007
    This is the best heart book ever written period. I have about 50 health books. Ornish's book made me think about it, Esselstyn's book made me do it. All other health and heart books are just noise, they will just confuse you. This one is the best in many ways. In many ways the study is more powerful, and the book is more powerful than the Ornish books by far, though I think Ornish is admirable. This book really should be read along with The China Study, as the two authors refer to one another and their work in the two books. The China Study goes more in depth about the science and rational behind what Esselstyn is suggesting. The China Study is also an outstanding book. Congradulations to Mr Esselstyn, he is by far the best thing going at the Cleveland Clinc, this from one of its angioplasty patients. The only addition I would make to his analysis, is once you are able to, you need to add reasonable exercise, it is essential. But I understand his reasons for sort of omitting it. I suggest Mr Esselstyn write a Reversing Heart Disease Part 2, or "Advanced" there I am sure he would suggest strongly about exercise, as seen with himself and his own family. And I am sure he also has a lot to update us on. Great book, a must for anyone with heart disease.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Buy This Book For Everyone You Know, April 18, 2007
    I am a cancer survivor who went whole foods vegan the moment I got my diagnosis in early spring of 2005. I experienced no side effects during six weeks of radiation treatment, and my other health benefits were swift and, frankly, miraculous. Chronic pain in my back, leg, and foot that I'd had for nearly two years was simply gone on the 8th day of "veganism". The pain never returned. My weight dropped to 120 and has remained there regardless of how much I eat. My cholesterol dropped from 191 to 127, and my blood pressure is 90/60 on average. If I pull a muscle or a tendon, I'm good as new the next day. I recently cut my finger chopping vegetables and two days later it was completely healed. When I tell people my story I feel like an impossible testimonial, yet here I am: almost 46 years old and feeling about 18!

    I collect low-fat vegan cookbooks and as soon as I saw this book with "150 recipes", I grabbed it. These recipes are the most delicious and easiest to prepare that I've ever encountered. What a PERFECT collection! Everything I make comes out gold! I recommend this book to anyone who wonders, "What do you eat?" This recipe section is all anyone needs to make the switch to low-fat vegan easy and delicious!

    As for the rest of the book, I've read it four times already, determined to commit memory everything in it regarding the effect of fat and junk food on our arteries. Dr. Esselstyn has done a tremendous job of writing a book that includes only what's necessary to clearly illustrate a path to health. I appreciate the fact that he avoided "filler" and got right to the point, pictures and all. I wish I could buy this book for everyone. It should be required reading by the time kids reach 5th grade!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Have a Heart--Save Yours!, February 8, 2007
    Anyone with a heart problem or who wants to avoid heart disease needs to read this book. Dr. Esselstyn details the results of a 20-year study that proves that heart disease can be reversed. This reversal was accomplished not by surgical procedures but by a nutritional program that has been remarkably effective. Unlike other doctors who tell you to eat a balanced diet, Dr. Esselstyn spells out the foods you must eat and those to avoid to promote a healthy heart. To help those who need guidance in preparing meals, the book provides over 150 easy-to-prepare recipes.

    Dr. Esselstyn is a remarkable man who has written a remarkable book that dares to challenge his professional colleagues. In an era where so many people are eating themselves into chronic illnesses like heart disease, Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease presents a simple nutritional solution to a problem that has evolved into a national health crisis. His recommendations empower each individual to take charge of his/her health instead of turning to the medical profession for surgical intervention.

    He says, "I have an ambitious goal: to annihilate heart disease--to abolish it once and for all." His goal will be realized only if his message is widely disseminated and people to turn their backs on unhealthful eating patterns to embrace a lifestyle that encourages their wellbeing.

    Hopefully, doctors, instead of mocking and marginalizing practitioners like him, will change their focus to prevention instead of surgical procedures that cost thousands of dollars and offer no cure. He points out that surgery is far more lucrative for doctors than providing nutritional guidance to make that surgery unnecesary. As Esselstyn concludes, "We can start teaching people how to walk alongside the edge of the cliff instead of trying to save them after they fall off."

    5-0 out of 5 stars JUST SAY NO to heart disease, May 6, 2007
    This is a very clear, very concise book.

    A plant-based diet can prevent and reverse heart disease.

    It has the potential to save millions upon millions of lives.

    My cardiologist suggested that I try the South Beach Diet. Somebody slap him for me. Living proof that medical school nutritional education is NOT only pathetic, BUT actually DEADLY. I'd love to be able to say that this was a joke. Actually, it was. But true too.

    Luckily I had read Ornish. McDougall is great. Esselstyn is the clearest and most up to date AND he recommended a vegan diet PLUS statins, with ZERO further cardiac events for those who followed the program. What more did you want? Did my cardiologist thank me for excitedly passing on that information? HA! Have you got a lot to learn ...

    BUT you are not alone. You have Drs. Ornish, McDougall and Esselstyn and (biochemical) Dr. T. Colin Campbell. As for an actual live family practioner or a cardiologist, you may get lucky, but unfortunately I wouldn't count on it. When you have a new diagnosis of heart disease and you are petrified, or 'they' are shoving a coat hanger up your leg, is that tough? Oh Yeah ;-).

    Younger doctors may be more open and/or have less to lose? (Sample size = 1 ;-) ).

    Find support on McDougall's online forum and see if Dr. Esselstyn starts one. The very best of luck to you.

    May you be as lucky (and Iron Willed) as those already happily following the advice.

    (REMEMBER the one about the Formula One driver in Australia. A spectator says to a friend of the driver, "He's very lucky." To which the outraged friend replies, "Yeah mate, and you know what? The harder he works, the luckier he gets!"). Trust Drs. Esselstyn, Ornish and McDougall, be lucky and you'll do fine.

    Esselstyn recommends reading The China Study. Having now done so, all I can say is "My God. What you don't know can SERIOUSLY damage your health." So that is why Ornish, McDougall and also Esselstyn say NO DAIRY. Got Cancer?

    Can't do it? Willpower of a gnat? That's too bad because from here on heart disease is surely suicide by fork and spoon.

    Tip - You can start with partial adherence; get used to it; then gradually increase the compliance. % compliance is entirely up to you. Better to have tried and failed than not to have tried at all? Plus the secret is: following the diet becomes extremely easy as it becomes a daily habit. In about a year. ... Read more

    10. Belly Laughs: The Naked Truth about Pregnancy and Childbirth
    by Jenny McCarthy
    list price: $12.95 -- our price: $10.36
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 0738210072
    Publisher: Da Capo Press
    Sales Rank: 1294
    Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars
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    Editorial Review

    The acclaimed national bestseller-a no-holds-barred account of what you can really expect when you're expecting

    Oh, the joys of pregnancy! There's the gassiness, constipation, queasiness, and exhaustion, the forgetfulness, crankiness, and the constant worry. Of course, no woman is spared the discomforts and humiliations of pregnancy, but most are too polite to complain or too embarrassed to talk about them. Not Jenny McCarthy!

    In the New York Times best-selling Belly Laughs, actress and new mother Jenny McCarthy reveals the naked truth about the tremendous joys, the excruciating pains, and the unseemly disfigurement that go along with pregnancy. Never shy, frequently crude, and always laugh-out-loud funny, McCarthy covers it all in the grittiest of girlfriend detail. From morning sickness and hormonal rage, to hemorrhoids, pregnant sex, and the torture and sweet relief that is delivery, Belly Laughs is must-read comic relief for anyone who is pregnant, who has ever been pregnant, is trying to get pregnant, or indeed, has ever been born! ... Read more


    5-0 out of 5 stars Funny!!!, June 30, 2009
    There are a lot of pregnancy books out there that just, in my option, want to just give you the facts, overlooking the fact that pregnant women need to laugh a little, too. Well, thankfully, there is Belly Laughs and while it is filled with the trials and tribulations of pregnancy, Ms. Mccarthy never fails to poke a little fun at it, too, and at herself. It's just a great read all pregnant women should read. I also liked and would suggest Really Pregnant! Confessions of a New Mom-To-Be or Why I Couldn't Stop Eating Brownies.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Refreshing!, December 1, 2004
    I thought this book was truely hilarious, and like many others read it in one sitting.

    This book is the antithesis to the matronly and patronising "What to Expect" books. The purpose of this book was not to be educational in this style (she doesn't pretend to be a medical professional) but to be frank about the things most of us are reluctant to discuss.

    I for one am so sick of celebrities giving interviews about how wonderful, miraculous and perfect their pregnancies and births are (not to mention the hallmark-card motherhood sentiments). Sure, we all can appreciate just how wonderful the whole process is, but this is written about ad nauseum. It makes us 'real mothers' feel ashamed about our less-than-perfect experiences and feelings. Its time pregnancy/birth/motherhood was represented more realistically in the media.

    I think for too long it has been 'taboo' for mothers to complain at all, or admit that things are not always wonderful (perhaps this is contributing to the worrying rates of PND?) I see this open and honest book as a step in the right direction for demystifying the whole process. It tells you the things other books either don't or gloss over, and I applaud her for her courage.

    Can't wait to see what she comes up with for the second installment..I hope she is able to be open and honest about more than just her bodily functions but also the mixed feelings that sometimes go along with motherhood.

    5-0 out of 5 stars This book is hilarious!!!!, April 6, 2005
    I'm not expecting, but one of my best friends is expecting her first child. My coworker brought this book into work, and she said we had to read this book. I had tears running down my face. This book is a quick read and you can finish it easy in 1 - 2 days. This book takes a light hearted look at pregnancy. Pregnancy is a beautiful experience, but it was fun to read her frank and funny views on gas, the belly expanding, and the all so quiet topic of pooping on the delivery table. There were so many moments when I laughed out loud and had to look around to make sure no one was looking at me all strange.

    Some of her other funny stories includes; craving mustard, when she hated mustard. Jenny liking mumus because nothing else fit. Jenny having strange dreams while pregnant. Dealing with hemorrhoids, weighing her breast. Her trying to keep her boobs from hanging off the sides of the mattress due to their size. Surrender to the maternity bra. A pregnant woman's fart can truly bring a man to his knees. I had to find tissue after reading that line. I had so many laughing tears running down my face. The different changes the body go through. Crying for no reason due to hormonal changes, and pregnancy stupids. Skin changes, pregnant head, bad headaches and wanting to saw the head off. Premature labor. Hating skinny women. How she panicked when the epidural wore off and her concerns was still "Am I pooping on the table." Don't make a pregnant woman want to pee.

    This book is not meant to be a pregnancy guide, it's meant to take a light hearted comical look at going through the pregnancy experience. I mean the book is after all called Belly Laughs. If you are expecting this book to have some new insight on pregnancy then you will be mistaken. If you have a great sense of humor you will find yourself enjoying this book a lot.

    This book will make you laugh and laugh some more. I bought a copy for my best friend, and she loved it. This book is hilarious!!!!!!!!

    4-0 out of 5 stars It's ok to think about yourself when pregnant!, April 11, 2006
    So, for the most part the reviews are either 'OMG, this book is so funny' or 'OMG this book is so offensive!'
    It's funny, no questioning that. It's crude, no questioning that either. If you find the "F" word offensive, don't buy it. If you find referring to your privates in "crude" language offensive, don't buy it. For those of us who have conquered the world of adult language and realize that words are just words there are no real problems.

    Don't buy this book if you are looking to be educated about pregnancy. It's entitled "Belly Laughs". These are Jenny's anecdotal stories that we all ge to laugh about.

    If you are one of those people who is horrified if you hear a pregnant woman call herself fat, say she isn't going to breastfeed or is more concerned with her own image than this "perfect beautifu life inside her" don't buy. For those of us who have actually been through pregnancy without sugar coating it, some days you do feel fat, sometimes you DO want to have sex without jr. kicking you and every once in a while we want to think more about ourselves than being pregnant. It's good that there is a book in the mainstream that validates that feeling instead of saying "all you should think about is this life inside you". Sometimes us pregnant girls want to think about our OWN lives.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Jenny tells it like it is!, May 20, 2004
    If you are tired of people telling you what a beautiful experience pregnancy is, this is the book for you! Sure, it is crude, but she tells it like it is. I was shocked at what happened to me during me first pregnancy and would have appreciated Jenny's frank talk, as I didn't hear about these things from anyone else. I thought that I was a freak of nature. At least now I know there were at least two of us! Belly laughs indeed!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Tales from the trenches...Funny, reassuring & right on!, June 3, 2004
    Candid, often hysterical "up close and personal" accounts of some of the most embarrassing, annoying, confusing experiences a mother-to-be (or in my case a mother pregnant with her second child) is faced with. It was pure joy and instant relief!...It's as if I was talking to a close girlfriend over a cup of coffee only too happy to discover that I am truly not alone in the occasional feelings of anxiety, guilt, envy, paranoia and general frustration the hormones seem to stir up during this otherwise blessed 9 month period. Humor is indeed therapeutic, an essential tool for successful parenting. Another book that I highly recommend for the same reasons is called "The Pocket Parent." This book is loaded with humor, compassion and hundreds of sanity saving suggestions written exclusively for parents of toddlers. The many short true annecdotes included from the true experts--moms and dads in the trenches of parenthood--continue to help me keep in mind that I am not alone in my hair-raising experiences, thoughts and feelings especially on a really bad day! Both books are excellent additions to your home library that will make you laugh while replenishing your spirit as a more confident parent!

    4-0 out of 5 stars Short, not sweet, but totally HONEST!, October 28, 2004
    Pregnancy BBS's are riddled with the abbreviation "TMI," meaning "too much information," which drives me crazy. Posters use it when they're about to timidly discuss the really horrible aspects of pregnancy, usually involving orifices or bodily fluids.

    Well, you won't find the abbreviation in Jenny McCarthy's book, and that's 'cuz there's apparently no such thing as "TMI" in her world. Orifices & fluids aplenty: what a refreshing approach!

    I read this book, then passed it along to my husband so he can see that even glamourous, beautiful celebrities suffer from hemmorrhoids and other afflictions.

    This book is down to earth. I didn't find it laugh-out-loud funny, but it is realistic and cheerful, and that's exactly what I look for in a "middle-trimester-doldrums" kind of book. Enjoy!

    4-0 out of 5 stars Crude, honest, and funny, August 5, 2004
    Say what you will about Jenny McCarthy, the girl is funny, and she tells it like it is. I had seen her talking about her pregnancy on tv, so that sparked my interest in this book. For any woman going through a tough pregnancy who needs a pick-me-up, this is definitely it. It is difficult to get the honest truth about pregnancy from women, but Jenny McCarthy is not one of those women. She bares all, but, in the end, all the pain and suffering was worth it. And that's what we want to hear, isn't it?

    McCarthy's sense of humor can sometimes be like a 7th-grade boy's, which will suit her well as a mother to a young boy. Most of what she says is painfully true, and you will find yourself smiling through the short chapters.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Extremely Disappointed In This Book, August 29, 2009
    I expected to love this book, given all of the great reviews. Turns out I hated it. I originally planned to get this from the library, but based on the great reviews ended up deciding to just buy it -big mistake. The book wasn't very entertaining or funny at ALL! I am pregnant now, and have an 11 year old son. Maybe if I'd never had a baby before I would have found it more interesting, but really all this book turned out to be is one exaggeration or one cliche comment after another. Not to mention it's skinny with big print which means it took me all of maybe 2 hours to read. I'd give anything to get those two hours (and my money) back, what a waste! Usually if I take the time to write a review it's because I LOVE a given product, but this time I figured I'd better warn other pregnant women who are reading all of the glowing reviews, maybe I can save someone else a few bucks and wasted time. Sorry, but can't recommend this one.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Funny; not informative, February 22, 2006
    Good if you are just looking for laughs and a non-educational view of pregnancy. Very funnny in some parts. ... Read more

    11. The Expectant Father: Facts, Tips, and Advice for Dads-to-Be (New Father Series)
    by Armin A. Brott, Jennifer Ash
    list price: $18.95 -- our price: $12.89
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 0789210797
    Publisher: Abbeville Press
    Sales Rank: 1740
    Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars
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    Editorial Review

    This indispensable book explores the emotional, financial, and even physical changes the father-to-be may experience during his partner's pregnancy. Written in an easy-to-absorb format and filled with sound advice and practical tips for men on such topics as, how to make sense of your conflicting emotions, how pregnancy affects your sex life, and how to start a college fund. This volume reassures, commiserates, and informs. It also incorporates the wisdom of top experts in the field, from obstetricians and birth-class instructors to psychologists and sociologists. This new edition features the latest research on many topics (and there's a ton of it), from expanding sections on overcoming infertility, in vitro, artificial insemination, and other tech-assisted pregnancies, especially where dad is not the biological parent, to updating the sections on childbirth to reflect the fact that about 80 per cent of deliveries are now done with epidurals and new information on c-sections as well. Sections on prenatal communication and education are also be expanded.There will be an overall, top-to-bottom review of the content to make sure all the information is relevant to today's young and senior dads. ... Read more


    5-0 out of 5 stars My Book About Me, April 19, 2003
    A quick Amazon search reveals 3,523 pregnancy books on the market. How many of these are written for the mother? About 3,510. A dozen others use sarcasm and exaggerated humor -- often at the expense of the pregnant mother -- rather than useful information to draw the heathen male into the future world of parenting. There has got to be a better way for a father-to-be to learn what he has gotten himself into.

    Fortunately there is. The Expectant Father is that 3,523rd book. It is a well-written, month-by-month explanation of what is going on both emotionally and physically with the mother, the baby, and you the father. At 250 pages plus references, it is packed with information while still being portable. It doesn't necessarily go into a great amount of detail on each subject, but it mentions most important things at least in passing, and you can always refer to the Internet or What to Expect... (which your partner will undoubtedly have on her nightstand) for more details.

    Be forewarned: this book is slightly new-agey at points. But hey, Brott is just offering suggestions that the reader is free to ignore. Overall this is a useful reference written with the father-to-be in mind as a principal reader, not an afterthought.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Good information; a lot to think about, March 13, 2000
    My wife bought this book for me during our fourth pregnancy. We both enjoyed reading it - I to read the perspective of another father and her to see if I was doing things the way I was supposed to. All in all, the book provides a broad spectrum of information for fathers-to-be - including everything from the physical and emotional changes occurring to the mother to how to plan for your financial future as a dad. The Expectant Father got me to thinking on many occasions and served as a starting point for many pregnancy-related conversations with my wife. Two other books I highly recommend are: A Child is Born which contains outstanding pictures and explanations of the development of the baby, and We're Pregnant!, a great book to read together because it was written by an expecting couple and provides a true-to-life rendition of the ever-changing life of expecting parents.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The best book on pregnancy for guys that I've read, December 31, 1999
    The author has the idea that the sooner dads get involved in being parents the better they'll be and that the best time to get involved is during pregnancy. I know this is true for me. I know it sounds funny but I felt like I was a real participant in the pregnancy. Yeah, my wife was carrying the baby but I was going through a lot of psychological stuff too and this is the only book out there that dealt with what my issues at all.

    I read this book twice--the first time when my wife and I were expecting our son and then again during the months before the daughter we'd adopted from Korea arrive. Both times I was amazed at how calming and educational and really funny this book was. I'd never been a dad before. Never even held a baby before my wife got pregnant and I wasn't too sure about what to do. Of course it's all pretty natural, but this book really made me realize that all the worries I was having were normal and it gave me lots of great ideas of ways to be more involved in the process. It also got me thinking about the kind of father I wanted to be and whether I wanted to be the kind of dad my dad was or some other kind.

    Being a father is really important for me and this book has made me a much better dad. I've been reading the next books in the series and they're just as reassuring and helpful.

    Thanks, Mr. Brott!

    PS I've caught my wife looking through the book and she's told me that it helped her understand me a lot better and made her see how important it is to me to be a good parent.

    5-0 out of 5 stars This is the ONLY book to buy for expectant dads, October 1, 2001
    My wife just had our first child a few months ago. While she was pregnant two of our friends gave me copies of The Expectant Father, which they recommended highly. I have to agree. I'd been reading my wife's pregnancy books, which were absolutely useless--they barely mentioned dads at all except to say that I should be sensitive to my wife's needs, which I already knew. And I'd checked out a few of the other pregnancy books for dads but they were so condescending and insulting that I practically gave up reading altogether.

    This book is completely different. It deals with men's concers in a straightforward, sensitive, funny way. It's filled with very insightful information that helped me make sense of the feelings I was having during my wife's pregnancy and activities that I could do to stay involved. It's not always easy to take the stand to be an involved dad and this book helped me realize that I wasn't alone in what I was going through. I know that this book has helped me be a better father than I ever would have before. I'll be giving it to all my buddies whose wives are expectant. AND, I've already started the next book in the series, The New Father: A Dad's Guide to the First Year. It's great too!

    5-0 out of 5 stars The best book I've seen for new fathers., January 11, 2002
    My appreciation for "The Expectant Father" grows as I read more fatherhood books. Most authors spend 90% of their book trying to convince new fathers that fatherhood really isn't so bad, that we should be nice to the mother and perhaps show up for a doctor's appointment once in a while. For those of us who are already excited about the prospect of having a child, this tact doesn't cut it.

    Brott certainly advocates being involved during the pregnancy, but he spends much more time explaining how to be involved. Topics from when to tell your friends about the pregnancy to financial planning are covered. More unusually for fatherhood books, Brott describes what the mother is experiencing and how the baby is developing. This has been extremely helpful as my wife's pregnancy has progressed.

    I keep this book handy, and refer to it at least monthly.

    4-0 out of 5 stars For dads-to-be to participate in expecting, January 12, 2000
    A wonderful way for men to begin the process of becoming expectant fathers. This book has sound advice on medical and psychological aspects of pregnancy and birth for both mom and dad. It maintains a sense of humor, and a supportive tone that both involves dads in the pregnancy and addresses their hopes and fears about becoming a parent. This is not the most exhaustive book on pregnancy or parenting, but it's not meant to be. The sections on "what she might be feeling" and "what you might be feeling" are tremendously valuable as both reference points and as a basis for communication. It works well as a resource for expectant parents, and a good conversation starter on sometimes sensitive issues of fatherhood.

    5-0 out of 5 stars New Dad's to be MUST buy this book!, June 26, 1997
    This is a must buy for a brand new dad. Of all the books that I have bought on having a new baby, this proved to be the most informative and the book that I return to on a regular basis as a reference. It not only addresses the development of the baby, but the development of the new family. I found that it's insight into the emotional changes that my wife and I were experiencing were remarkably synchopated with our actual experience. I also found it to be very easy to read and follow. I would describe it as an ideal companion book to 'the girlfriends guide to pregnancy', and would recommend both new parents to read both books to get the male and female perspective of the experience. If you have to buy one book as a new daddy, have this be the one. I have just purchased the follow-on book, 'the new father' with the hopes that it equally illuminates the first year of the newborn.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Pregnant? Get this for your husband NOW!!, October 1, 2001
    My husband wasn't interested at all in reading anything about my pregnancy. I marked passages out of some of the books I have but I have to admit I'm not surprised that he didn't read them--not a lot there. But when my mom got him this book he changed completely. He'd sit over there on his side of the bed and read and chuckle and not and then we'd have these really amazing conversations about what he was feeling about becoming a dad. Knowing that he cared so much really helped me to be able to talk to him about what I was feeling too.

    What was really interesting was that he seemed to be having so much fun that I started reading this book too. I learned so much about him and about what men are thinking about as they become fathers.

    I credit this book not only for bringing out the great dad in my husband (I knew it was there all along) but for making our marriage better too. Sounds like a lot but it's totally true.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Easy to read, entertaining, informative, March 24, 2003
    My husband and I have a pile of books on pregnancy. Most of the books written for women dwell on the many problems that can arise (both serious and mundane) during pregnancy. Dreary. Not a single one of the others contains word one about planning for college or any financial issue. In fact, one of my books advises me not to worry about finances because "that's the father's department." Pretty ridiculous since he will be staying at home and I (the mother) will be working full time.

    This book, unlike those, does address this issue very competently. It is, I think, one of the best pregnancy books we have (i.e. I can't stand the supremely pedantic "What to Expect When You're Expecting" and think "Your Pregnancy Week by Week," while not pedantic, has no information the other does not.)

    This book contains many useful facts for the father to be and is written in such a way as to be helpful to mother and father. My husband has absorbed more dos and don't during pregnancy from this one book than I have in reading 5 other books. It contains an excellent list of questions to ask your obstetrician. Things everyone needs to know but may never think to ask.

    Bottom line - we love this book and would recommend it to anyone expecting a baby. It is easy reading while being informative and doesn't overdo the medical lingo (or the whole medical issue).

    3-0 out of 5 stars Some good thoughts, some a little obvious, November 3, 1999
    As an expectant father for the fourth time, I read this book wondering what it would tell me that I didn't already know. For the most part, I felt I had instinctively done many of the things that The Expectant Father seemed to feel I needed to be told to do. In a way, it was reassuring to hear that I was actually a politically correct dad - at times though, I felt like the authors were stating the obvious. Bottom line, I think the idea behind The Expectant Father is great and if men read this book with the thought that it might provide them with some additional good ideas to try while their wife is pregnant, then it can be a very worthwhile book. A book I read right after finishing The Expectant Father was We're Pregnant!, a realistic and often funny look at life as expectant parents from both the father and the mother's perspective. The father-to-be's comments weren't always politically correct but speaking from experience, they were honest. Both books are good resources for father's and father's-to-be. When my first child was born eight years ago, it was hard to find any resources for men and now there are several. Read them and enjoy. ... Read more

    12. The Girlfriends' Guide to Pregnancy
    by Vicki Iovine
    list price: $15.00 -- our price: $10.20
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 141652472X
    Publisher: Pocket
    Sales Rank: 2086
    Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars
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    Editorial Review

    Your Girlfriends, of course -- at least, the ones who've been through the exhilaration and exhaustion, the agony and ecstasy of pregnancy. Four-time delivery room veteran Vicki Iovine, "the Carrie Bradshaw of pregnancy" (Wall Street Journal), talks to you the way only a best friend can -- in the book that will go the whole nine months for every mother-to-be. Now, in this newly revised and updated edition, get the lowdown on all those little things that are too strange or embarrassing to ask, practical tips, and hilarious takes on everything pregnant.

    What Really Happens to Your Body -- from morning sickness and gas to eating everything in sight -- and what it's like to go from being a babe to having one.

    The Many Moods of Pregnancy -- why you're so irritable/distracted/ tired/light-headed (or at least more than usual).

    Plus, the latest scoop on . . .

    Staying Stylish -- You may be pregnant, but you can still be the fashionista you've always been (or at least you don't have to look like a walking beach ball) --wearing the hippest designers and proudly showing off your bump.

    Pregnancy Is Down to a Science -- from in vitro fertilization to scheduled C-section, the latest technology provides so many options, alternatives, and tests, it can all be downright confusing.

    . . . and much more! For a reassuring voice or just a few good belly laughs, turn to this straight-talking guide on what to really expect when you're expecting. ... Read more


    5-0 out of 5 stars Fun and Frustrating, October 5, 2006
    "The Girlfriends' Guide to Pregnancy" is a difficult book to rate. Vicki Iovine's honesty and sense of humor about pregnancy deserves 5 stars. If you find pregnancy difficult for even a moment, this book will be a great comfort to you. It is a delightful antidote to the dry, frightening pregnancy books that flood the market.

    But I found myself angry with a couple of the positions Vicki takes and how she presents them, especially regarding natural childbirth. This is why I knocked my rating down to 3 stars. She seems to take it quite personally that some women make birth choices different from her own, and she goes out of her way to be quite rude and petty about it.

    The Good Stuff
    * Vicki Iovine really and truly understands how traumatic pregnancy weight gain can be. We live in a society where we are taught to hate and fear getting fat, and we cannot just turn that lesson off when we get pregnant. It is HARD to go to the doctor and get weighed all the time, and be judged on if our gain is "acceptable" or not. Vicki gets this, she genuinely does, and it is such a joy to read her rants about it. You're not alone in being scared to step on the scale.

    * The Guide includes a realistic, down-to-Earth discussion of what you really need to buy for your new baby, and what you can skip. A huge blessing for new moms!

    * Much of Vicki's advice is wonderfully specific. For instance, she doesn't just tell you that you need to bring an outfit to the hospital for the baby to wear home - she tells you exactly what kind of outfit will work the best. She does honestly seem to remember what it's like to be a first-time mom and just not know these things.

    * Vicki points out her own way of doing things, but she often describes the different choices her own girlfriends made. It is helpful to have realistic options and know that one way doesn't always work for everybody.

    The Bad Stuff
    * This book is downright hostile toward mothers who do not have epidurals. Vicki actively discourages women from considering unmedicated birth. She tells her readers that no matter how they feel about epidurals before they go into labor, they will ALL want one as soon as they get to the hospital, anyway, so they should just get used to the idea of having one. She also makes the highly unlikely claim that, even though she seems to have an endless list of girlfriends, she doesn't know a single woman who refused an epidural (except for medical reasons). She stoops so low as to claim that women who birth naturally have uglier faces after delivery. I don't know why she is so aggressive about this, but it is really off-putting. Even if you're not considering natural childbirth yourself, her tone is just downright catty and mean.

    * Similarly, she chastises women who are disappointed to end up with c-sections. While she is totally supportive of a mother's turbulent emotions in just about everything else, she states that regretting a c-section is a sign of "self-centeredness." Even though she admits that a few of her girlfriends struggle with this problem. She suddently becomes very cold and uncaring when she covers this topic. Again, she seems to take it personally that some women regret c-sections, simply because she had one. I wish she could be a little more objective.

    * Vicki contradicts herself frequently. She is happy to encourage women to embrace the natural process when it comes to weight gain, for instance. But she has no use for the natural process when it comes to birth - she thinks everyone should induce labor at a convenient moment.

    * She is sympathetic and understanding about weight gain, but admits that she started out, pre-pregnancy, a size 4. Her definition of getting "big" is pushing a size 10. Most women can't relate to that.

    * Vicki does actually suggest that if you don't have sex with your husband during pregnancy, he will get anxious and cheat on you. She has a very narrow and unfair opinion of men.

    * She does not tell women not to exercise at all, but she does discourage *vigorous* exercise. This did not bother me. However, her approach did bother me. She goes to great lengths to tell you that if something goes wrong with the baby, and you have been exercising, you will blame yourself. This is true, but it's also true if you don't exercise at all. Mothers always blame themselves - if, God forbid, something happens to your baby and all you did was go to the grocery store that day, you will blame yourself for going to the store. A pregnant woman cannot insulate herself from guilt. Vicki seems to be aware of this, except when it comes to the things she takes personally. And exercise is one of those things. She is annoyed with women who try and "control" their pregnancies by exercising a lot. But she has no proof that this is actually a bad thing. It seems to bother her merely because it is not what she chose to do. Again, her tendency to be dismissive toward women who make other choices is very annoying.

    * If you read the 1995 version of this book, the chapter on maternity clothing is hopelessly outdated. But this may be remedied in the second edition that is currently in the works.

    Overall, this book is refreshing, fun, and comforting. It will make you feel better about being pregnant. But take Vicki Iovine's rants about epidurals, exercise, and c-sections with a large grain of salt.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A funny and informative guide., August 10, 2009
    I have to admit I was a bit reticent to get this one as there was some negativity about it. However, I am SO glad I listened to my gut instead of these others. It is one of the best books on pregnancy ever. I found out so much that I needed to know, that even my own doctor will not tell me, that I came away feeling better about the whole thing. So, if you are looking for a guide to pregnancy that will really, really tell you like it is, get this one. Another good one is: Really Pregnant! Confessions of a New Mom-To-Be or Why I Couldn't Stop Eating Brownies.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Humorous --- relax, everybody!, December 13, 1999
    I thought this book was great! How refreshing to hear that it's ok if you eat refined sugar a few times while you're pregnant! What a plus to know you're not the only one who feels fat and unattractive because you're bloated, etc!

    A couple of things I disagree with other reviewers about:

    1) Some reviewers felt that Vicki hated being pregnant. I didn't get that feeling at all. I just felt she was being realistic that pregnancy is sometimes very hard on your body. It probably won't be the nine months of your life when you feel the healthiest and most relaxed.

    2) She never said not to exercise! Folks, if you actually read the whole book (unlike some people who read one or two paragraphs), you'll realize that she does recommend walking and things like water aerobics. What she doesn't recommend (and which she felt may have endangered two of her own pregnancies) is strenuous weight lifting. Based on what I've read, many ob's agree with that.

    I feel that alot of the reviewers may be basing negative comments on a couple of paragraphs read in a bookstore (some even say as much), which isn't quite fair.

    Overall, I thought it was a great book, and while I may not agree with her on every little point, Vicki has certainly provided me with alot of laughs and alot of starting points for discussions with my obstetrician, my husband, etc.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Short on science, long on babble, January 10, 2007
    First, I think it's worth stating the (nearly) obvious: that every woman's pregnancy is a bit different. That said, this book is just out of date and--while apparently funny to some--tiresome in its "I can tell you what the medical community won't" schtick. Most problematic, I think, is the long diatribe against exercise, especially the way Iovine couches the whole discussion in terms of appearance and the American woman's need to look good and her inability to let go and do what nature is telling her to do. She says "Exercise will not help you in labor or delivery in any way." (98) This is simply untrue based on MANY studies (two are: Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1995, May;27(5):634-40; Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1990 Dec;163(6 Pt 1):1799-805). It's just irresponsible for Iovine to suggest that "you might engander the pregnancy" and then to further manipulate the reader emotionally with "even if you don't endanger the pregnancy, if something goes wrong, you will forever wonder if you're exercising caused it." (100)

    This section alone is reason to avoid the book. Ms. Iovine is speaking authoritatively based on little more than anecdote and what amounts to folk-wisdom. In writing for mothers-to-be, one would hope for a modicum of science would enter the dialogue. To ignore it is to do the readership a disservice.

    1-0 out of 5 stars The most condescending, ignorant, untrue pregnancy book out there, February 19, 2006
    I really hated this book. Because I did spend money on it, I did read it all the way through, although very grudgingly. I have a FANTASTIC sense of humor and hardly anything offends me, but this woman managed to do it. Her whiny, self-important, condescending attitude actually made me hurl the book at a wall...and that wasn't just pregnancy hormones. It was THAT bad.

    Ms. Iovine, a former Playboy playmate, would like you to believe that she is on YOUR side - she and her bevy of what I'm convinced are imaginary girlfriends. However, she goes on about what an evil thing pregnancy is and that it will rob you of your body and good looks...FOREVER. She clearly states numerous times that after having a baby you will be fat, overweight, unattractive, and have saggy breasts. This was one of the first books I bought after finding out I was pregnant and didn't know what to expect. I literally cried after reading it thinking my life was over. I was surprised Ms. Iovine doesn't have a Smith & Wesson ad in the back of her book. The "you might as well die" tone just unsettled me.

    She is obviously unhappy with herself and her life and is looking to bring others down with her. She's like the girl who claims to be your "friend" but gives you backhanded comments every chance she gets (eg. "Oh, wow...those pants really make your butt not look as huge as it really is!"). In reality, I think SHE was probably too lazy to exercise after pregnancy and expects you to throw in the towel, too, and be just as miserable as she is.

    For anyone else depressed after reading this, I had my baby and lost all the weight and now have six-pack abs and my breasts don't sag even after six months of breastfeeding. My husband DOES still find me attractive and my life didn't end. Thank you for nothing, Vicki Iovine and your fellow whiny, former size 4 girlfriends.

    If you want the "I've been there" assurance from a non-catty girlfriend who is looking out for YOU with laugh-out-loud humor, buy 'Belly Laughs' by Jenny McCarthy or 'Pregnancy Sucks' by Joanne Kimes. Where I wouldn't have a cup of decaf and discuss my burgeoning belly with Ms. Iovine, I'd glady do so with McCarthy and Kimes.

    1-0 out of 5 stars An expectant dad's perspective, January 7, 2004
    I'm fully aware that as a expectant dad, I'm not in the "girlfriends" club this book is aimed at; however, I've read all the "What to expect..." type books that my wife has bought or have been given to us, and this was the worst of the lot and the only one I actually found offensive. I thought it might give some insight into what my wife is going through, but instead it told me that I'm an insensitive clod who doesn't really care what she's going through. And that men are just lying when they compliment their wives' changing bodies (not true!) among other absurd stereotypes. This book is a great way to plant the seeds of doubt in a pregngant women's mind and create division between expectant parents. If that's what you want, go for it.

    1-0 out of 5 stars WARNING!!!, November 17, 2002
    If you are overweight, or even sensitive about your weight, don't read this book! Iovine can't resist saying "fat" without adding "and ugly" and she states in the beginning that overweight couch potatoes are not welcome in her circle of "girlfriends." Towards the end of the book, she discusses the pregnant waddle, and reasons that all fat people waddle a bit anyway. She sympathizes with her husband for not being attracted to her. After all, you wouldn't want to sleep with someone as fat as you, right? And she confides that her maternity wardrobe ran all the way up to a (gasp) size ten! The horror!
    Although this book was very entertaining and had some good information, I got tired of being slapped every couple of pages. The author simply can't resist seperating her temporarily round self from those of us who struggle with our weight all the time. Does she not realize that the average American woman is a size 14? I really felt like I was reading this book as an outsider, so I waited until a skinny friend got pregnant and gave it to her.
    And by the way, Ms. Iovine, I am a size 16 and my husband can't keep his hands off me. It would take a lot more than pregnancy and dark roots to push him away. If your husband is that picky about your looks, I feel sorry for you.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The essential pregnancy companion, February 7, 2000
    A friend sent me this book early in my pregnancy, and I read it cover to cover immediately. Then it resided on my night table (where I revisited newly relevant passages) until it was supplanted by "The Girlfriend's Guide To The First Year." I found it to be very comical, in a warm,reassuring and friendly way. While Vicky is definitely a little too preoccupied with her size 4 body, who among us is not a bit insecure in our body image, no matter what size we are? The point is, this is not a serious reference book.There are many of those available and you should have at least one. This book instead will make you realize that you are not alone; that the wonderful and yet utterly strange things you are experiencing are not unique. At the same time you feel that your complete absorbtion with your own little world is validated-Vicki tells you-"we've all been there!" If you are the first among your sisters and friends to be pregnant, you need this book! If you are not the first, well, its always nice to have new friends.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Not for everyone - not for me!, May 29, 2003
    I have never written an Amazon review before, but I was so annoyed by this book that I just had to write one. The book was recommended to me by several people, so maybe I'm in the minority. I'm an avid reader with a good sense of humor, but I failed to see what's so funny or insightful about the "Girlfriends' Guide." I found it to be poorly written, sloppily edited and more irritating than amusing. Vicki Iovine bears no resemblance to my girlfriends. Her viewpoint strikes me as very west-coast-white-upper-middle-class, and much in her book seems dated (leggings with stirrups are her number one fashion tip!). "Girlfriends' Guide" reads like a slightly lewd "Cathy" comic strip without the pictures. She reinforces all sorts of stereotypes of women in general (vain, self-centered) and pregnant women in particular (irrational, grotesquely bloated) that I don't find to be true, much less funny. While I do think there's a market out there for a light-hearted, non-scientific "tell it like it is" book about pregnancy, this isn't the one for me. If you consider yourself smart and literary, you might be disappointed too. I suggest you read a chapter or two in a bookstore before you buy. That's what I should have done.

    5-0 out of 5 stars 1st Time Mom was reassured by this book, August 31, 1999
    I'm amazed at the lack of humor the people who rated this low have. I was relieved to read this book, that told me that not everything was as pastel and beautiful like in a tampon commercial. I think this book was valuable in not expecting women to live up to a ridiculous television peaches and cream standard, and not to expect your husbands to handle it like some understanding guy on a pregnancy test commercial. Vicki's attitude did not strike me as cynical, it struck me as realistic! Sorry to bust your bubble all you "beautiful pregnancy" girls, but throwing up in the morning, having sciatic nerve pressure, and worrying about the amnio (that I eventually refused) was NOT beautiful. Vicki made me feel OK to feel this way. I really got the idea that she loved pregnancy, but would have appreciated someone tell her what was really gonna happen. Plus, I read the "what to expect" books as well. You use both and glean your own perspective from both. Vicki's was the only perspective on the market that socked it to you real, instead of those new-age-music, "oh what a gentle wonderful time" -- and she could laugh at the same time. Same attitude I want to raise my kids with! ... Read more

    13. Ina May's Guide to Childbirth
    by Ina May Gaskin
    list price: $18.00 -- our price: $12.24
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 0553381156
    Publisher: Bantam
    Sales Rank: 3058
    Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    What you need to know to have the best birth experience for you.

    Drawing upon her thirty-plus years of experience, Ina May Gaskin, the nation’s leading midwife, shares the benefits and joys of natural childbirth by showing women how to trust in the ancient wisdom of their bodies for a healthy and fulfilling birthing experience. Based on the female-centered Midwifery Model of Care, Ina May’s Guide to Natural Childbirth gives expectant mothers comprehensive information on everything from the all-important mind-body connection to how to give birth without technological intervention.

    Filled with inspiring birth stories and practical advice, this invaluable resource includes:• Reducing the pain of labor without drugs--and the miraculous roles touch and massage play

    • What really happens during labor
    • Orgasmic birth--making birth pleasurable
    • Episiotomy--is it really necessary?
    • Common methods of inducing labor--and which to avoid at all costs
    • Tips for maximizing your chances of an unmedicated labor and birth
    • How to avoid postpartum bleeding--and depression
    • The risks of anesthesia and cesareans--what your doctor
    doesn’t necessarily tell you
    • The best ways to work with doctors and/or birth care providers
    • How to create a safe, comfortable environment for
    birth in any setting, including a hospital
    • And much more

    Ina May’s Guide to Natural Childbirth takes the fear out of childbirth by restoring women’s faith in their own natural power to give birth with more ease, less pain, and less medical intervention.
    ... Read more


    4-0 out of 5 stars Also Good for Fathers-To-Be, August 31, 2006
    One of the very few stipulations my wife made after we learned we were going to have a child is that I read this book by the doyenne of natural childbirth in the U.S. While the tone of the book is much too touchy-feely/hippyish for me, I have to admit that it is well worth reading regardless of whether you're planning a natural childbirth or a fully tech'ed out hospital one. That said, it would be very easy to read it as gospel and get swept up in its giddy repudiation of modern medicine, so one should approach it with, if not a skeptical eye, at least with one's critical faculties fully engaged. There is also the potential that readers who are fully committed to a hospital birth may come away from this book feeling scolded, or as if their decision is somehow "wrong".

    The author is a superstar in the field of natural childbirth, largely as a result of her 35+ years work at "The Farm", a kind of birthing commune in Tennessee. The first half of the book is a compilation of natural childbirth stories written by mothers who've either done it at The Farm, or somehow in conjunction with the author. While these are certainly useful as illustrative examples of how it all goes down, they tend to get rather repetitive and could certainly stand to be scaled back a bit. And for those who know little about the birthing process, some of the terminology can be unclear. Finally, for those who might want to read this book on the subway (like me), be forewarned that there are some pretty graphic photos of childbirthing in this section.

    The second half of the book walks the reader through the entire process, mostly with the aim of explaining why modern medical childbirthing procedures are not based on the mother's health and needs, but are designed for convenience of the medical establishment. Stuff like epidurals, amnios, fetal monitoring, pitocin, forceps, vacuum extractors, etc. all come under sustained assault. Gaskin makes a convincing case for most of her criticism, with plenty of good examples from historical texts and anthropological research. Perhaps the most striking and compelling examples come from studies of childbirthing in modern Scandinavia. Sometimes Gaskin stretches a little to far in her attempt to debunk every single medical procedure and doesn't always have the most current data. For example, Rhogham does not have any mercury whatsoever any more, and the danger from amniocentesis is vastly overstated. However, simply in terms of the debate over natural childbirth vs. hospital birth, it's awfully hard to argue with the data she's gathered from thousands of natural childbirths.

    Ultimately the reality is that every mother's experience is different, and there's no technique, approach, or solution that works for everyone. That said, the book did a pretty good job of convincing me that the mother's mental approach to childbirthing and expectations for the experience are the single most important indicator of how it will all go.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Changed How I Viewed Giving Birth, May 8, 2003
    I'm 17 weeks pregnant, and while I'm overjoyed to be pregnant...I've always been afraid of the pain I'll experience during childbirth. Reading Ina May's book, and the birth stories of the women in it, has changed all of that. I feel that I can handle labor now...and am even toying with the idea of not using drugs. (Prior to this, I used to say that I'd like an epidural plus any other drug they'd give me.) Even if I end up using some pain meds, I know I'll be entering the labor process without the level of fear I had before. That is priceless. This is a must-read for any pregnant woman and her husband...whether or not she wants to have a medicated or non-medicated birth. Bravo Ina May! Just wish I lived closer to TN so that I could use her services.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Exactly the book that's needed in this Epidural Age, April 29, 2003
    Anyone associated with the childbirth genre knows of Ina May, and her many devotees have been waiting a long time for this book. It couldn't have come at a better time, as legions of today's women voluntarily turn to the tricks of modern obstetrics, notably epidemic epidurals.
    I'm a retired midwife (and author of Baby Catcher, a modern midwifery memoir), and feel I learned a good bit of my craft by listening to Gaskin speak, visiting The Farm a bazillion years ago, and reading and rereading and rereading Spiritual Midwifery. But much in obstetrics has changed since Spir. Mid. was published; at that time, natural childbirth was all the vogue, and Ina May was sort of preaching to the choir. Now, oh lordy, now things are very, very different. Cesarean rates hover around 25-30% in some hospitals, and the epidural rate is twice that. What are these women thinking??
    It was by studying Ina May's 'style' that I realized the power of teaching by parable: the power of story-telling. Women's eyes glaze over when they're lectured to, but their attention is rivited by birth stories. In this Guide to Childbirth, Gaskin deals with the changes in modern OB and offers ways to get around the routines. But she once again relies on her story-telling techniques for getting across her central message: If you're surrounded by people who believe you can do it and who support your own belief that you can do it, then guess what? You can do it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars All Parents-To-Be: BUY THIS BOOK AND MEMORIZE IT!, February 7, 2004
    I am related by marriage to a midwife, so I have heard the gospel of homebirth for years. But the books she lent me had publication dates from my grade school and junior high years, so I often sneakily wondered--is it still really that bad? Then I started prenatal visits for my own first baby, and yes, it pretty much is. I am going to a doctor to keep an eye out for conditions that would call for the resources of a hospital--but if there aren't any, I'm staying home to have this baby. Read this book and you may decide the same thing.

    Without scare tactics, and with plenty of solid data to back her up, Ina May provides a timely antidote for the overly mechanical, overly pharmaceutical way of childbirth that is still the conventional wisdom in most U.S. hospitals. She makes the chilling point that a lot of so-called necessary medical procedures--procedures that can increase the stress and dangers of childbirth--are based on modern physicians' ignorance of how birth really works. Ina May quotes from medical texts written before many of the drugs and procedures now used in "routine" hospital births were invented. The doctors who wrote those old books did something most modern obstetricians have never done: they observed normal births, over and over and over. They took for granted things that have been forgotten by modern medical schools. Ina May combines this old medical model of childbirth with her own vast experience in midwifery to guide you through what really happens during labor and what you (you plural--Mom *and* Dad) really can and should do.

    Ina May will steer you safely between the artificial terrors of modern obstetrics and the artificial transcendentalism of many pregnancy handbooks. Her common-sense advice will help you sleep at night and click on a lot of light bulbs over your head. You will close the book feeling the truth of Ina May's pungent closing line: "Your body is not a lemon!"

    UPDATE--JULY 2006: I've given birth twice since I wrote the above review and I still stand by every word. Whether you plan to give birth at home, in a birthing center, or at a hospital, take a childbirth education class for the basic details of the birth process--but read this book to fill in the inevitable gaps.

    5-0 out of 5 stars from c-section to VBAC home birth, March 9, 2006
    This book helped me change my life.

    After the necessary c-section birth of my son 5 years ago (I had pre-eclampsia), our new insurance company labled me as "high risk" and refused me maternity coverage. Since my husband and I wanted more children, I started considering a home birth with a midwife as a viable alternative. Needless to say my first birth experience put me emotionally on guard about my body's capability.

    As I was researching the safety of VABCs (vaginal birth after cesarean) and home-births, I came across Gaskin's 1970s book, Spiritual Midwifery. Its language was amusingly "hippy-ish," but the inclusion of positive birth stories was refreshing and inspiring. After reading most of it, I went in search of similar, more updated books.

    I found Ina May's Guide to Childbirth at a mainstream bookstore (being suprised at the lack of variety of birth experience offered on the shelf - is she the only person writing about homebirth nowadays?) Buying and reading this book new was one of the best emotional investments I have ever made in my life.

    The experience and knowledge I gained reading this book is similar to many of the sentiments expressed in these other reviews. It really gave me courage to welcome and joyfully (if a little nervously) anticipate the birth of my daughter in March of 2005.

    As for my labor, I would not call the sensations of the contractions "pain," I would call them "very heavy pressure." I credit this perspective to this book. Ina May (and her clients) helped me put contractions, transition, etc., into perspective. For example: Yes, I felt contractions every two minutes lasting about two minutes. No, it wasn't comfortable, and I had to concentrate and breathe through them with my eyes closed, hanging on to a door jamb. After two minutes the pressure went away for a while, during which I could laugh at my husband's jokes. Nature is pretty smart, giving women short "rest periods," as this book tells (reminds) us!

    Reading about other women's experiences of physical sensations during their labors gave me a range of ideas as to what to expect, so as my own birth story was unfolding, it wasn't so scary or mysterious.

    I am so grateful for the VBAC home-birth experience I had - thanks in many ways to this book's writer and contributors - I was beaming for days afterward! It was the hardest, most challenging thing I've ever done (notice I did NOT say "painful" or "scary"), and I was so proud of the outcome. My husband is still in awe of the power of my body!

    An armload of gratitude to Ina May and her colleagues, the work they do, and the brave women who seek her out and share their experiences. I look forward someday to the home birth of my third child, knowing I am as strong and capable as the women who share their stories and wisdom in this book.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Not what I expected, May 25, 2009
    I bought this book based on all the glowing reviews. Since I plan to give birth naturally, I was looking for a book that would help me manage the labor and childbirth process in whatever environment I plan to give birth in. Needless to say, I was very disappointed in this book. I'll just do the review section by section to make this easier to follow.

    Part 1: Birth Stories- Most of the birth stories are from the 70s, 80s, and 90s. There were about 4 or 5 from this decade. I think childbirth has changed a lot since the 70s and would have preferred to read more up to date stories. All the stories are from people who have given birth on "The Farm". This gives the book a myopic view and makes many of the stories hard to relate to. I am sure they're intended to be empowering but firstly, giving birth on "The Farm" is not an option for me and many other women. In Georgia, midwives can only deliver babies in hospitals and I am not comfortable with the idea of an unassisted home birth. So, a hospital birth with a midwife is essentially my best option.

    Secondly, I am not the type of person that needs external validation or empowerment. I really felt that dedicating so much of the book (pages 3 through 125) to birth stories- especially birth stories that only reflected one type of birth experience- was a waste of space. A few varied birth stories would have been a lot more helpful and relevant.

    Part 2: The Essentials of Birth- This was probably the most disappointing part of the book. Ina May starts the chapter by trying to make the birth stories relevant to any birth situation without ever really saying HOW you can do that. She falls back on the experiences of women who give birth at the "Farm" as her proof that the same birth experience is possible in every environment. She also compares the "Farm's" birth statistics to those of the medical community at large. Again, if you're not giving birth at the "Farm", how is this relevant?

    There is a too short chapter on labor where the only advice she really gives on managing the pain of labor is the "mind/body" connection and how certain mental blocks can keep labor from progressing. While this may be true, this is not practical advice on how to cope with labor especially for a first time mother who has never been through labor before. She dedicates a full 7 pages to "What Happens in Labor". This is the whole reason why I bought the book and all I get is 7 pages of things that I already know. Not to mention the inordinate amount of space spent explaining the functions of the related body parts and what they do. If you didn't know what the uterus or the cervix was before reading this chapter, you'll get an overly-detailed description.

    The chapter called "The Pain/Pleasure Riddle" is essentially a lecture on how society has trained us to view the pain of childbirth. No practical advice...just quoting studies and comparing the birth experience of American women to those from other countries. We also learn in this chapter that women perceive pain differently (gasp!). Then she went on to discuss painless birth and orgasmic birth..all of which is apparently controlled by our minds. So, essentially, it hurts because we think it hurts. She then goes on to contradict herself by saying in the very next chapter that "the women from the Farm know that birth usually hurts--at least the first time you do it..." She follows with the most useful advice in the book by saying that despite the pain, the best thing to do is to relax into the pain rather than resist it. Finally, something I can use while I'm giving birth. The chapter on relaxing the sphincter muscles was also somewhat helpful.

    There is a chapter that attempts to explain the different screenings a pregnant woman may encounter during her prenatal care. I really think this kind of information is too little too late in a book that is supposed to be about the actual childbirth. The chapter entitled "Going into Labor" (19 pages) is essentially a comparison of how the midwives at the "Farm" handle labor and how hospitals handle labor. It tells you what procedures to refuse at the hospital (pubic shave, enema, routine IVs, etc...) Other than how necessary it is to eat and drink during labor to keep your energy up, there is no practical advice in this chapter either. The next few chapters briefly discuss pain medications traditionally given in hospitals during labor and some alternatives to those medications as well as episiotomies. The next chapters are basically more lectures, quoted studies, a 10 page section on VBACs, and very little practical advice.

    I honestly wanted to like this book but realized by the time I got to the end that it just was not written for the typical woman who is about to give birth. Ina May touts the virtues of giving birth on the "Farm" so much that by the end, I honestly felt that was the only way to have the birth experience she describes. I think one chapter dedicated to discussing the "Farm" would have been much more appropriate than mentioning it in just about every chapter. I also think the book would be better as a reference for midwives than as a book offering advice to mothers-to-be. There just is not a lot of practical advice for the person that actual has to go through the laboring process. I don't necessarily disagree with much of what Ina May wrote and I appreciate her efforts to back up her positions with factual information but it is pure overkill. She digresses way too much and comes off as though she has an ax to grind.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Better than the girlfriends by a landslide, March 8, 2003
    I have known Ina May for a long time, and I have been waiting for this book for years. Now that I have my copy in hand, I am not disappointed. First off, she starts the book with 100 plus pages of birth stories. Wonderful birth stories, scary birth stories, maddening birth stories, and even second generation birth stories. I loved reading the story of the birth of Mariahna, and then several pages later the story of how Mariahna herself gave birth. There is a special bonus in the birth story of two obstetricians (a married couple) giving birth. The book would be worth the investment if only for the birth stories.
    Part two of the book includes well written and researched information on pregnancy, birth, midwifery, and obstetrics. It includes a historical perspective that is fascinating and imformative. Statistics and research are covered in a way that is neither dry nor boring.
    I highly recommend that anyone pregnant, contemplating pregnancy, or involved with pregnant women should read this book. While one may disagree with some of the conclusions and recommendations, the data is compelling and the recommendations both evidence based and cost effective.
    When the wealthiest country in the world has criminally high infant and maternal mortality and morbidity rates, it is time for some change. Read the last chapter (first if you like) for a vision of how that change might be brought about.

    5-0 out of 5 stars All I can do is echo the other reviews!!!, September 2, 2003
    I'm currently 29 weeks pregnant with my first child, and I've read a lot of the "bestselling" pregnancy and labor books on the market (i.e. "What to Expect", the Dr. Sears books, etc) but this one blew the rest out of the water when it comes to labor and delivery! Ina May's book explains the importance of psychological readiness for labor and delivery, as well as awesome techniques to overcome the "obstacles" of labor naturally. The first half of the book consists of very inspirational natural birth stories which made me feel prepared and even EXCITED about natural childbirth before I even read the second half of the book.

    After reading this book, I decided to switch from using my OBGYN to a midwife instead. My OBGYN is supportive of my decision to try a "natural" childbirth, but her definition of the concept doesn't go beyond "patient doesn't want an epidural". She is totally untrained and unprepared to help me naturally deal with stalled labor, avoiding an episiotomy, delivering a "stuck" baby, etc. I know she would give me drugs or wheel me in for a C-section long before a midwife despite her "supportiveness".

    You CAN try the ideas in Ina May's book on your own during labor, without the doctor knowing a thing about natural childbirth, as long as the OB isn't going to argue with what you want to try in the middle of delivery! For example, if baby's shoulders are stuck, most OB's will want to do an immediate C-section; Ina May's book tells you that if you simply turn over on your hands and knees, the baby will most likely slide right out!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Empowering and Informative, March 11, 2003
    Ina May's informal approach to the topic of natural childbirth enables the reader to access detailed and empowering information about the physical, mental, and emotional process of giving birth. The first half of the book includes birth stories from many women who have experienced both medical and natural births. Their personal stories help the reader understand the impact of both approaches and make a more informed decision. This section of the book would be especially helpful to women with few friends/family from which to seek advice, or those who have heard primarily "horror stories" about birth. The second half of the book is a guide to achieving a natural birth in many different settings, from home to hospital. The book is easy to read, informative and empowering because you come away with so much knowledge. I also appreciated the fact that the author avoids using "hippy speak", or a dialect that everyone can understand. Some natural childbirth guides use more slang. Definitely read this book if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant!

    5-0 out of 5 stars A must for every mom-to-be, January 2, 2006
    Finding myself unexpectantly pregnant, I was terrified of labor and delivery. I was scared of what everyone always said was overwhelming pain, and of the hospital process itself. Every hospital experience I have had in the past (due to my mother's battle with illness) has been overwhelmingly negative.

    However, after reading this book I feel much more confident about the birth process. I know what I want and what I don't want, I have articulated my birthing preferences to my midwives (who will convey it to the hospital staff). I feel ready and almost excited about the process. Thanks to Ina May's book, I now feel that this is a challenge that not only can I handle, but a challenge in which I can take joy. I cannot express how much this book has calmed my fears. I highly recommend this book to any mom and/or dad to be.

    EPILOUGE: Giving birth was the most exhilerating experience of my life (although I will admit that it hurt and wasn't the most fun I've ever had). I kept the stories from and principles in Ina May's book in mind and it really helped. I was also able to keep in mind that chldbirth is a natural process and nothing to be scared of. I did wind up getting an epidural after 24 hours of labor (total time: 33 hours) and can still confidently recommend this book to women who plan to have pain relieving drugs because the I was still able to keep Ina May's principles in mind and also because it truly did relieve my fear of childbirth.

    I highly, highly, highly recommend this book. ... Read more

    14. Master Your Metabolism: The 3 Diet Secrets to Naturally Balancing Your Hormones for a Hot and Healthy Body!
    by Jillian Michaels, Mariska van Aalst
    list price: $26.00 -- our price: $17.16
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 0307450732
    Publisher: Crown
    Sales Rank: 2495
    Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    Does it feel as if you re fighting your body to lose even one pound or just to maintain your current weight? Respected health and wellness expert and bestselling author Jillian Michaels has been there, too. So she consulted top experts in the field of metabolism and discovered that she d inadvertently been abusing her endocrine system for years. After fixing her own metabolism, she decided to share what she learned by devising this simple, 3-phase plan that engages all the weight-loss hormones (including the friendly HGH, testosterone, DHEA; and the not-so-friendly: insulin, cortisol, and excess estrogen).

    In Master Your Metabolism, discover how to:
    REMOVE anti-nutrients from your diet
    RESTORE foods that speak directly to fat-burning genes
    REBALANCE energy and your hormones for effortless weight loss

    Michaels offers a wealth of information throughout, including: shopping lists and online shopping resources, hormone-trigger food charts, how to eat power nutrient foods on a budget, smart strategies for eating out, quick and easy recipes, as well as mini-programs for addressing PMS, andropause, metabolic syndrome, PCOS, and menopause.
    ... Read more


    5-0 out of 5 stars Master Your Metabolism, July 4, 2009
    Interesting book though far, far too much science in it for the average person (BTW - I have a Master's degree and a former college roommate is now a registered dietician so I've been around related books and discussions and still found this hard to follow).

    Also, it's far too extreme for the average person. For example, we can't all afford 100 percent organic all the time nor can we completely avoid plastic wrap and related carrying containers. Also, the book contradicts itself in a lot of places. I suspect the editor was MIA when it came to cross referencing.

    The bottom line in this book is to stop eating all the fake food that we currently put into our systems and you'll lose weight. Since reading this book, I've significantly cut processed foods loaded with chemicals (yes, that means the Activia yogurt, low calorie jello and pudding, cool whip and other so called low calorie snacks that actually make you gain weight). I've replaced a lot of food staples with organic and have seen a big difference in my weight and disposition.

    For the person who wants to get smarter about the way 'the man' is ruining our diets and making money through cheap, processed foods, the core elements of this book could have been better addressed in a 500-750 article along the lines of 'Top 10 Ways to Lose Real Weight and Keep it Off.' Here's some key tips from the book to save yourself the time and expense of reading it:

    1. Stop eating chemicals because your body doesn't know how to process them, therefore, you gain weight.
    2. Choose the real food (real cheese, for example) over the lower fat because you'll eat less and feel more satiated.
    3. Go organic when possible.
    4. You can still eat chocolate and drink wine but everything in moderation.
    5. Opt for glassware over plastic to cut down more chemical absorption.
    6. Those 100 calorie snacks are pure marketing and chemicals.
    7. You still have to work out, people. And really work out to break a sweat.
    8. The amount of chemicals that have snuck into our food system has reached an alarming rate. Makes you wonder about the rise in cancer, diabetes and auto immune diseases.
    9. Think twice about OTC drugs as they also contain chemicals.
    10. Eat better/eat right and you can cut down a lot of health issues and drop a few pounds while you're at it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Weight is finally coming off after months of ZERO!!, April 22, 2009
    FINALLY seeing progress again! Wasn't sure to purchase this book or not but the points seemed to fit my situation to a 'T' so I gave it a shot.
    I'm not an organic person and never avoided anything processed before. So this is all a HUGE jump for me.

    Let me first sum up my situation: Lost 50 pounds in the last 2 years and still need to drop another 50 pounds. I was eating between 1200 and 1400 calories a day and working out EVERYDAY for 45 minutes cardio/weights. I was doing everything right and everything that went in my mouth went in my food journal. There was no cheating and no excuses. According to my calorie intake and calorie burn I should have dropped 2 pounds a week consistantly. And every week when I got on the scale it was up 2 pounds or didn't move! Total frustration and wanted to just SCREAM!

    Then I see this new Jillian Michaels MASTER YOUR METABOLISM and the point of the scale not moving no matter how good you ate and how hard you worked out. HEY what did I have to lose!?

    So it has been 10 days on her program and sticking to it faithfully and the weight is just pealing away! Down 8 pounds in just 10 days, like my body has finally said "OK... time to let it go". I haven't changed my workouts, they are still constant. I am following her main guidelines for eating and am consuming WAY more in volume of food and the calories I'm keeping at the 1200-1400. I feel soo full, never craving any junk. And I think, no way I'm going to lose weight because I feel soo bloated but in the morning.... the scale shows another drop!

    It works for me and I'm not going to go back! 3 months of perfect work and no results VERSUS changing to a healthier eating plan and more food volume with RESULTS! Took about 5 days before the scale and my body agreed to start releasing the pounds.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Endorsed by a licensed M.D. endocrinologist, very thorough and easy to read..., April 7, 2009
    I have read a lot of books on physiology, more specifically hormones and metabolism, written by people with board-certified medical degrees. This book explains almost all of what the others do, plus more recent research, in a much easier to read format with helpful charts and references. I was very surprised a book of this quality could come from a non-degreed personal trainer. I have a new respect for Jillian Michaels for passing along medical researched-based facts (many pages of peer-reviewed medical references in the back if you want to check the sources) and dispelling myths like working out on an empty stomach, and the problems with soy and other substances interacting with hormones. Her own story is very interesting and there is a very thorough section explaining hormones and their interconnecting roles in our health. I've already started cleaning out my fridge and cabinets.

    4-0 out of 5 stars In a nutshell - this is about going organic, April 7, 2009
    Let me first say that in the past year I have increasingly been drawn to basic foods (without all the packaging etc.) and have loved it. My favorite breakfast is a hot cereal made of oats, millet, quinoa and other grains. My husband makes bread in our house. We've increased our fruits and veggies. Still I think that many people take "organic" too far for our family.

    Jillian starts out with her experiences of her childhood and her connections to food and then goes on to her youth where she started to get fit and healthy. Still everything was a struggle for her. Then she found her hormones were out of whack.

    Jillian talks about a number of different hormones, what they do and how they affect your body - weightwise and other ways. She helps you to identify the hormones that may be giving you problems.

    Once she does that she goes through the 3 steps of her program which include getting rid of all the foods with additives of different kinds (she tells you just what to look for) and then gives you ideas of organic foods you should look for. It isn't just foods though - she talks about other items in your house that may cause problems such as cosmetics and plastics.

    I love how much information was in the book and that it was easy to understand. She has a ton of resources listed in the back.

    If you want to learn more about how your hormones affect your weight you might like this book (I do wish though there was more that talked to type 1 diabetics directly though as I've had a number of questions for myself). If you're ready to go organic the book may be for you. If you're not ready to go organic you will probably find some good information anyway. If "organic" annoys to you no end I would pass on the book.

    Personally, I will be able to use some of the information, but won't be going to the extremes she suggests.

    4-0 out of 5 stars I paid a lot of money for this advice -- before I bought the book!, May 7, 2009
    I've been seeing an endocrinologist for about 6 months and much of what I've paid a lot of money for is in this book. As I've incorporated his suggestions, I've also seen the following changes: my cholesterol went down 80 points; my antihistamine use went from 3 months of the year to 2 weeks; I've reduced the quantity of antidepressants I take every day; my exercise tolerance has increased; my sweet tooth has nearly disappeared (which alone is remarkable) and I very rarely need my asthma inhaler. I don't buy organic everything --but generally the foods I eat the most, I do. I'm in my mid-50's, so I'm looking for quality of life rather than a "hot body" (this is a secondary goal) but my mood and mental actuity have improved so much I would swear the clock turned back 25 years. This book is a lot cheaper than my consultants have been -- read it and slowly incorporate the suggestions and you'll see improvement in your daily life.

    2-0 out of 5 stars A Disappointed Jillian Fan, April 9, 2009
    First off, let me say I'm a huge Jillian fan and have all of her books and videos (which up until now have been impeccable), but this book was a major disappointment to me. I felt like I read through an entire book that could have been summed up in one sentence, "Go organic and stay away from chemicals". I agree with the major premise of this book - that people need to eat whole, unprocessed food and steer clear from sodas and anything with artificial or chemical ingredients. But a lot of her recommendations I thought were utter nonsense.

    In the remove section of the book, Jillian advocates for us to clear out our cupboards of all the processed garbage and rather than give it to a food shelter, we should throw it away because it is not fit for human consumption. In theory I agree with this, but in our current economic climate I would rather see a family eat a box of Hamburger Helper I give to the food shelter rather than go hungry. It's not ideal nutrition, but it's still food.

    In the replace section we are purchasing all organic foods which in an ideal world would be doable. But these foods are costly and sometimes difficult to come by. I live in a fairly small town and trying to find organic produce and meat can be difficult. She indicates that everyone has the money to buy organic it's just a matter of choosing to give up your "gossip rag" and buy organic. I disagree and think a lot of people really can't afford to buy organic (heck - plenty of people are finding it hard to pay bills).

    Where Jillian lost me is the section in which she discusses removing all medication with an anti- in front of it - such as antihistamines, anti-inflammatories, and antidepressants. What? Now I realize that these medicines do indeed interact with our bodies chemistry, but we have to weigh the pros and cons. I'm a seasonal allergy sufferer and my symptoms are severe. If I quit my antihistamine my eyes almost swell shut, my sinuses completely clog, I can't breathe, what is she thinking? I'm a healthy, active, normal weight individual who eats clean the majority of the time, so my symptoms can't be attributed to my diet or what I'm ingesting. And what about people on antidepressants? I personally don't like antidepressants for myself, but I have plenty of friends who have seen drastic improvements in their feelings of well-being. Going off medication should be something that is done when a person has all the information, not just done to get rid of chemicals in the body.

    I believe in the major concepts of this book, eat clean, remove toxins, exercise and take care of yourself, but the book felt like a big sermon from a soap box and I simply didn't get it. I was so excited about this book, that I downloaded it to my Kindle the moment it became available - and I was so disappointed at the information presented by the end of the book. Jillian is my motivational gal when it comes to fitness and nutrition, but this book was a waste of money.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Absolute *Must read* if you have hormones, metabolism, PMS issues., April 20, 2009
    Jillian's book (Master your Metabolism) is incredible. I've read countless books, and often nodded my head (yeah I knew it all) - but this... Master Your Metabolism has (so far) blown me out of the water.

    I've been completely shocked at a lot of what I'm reading. I'm half way through so far and wasn't going to post until I had actually implemented it 100%, but I felt I had to comment now after reading a few of the negative posts. (Everyone's entitled to their opinions - but I felt the need to dispel some points).

    I think some are completely missing the point... perhaps not actually reading the book (and basing it on the reviews or synopsis as some have admitted), or aren't taking it in logical stance. (Which seems to be the only bad comments are from those who downloaded it on the kindle rather than buying the full size book with charts, etc.)

    1) If you are of normal weight and think this isn't helpful - Most of us reading this are NOT and are dealing with the exact issues Jillian (and others) have... PMS issues that doctors can't find answers for... metabolism issues they refuse to look further into (cuz you know, we're likely just gorging our faces even though we claim we're not and we're lazy... )... knowledge is power, and if you're facing ANYTHING related to hormones and metabolism (very specifically, trouble losing weight!) then this is a MUST READ

    2) Frankly while the aspect of eating healthy is a given, MUCH of the information was NOT well known to the extent she's gone to give it. (Do you know how hard it is to get a referral to a half decent doctor who WILL look further and not brush you off here in Canada anyway?? Often they won't even look further no matter how much you beg and plead, they tell you to lose weight and you'll be better. Yeah - DUH... thats why many are seeking help!)

    I consider myself to be quite knowledgable on the aspect of healthy food etc. after everything I've done and tried and read, but if you've ever struggled with weight loss after working out 1-2 hours *per day* faithfully and had it crawl (when you ARE eating perfectly etc etc), and (like Jillian) suddenly gained 10 pounds back for no reason, then this book is absolutely excellent.

    Regarding the comments of those who are complaining about Going off the "anti" stuff (okay I'm half way into the book so haven't totally gotten to that point yet) - frankly is just common sense. If you NEED it, you don't go off it especially without seeing a dr. first.

    Example: I take Claritin sinus for 2 reasons - a) antihistamine - I can't eat fresh fruit or veggies without it or my throat itches like crazy... b) I was told by my doctor to take the claritin sinus regularly because I'm very prone to sinus infections due to mold/seasonal allergies. So its - I take the antihistimine to be able to eat fresh fruit/veggies... or I get none and have to cook it all (which loses nutrients... salad doesn't cook well LOL)

    If a person is on antidepressants or something that a dr prescribed, they should use their best judgement and incorporate things one at a time... Even Jillian at the beginning of the book very clearly states, use it all, use only some - its your call. (Not her exact words, just paraphrasing).

    Eat healthy. Get started. Take control of your life - then gradually you'll likely be able to get rid of those other things (anti...) And if not, then that's that.

    My point is, Jillian makes it very informative - like anything should be - so you can make an informed decision.

    You wouldn't have a surgery without knowing the risks, etc. - so why on earth would you complain because she recommends going off some of these things? The choice is ultimately yours, by weighing the pros and cons, by working with your dr if needed, and by improving your overall health. (It's a known fact that many people who are obese or overweight DO go off of many medications once they lose the weight).

    Eat healthy, organic as much as you can - its not always possible, but the point is - even eating fresh fruit/veggies/, etc., eating healthier foods even not organic is far better than the chemical laden packaged foods that most of us had NO idea what was seriously in them (even though we thought we understood).

    Did you know there were so many different names for MSG? I certainly didn't! Did you know that some colas (Hint: Even a bottle of gingerale I had in my house for when someone is sick!) contains that BPA(?) chemical that in the sun turns cancerous! EEK!

    You think carbonated water and sugar... Most of us have *no idea* what's truly in the things we eat/drink. This book is an incredible eye opener.

    The 6 Week Body Makeover is a great program... I lost the 30 pounds then gradually gained most back... now I know why: while they were on the right track, they totally missed how hormones actually affect you and your metabolism. Several foods the 6WBM "banned", Jillian is okay with, in moderation of course.

    If you use your brains and logic, but gradually implement this, I bet you'll see a huge difference. I'm half way through the book, beginning to implement, and looking forward to some improvement in my overall health.

    Jillian is giving the info *beyond* info to help us tackle everything holding us back.

    I haven't yet bothered to recommend a book on Amazon - but this book should be absolutely everywhere. And no, I'm not a fanatic;) - just finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, finding that there's actually some legitimate hope, that I'm NOT at my whits end for no reason.

    If you don't own it - buy it - hard copy. Devour it. It's worth ten times the price in information.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Jillian Rocks; as usual., April 8, 2009
    Jillian just gets cooler every year and with every new book she writes. I like how she is always researching, learning, and writing about new stuff instead of spending her career re-spinning the same old advice, as a lot of people in her field do. I read this new book in one sitting and now I'm scared, yet excited, because it really hits home for me and explains why I struggle so much harder than anyone I know and I still can't get rid of the fat around my waist and I feel like crap most of the time.

    I'm a bit confused and overwhelmed after reading it--not because the book is confusing in any way, but just because it has so much information in it to digest at once. Tonight I'm heading to the health food store with the book in hand to pick out some new foods for my cupboards. Today I've been working with the information I do remember which is HFCS=poison and a few other very important pieces of advice on food ingredients. I've already changed my morning cereal (which I used to think was healthy!) and not put the usual powdered creamer in my coffee (and now that I've examined the ingredients I'm not sure why I ever thought that wasn't straight poison). I changed the bread on my lunch sandwich today too and skipped the wheat thin crackers. It's strange but I already feel different--and it's only been one day. I don't feel my usual afternoon drag that would be coming on about now.

    The best part is that I'm not having a hard time feeling motivated to do this program because all the stuff I read in her book made it not even tempting to eat any more unhealthy foods. The funniest part is that I really thought that I was a very healthy eater before reading this book. I just thought my metabolism was super slow so that is why I gained weight so easily. Now I understand that my body is just so out of whack from all the years of dieting and eating diet foods with such strange ingredients. I'm suddenly feeling desperate to clean up my body and get my metabolism fired up.

    In this book, Jillian says that she can now eat significantly more calories than she used to be able to while exercising significantly less, yet still look as good as she does. I'm hoping that I can rebalance my body after reading this and get similar results so I can stop this constant struggle with my weight.

    Jillian Michaels is super smart, super hot, and has a great book here. It has information that you need to know in it. Your life could depend on it so read it!

    5-0 out of 5 stars WHAT A RELIEF !!, April 13, 2009
    As a menopausal 56-year-old woman, I had to STARVE to lose weight. I exercised and watched what I ate, but I always felt a bit sluggish -- not at all like the energetic woman I used to be, and I could never understand why. I get annual physicals, and I would complain to my doctor, but he told me it was just age. After reading Jillian's book, I was shocked -- and relieved! I sure as hell get it now! Jillian reminds me of the little boy in the children's story who yelled, "The emperor has no clothes!" I started cleaning out my kitchen cupboards this afternoon, and I'm so looking forward to cleaning out my body and eating fresh and clean and green.

    I can't believe this information hasn't been in the mainstream. I feel like it was written for me -- I'm an average layperson (university professor), who I now realize had a woefully inadequate knowledge and understanding of nutrition, metabolic processes and hormones. This book has been a revelation for me. It's what I've been looking for. THANK YOU, JILLIAN!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Do you want to become the Master of your metabolism? Jillian, the genie in this book, is ready to help!, April 15, 2009
    Have you ever wished you could find a genie in a bottle to grant your wish for the "hot body" you've always wanted? Well, Jillian is your genie . . . only she's the genie in the book not in the bottle. This book is an amazing revelation of what causes most of our difficulties with weight gain, and she tells us step by step how to overcome them.

    I believe she is absolutely correct in her assessment that obesity, as well as premature aging and disease, is often caused by hormonal imbalances which wear down the endocrine system, tricking it into packing on pound after pound. The average woman gains 10 pounds per decade after the age of the 30. Do the math . . . is that about what's happened to you?

    Proof of this problem with our endocrine systems are the statistics which show that 24 million Americans have diabetes and 57 million have prediabetes, and millions more are afflicted with other related conditions. Diabetes is a major problem in my family history, so one of the most important ways I can beat it is through better nutrition and exercise. Doesn't that sound simple? Jillian is correct . . . it really is simple, once we can wean ourselves off our diets of mostly processed foods that put us right where we are, the heaviest we've been in our lives.

    Her master plan offers three easy steps: remove, restore, and rebalance. First, remove the toxic stuff that is damaging our endocrine system. Second, restore the nutrients that boost our fat-burning hormones back into action. Third, rebalance the energy going into and out of our bodies.

    Shopping lists, a seafood safety list, lists of "always buy organic" and "sometimes buy organic", and a list of hormone trigger foods, are just the beginning of the tools included to make an easy transition to becoming the "master" of your metabolism.

    So if you've been looking for a genie, Jillian's your girl. Buy her book, read it, practice it, and enjoy your new title, "Master".

    Lynette Fleming, Coauthor of Lunch Buddies: Buddy Up for a Better Diet

    ... Read more

    15. Why Do I Still Have Thyroid Symptoms?When My Lab Tests Are Normal: A Revolutionary Breakthrough In Understanding Hashimoto's Disease and Hypothyroidism
    by Datis Kharrazian
    list price: $17.95 -- our price: $12.21
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 1600376703
    Publisher: Morgan James Publishing
    Sales Rank: 5299
    Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    Why thyroid hormones are often an ineffective approach to hypothyroidism, what the real culprit is, and why it won't show up on your blood test.

    Do you take thyroid hormones, yet still suffer from fatigue, weight gain, hair loss, depression, or other hypothyroid symptoms? Are your symptoms steadily worsening while your blood tests stay the same? Do your symptoms go untreated because your lab tests are normal?

    If so, join the millions of Americans who, despite normal test results, suffer low thyroid symptoms because they are misdiagnosed or poorly managed. As you'll learn, treating the thyroid is often ineffective, and can even make you worse. For most Americans, hypothyroidism is an immune disease, not a thyroid disease. And yet the standard of care for hypothyroidism, both in conventional and alternative medicine, is to treat the thyroid, when it is the immune system that must be the target.

    Why Do I Still Have Thyroid Symptoms When My Lab Tests Are Normal? will also teach you an additional six common patterns of low thyroid function (expanded to 22 in the last chapter), only one of which may be helped by thyroid hormones, if even then.

    Don't waste another day feeling lousy because you're trapped in outdated standards of health care. Why Do I Still Have Thyroid Symptoms When My Lab Tests Are Normal? harnesses cutting-edge scientific research for a safe, simple, and truly effective solution to low thyroid function. ... Read more


    5-0 out of 5 stars Superb--answered a lot of questions for me, November 29, 2009
    Datis Kharrazian has done some groundbreaking thinking, research, and writing. He excels in putting together some very complicated data, from a variety of disciplines, into a coherent protocol that addresses not only thyroid disorders, but all autoimmune issues.

    First, of the over 50% of people in the United States who suffer from hypothyroidism, the vast majority have an autoimmune condition that's attacking the thyroid. So while the end RESULT is hypothyroidism, the CAUSES are many and varied, and other systems are affected as well. To name just a few other interconnected systems and problems: leaky gut/poor digestion; adrenal exhaustion, which leads to malfunction; impairment of the liver (where the unabsorbable T4 thyroid hormone is converted into the more active and absorbable T3 thyroid hormone); and of course, environmental pollutants or heavy metals such as mercury, which can damage every system in the body.

    The problem with giving people thyroid hormone is that it may not address what caused the hypothyroid symptoms in the first place. (Note I said "MAY not address"; some people do very well taking natural thyroid hormone or a synthetic T3/T4 compound.) First, says Dr. Kharrazian, address the causes of the autoimmune response, and the thyroid problem will take care of itself.

    One of the most important things to do is avoid gluten, a sticky protein found in wheat, barley, rye, spelt, triticale, semolina, and durham (and sometimes oats, when they're contaminated with wheat). According to the authors of Dangerous Grains (different book now), half of the US population may be intolerant to gluten. Gluten destroys the cilia in the lining of the gut, so that large particles of food now enter the bloodstream and cause allergies--or remain in the gut and ferment, causing Candida overgrowth. Kharrazian tells us that incredibly, the sticky gluten protein molecule resembles that of the thyroid gland! No wonder the body learns to attack its own tissue. I think everyone should get off gluten, because even so-called "normal" people take a day or two to get back to normal after ingesting gluten.

    But there's so much more to Kharrazian's protocols. Support the adrenals (he gives specific examples) and do liver cleanses. Eliminate concentrated carbohydrates (not just gluten), because they will cause insulin resistance and--you guessed it--hamper thyroid hormone absorption as well. Please note that there are two different immune response pathways in the body, and the herbs or supplements that work for one type of response are detrimental to the other. (This helps explain why some people take certain herbs and don't feel better.) So it's not a simple matter of just popping more olive leaf extract or drinking green tea. Kharrazian has carefully formulated specific supplements (made by Apex Energetics) to assist in supporting certain metabolic pathways and toning down others; so it's vital to see a practitioner who can test you for which autoimmune response needs quieting and which needs raising.

    To help explain some very complex and interrelated metabolic processes, Kharrazian provides much-needed diagrams. He repeats some information in several different ways so you can see context. There are a few minor annoyances in this book, such as formatting and font glitches that the proofreader missed, which hopefully will get cleaned up in the next printing. But this is a small matter. This book is such a gold mine, even the few highlights I've given can't do it justice. (Another book that's really helpful is Hypothyroidism Type 2 by Dr. Mark Starr. If you get both, read Starr's first, to learn historical context and more basic issues concerning hypothyroidism.)

    I thank Kharrazian for writing this book, and appreciate the practitioners who are applying his principles and whose reviews appear on Amazon. This work is light years ahead of just about everything I've read. Autoimmune disorders, no matter what form they take, can make your life miserable. You deserve to feel better! Do yourself a favor and get this book. You'll learn a lot, and not just about the thyroid gland.

    Nenah Sylver, PhD
    author, The Rife Handbook of Frequency Therapy (available on Amazon)The Rife Handbook of Frequency Therapy, with a Holistic Health Primer

    5-0 out of 5 stars I have Hashimoto's, September 14, 2009
    This book is a life saver if you have unresolved Thyroid issues. I have hashimotos and was being under served by my medical doctor. The doctors advice - go on thyroid replacement and keep coming back for more. Since using the tools that are outlined in Dr. Kharrazian's book I do not take any medication, I feel better than I did 10 years ago. My energy levels are good, the brain fog has gone and my life is so much brighter. This book has concepts that are unheard of in the medical community and are easily followed. If you or a loved one has Hashimoto's or any thyroid disorder this is a must have book.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Practitioner's Perspective, September 29, 2009
    I have found Dr. Kharrazian's seminars and protocols very supportive in my own clinical practice. This book clearly explains the important protocols for thyroid and related conditions. He breaks new ground for treatments especially using neurotransmitter support. Much of this information is revolutionary and unavailable anywhere else. And it works! Everything I need for treating the thyroid is in this one resource book. It also has an excellent index, which is always important to me. The book is clear and concise with great references. A must for any practitioner.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Color Me Cynical: It's an Infomercial of a Book, March 16, 2010
    I'm a lay person who has had thyroid disease for 43 years. The idea of going gluten free if you have autoimmune thyroid disease is nothing new, but withholding that information as a way of luring thyroid patients to buy the book goes precisely to why Dr. Kharrazian's book-form infomercial is a turn-off for me.

    Dr. K is obviously very bright and articulate. The bottom line of the book? Go to see his specially trained practitioners (read chiropractors) who have taken his seminars; they are the only ones who can sell his secretly formulated supplements. Those are likely to be the same chiropractors who have just rated this book 5 stars. What happened to the good old days when people wrote just a plain old book....not a plan for a pyramid empire? I just could not get past it.

    On Dr K's web page I listened to the radio interview where he didn't present himself as a chiropractor, but rather as someone holding a doctorate in medical research. I pictured him in the halls of a medical center conducting studies. I was quite impressed until I googled the school he went to--it's an online one. While I'm sure he wrote a dissertation on the subject of medical research, I'm equally sure this is NOT the hard science research degree Dr K would like to have us believe it is. In my opinion, his research for this book shows it by its paucity of references to sound studies. I'd be more impressed if he hadn't trumpeted his online "doctorate" at all.

    I found the help I was looking for, but not from this book, which targets the vast number of people--especially women--not doing well, suffering from the seeming vacuum of knowledge among physicians and endocrinologists treating autoimmune thyroid disease and resultant adrenal stress. I found it from the book "Stop The Thyroid Madness," written by a patient who became an expert out of necessity, the website associated with it, and especially from the Yahoo forum moderators who are part of it on "RT3 T3" and "Natural Thyroid Hormones Adrenals."

    I am finally on the path to healing....without spending a lot of money on people such as Dr. Kharrazian, who proudly told his interviewer that he sees people strictly for cash, and NONE on doctor-sold supplements, which is a clear conflict of interest problem that should be outlawed.

    1-0 out of 5 stars If you want to delay healing, eat every 2 hours, & pack on pounds while shelling out big bucks, take Datis' supplements, May 17, 2010
    A HEALTHY gluten-free diet is REQUIRED in Datis' protocol and may actually be the only change the reader needs to get a healthy thyroid and lose the hypo/hyperthyroid symptoms. If you aren't knowledgeable about gluten's effects or how immune system and thyroid work, you may want to read this book but there are better ones out there that aren't infomercials for their system of 1) go to their specially trained chiropractor who charges fees so high that the insurance company won't/can't reimburse them and they refuse to accept what the insurance company says their service is worth, 2) pay for tests that aren't covered by insurance and are not recognized by the AMA as supporting authoritative medical diagnosis but tests that are simply designed to tell you not what nutrients you are deficient in but which of THEIR supplements you need to purchase and 3) purchase THEIR supplements which probably are not the best ones out there for your individual needs and treatment. The protocol discussed in the book and which the specially trained chiropractors follow is too cookie-cutter and not designed to figure out the mechanism behind what has gone awry in the individual's health system. A better book that covers the functioning of your entire endocrine system is Younger You: Unlock the Hidden Power of Your Brain to Look and Feel 15 Years Younger which doesn't lock you into their particular line of supplements; if your thyroid is underactive that puts a strain on the rest of your glands and organs and systems, but is the hypothyroid the actual root cause or is there something else that is malfunctioning causing the thyroid to be underactive?

    ONE SINGLE gluten exposure can cause thyroid antibodies for 8 months (not days or weeks, folks, MONTHS)! Datis states that a gluten-free diet is more helpful and effective than prescription thyroid medication. "treating" oneself to "just one" slice of glutenous birthday cake can flair up an autoimmune condition for the next 8 months - why that is no treat at all! Datis states that the 8 months is documented in antibody titer tests in patients he sees, yet MDs monitoring autoimmune patients on a healthy GF diet say that it clears in only 3 to 6 months! What is causing Datis' patients to heal slower? his supplements? eating every two hours as he recommends?

    Another very important piece of the Hashimoto puzzle isn't even addressed in Datis's book but is in Allergies: Disease in Disguise : How to Heal Your Allergic Condition Permanently and Naturally. A food allergy can cause hypothyroid/ hyperthyroid symptoms as well as any other symptom of any other medical condition. This fact isn't truly addressed in Datis' protocol.

    Also of major importance in any autoimmune condition is balanced neurotransmitters as the brain controls the immune system. A high dopamine and acetylcholine brain suppresses autoimmunity. A high serotonin and GABA brain suppresses infection. Immunopause is covered very well in The Younger (Thinner) You Diet: How Understanding Your Brain Chemistry Can Help You Lose Weight, Reverse Aging, and Fight Disease as well as eric R Braverman, MD's other books.

    The best way to address any medical condition is with your fork and spoon as discussed in Eat For Health: Lose Weight, Keep It Off, Look Younger, Live Longer (2 book set); be a nutritarian following the MANDI scores! Simply cutting out gluten while loading up on sugar, processed foods and fat will aggravate autoimmune conditions including hashimoto's and not make you healthy! page 6 of Joel Fuhrman, MD's Book 1 of 2 set says: "YOU ARE THE CURE I have been part of the medical community as a family physician for almost 20 years, and I can tell you that drugs and doctors cannot grant you excellent health and protection from disease and suffering. Almost every doctors know this. The most effective health-care is self-care. Reading this book, practicing the plan and mastering its techniques will deliver the best possible self-care to you: nutritional excellence. The nutritional excellence I'm describing can prevent and even reverse most medical problems WITHIN THREE TO SIX MONTHS! This is a bold claim, but the facts, supported by scientific research and literature, show that most medical problems and medical tragedies we face in the modern world are the result of nutritional folly." Fuhrman, MD includes in his idea of nutritional folly the eating every-two-hours that Datis, DC recommends to keep blood sugar level as discussed in his chapters on true hunger vs toxic hunger; Fuhrman states on page 111: "eating again to remove those uncomfortable feelings never gets you off the overeating merry-go-round. you can have another cup of coffee or slice of cheese in an attempt to feel better, but it is this cycle that caused you to become overweight and suffer these ill feelings in the first place. To get rid of the toxic hunger symptoms that drive overeating behavior, you may have to feel uncomfortable for a few days to resolve the issue. I often have people make a gradual change int heir diet to minimize the discomfort, but eventually as they are able to change the diet more and more, they lose the hypoglycemic symptoms and are able to feel comfortable delaying eating or eating less. This is a necessary first step for them to get back in control of their overeating. Toxic hunger is the main reason people fail on diets. Toxic hunger is a primary cause of obesity and overweight int he modern world. We have adopted a toxic diet, and because of it, we are forced to overeat." Datis appears overweight and openly admits he eats every two hours and recommends that his clients do as well; this is not excellent health. the body needs time between meals to finish digesting, because when digestion has ended the body can more effectively detoxify and promote cellular repair. To maximize health, it is not favorable to be constantly eating and digesting food. What you may think are signs of hypoglycemia and low blood sugar may be toxic hunger and withdrawal symptoms of allergic food or supplements. If most people who have used a healthy GF diet to overcome autoimmune conditions did so by eating less and losing weight, what is causing datis and his patients to need to be constantly eating and gaining weight? what is causing the symptoms of needing to eat again in only 2 hours to stabilize blood sugar? what is causing the toxicity and the difficulty the body is having detoxifying from it? is it the supplements he recommends?

    These important aspects (as well as others) addressing autoimmune thyroid are not even addressed in Datis's book possibly because it outside the intent to get and keep reader on track to spend a ton of money on his supplements and in his chiropractor pyramid. This book is written to compel the reader to hire Datis as your doctor to take additional supplements to your REQUIRED healthy gluten-free diet but that may not be affordable to most people as he does not accept insurance and provides this estimate of fees for prospective patients:

    Prior to New Patient Exam, you must have a case review.

    beginning of quoted material

    The case review is a stand alone visit and nothing more is required. The fee for the case review is $500 and we accept payment via credit card only. We are unable to accept any form of insurance as payment and we do not accept cash or checks.

    The next step is to schedule a New Patient Exam.

    The new patient exam is 3 to 5 hours in length and is scheduled either at 10am or 3pm. It is a very extensive exam allowing Dr. K to gather as much information as possible to begin a treatment protocol. Each exam is as different as each patient. This appointment has to be done in person, in Dr. K's office in Oceanside, CA.
    The fee for the new patient exam is $2,000.

    The next step may be lab testing and then a follow up visit to review the lab results.

    Lab test could run between $1,000 & $3,000 over the course of the first year.

    Follow up visits are charged as follows:

    Phone visits (when approved) are 30 minutes and cost $250.

    In Person visits or either 45 minutes @ $375 or 60 minutes @ $500.
    If you are seen often by him the shorter visit will be what is needed.

    The next step may be buying herbal supplements.

    Dr. Kharrazian often uses high quality herbal supplements to help manage his patient's cases. The supplement cost could run between $1,000 & $3,000 over the course of the first year.

    The next step is regular weekly reports to be emailed to Dr. K.

    This is the best way for Dr. K to stay in touch with you and know how the protocol is working. If he needs to make adjustments, it is easy to email them to you.

    The next step is to schedule follow up visits every 6 to 8 weeks.

    Some times these visits can be done on the phone and some times Dr. K needs to see you in person to do a reexamination. Lab tests may also need to be re- taken to compare the results with the first tests to see the improvement in markers.

    The over all costs for the first year of his care usually runs between $5,000 and $7,000. The next year is usually maintenance care and is less expensive.

    end of quoted material

    Even if one does spring for the $6,000 out of pocket and later sees traditional doctors who accept insurance, they do not accept the labwork or diagnosis or treatment and will often prescribe/recommend things that will exacerbate your autoimmune symptoms all over again. We really need healthcare reform in the United States and in the meantime, no one can provide you better medical care than yourself, listening to your bodies' feedback and doing the best you can to care for yourself, eating the best foods for you that you can, exercising the right amount, taking the right quality supplements for you, drinking the cleanest water you can, breathing the freshest air you can with deep relaxed diaphramatic breathing, and AVOIDING ANYTHING that makes you feel worse - remember, one man's feast is another man's poison. I do think it is important to realize, as thought in this book, that if you are TH-1 dominant with autoimmune disease, echinacea, astragalus, beta-glucan mushroom, maitake mushroom, glycyrrhiza, and melissa officinalis will cause a flare-up of your symptoms; I can't tell you how many nutritionists will tell you that these are a great thing to take to support your immune system for ALL people WITHOUT exception but in reality can over-stimulate an already overactive immune or autoimmune condition and are CONTRAINDICATED for those people. If you are not aware of that information, that nugget alone is worth the price of this book. However, you may want to get actually address the imbalance directly by balancing your neurotransmitters as discussed in Eric Braverman, MD's books. A high dopamine and acetylcholine brain suppresses autoimmunity. A high serotonin and GABA brain suppresses infection. This is talking about TH-1 dominance and TH-2 domance just not with the same labels. Instead of merely avoiding automimmune flareups which is another way of saying worsening your imbalance by avoiding certain supplements as Datis recommends, why not come into balance quickly by addressing the neurotransmitter balance directly? Why shell out big bucks to participate in DC pyramid purchasing supplements that slow down the autoimmune healing by nutritious gluten-free diet?

    I truly hope the $6,000 gets the results the patient is desiring. I know one lady who was working part-time as wasn't well enough to work full-time, was unhelped by traditional medicine, and went to see a MD who specialized in particular line of supplements and now she feels worse, is unable to work at all, has had to go on welfare that won't even cover the cost of gluten-free diet. She spent over $70,000 with that MD and on the supplements and tests and ended up worse. It is such a sad story. She was so desperate to feel better and work full-time, she spent every penny she had and then some and ended up feeling worse. She has discontinued everything that MD recommended and still has not recovered to where her health was before starting the protocol. This poor lady wishes she had never tried the protocol and still had her $70,000 and ability to work part-time. Being able and willing to shell out big bucks does not guarantee you get the results you want. Don't you think she wishes someone had warned her instead of her desperately believing the MD's promises of her returned vibrant health? I sincerely hope every person out there who is struggling with medical symptoms and doesn't have a dime to spend wastefully gets relief both medically and financially. I know this MD and he is actually very good but he gets so enthusiastic about whatever line of supplements he is currently involved in that he sometimes may not notice that his patient is deteriorating. She made the mistake of trusting his judgment too much; but she was desperate. I am not saying that this protocol or line of supplements is not the answer for you, but just trying to provide more information so as everyone and anyone can make more informed decisions.

    The information provided in this book is not new but has been available for awhile - just check out all the many footnotes in the back to get you started on your research if you were unaware of this material before.

    I think all the doctors trained by Dr. Kharrazian put all patients on their Vitamin D Cod Liver Oil, ClearVite detoxification rice powder shake, and glutathione cream and other supplements from the line Dr Datis invented. I think Glutathione IVs are a superior way to get glutathione into the human body system; also liposomal glutathione has superior absorption over their topical. I also like Chem-Defense Peppermint Sublingual - 90 - Lozenge better than their glutathione cream that has polysorbate in it. I also think that Vitamin D3 (Liquid Emulsion), 2,000 IU, 1 fl. oz. (29.57 ml) is a superior and cleaner vit d. Another really good choice of vitamin d is the raw whole food Garden of Life - RAW Protein - 622g Powder. Also Hippocrates Health in Florida has a new vitamin d which sounds superior but is too new for me to have tried - LifeGive Sun-D offers a superior, naturally occurring vegan source of vitamin D3 with vitamin D precursors from Shiitake mushrooms and rice germ ex-tracts. Sun-D offers supplies pure and powerful plant source of living and life- supporting vitamin D for preventing nutrient deficiencies, supporting good health and preventing the development of threatening health conditions. With all the medical studies out about the benefits of fish oil, it seems that just about every company has come out with their own offering. There are many detoxification rice powders out there and the Metagenics brand has many varieties that have proven effective and are backed up by numerous medical studies. Actually Garden of Life - RAW Protein - 622g Powder is a great rice powder drink that is also a great source of vitamin d, glutathione, and good oils!

    Why Do I Still Have Thyroid Symptoms? When My Lab Tests Are Normal: A Revolutionary Breakthrough In Understanding Hashimoto's Disease and Hypothyroidism provides excellent education that I would recommend to anyone as a another prespective on viewing health but not the only way and please do not limit yourself to this one line or one set protocol that isn't the best fit for everyone or even most. Seeing Dr K or one of the doctor's he has trained may be better than seeing many physicians yet will put you into one of the boxes they have predetermined for a set protocol of their supplements rather than getting a good understanding of the mechanism that is going on in your INDIVIDUAL system and choosing the best products out there to support YOU. I do want to support Dr Kharrazian making a living but not at anybody else's health expense; please educate yourself and remember that you ultimately are responsible for your health and managing your health. However, this book seems to be having a DANGEROUS effect on the readers. Just look at JJ in my comments section! He/she is so adamant that it is impossible that Datis's protocol will not be the answer for him/her, that he refuses to acknowledge that possibility exists for himself/herself or anyone else! This is a very dangerous narrow-minded perspective that is just asking for trouble. He/she is going to a chiropractor in Poway who uses succcess stories that people believe they WILL be helped not that they were helped and maintained it for years including JJ himself/herself! They refuse to see the short-comings and limitations of what is being promoted in Why Do I still Hve Thyroid Symptoms which is a very dangerous place and the rah-rah bandwagon to be especially if you are just going to blindly trust that your pill-pusher is going to not push what isn't in your best interest to his financial determent! In this sense, this book should be considered dangerous and avoided if the reader can not keep a level objective head about themselves; I would recommend not giving the book to anyone who is desperate!

    I personally find ethics disparaged when you pay someone for their objective opinion yet they make a profit on the product they recommend. If you go to a Toyota dealership and ask which is a better car for you Toyota or Honda? Are you going to be surprised if they say the one that they will make a profit on? If you are interested in a timeshare and go to one of their meetings to learn more about the properties, at the end when they ask you which free gift would you prefer - a big screen tv or a videocamrecorder, are you going to object, saying oh no let me pay you for educating me on the product you sell for profit? Personally, I think medical care providers should decide whether they want to push a certain line or two of products and then not charge for their time, or if they want to charge for their time and then give an objective opinion of what products are best for them on which they make no profit. Please notice that most of the reviews here are written by doctors claiming they are trained by Dr. Kharrazian so they are making a living selling his line of products, ordering his blood chemistry panel and other labwork, etc. They are getting paid for the appointment as well as everything they can convince you to order/buy; please note they have financial investment in this treatment. Supplement lines approach these doctors selling them on how they can make millions by selling their product line; hopefully the doctor reviewers here chose this line because it is the most helpful to patient's healthcare and not the most helpful to their pocketbook; when the financial incentive is there, it is hard to tell how "pure" motives are - why not consider a fair profit and avoid anyone too greedy? My opinion is that most of them chose this line as they buy in that it will help people and their own financial goals - a mixture of the two. Many of the ones I have spoken to were sick themselves, disappointed/betrayed by traditional medicine and searching for their own health improvement, and find these protocols helpful to them personally; so you could end up with a doctor that is dealing with their own cognitive and energy difficulties who is struggling to figure out what is right for them and doesn't have time/energy left to help you figure out what is right for you. I asked Kharazzian's office who do they refer to in my city that have been trained by him and when I called them, I found that 2 of the 3 are "in between offices right now" and none took insurance or worked with product lines other than Kharazzian's. Maybe someday the ethics boards of medical associations will monitor and fine those currently exploiting this conflict of interests or perhaps the government will step in someday and make this illegal as it should be to protect overly-trusting patients; our medical system really needs a complete overhaul.

    Joel Fuhrman, MD states on page 35 of Eat for Health Book 1: "For the last 20 years, multiple studies have been published in medical journals documenting the effectiveness of high-vegetable diets on autoimmune illnesses. These have been largely ignored by the medical profession and most doctors still deny the effectiveness of nutrition on autoimmune and inflammatory conditions. However, these pages describe the critical features of the eating-style most effective in aiding people suffering with these autoimmune conditions. Although it is not clear why these studies are quickly forgotten or ignored after their publication, one factor may be that there is no financial incentive for anyone to promote the power of dietary intervention as a medical therapy like pharmaceutical (or supplement) companies do when studies show some efficacy for their products." eat right america dot com is where you can come help for free with using diet to overcome your autoimmune condition and if you want help directly from MDs (not DCs) you can subscribe to dr fuhrman dot come for 15 dollars per month which comes to $225 compared to Datis' required $6,000 which costs 26 times more than fuhrman and I believe to be more problematic and less effective.

    While the author states that having a gluten-free diet is the most important protocol for hashimoto's even more important than prescription thyroid, I don't see gluten information on any of his line of products - ODD!

    Most of the doctors trained by Kharrazian are chiropractors like himself so you are getting someone from that background which I am not criticizing but actually like but think prospective patients should keep that in mind when selecting their medical care team. I have had the best care from doctors whose training is from osteopathy and have chosen manipulation/holistic care as their practice rather than western methodology. Osteopaths are licensed to perform surgery and write prescriptions but usually choose more natural holistic protocols. Chiropractors can not perform surgery or write prescriptions but are trained in holistic care of your spine and nutrition and first aid. Nor can DCs prescribe or administer glutathione intravenously which is definitely the best way to get glutathione far superior to rubbing on a cream; if you would like to try glutathione iv, try AAEM and have levels monitored by Great Smokies. When choosing a doctor to care for your immune system, try asking them how immune systems work and don't laugh when you get a dumbfounded gaze back at you. Don't just trust anyone that they know more than you, ASK!!! Interview them before you hire them or buy into their recommendations!

    In order for doctors to register for Kharazzian's training they are screened by a woman licensed as a nutritional counselor who will EXCLUDE doctors who think independently and say they are not going to buy into their whole system and sell their functional blood chemistry analysis which is not covered by insurance and sell their product line exclusively. So any Amazon reviewer saying they have had his seminars jumped through that pre-selection hurdle to be perhaps viewed as easily controllable and/or greedy at the expense of patients in her eyes. I have been extremely impressed with Dr Kharazzian whenever he speaks but why would he hook up with a controlling bulldog like that unless he wants that? surely he has other options available to him. He does usually have several things to say that are new and helpful to me but when I talk to some of the other practitioners in the room including the controlling host, it seems most of the material went over their heads. They will explain what classes they have had which suggest they SHOULD comprehend yet they can not make a single comment that SHOWS that they ACTUALLY DO comprehend it. Their criteria on how smart I am seems to be do I buy in hook line and sinker to everything they are selling to the exclusion of every other option available to me - if you will follow them like a sheep, then you are smart. If you have other things you prefer, than you don't really understand them because if you understood them you would follow without question instead of thinking independently and working as a team with them and others. Just my opinion of my experiences with this one educational development liaison person; i think different cities have different seminar hosts.

    Also, most of the labwork is not really recognized as legitimate by insurance companies therefore not reimbursed nor recognized as legitimate by physicians who think any diagnosis based on these unproven non-recognized tests are also not legitimate. Still trying some of these protocols may be helpful for you; I just don't know that you need to pay for a test that is designed to show almost everybody that they are in dire need to purchase a, b, and c from their product line that they sell. Their supplement line is sold only by healthcare practitioners but you can get similar products at your local healthfood store or here online at Amazon. Wouldn't it be better to try the product just paying profit on it once instead of also paying for labs to say you need it and a consultant to tell you you need it? The labs just compare you to norms and ideals for EVERYBODY and not specifically for you - again I am sure you have heard - one man's feast is another man's poison! Please educate yourself and don't turn over responsibility for your healthcare to anybody else who can not possible know how your particular body/mind/spirit SPECIFICALLY functions and what makes you flourish and what shuts you down.

    I wonder when patients feel better on his program if most or all isn't the result of a gluten-free diet? The author states that a gluten-free diet is more helpful than prescription thyroid and most everyone agrees that the effects from supplements are much less than prescription. Just wondering..... The author states that once you have an autoimmune response to gluten, you will need to be gluten-free for the rest of your life and there is no such thing as just a little gluten - that's like being just a little pregnant.

    I do wish health to each and everyone of you individually and to us as a nation. The information in Why Do I still have Thyroid Symptoms? When all my lab tests are normal: A Revolutionary Breakthrough In Understanding Hashimoto's Disease and Hypothyroidism is an important part of understanding Hashimoto's Disease as well as autoimmune Disease in general but not THE ONE AND ONLY DEFINITIVE ANSWER and one shouldn't simply accept cookie-cutter protocol as a shortcut to your INDIVIDUAL healthcare.

    Cheers! HERE'S to YOUR health!

    I am looking forward to purchasing Dr Kharrazian's next book on Neurotransmitters as I do think his perspective on the health function mechanisms that may be present is interesting.

    Last but not least, the most helpful for immune system that I have found is MMS which you can make in your own kitchen for pennies which cures malaria and AIDS in a couple of treatments and helps immune system rid body of bacteria, viruses, parasites, worms, etc. Instructions are found in Jim Humble's book The Miracle Mineral Solution of the 21st Century 4th Edition or can be downloaded for FREE as an eBook from his website - just google.

    Let me just add, my review is not given as medical advice; please consult your own medical experts who are knowledgeable on your particulars.

    I hope something I wrote has been helpful to you; if so, please click below on YES this review was helpful

    5-0 out of 5 stars Exactly what I needed!, December 9, 2009
    I purchased this book after reading Shomon's book (Stop the Thyroid Madness Now) and others. What I find in this book is well-documented (from scientific papers) suggestions about ways to treat the immune system attack and not so focused on hypothyroidism. Since I have Hashimoto's, diagnosed Sept. 2009, this has been a valuable alternative track (although I still take Synthroid at the moment) to address the immune system health. Suggestions of a gluten-free diet, balanced sugar loading (i.e. avoid high sugar/processed foods), exercise and nutrients (Vitamin D, Glutathione cream, Fish oil (and many others!) have really helped this symptoms and I have only been doing this for a week! Having good health, reducing toxins, has made a world of difference. If I was to have one thyroid book in my library, this would be it!

    4-0 out of 5 stars Almost too much information, November 9, 2009
    This is a great book but there is so much technical information that I found myself skimming more than reading. I was diagnosed with Hashimoto's disease and the information in the book has helped me to make some changes in diet, exercise and supplements. I think what I realized most is how damaging stress is to the body. I was under such monstrous stress at my last job and that is when everything in my body started to have 'issues'. Hopefully with a great job and better outlook on life I can fix the damage that I caused and start to feel better. Mind over matter or something like that...

    3-0 out of 5 stars Good for Doctors - not so much for non-docs, November 19, 2009
    This book was excellent for technical explanation of thyroid disease and auto immune disease. The issue is the the author uses the phrase "go see a licensed practitioner" constantly throughout the book. The purpose of purchasing a book like this to learn real tips and strategies for self-management or co-management of the disease. I did not find much that I as a non-doctor could put into practice. If you live near a natural practitioner then give them this book. If you are looking for self-help, look at another book. This book was definitely written toward the medical community despite its name. Its good as a supplemental text but do not purchase it thinking you will be able to make significant changes in your own self-treatment.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Great book to help you advocate for yourself in the Doctor's office, March 31, 2010
    This is a great book for those who really want to get into the details of how the thyroid works and the many hormones, cells, and organs that affect the thyroid and vice-versa. I read this book after being diagnosed with hypothyroid and taking Armour thyroid prescribed by my doctor. My lab results then indicated that I was verging on hyperthyroid. When I went in to see my doctor I had notes from the book and asked him detailed questions about other possible causes of my hypothyroid symptoms. He listened to me and now I am trying a different protocol with him to try to figure out what the real cause might be.
    Without this book I would have just kept lowering and raising my medication dosages or just quit the meds altogether and spent a great deal of time seeing specialists and researching the hidden cause. This book gave me the knowledge and courage to seek out the proper care for myself.
    However, if you do not have interest in learning all the biological details of your thyroid and endocrine system, you will find this book to be very dense with terminology. I happen to really enjoy reading this type of information so it didn't bother me, but I can see how many people would find this book a bit burdensome.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Definitive Book On Thyroid Dysfunction And What To Do About It, July 14, 2010
    Millions of people are walking around right now with many of the most common symptoms of a thyroid problem-namely obesity, fatigue, depression, hair loss, constipation, cold all the time, muscle cramps, morning headaches, numbness in extremities, sleeping excessively, itchy skin, low body temperature, and more-despite the fact that their doctor tells them their thyroid is just fine since the tests he ran indicate as much. The most frustrating part for people dealing with these problems is the lack of weight loss despite all the dieting in the world. There comes a point when an alternative explanation has to emerge to account for this physical reaction happening in the body despite the fact that everything is considered "normal." That's where Dr. Datis Kharrazian comes in to explain that you're not going crazy as he clearly answers the question that is the title of his book Why Do I Still Have Thyroid Symptoms? When My Lab Tests Are Normal: A Revolutionary Breakthrough In Understanding Hashimoto's Disease and Hypothyroidism.

    If you've been stuck in your weight loss efforts and have suffered through any of the symptoms listed above, then Dr. Kharrazian has good news for you. It's possible that you've been misdiagnosed as having good thyroid function when the truth of the matter is you have problems that are missed by most conventional thyroid tests. His expertise in human nutrition, chiropractic, and sports medicine as well as lecturing to doctors worldwide annually on this subject make him uniquely qualified to provide education on thyroid concerns. The book reads like a virtual textbook on all things related to the thyroid, including what the thyroid gland is, the function that it serves in the body, and the ramifications that can happen if something is preventing it from running optimally.

    Dr. Kharrazian explains in great detail over several chapters the autoimmune disease known as Hashimoto's and how to know if you have it or not. The differences between hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism are also explained in easy-to-understand language with lists of symptoms to be on the lookout for. You'll find out why a low-carb, gluten-free diet is so critically important for anyone suffering from thyroid problems because it will help bring insulin resistance, polycystic ovarian syndrome, and inflammation under control. This book also identifies other issues to consider, including Vitamin D deficiency, estrogen fluctuations, stress, environmental toxins like heavy metals, and why you shouldn't be taking an iodine supplement if you have Hashimoto's. It's all explained within the pages of this book.

    Honestly, this is a book your doctor needs to read because he/she will learn more about the thyroid function and how to best treat your individual circumstance than any other resource on the market. Dr. Kharrazian gets into the nitty gritty of looking for low thyroid function and what tests to run to find out. He's disgusted with what he describes as "the grossest mismanagement of hypothyroidism" with the standard blood tests that are conducted that can leave thyroid issues undiagnosed to the tune of nearly 13 million annually. Most doctors tend to run TSH and not much else and even then they use the "lab ranges" to determine if the patient has good thyroid function or not rather than the "functional ranges" explained in this book. Missing a critical blood test can leave no other choice for some people than to be put on medications for the rest of their life. But if it's identified soon enough, the conditions of hypothyroidism can be reversed.

    You'll learn the six patterns of low thyroid function, including primary hypothyroidism, hypothyroidism secondary to pituitary hypothyroidism, thyroid under-conversion, thyroid over-conversion and decreased thyroid binding globulin, thyroid binding globulin elevation, and thyroid resistance and what to do about each of these. Discover what the functional blood chemistry pattern looks like and what nutritional support is available to fix it. The diet aspect of this whole thing is one of the most fascinating parts of the book. You'll learn why essential fatty acids from fish oil, flaxseed, primrose oil, raw nuts and seeds, and fish are critical to erasing the common deficiencies in upwards of 80 percent of the American population that can make your thyroid susceptible to being damaged and malfunction.

    The most widely-prescribed thyroid hormone replacement prescription medications are noted in the book, including Armour (whose formulation changed in late 2009), Cytomel, dessicated thyroid, Levothroid, Levothyroixine, Levoxyl, Synthroid, and Thyrolar, as well as common prescription and over-the-counter drugs that can negatively impact thyroid function and lead to imbalances. This is why it's always a good idea to be resistant to taking drugs whenever possible because you never know what the unintended consequences to your health will be. A beautiful summary of each chapter's key points is provided for you to hammer home the most important points to remember.

    In his chapter on "taming the blood sugar beast," Dr. Kharrazian speaks with great wisdom best summarized by the statement, "America's addiction to sugar, fast foods, and a grain-based diet has produced a nation of carbohydrate-addicts riding the highs and lows of blood sugar swings." He understands the importance of livin' la vida low-carb to ward off conditions like dysglycemia where the body can no longer control blood sugar levels because of the damage caused by excessive carbohydrate consumption. It is noted that diabetes has reached such epidemic levels that is is predicted to bankrupt our health care system completely. Low blood sugar, high blood sugar, and insulin resistance are best resolved by eating a low-carb, high-protein/fat breakfast, consuming protein every two to three hours, never going above your carbohydrate tolerance in a day (experiencing cravings shortly after eating means you consumed too many carbs), not eating a high-sugar food without fiber, fat or protein, abstaining from consuming sweets prior to bedtime, skipping fruit juices, avoiding caffeine, consuming meats and non-starchy veggies mainly, getting rid of food allergens, removing toxins and parasites from your body, and never going on a fast.

    Why Do I Still Have Thyroid Symptoms? is chock full of so much useful information for people who have become frustrated by the lack of answers coming from the medical community. Dr. Kharrazian has done his homework and arms you with everything you could ever want to know about your thyroid. The book includes a rather unorthodox 5-phase meal plan for "unwinding insulin resistance" that you'll have to see for yourself to believe. It's unlike anything you've probably heard before, but he swears it has worked with his patients.

    This is the definitive book on thyroid dysfunction and what to do about it. There's an entire chapter on the 22 patterns of metabolic thyroid disorders that lead to "normal" blood test results and Dr. Kharrazian provides all the necessary information about the interconnection between the immune system, hormones, nutrition, and brain function in treating them. A thorough list of nutritional compounds is also provided in the back of the book to address your specific thyroid issue as well as a glossary of common terms like TH-1 dominance, thyroid peroxidase, and triiodothyronine (T3), for example. And just in case you think the information provided in this book isn't backed up with quality science, think again! There are over 50 pages of studies, papers, and articles supporting everything Dr. Kharrazian has to share. Even if you only think you might have a thyroid problem, you owe it to yourself to get a copy of this book to educate yourself about one of the most complex and completely missed medical conditions of our day! ... Read more

    16. Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom (Revised Edition): Creating Physical and Emotional Health and Healing
    by Christiane Northrup M.D.
    list price: $20.00 -- our price: $13.60
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 0553386735
    Publisher: Bantam
    Sales Rank: 3714
    Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars
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    Editorial Review

    When it was first published in 1994, Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom quickly became an international bestseller, and for the past fifteen years it has remained the veritable bible of women’s health. Now, in this revised and updated edition, world-renowned and much-beloved women’s health expert Dr. Christiane Northrup shares with us the latest developments and advances that will maximize our potential for living well in our bodies today. Inside you will discover
    • new material on sexuality—and how to have a more fulfilling sex life
    • the spiritual and scientific principles behind healing from terminal illnesses, and how you can utilize these principles for your own health and the health of others
    • vital information about how to truly dissolve PMS and ease menstrual cramps
    • extraordinary facts on Vitamin D—and why it is crucial for breast, cardiovascular, and immune system health
    • the importance of the preconception diet and how to greatly decrease your risk of birth defects
    • how to birth naturally, despite the current induction and C-section epidemic
    • all you need to know about thyroid function, including proper blood tests
    • life-saving facts about cellular inflammation—the root cause of all chronic degenerative diseases—and how to prevent this condition
    • the essentials on the “fountain of youth molecule”—and how to enhance your levels of it for vibrant health
    Living a healthy life in a woman’s body can be downright fun—even ecstatic! And that’s good news for everyone—women, men, and their children.
    ... Read more


    4-0 out of 5 stars Double Edged Sword, March 15, 2004
    This is the first major book to look at women's health systematically from a holistic perspective. My sister, an ND, gave this to me many years ago. I have referred to it many times since I first read it and my friends always want to borrow it. It's a great reference.

    If you are looking purely for an objective scientific book on women's health then don't bother with this. There is a lot of scientific info but there's a lot of "non-science" as well. Read the lowest reviews first which fairly summarise the weaknesses of this text. I agree that this book comes across as flaky in places however it is a breakthrough work in terms of systematically exploring the integration of mind and body and the effect of this balance on health.

    While I applaud the effort to make people realise how their mental state can impact their health, the other side of that sword is that women feel they are to blame for having the "wrong state of mind" which leads to poor health.

    For instance in one story a woman became infertile because, in the author's opinion, she didn't feel her husband was the right person to have children with. If you're pragmatic you can hear this story, consider if it applies to you and discard it if it doesn't fit. But some women could develop a guilt complex over something that is upsetting on its own without the added blame.

    Ultimately, the problem with this kind of thinking is that it leads to a vicious worry cycle: you worry that you might not have the right state of mind for good health... and then you worry that your worrying risks your health further! But to ignore this altogether also poses risk. Stress does cause disease and an integrated approach to health cannot exist without considering a person's state of mind.

    Because this book provides significant medical information, the reader could be lead into taking all the author's opinions as fact. Take the opinions as just that and you will find the book enjoyable. It is informative and thought provoking.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Profound and Empowering Book, November 21, 1999
    I am a person who reads a lot, and I learn a great deal about myself by sifting through the wisdom of writers. There have been many books over the years that have touched me deeply and positively impacted my life; of all of them, this book is probably the most personally important book I have ever read. Dr. Northrup has a lot of facts about various conditions and ailments, but her book goes FAR beyond that. Her message is that we all have the ability to be completely whole, healthy people, in every aspect of our lives, and that each of us has the power to change our own lives for the better. She talks about how emotional issues of every type can affect our physical health, and illustrates over and over again how problems in our body are actually our souls' way of teaching us how to heal and grow. The stories she tells about her own and her patients' healings are amazing; her message of hope is the most real and specific I have ever read.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent resource for healing & curing body/mind/emotion e., May 23, 1999
    This is a compassionate, extremely well-written book that gets to the core of the physical and emotional issues related to every aspect of women's health. The idea here is NOT to instill self-blame for getting ill, but rather the issue is to instill self-love through understanding of our bodies and illnesses. Best of all, it's about health, not just illness.

    This is a very empowering, healing book for women that includes the hardcore clincal data & references, the stories of actual women, and the nutritional, emotional, and spiritual aspects of healing. It accomplishes all of this in clear, easy to read laymen's terms. It helps to debunk a number of misconceptions that affect our approach to health.

    This book is by and for women. This book treats women with respect and acknowledgement for what we instinctively know about our bodies and our health. Every woman should own a copy of this superb health reference source.

    Dr. Northrup's appearances on PBS specials, Oprah, and others along with her leadership at the Women to Women health care center, and her past presidency of the American Holistic Medical Association, to name just a few, provide all the credibility anyone could ask for. Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom, as the name implies, is about and for WOMEN. It succeeds on every level.

    3-0 out of 5 stars The cassette tapes do not have the depth of information., April 26, 1997
    The cassette tapes are of a lecture by Dr. Northrup. Although it is entertaining it does not have the depth of information you may be expecting from an "audio book". The lecture is lacking in that she shows information to the audience present at the taping which is not verbally discussed to transmit the information to the audio-only audience. If you are desiring Dr. Northrup's knowledge of the medical profession and the metaphysical knowledge of women's bodies, buy the book. Jana Sulliva

    5-0 out of 5 stars A must reading for every woman; a wholistic guide to living, December 4, 1999
    After seeing Christiane Northrup on PBS I immediately ordered my first copy from Amazon. This book is not to be read in one or two sittings. It should be read one chapter at a time, to digest every morsel of her expertise and knowledge. Keep this one close by, so you can pick it up on those bleak days. This book is remarkably low priced to make it affordable for everyone. It's the best gift you can give to any woman in your life. My three daughters will be getting each one at Christmas along with a weekend retreat at a lovely place that I found in Maine by the ocean. This will be my gift to them, so that they can take some time out of their very busy lives and get centered on the importance of taking care of spirit, body and soul. You can't be for others if you don't take care of yourself. You can't give what you don't have, if you push yourself beyond your limitations you get very negative, burnt out, depressed and overwhelmed. It's not easy to stay focused and centered but it is a must, if we are all going to survive in this sometimes very noisy world. Christiane Northrup, I salute you for taking the time in your busy life and giving of yourself in seeing this book published. Other books that have help me become more centered: Care of the Soul-Guide to every day by Thomas Moore and Anatomy of the Spirit by Caroline Myss.

    5-0 out of 5 stars What an inspiration!, November 25, 1999
    Dr. Northrup is a wise and compassionate master of the healing arts, simply put. She's a wonderful role-model for me, professionally, since we share the same career field. But more importantly, her books and tapes, her words, her "knowing" has inspired me to further my own studies beyond that of conventional medicine, to seek to be a true "healer" as well.

    Every woman should read this book, not only for the practical and sound medical advice it provides, but for the truth that resonates throughout it's pages. Our Bodies ARE our Wisdom and Dr. Northrup articulates this eloquently and humbly. Highly recommended.

    5-0 out of 5 stars We Are Not A Disease, November 26, 1999
    Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom is a thorough, informative, creatively written guide for health for any woman. It presents the unfortunately revolutionary notion that menopause in a healthy and natural milestone in our lives rather than the abnormality that it has been labeled by MALE physicians. Dr. Northrup helps us to value our bodies and our selves as worthy human beings without labeling us as various "women's" disorders. I vehemently reccommend this book to all women from 1 to 100. Thank you, Dr. Northrup.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Women's Bodies Women's Wisdom, January 28, 2000
    Excellent book for women about women's bodies. Contains a lot of information that we should have have been told in health class in the 5th grade. Presents a common sense approach to women's health and reproductive organs and provides insight to many of the problems affecting women's health (cervical cancer, fibroids, PMS, fertility, menopause, etc.). Provides an understanding of specific women's problems and enables the reader to take an active approach to healing with their physicians. You become equipped with the knowledge go to a doctor's office and actually understand what they are talking about instead of just nodding your head!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom, February 11, 2000
    I thought this was absolutely the best book on women's health. I am not sure why some women were so vehement in their dislike of it because I found it to give women more power. The medical culture in this country believes that they know more about our bodies than we do. I can't count the number of friends that have had a doctor tell them "oh, that's normal" when they complain of aches and pains only to later find out they had cysts or tumors or other medical problems. So many (not all) doctors brush off women's pain a.) because they are men and have never had any female experiences b.) many believe women are hypochondriacs or hysterical. I have a great OB-GYN but I would never completely turn ove rmy health to someone else. I've had too many docs tell me too many different things so I figured I'd try to educate myself so I can be informed when I walk into a doc's office. Luckily I don't have to go as much anymore. This book is so great - at least 5 of my friends read it and everyone loved it as much as I did.

    5-0 out of 5 stars THE BEST reference book for women's health, January 4, 1997
    I read this book a year ago, and because of Dr. Northrup's candid and holistic way of defining women's health problems and causes, I was able to deal with a cyst on my ovary without falling apart, and without losing my ovary. We women sometimes forget to acknowledge the damage "stuffing" our emotions can do to our bodies. Dr. Northrup and Carolyn Myss are wonderful, intuitive women who have literally saved my life. I love this book so much that I bought a copy for my best friend and my two sisters; I think every woman should have a copy!! I have also attended a seminar where Dr. Northrup entertained and educated the packed auditorium. Her expert knowledge combined with her refreshing humor relating lots of what is in her book(s) and some new things as well, was worth every penny I paid and every mile I drove to hear her. In addition, Dr. Northrup publishes a monthly newsletter which is well worth the $69 subscription. I learn many things every month and anxiously await its arrival in the mail. For those interested, her office in Maine also has an 800 number for providing referrals to health care professionals with the same holistic approach to women's health (most of us know it isn't easy to locate doctors like Dr. Northrup). Read the book -- it'll be the best money you every spent on yourself!! (Dianne Garrett, ... Read more

    17. The Female Brain
    by Louann Brizendine
    list price: $14.95 -- our price: $10.17
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 0767920104
    Publisher: Three Rivers Press
    Sales Rank: 3543
    Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars
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    Editorial Review

    Why are women more verbal than men? Why do women remember details of fights that men can’t remember at all? Why do women tend to form deeper bonds with their female friends than men do with their male counterparts? These and other questions have stumped both sexes throughout the ages.

    Now, pioneering neuropsychiatrist Louann Brizendine, M.D., brings together the latest findings to show how the unique structure of the female brain determines how women think, what they value, how they communicate, and who they love. While doing research as a medical student at Yale and then as a resident and faculty member at Harvard, Louann Brizendine discovered that almost all of the clinical data in existence on neurology, psychology, and neurobiology focused exclusively on males. In response to the overwhelming need for information on the female mind, Brizendine established the first clinic in the country to study and treat women’s brain function.

    In The Female Brain, Dr. Brizendine distills all her findings and the latest information from the scientific community in a highly accessible book that educates women about their unique brain/body/behavior.

    The result: women will come away from this book knowing that they have a lean, mean, communicating machine. Men will develop a serious case of brain envy.
    ... Read more


    5-0 out of 5 stars Disappointing for many reasons, September 3, 2006
    I really, really wanted to like this book. I've studied cognitive, perceptual and developmental neuroscience for 25+ years, and I'm also a clinical psychologist. I've been interested in gender differences for just as long. I teach undergrad and grad courses on neuroscience, cognition, emotion, behavior, learning, and sensation and perception. I make a point of covering what is known about sex differences. I think the issues are really important and I've found that it is very important to get facts right because this controversial issue is a lightning rod for anger, frustration, tension and malevolent personal biases. My strong belief, shared by many, is that competent clinical psychologists and other clinicians must work hard to understand and manage their gender biases in order to manage "counter-transference" and help their clients. I know what good science is, including good neuroscience, good cognitive science, and good clinical psychology. There are plenty of women who conduct high-quality research on mind and brain, and make huge contributions. I've witnessed this personally, repeatedly. Over the years, I've worked for and with a large number of women, and I've trained a fair number too. Among first rate scientists and scientific thinkers there are plenty of women. I imagine that they will be just as disappointed in this book as I am.

    Some observations:

    1) The author begins the book by emphasizing her credentials and her influences in the acknowledgements section. The academic pedigree is impressive: UC Berkeley, UCSF, Harvard Med School, Yale Med School, University College, London. She thanks a long list of great scientists, teachers and students who have influenced her thinking. It is an impressive collection of names and places. By implication, the author would seem to be a rare expert who has learned from the greats. So please note: Many of the great scientists listed here are alive. But how many of these people have endorsed the book? Unless I'm mistaken, none of them have endorsed the book. I read a mostly positive review of the book by Deborah Tannen, but it seemed a bit guarded. I didn't find an endorsement from the renowned gender researcher, Eleanor Maccoby, who reportedly critiqued drafts of the book. It appears that researchers who have dedicated their lives to science and the science of gender have remained silent about this book.

    2) The author consistently confuses neural structure (brain) with psychological function (mind, mental performance, emotions, behavior). This is a huge error. The author is extraordinarily fond of citing functional gender differences. She'll talk about differences in verbal output, memory, eye contact, thoughts about sex, emotions, divorce initiation, aggression, chilhood behaviors, etc. She'll say these functional effects are in the brain, repeatedly. Good scientific thinking doesn't confuse these things. Part of the work is to measure sex differences in the brain (e.g., anatomy, physiology, chemistry). A completely separate part of the work is to measure psychological variables (e.g., behaviors, cognitions, emotions, perceptions). The third, most essential part, is to discover true correlations between structure and function. Many of the most egregious and elementary errors of cognitive neuroscience occur when researchers attempt to localize psychological functions inside brain regions or chemicals. All good neuroscientists understand this, but it is a tricky issue. One of my mentors, Davida Teller, spent years contemplating the issues surrounding "linking" hypotheses, while many great neuroscientists have struggled with this third part (Robert Efron, Steve Kosslyn, Georg von Bekesy, Gustav Fechner, and on and on and on). The author's disregard for this elementary issue is an obvious felony in my book.

    3) There are PLENTY of good popular and scientific books and articles on gender differences. Take a look at the work of the eminent cognitive psychologist, Carol Tavris. She has written a scientifically-informed classic, "The Mismeasure of Woman", along with numerous other excellent articles and books. Or familiarize yourself with scientist Janet Hyde, who has recently authored a college text on gender differences. Tavris, Hyde and others aren't impressed by data suggesting massive biological differences in most mental functions, especially if the claim is that these differences are innate. Among the people who DO believe in significant gender differences, take a look at authors like Judith Hall and Leslie Brody. Scientists have studied these issues carefully since Maccoby's heyday. Compared to other sources, "The Female Brain" so simplistic and biased that it seems like a step backward. The current treatment seems dumbed-down and distorted to me.

    4) The book felt like an advertisement for certain drug treatments, including controversial hormone therapies and the anti-depressant drug Zoloft. There's no doubt that the author has expertise in these areas, and most of her scholarly work is in these areas. And she spells out clinical issues and controversies in informative ways. One gets the impression that she's worked with many women clinically, and added value and comfort to their lives. I can believe these things. But I'm also aware of the rewards for towing the drug company line. Scientists and clinicians get perks for doing this. Beatrice Golomb, one of the most brilliant and courageous scientists on the planet, has discussed how these conflicts of interest compromise the quality of medical care and research. My radar went up when I kept reading about Zoloft. Zoloft is a popular antidepressant but just one brand out of many SSRIs (e.g., Prozac, Celexa, Paxil, Lexapro). Why emphasize Zoloft?

    5) The book indulges in male bashing. That becomes immediately evident on the book flap: "Women will come away from this book knowing that they have a lean, mean communicating machine. Men will develop a serious case of brain envy." Oh really? The negative comments toward men are especially evident in the first third of the book. It seems like the author wants to take men down a few notches to make women feel good, if I'm not mistaken. I felt especially sad as the author discussed infants' facial gazing. She cited and over-interpreted research on facial gazing, projecting her issues onto her own son, who didn't gaze much at her face. I can say, having spent many years observing infants' looking behaviors, that infant boys are generally intrigued by faces, especially mothers' faces. If there are sex differences, they do not jump out. And if there are measurable differences, how does the author know that these things are innate? (on to the next felony).

    6) The author is happy to attribute gender differences to inherent, inborn brain differences. Making that leap so quickly is another "felony." This is big, complicated issue that has attracted much attention from philosophers, psychologists, and neuroscientists. There's a whole field of behavioral genetics that struggles with the nature-nurture issue in sophisticated ways. The author claims to be aware of these things, but doesn't communicate this in a convincing way. She seems to have missed key points regarding environment and socialization. In doing so, she also seems to miss the enormous pioneering contributions of neuroscientist Marian Diamond. Diamond did much to demonstrate the relationship between brain and environment.

    7) The author says a minimum amount about the large individual differences that characterize people. She acknowleges within-group variability, but always "finds ways around" these things. She prefers to focus on average differences, and this adds to the dangerous reinforcement of stereotypes. Many human abilities are distributed along a continuum, independent of gender, but the author emphasizes dichotomies. It is dangerous to pidgeonhole people into "the" female mind and "the" male mind.

    8) Why is this book called "The Female Brain"? Just 2 years ago, Darlington published a book with the same title. And it really did cover structural and functional brain issues.

    So that's my less than positive take on this book. The value of the book comes from its discussion of some specific clinical issues. But in a nutshell, it offended too many of my sensibilities regarding cognition, neuroscience, and the psychology of women.

    1-0 out of 5 stars The "More Likely to Be Killed By A Terrorist Than Marry Retraction" Award to This Nonsensical Book, September 26, 2006
    I have created an award, named for the 1986 Newsweek story that told a generation of smart women that they were more likely to be killed by a terrorist than marry after thirty, which Newsweek retracted this year after all the damage had been done."The Female Brain" by Louann Brizendine is the first winner of the award.

    Here's why:
    In The Female Brain, Brizendine, a San Francisco Bay area psychiatrist, who runs a clinic she started to help women who think their mental problems are caused by their hormones, describes the life cycle of a contemporary American educated, neurotic, urban, privileged professional in a culture in which science is just another option, as if she had discovered Lucy, the mother of all mankind. Behavior familiar to many of us only from the wonderful bad Heather literature is presented as hard-"wired" into the female brain. Brizendine's description of the hard-"wired" cervix and brain-softening, uncontrollable urge to mate with one's newborn baby, which makes wholesale desertion of the work place is as irresistible as the law of gravity, is the closest thing to soft porn I've seen emerging from the San Francisco Medical Center in a long time. For the many women who would find Brizendine's transparently autobiographical description of the stages of a woman's life almost entirely unfamiliar, the possibility that the book is false seems immediately obvious. If it were true, The Female Brain would be a scary book indeed. But of course it's not.

    Insecure readers might coubt their own sanity when reading the thing, because the short book is supplemented by mind-numbing pages of citations to scientific journals. But happily as far as I know the articles Brizendine cites bear essentially no relationship to the propositions in the text of the book. As the only real academic to look at it reveals, she might as well have cited to passages in "Mastering the Art of French Cooking." The methodology is the all-too-familiar incredible assertions supported by a Million Little Pieces of unrelated footnotes.

    "Science" books with faux citations are a problem. But perhaps a worse problem is that not a single book reviewer in the country took the time to go to the local university library and see whether Brizendine's "sources" actually said what she said they said. Even Robin Marantz Henig, of the staggeringly self-justifying, endlessly publicly edited and allegedly tansparency-seeking New York Times, was content to whimper that the closed sourcing of the scientific journals Brizendine's cites made it impossible for her to check their truthiness. The insurmountable barrier of a (no transfer) subway ride from the Times offices in Times Square to the Columbia University library was apparently too much for this dauntless investigative reporter from the Newspaper of Record.

    Blessedly, Mark Liberman, the Trustee Professor of Phonetics, Department of Linguistics and Professor, Department of Computer and Information Science, at the University of Pennsylvania, was intrigued enough by Brizendine's unlikely assertion that "A woman uses about 20,000 words per day while a man uses about 7,000" to try to run down that one building block of her Mars/Venus "neuropsychiatry." He reports on his blog first, that there was absolutely no legitimate source whatsoever for the factoid and speculating that some marriage counselor must have made it up, then, that metasurveys revealed no such thing, and finally, doing his own test found that men use more words than women do!

    Alerted to the possibility that Brizendine might have made it all up, and his appetite whetted by the confessed public failure of the avatar of all the news that's fit to print, Liberman rummaged among his books and fired up his online university library system and investigated the citations for Brizendine's assertion that "studies indicate that girls are motivated -- on a molecular and a neurological level -- to ease and even prevent social conflict."

    Here's what he found:

    "My summaries of these articles, in the context of Brizendine's claims [that studies indicate girls are motivated on a molecular and neurologicallevel to ease and even prevent social conflict]:

    1. Jasnow 2006: Nothing here about social conflict avoidance or preserving relationships or humans of any sex.
    2. Bertolino 2005: Nothing here about social conflict or preserving relationships or teenagers of any sex.
    3. Hamann 2005: Nothing here about social conflict avoidance or preserving relationships or teenagers.
    4. Huber 2005: Nothing here about sex differences, about social conflict avoidance, about preserving relationships, or about humans of any age or sex.
    5. Pezawas 2005: Nothing here about sex differences, about social conflict avoidance, about preserving relationships, or about teenage girls.
    6. Sabatinelli 2005: Nothing here about sex differences or social conflict avoidance or preserving relationships.
    7. Viau 2005: Nothing here about social conflict avoidance or about preserving relationships.
    8. Wilson 2005: Because Penn lacks a subscription to this journal, and I was unwilling to pay $30 for a 7-page article, I'm not sure about the details. Unlike the other articles cited, it does have something to do with social interaction, but there's apparently no direct relevance to social conflict avoidance or preserving relationships.
    9. Phelps 2004: Nothing here about social conflict avoidance or preserving relationships."

    Inspired by Liberman, I did a little snooping into the vita of the self-proclaimed UCSF Professor and found that she is in fact not an academic professor, but a clinical professor, running a clinic she herself founded treating women's psychiatric problems from a hormonal standpoint, at $180 a session.

    Now clinical professors do good and important work in many institutions, but this does mean that she has not had to undertake and meet the rigorous competition for an academic position at a leading medical school. Just as well. During her fourteen years as a "Professor," prior to the 2006 Terrorist Retraction Prize winning "Female Brain," Brizendine was an author on exactly seven papers, the most recent one published four years ago in 2002. According to PubMed, a service of the National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health, which is cited on Brizendine's own academic bio webpage, she was not even the first named researcher on any of the seven. Just to put her accomplishments in context, her colleague in the psychiatry department at UCSF, Associate Professor Steven P. Hamilton, has published twenty-four papers since 1994, first listed author on eleven.
    I guess it depends on what "pioneering neuropsychiatrist" is . . . is.

    A quick web search for other Brizendine contributions to medical science turned up report that she told the audience at a fund-raiser that "the World Health Organization has projected that by 2003, depression will be the number one disease in the world, surpassing diabetes, heart disease and others." I guess it depends on what "number one disease" is, but I would be surprised if the WHO thought depression was a worse threat to human well-being than, say, malaria or AIDS.

    The book stores are full of loony books that look at first glance like science, so it is probably too much to ask that the publisher withdraw its endorsement of The Female Brain, as publishers did in the cases of the fake memoir "A Thousand Little Pieces" and the plagiarized "How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got Wild and Got a Life." But I venture to guess that if a book about anything except why women should behave in old-fashioned and traditional ways contained this staggering percentage of misrepresentation and error, someone beside a blogging linguistics professor would have picked it up long ago.

    And so, to Louann Brizendine, that self-described pioneering neuropsychiatrist of no apparently significant academic publications and false or unrelated data points, the First, Annual "More Likely To Be Killed By a Terrorist Retraction Award" for 2006.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Readers who are not critical thinkers will enjoy this book, June 14, 2007

    I bet you didn't know these facts:

    (1) "Men use about seven thousand words per day. Women use about twenty-thousand."
    (2) "Girls arrive already wired as girls, and boys arrive already wired as boys."
    (3) "Men are on average twenty times more aggressive than women."
    (4) "Girls are motivated--on a molecular and neurological level--to ease and prevent social conflict."
    (5) "85% of twenty- to thirty-year-old males think about sex every fifty-two seconds and women think about it once a day--up to three or four times on fertile days."
    (6) "Men pick up the subtle signs of sadness in a female face only 40 percent of the time, whereas women can pick up these signs 90 percent of the time."
    (7) "65 percent of divorces after the age of fifty are initiated by women."

    These seven facts are some of the interesting information that you'll learn in this book by Louann Brizendine M.D., a neuropsychiatrist at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and founder of the Women's and Teen Girls' Mood and Hormone Clinic.

    The thesis of this book is that the female brain sees the world differently and reacts differently than the male brain in every stage of life from newborn to old age. A women's behavior is radically different from that of a man due to mainly hormonal differences. This book is quite easy to read and, in fact, reads like a novel.

    However, I found the book to have minimal neuroscience (as suggested by the book's title). It was comprised mainly of anecdotes (some autobiographical) that exaggerate the differences between women and men thus reinforcing gender stereotypes. As well, I found many contradictions throughout. In places of her book, Brizendine is also surprisingly na�ve.

    When I was reading this book, what struck me was the exactness of some of the facts the author presents (such as the seven presented above). So I decided to search on the Internet for other reviews of this book from mainly scholarly sources. The avalanche of negative information I found was astounding!!

    A major problem concerned her extensive endnotes.

    From reading this mass of negative information, it seems to me that Brizendine is attempting to present an authoritative voice to impress despite what the authors say in her numerous endnotes. That is, her supporting citations don't support her claims. If you couple this with Brizendine's impressive academic credentials (highlighted especially in the book's acknowledgements section and inside back flap), then most people, unfortunately, accept everything she says at face value. (By the way, the seven "facts" above are not supported by Brizendine's citations.)

    I was intrigued by this so I checked out Brizendine's brief biography on the book's inside back flap. A piece of information that intrigued me states that "She has written in professional texts and journals." What I wanted to know was how many professional research papers she has written in. Again from searching on the Internet I found she had written exactly 7 research papers in collaboration with others and she's not the first named author in any of the seven. (To put this in context, her colleague in the Psychiatry Department at UCSF, Associate Professor Steven P. Hamilton has published 24 papers since 1994 and is first listed author on 11.)

    For a "pioneering neuropsychiatrist," (honest, this is what it says on the book's inside front flap) she has a poor research paper publication rate.

    At the beginning of her endnotes and references section, she states in a preamble the following:

    "I have gathered the work of many scientists in various disciplines in order to arrive at this understanding of the female brain."

    From my understanding of this quotation, she used only the work of only scientists to establish her claims. However, in her references are works authored by Allen Pease and Allan Garner. These people are not scientists!!

    Also, in this preamble she calls everything she has written in her book a "theory" (a collection of general principles that is put forward as an explanation for a set of known facts and empirical findings). I found her theory to be quite rigid since she doesn't allow for or explain any exceptions (there are many) and this undermines her entire theory. Yes, men and woman's brains are different but within each gender, you'll find a wide range of behavior. To ignore this fact as Brizendine does is to present a very narrow view of human experience.

    I have to agree with an October 2006 article in the publication "Nature" that was entitled "Psychoneuroindoctrinology" (a pun on the word pyschoneuroendrocrinology) which states that this book "fails to meet even the most basic standards of accuracy and balance," "is riddled with scientific errors," and "is misleading about the processes of brain development, the neuroendocrine system, and the nature of sex differences in general."

    Finally, I should explain my rating for this book. The majority of those who are not critical thinkers will probably give this book 5 stars. The majority of those who ARE critical thinkers will probably give this book 1 star. My rating is the average of these two extremes.

    In conclusion, those readers who are not critical thinkers will probably thoroughly enjoy this book. Critical thinking readers will probably have the opposite response!!

    {first published 2006; acknowledgements; the female brain (a human brain diagram with captions); cast of neuro-hormone characters (list of hormones with descriptions that affect a woman's brain); phases of a female's life (chart); introduction; seven chapters; epilogue; main narrative 165 pages; 3 appendices; notes; references; index}


    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent, highly readable with particularly good sections on sexual behavior and bonding, August 17, 2006
    When I first picked up this book I was a bit put off because there were some comments that weren't particularly complimentary to men that seemed unfair and biased. However, the overall tone of the book was good and I was able to overlook the occasional comment that seemed a bit "off" with respect to holding a balanced position on the genders. Other reviewers have also commented on this from their perspectives, so I won't elaborate any further. You can read these reviews for yourself.

    This was a difficult book to put down because it used stories to illustrate the different stages of a woman's life and the physical correlations to her behavior. At the same time, it painlessly introduced important information about the brain, hormones and how these are connected to behavioral changes in a woman's life. While this exploration was not comprehensive, it was useful, concise, understandable and well-suited to a non-professional audience.

    This title also contained a lot of similar information on men and I found this information to be more than a superficial smattering. I wouldn't say the book is titled incorrectly, but don't be misled that it only includes information about the female brain. It contains lots of good content on the male brain as well.

    The chapters that most grabbed by attention were on the teenage years, developing trust and sexual behavior. These sections brought in a lot of good references from a variety of sources including evolutionary biology, anthropology and neurobiology. Since the author was presenting her own unique perspective as a clinician, she did not bring in a lot of other significant research. This is a legitimate criticism. However, this is a very complex area and I found that the information was an excellent introduction to a vast body of research.

    For the average layperson, the mixture of science, story and the implications of these facts to everyday life is perfect. For the scientist or other technical audiences, it may not have enough meat from an information standpoint, but the story and interweaving of different threads of research makes the book very engaging for anyone including a professional.

    By education, I was trained early in my career as a biologist and biochemist. Later, I went on to study psychology. I had difficulty putting the book down and it flowed like a good novel in terms of the writing. The organization of this book was well thought out, particularly the way that different research findings were presented to support the author's argument without interrupting the flow of the story.

    For many people who haven't read David Buss or anthropology, the insights on short and long term mating strategies will be an eye opener. I also liked the cross cultural references to support her arguments that certain behaviors appear to be due to shared neural architecture rather than cultural influences. There is a lot of controversial content here that is good food for thought.

    The author tells the story of the human brain concisely with the impact of a good novel. This book is worth owning for anyone who wants to understand women better, how they change over the years and how female psychology correlates to development and physiology. As you go deeper, however, you will find that this book may not be comprehensive enough.

    I didn't find this book to be overly reductionistic. It looked at the impact of physiology on behavior, but it didn't reduce behavior to physiology. The only bias that was sometimes annoying is the implication that men were somehow "less than" rather than "complimentary to" women. This bias wasn't usually glaring, but I felt it was often present.

    This book has become somewhat controversial, but that doesn't change the fact that it includes a lot of great information and puts it in the hands of the average person. If you are really serious about this area, I would pick up additional books to compliment this author's unique perspective. While I didn't necessarily agree with everything that Dr. Brizendine said, I certainly benefited from engaging with this book and sparked my curiosity to know more about certain areas of interest.

    If you are considering buying this book, I think it's important to remember it was written by a clinician and not a research scientist. The value of the material is based on ONE physician's experience over her career. She is presenting a mixture of research material and her own opinion. If you are clear about this, I think you will enjoy it.

    This is clearly a book for a GENERAL AUDIENCE. I believe this author wrote from a sincere place and I don't fault her for writing from a first person perspective. Like a good historical novel, this book captures the essence of the subject, but does sacrifice some accuracy in the process. If you are looking for more hard science, you may find something else more to your liking.

    Some books on related topics that I enjoyed were the Developing Mind by Daniel Siegel (general book on how the mind develops apart from gender differences), Emotional Intelligence (Goleman) and various gender-related titles by Carol Tavris. (The book by Carol Tavris on Anger is not directly related to this topic, but it is excellent as well.)

    I also like the work of Antonio Demasio on the mind-body relationship, role of emotions and the development of consciousness. There is some speculation and a fair amount of first-person perspective in his books too, but they are quite good overall and he is a neurologist with good credentials. THE FEELING OF WHAT HAPPENS is the most dense title and LOOKING FOR SPINOZA is probably the most accessible.

    If you want a more controversial and provocative read, PHILOSOPHY IN THE FLESH talks in-depth about the embodied mind from a cognitive perspective. There are also many good books out there on gender differences and they are referred to in other reviews including the spotlight review above. In short, if this is an area of interest, you need to read a broad array of material because I don't think any one author has a monopoly on the truth. The differences between men and women are mysterious and with over a quadrillion synaptic brain connections to consider, I doubt the full picture of brain gender differences will emerge anytime soon.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Before you consider buying this book..., September 30, 2006
    ... please read Dr. Mark Liberman's critique of its scholarship, which recently appeared in the Boston Globe. I also work in academia, and am galled by Dr. Brizendine's sloppy research and dismayed that the publisher did not do more fact-checking before agreeing to publish her book.

    "The Female Brain" does have a nice, breezy style common in many pop-science works; Dr. Brizendine writes well. This makes it all the more unfortunate, however, that she bases many of her arguments on "facts" and statistics that are not backed up by scientific literature.

    Sadly, this is yet another in a long line of books that trumpet the neurological basis of gender differences with little attention to the complexity of the issues. Yes, innate gender differences almost certainly exist, but the truth is that we don't yet know enough about how the brain works to really tease out such differences. I am always disappointed when authors, especially scientists, gloss over these difficulties in an attempt to draw more attention to their work. I realize that it's more exciting to claim "I know how the female brain works! Women think this way!" rather than to admit that one has some preliminary findings and hypotheses about male vs. female tendencies, and that individual differences are often greater than male vs. female differences. But it's also disheartening to think that many people will believe Dr. Brizendine's claims without realizing that they are principally overgeneralizations, peppered with outright inaccuracies.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Pretty Good, August 14, 2006
    This is a book that I would highly recommend to any woman going through big changes in her life, be it pregnancy, menopause, or what have you. It would also be useful for men (such as myself) who find themselves downright puzzled by what can often seem like the completely random, unpredictable behavior of the women in their lives.

    The book as a whole is chock full of interesting information about how exactly the female brain works. To my objective, logical male brain, Dr. Brizendine is at her best when she's discussing science and experimental evidence. Unfortunately, she often lapses into anecdotes that seem to try their hardest to portray men in a rather poor light, particularly in the opening chapters of the book. She usually brings us back to reality by citing empirical evidence that backs up her antidotes, but for the first few chapters of the book Dr. Brizendine reminded me of the little league umpire who calls a fair game, but openly roots for his kid's team and occasionally boos the other team. I almost put the book down after reading Dr. Brizendine's admission that she was disappointed in her infant son's inability to respond to facial expressions the way a friend's infant daughter could. (I hope Dr. Brizendine was watching her now-teenaged son's expression when he read that particular passage.)

    Luckily, Dr. Brizendine soon abandons the "women good, men bad" undertones of the first few chapters. So fellas, grit your teeth and soldier through the first few chapters - the rhetoric eventually dies down, and some good, fascinating information takes its place.

    1-0 out of 5 stars File in Fiction, not Science., July 3, 2008
    The problem with this book is that Brizendine actively misrepresents research and uses numbers that are basically made-up. Her "science" doesn't stand up to scrutiny.

    For instance, on differences between male and female speech patterns she claims that women speak three times more words than men in a day, and speak almost twice as fast. In fact, no reliable studies had been done when the book came out. Prompted by the book, somebody actually bothered to measure, and it turned out that men and women speak about the same number of words, and men speak (very slightly) faster. You can get details about the studies from the excellent blog LanguageLog, which reports on real linguistic science. Google for the post titled "Gabby guys: the effect size".

    In sum: This book should be filed in the Fiction section, not the Science section.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Not the way we might like it to be but the way it is, August 7, 2006
    I have the sense that Louann Brizendine would perhaps like to have discovered a somewhat different picture of the 'female brain' than the one she reveals in this book. A strong feminist her researches, and above all the cumulative scientific evidence she brings here point to strong differences between the 'female' and the 'male ' brain.

    The first is, that the female brain is an 'eight- lane superhighway' when it comes to the emotional life, while the 'male brain'is a narrow path in the forest. Women are a lot better at empathizing and understanding others than men are. Men on the other hand are more preoccupied with specific, external tasks. Women care about intimacy.Women think about sex every couple of days or so, and men every hour of the day. Women talk a lot more than men, and receive a great 'high' in doing so.

    In one of the interviews for the book she explains the basic Learning differences between the sexes.

    "Girls, develop language skills earlier than boys do; boys develop visual and spatial skills earlier than girls. By 2 1/2, many girls are actively choosing not to play with boys, not for any cultural or sociological reason but because boys have not yet grasped the concept of verbal give-and-take. Boys, with their faster-developing spatial skills, are more likely to gravitate to building blocks and train sets and physical activities that require minimal verbal interaction. "

    She says that the skills tend to level out in high- school age and strongly recommmends that girls be given at this age intensive scientific training as a way of catching up with what boys have been accumulating previously.

    Perhaps however the most important aspect of the book relates to Brizendine's work as psychiatrist. Her understanding of the hormonal and physiological forces at play in various stages of the woman's life enable her to find answers in specfic cases which have in the past been overlooked.

    It is this therapeutic rather than polemical approach to the female brain, and its special qualities which makes this such a highly recommended work.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Step Towards Correcting Political Correctness!, August 2, 2006
    Many years ago I read a book focusing on the complexity of the human brain - all the chemicals and enzymes involved, and the impact of various shortages or overages. That book convinced me that there are scientific bases for claims that various groups are different; unfortunately, the PC police then took over. "The Female Brain" moves us back towards science-based fact-finding.

    Brizendine begins by pointing out that while male brains are about 9% larger (even after correcting for body size), they have the same number of cells as female brains. Thus, size is not a meaningful difference between the sexes. However, she also tells us that there is a 2:1 ratio of depression in women vs. men, and that this differential doesn't appear until puberty - thus, chemistry does seem to be an important distinguishing factor. Further, new tools such as PET and fMRI have since documented an astonishing array of differences between men and women. Examples include different brain sensitivities to stress and conflict, use of different brain areas to solve problems and process language, etc. Women have 400% more neurons then men in the brain centers for language and hearing; men have 2.5X brain space devoted to sex, as well as larger centers for action and aggression.

    As for the claim that women do less well than men in science and men (eg. Larry Summers, at Harvard), Brizendine asserts that the abilities are the same, but that estrogen causes girls to lose interest in pursuits that require more solitary work. Because of their larger communication centers, girls grow up to be more talkative - using an average 20,000 words/day, vs. 7,000 for men.

    "The Female Brain" examines male-female differences over a human's life-cycle. Menopause brings other changes - less interest in sex, and greater anger (65% of divorces over age 50 are initiated by women).

    Bottom Line: "The Female Brain" is a great step forward. It is an easy read, with plenty of objective documentation in its end-notes.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Light on science, heavy on anecdote and pro-drug message., August 17, 2006
    I just finished reading this book to help me understand the females in my life. I'm a XY chromosomal type.

    Things I liked:

    1. simple chronological development of changing hormonal, structural, and social aspects surrounding the female brain through life stages.
    2. modern comentary on menopause, fertility, career, and relationships related to female hormones and brain development.
    3. different perspective of woman than "Maxim" or other mens mags present.

    Dissapointing aspects of book:

    1. seemingly embedded advertisement for "Zoloft" in many anecdotes. I don't think necessary to use specific brand name of drug used since many drugs in same class. I'm affraid many solutions to the anecdotal hormonal/brain development challenges amounted to a prescription of some sort of blockbuster $$$ drug.
    2. book reads much like a collection of therapy anecdotes and not a lot of hard science, statistics, or actual brain stuff.
    3. reading book can give the impression the female brain/psychy is dominated by hormonal extremes and fraught with instability.
    4. Book has ~40% of pages dedicated to a bibliography of sorts. Very light read overal, finished in ~3 hours reading. ... Read more

    18. Your Best Body Now: Look and Feel Fabulous at Any Age the Eat-Clean Way
    by Tosca Reno
    list price: $19.95 -- our price: $13.57
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 0373892241
    Publisher: Harlequin
    Sales Rank: 4229
    Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    New York Times bestselling author Tosca Reno knows exactly how you feel. She went from being a flabby, 200+ pound woman to a slim and sexy fitness expert—all past the age of 40! Now, for the first time ever, she reveals her secrets to looking better every year. Using the simple, Eat-Clean principles that have helped millions lose weight and featuring all-new advice from Tosca and her team of top experts, discover how you, too, can:

    · Boost your metabolism to burn fat fast

    · Turn back the clock and age-proof your body

    · Look and feel younger than you have in years

    · Create your best body—now! ... Read more


    5-0 out of 5 stars Good resource for Middle Agers, October 4, 2010
    Having read many of Tosca Reno's books, I preordered this one. I didn't realize until after ordering that it was for people in their 30s, 40s and 50s. Since I am in my mid 60s, it does not directly address this decade as it does the other three. Almost no mention is given of people in their 70s, 80s or 90s. So, it is a great resource for middle-agers. I guess when Tosca gets into her 60s - that age will be covered, but I need help now. That said, this book is valuable for anyone interested in a healthier life style. The main difference between this and her other books is terminology. The phrase "your best body now" plan is used rather than the "eat-clean diet" plan. The first part of the book starts with a brief telling of her life story and her health journey. Along the way, there are stories and pictures of other middle-aged people and their success in becoming healthier. The nuts and bolts starts with the second part and begins with the best body diet - virtually the same as a eat clean diet - small meals through out the day, emphasis on veggies and fruits with a lot of protein. Of course the usual admonishment to avoid sugar, white flour, processed foods, saturated fats and trans fat is here. There is a grocery list that can come in handy to widen one's choices and 1 sample meal plan. After this, the book gives advice for the 30s, 40s and 50s. Each has some valuable advice for people of all ages. The next section is on fitness and discusses cardio and gives illustrations of strength training. Most of these exercises are done on a weight bench. Even though I have a bench, I usually do mine on the floor, bed or couch. Exercises using gym machines are also shown. All body parts are covered with a suggested work out plan. Again suggestions are given for each decade of the 30s, 40s and 50s. Helpful spices, vitamins and supplements are discussed next. These would depend upon the individual and their particular circumstances. The fourth section is on beauty featuring the advice of Dr. Trevor Born, dermatologist and Carol Shaw, makeup artist. This chapter discusses such things as how to do a smokey eye, using sunscreen, facials, and the 5 basics of makeup according to Shaw.
    The third part of the book is titled "tool kit". It begins with a discussion of priorities. Tosca talks of collecting meaningful quotes, showing gratitude, and dealing with emotions. The next section is the recipe collection. Many of them look yummy and I look forward to trying them. They include frittatas, soups,fish, chicken and meat dishes, risotto, and even a couple of desserts. The final section has many useful forms such as a diet tracker, fitness tracker, and a diary to fill in. One of the most useful charts is the metric to US measurements converter. For those of us that like to use recipes from other countries, this is invaluable. All in all a good resource particularly if you are new to a healthy lifestyle. Others will find some inspiration and helpful hints.

    3-0 out of 5 stars fitness, nutrition, and personal development in one!, October 14, 2010
    This is essentially "Eat-Clean" repackaged to a different segment of the population.

    What I loved about this book (over Reno's other books) is her bio of how she went from frumpy to fabulous. To be fair, she does go into this in her other books however, not quite as in depth as she does here. There is an undercurrent of metaphysical/spirituality within the book which is also quite new to Reno's material; she delves into her past of dishonoring herself while putting her husband and children first, her desperate need to please others, followed by how she pulled herself up with incredible courage. By loving herself first and fully, she was able to turn her life around completely; she created a body beautiful, a new husband, a new career, hope, a solid purpose, and a new lease on life. Her story is quite remarkable! After the inspirational bio, Reno also seems to speak to that discouraged part of the reader to become a real 'cheerleader' and the voice of encouragement insisting vibrant health (and a vibrant life) is indeed possible. Outside of this, it reiterates much of what her other books have to say about 'eating clean', strength-based training, and also includes recipes. This book is part fitness/nutrition manual and part personal development coach.

    What I disliked about this book is that a lot of it is repackaged material from her other 'eat clean' books. It's a nice attempt to get into the beauty side of things however, outside of how eating clean can affect your exterior appearance, I don't see how make up and facials is relevant; this part of the book would have been better placed in a separate book or left to the experts. Reno could have used this space to elaborate on how a healthy lifestyle affects the mind chemically, how this change affects one's emotions, and how all this (along with the physical changes) drives up self-esteem and revolutionizes every aspect of one's life.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Lifestyle Management, September 28, 2010
    Your Best Body Now Harlequin Press 2010
    By : Tosca Reno

    Reviewed: Dr. Joseph S. Maresca

    This is an excellent book which contains a number of
    very effective strategies on how to create a beautiful body.
    The author provides statistical details on what the factors
    consist of; namely 80% nutrition, 10% training and 10% genes.

    The gym is a place where members can release great tension,
    forget about eating and boost the metabolism for planned
    meals thereafter. The author recommends eating every 2-3
    hours in smaller portions. The purpose is to reduce cravings.

    Nutritionally, we should eat less animal products, whole milk,
    white rice, sugar, candy, caffeine and transfats. A corollary
    is to avoid calorie dense foods like french fries and processed
    foods with little or no nutritive value. Sweets should be
    eliminated-period. Veggie proteins are highly sought.
    Examples are soy, quinoa and seaweeds. Spices should
    be added to food to enhance flavor and boost anti-oxidants.
    Examples are ginger, curry, cinnamon, cayenne, nutmeg,
    seeds, anise, sea salt, vinegar, low sodium broths and extra
    virgin oil.

    Foods like squash, sweet potatoes, beans, lettuce and fiber
    are highly desirable. Natural sources of calcium are
    broccoli, spinach and fortified soy. I find that the
    Mediterranean and Paleolithic Diets are excellent
    promoters of longevity and health since the food
    is wholesome and devoid of classic artificial additives.

    A plethora of gym exercises are demonstrated for the
    benefit of readers. Examples are gym abdominals,
    shoulder, triceps and chest exercises. Classic recipes
    are provided like oat pancakes, garlic soup, Fagita Tostada
    and spicy salmon. A very valuable standardized grocery
    checklist is provided so make extra copies.

    There are excellent reference sources; such as,
    the Journal of Cardiology, Nutritional Research,
    JAMA and the American Journal of Obstetrics and
    Gynecology. Helpful websites are provided like
    [...] and [...] on hormones.

    The book is a considerable value for the reasonable
    price charged. The presentation is easy to read and
    understandable . Serious dieters will find this volume
    extremely useful for weight loss and lifetime management
    of food, exercise and stress.

    The book doesn't say so; however, you can achieve
    optimum performance by working alongside a
    physical therapist and professional nutritionist to
    supplement routine medical care by the family physician
    and coterie of specialists.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Fabulous at any age, October 6, 2010
    Reno begins this book on "the road to a fabulous new you - at any age," sharing her own life on her journey to forty and subsequently, the road to fifty. The following sections of the best body plan address nutrition, fitness, health strategies, beauty guidelines and inspiration. The nutrition section includes a check-off list of foods that can be used as a shopping list, while the Fitness program includes clear photographs showing the described exercises. Of special note is how each section of the book pays attention to the specific needs for each age group: thirties, forties, and fifties and beyond, so that the reader can personalize the plan to one's own age.

    The author next offers healthful, delicious, easily prepared personal recipes, complete with nutritional values, to give the reader the tools to follow the Best Body Now plan. Included are such goodies as Mexican Tomato Chicken Soup, Hearty Braised Penne, Moussaka, and Gingerbread Rice Pudding.

    To keep track of progress, the book concludes with a journal with diet, fitness and inspiration trackers to fill in, as well as a place to note daily commitments and long-term goals.

    Reviewed by Angie Mangino

    4-0 out of 5 stars Useful book to add to your clean-eating arsenal, October 5, 2010
    I have Tosca Reno's two previous clean eating books, so I wasn't sure if this one would be redundant. While it does contain some overlap (for instance, this book starts by Reno telling her personal story of her struggles with weight, but it emphasizes different aspects of her tale than her previous books), I still think it's a great addition to one's clean-eating arsenal. (The overlap is the reason that I gave this four stars instead of five; there is background information on clean eating that you will find in Reno's other CE books.) My review will be focused on comparing this new book to Reno's previous two books, although I will try to add information for readers who may not be familiar with the principles of clean eating.

    If you're new to clean eating, the basic premise is that instead of counting calories, you eat as closely to nature as possible, making sure to eat a protein at every meal and snack. Also, instead of eating just three meals a day, you graze throughout the day, eating five or six "mini-meals." When I first started following Tosca's principles in her first clean eating book a few years ago, I was able to go down from a size 6 to a size 0 -- and I was never hungry! It's nice to not be on a "diet," but rather on a meal plan that allows you to eat a lot, retain muscle, and lose body fat.

    Since as of the date of my review (10/5/10), there is no Look Inside feature available for this book, I thought I'd go ahead and provide a breakdown of the chapters:

    --Part I: The Road to a Fabulous New You -- At Any Age
    * Chapter 1: My Journey
    * Chapter 2: Champion a "New You": Allow Yourself to Live Better
    * Chapter 3: Jump-Start Your Best Body Now!

    --Part II: Get Your Best Body Now -- For Life
    * Chapter 4: Best Body Now Diet
    * Chapter 5: Best Body Now Fitness
    * Chapter 6: Best Body Now Health
    * Chapter 7: Best Body Now Beauty

    --Part III: Your Best Body Now Took Kit
    * Chapter 8: Best Body Now Inspiration
    * Chapter 9: Best Body Now Recipes
    * Chapter 10: Best Body Now Journal

    --Appendixes with Metric Conversions, References, and Useful Websites

    As I mentioned at the start of this review, there is a bit of information (such as the details of Tosca's personal story of losing weight and getting in shape when she was in her 40's), but there is still plenty of useful information. For instance, if you liked the success stories in the revised version of the eat clean book (which I always find inspirational and motivating), you'll enjoy these ones -- all of which feature women who are 40 and over.

    There are also strategies and tips that cover the decades from the 30's, 40's, and 50's, although, as another reviewer pointed out, Reno leaves out women who are 60+.

    The Best Body Moves section also has great color photos of workout moves to add to your routine. It's nice to see these in full color, and Reno is the model for each of them. If you're new to weight-training, these should really help you with form and with putting together a routine, but if you're a seasoned lifter, you might find the exercises to be a bit more at the intermediate level.

    There are also 30 new recipes in this book, which look delicious. The sample Fitness Tracker Journal page at the end can also be xeroxed and used to monitor your goals, and the Inspiration Tracker can be used to develop plans and commitments.

    Overall, I'm happy I purchased this. I find Reno to be very motivating and I love looking at the success stories, so it's nice to have a book that is focused on women who are over thirty.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Not NEARLY as well done as Tosca's other books!, October 27, 2010
    I pre-ordered this as I have most of Tosca's Eat Clean series and it didn't live up to her previous offerings. Maybe it was the publisher change - I just don't know. There is not a single photograph of her "before" fitness self or even just a family shot. She describes a few photos, but none are shared. This section of the book is full of preschool style crop art. It just all feels very impersonal. The story of her life is incomplete and choppy. I don't think she even mentions that she falls in love and marries Robert Kennedy(Robert Kennedy Publishing) who is the one who coached her thru her transformation . Additionally, she mentions putting her Interior Design training to use, but then has to back track with a sentence explaining she had been to school in the states in her thirties. What? Why? With your family? Even some of her after photos seem severe and dated for some reason. I think her regular Oxygen photographer did the work, but compare the photos to her current Oxygen cover and you can see the huge difference.
    The best part of the book for me will be some new recipes to try. I HIGHLY recommend folks check out Tosca's previous books, Oxygen Magazine and her websites -this book doesn't do her justice though! For additional info on this subject I recommend Brooke Castillo's: If I'm So Smart Why Can't I Lose Weight - this book has a ton of self care training that is awesome even if you don't have weight to lose. Also, check out Wini Linguvic's: Lean, Long and Strong - it's one of best I've seen for home exercisers with minimal equipment, space and time.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Repeat, repeat, repeat..., December 15, 2010

    Customer review from the Amazon Vine™ Program (What's this?)
    High quality shiney paper, easy to read text, multicolored print and font styles...make for an attractive book.

    While Tosca Reno has a very viable message..."Eat Clean", and offers recipes (not very many nor very diverse), health and exercise as part of daily living, the book falls short.

    So so many photos of Tosca, so much repeating, the book could be one quarter its size.

    If one were to follow Tosca's plan of action...there would be no time for a career, home, family, friends, is so incredibly self centered.

    Photos of success stories, before and after, are almost laughable.

    There are so many other better books out there for a healthy, beauiful YOU!

    5-0 out of 5 stars THERE IS HOPE! This is a great jumping off point to clean eating, November 17, 2010

    Customer review from the Amazon Vine™ Program (What's this?)
    I review this book as someone who has never heard of Tosca Reno or her other publications. I see that other people may like her other books better, but I thought this one was a great start down a path to better eating and optimal health as a gal gets older.

    She starts by telling us about her rock bottom: frumpy, forty and forgotten. She pulls herself up by the running shoes and gets her fanny to the gym where she works at getting a better body than I have EVER had and I am over 15 years younger than her. I was in awe of the photos of her, she has really chiseled her body into a work of art, regardless of her age -- it is all more impressive that she didn't start any of this until 40 years old!

    That was what impressed me the most and gave me such hope for my own optimal health, she wasn't born this way, she achieved it later in the game than most you see. THERE IS HOPE! Most fit gals I see have been doing it since high school or college, so I always feel a little like I missed the boat when I read their stories. But Tosca has, for the first time ever, made me feel like if I start now that I really can achieve something amazing. I am 35 with an infant daughter, so I want to get fit to be here for my family as long as possible; his book has chapters for 30's, 40's and 50's -- so I feel like I am getting in on the ground floor on how to do this well.

    This book covered a lot of bases: health through exercise, eating right, supplements AND beauty tips. I liked the beauty tips chapter to help look your best because, as a gal who lately feels dressed up if I can manage to keep the baby's oatmeal out of my hair, I liked being shown fast ways to feel pretty. If I feel more attractive I am more likely to eat an apple with almond butter and less likely to eat a Twix bar. I feel that health and confidence go hand in hand, so if your confidence needs boosting, then this will be a nice section in the book for you. If you are a gal who doesn't care about cosmetics and such, there are good tips on proper skincare too. It's a nice addition that you don't see in a lot of these types of health guides and it has something for everybody.

    I have only been doing the eating philosophy for a week, but I am a convert! My energy level is through the roof. I have been able to accomplish more in the past week then I had done all last month -- and that includes currently caring for a teething infant. I am very out of shape with 85 pounds to lose, so if it can work this quickly for me, it can work for any woman. I highly recommend!

    1-0 out of 5 stars HUGE photos of Tosca on every 10th page., October 8, 2010

    Very little new information.

    Plastered with photos of Tosca. (cheesy 80's glamourshots type)
    They should have put more success stories with pictures of OTHER people!
    I don't mind pictures, but I don't want to see half a page of Tosca every 10 pages.

    Seems like she keeps churning out the same book with new covers.

    3-0 out of 5 stars A very well done book that did not click with me, December 14, 2010

    Customer review from the Amazon Vine™ Program (What's this?)
    I had heard a lot about Tosca Reno's books and wanted to try one. This book was in line with what I had heard about her earlier books. I thought it was a book that was full of useful information, laid out well, and inspriational. I enjoyed reading about her transformation and how it affected her life. I also thought she did a good job of chunking the information to make the sections readable and digestable.

    However, it also seemed fairly extreme to me. I believe that food is part of life that should be enjoyed as well as controlled. I also believe that eliminating whole food groups is not a good and balanced way to live. So, I found it sad that someone would suggest that the only way to eat is to completely eliminate sweets and other food that might not be the best for you, but which will not derail you if you eat them in moderation. ... Read more

    19. What to Expect: Eating Well When You're Expecting
    by Heidi Murkoff
    list price: $12.95 -- our price: $9.56
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 0761133267
    Publisher: Workman Publishing Company
    Sales Rank: 3344
    Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    Announcing Eating Well When You're Expecting, providing moms-to-be with a realistic approach to navigating healthily and deliciously through the nine months of pregnancy—at home, in the office, over the holidays, in restaurants. Thorough chapters are devoted to nutrition, weight gain, food safety, the postpartum diet, and how to eat when trying to conceive again. And, very exciting, the book comes with 150 contemporary, tasty, and healthy recipes that feed mom and baby well, take little time to prepare, and are gentle on queasy tummies.

    A departure from its predecessor, What to Eat When You’re Expecting, which has 976,000 copies in print, Eating Well loses the whole-wheatier-than-thou attitude, and comes with a light, reader-friendly tone while delivering the most up-to-date information. At the heart of the book are hundreds of pressing questions every mother-to-be has: Is it true I shouldn’t eat any food cooked with alcohol? Will the caffeine in coffee cross into my baby’s bloodstream? Help!—I’m entering my second trimester, and I’m losing weight, not gaining. Is all sushi off limits? How do I get enough calcium if I’m lactose intolerant? I keep dreaming about a hot fudge sundae—can I indulge? Guess what: the answer is yes.
    ... Read more


    5-0 out of 5 stars Amazing recipes, packed with info on eating healthy --without being guilt-inducing, June 27, 2005
    Wow -- what a great book!!! I'm newly pregnant and I really want to make sure I'm eating good food for my baby, especailly since I'm so nauseous all the time. I saw this book in the bookstore and bought it... and am I glad I did. It's packed with info about nutrition during pregnancy. It's funny and it's a really easy to read book -- plus it doesn't make you feel bad if you miss a few days of eating healthy or if you eat some unhealthy food every once in a while.

    The first chapter tells you why it's important to eat nutritious food. The second chapter is so great because it goes through all the pregnancy symptoms and gives advice on exactly what to do for them in terms of food. Too nauseaous to eat (my problem) -- here are some tips. What to do about the food cravings (especially when you're craving something totally unhealthy). But the best thing is that it doesn't make you feel guilty if you do crave ice cream or cake or whatever. It recognizes that sometimes the only thing I can eat is potato chips, and it doesn't make me feel like I'm hurting my baby! But it still gives you the ideal of what you should eat (there's a really funny section later on called "ideal...get real" that totally gets this point across. Plus it makes you realize you probably are eating healthy for the most aprt anyway). I love that.

    The next chapter goes through weight gain and the pregnancy diet telling you what you should be eating each day. The best thing is that the book has tons of lists of different foods -- and the serving amounts -- so figuring out how much to eat is no big deal. Then there's a great chapter on being an expectant gourmet. It goes through all the different types of food that you can eat while you're pregnant. I learned so much from that chapter. Who knew there were so many different types of lettuces!

    There's also stuff on what foods to avoid when you're pregnant, and how to keep your food safe. Also sections on eating while you're working with great tips on eating when you're sick, when you're traveling, and what you can eat when you're in a restuarant.

    Then the best part is the recipes -- it's half the book! Totally yummy. I already made the ginger and carrot muffins (they say ginger is good for morning sickness) and the Chicken Burgers with Mango relish. The recipes are all healthy -- but so good and they totally don't taste like health food stuff-- even my husband (mr. very picky eater) thought the muffins were great. And what's great is that I was able to eat them too even with my nausea! There are so many good looking recipes, I don't know which ones to try first (I think I'm going to try the Pork Medallions with arugula and Tomatoes next).

    Totally get this book if you're pregnant and want to eat healthy and eat good food. I highly recommend it and am telling all my friends to get it too! Even the non pregnant ones!

    4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent basic nutrition guide w/ GREAT recipes!, July 12, 2006
    I took this book out of the library, but decided to buy it because I wanted to own the recipes. There is a great variety of recipes for all meals of the day and snacks. Most of the recipes are lower fat and sugar and higher fiber and protein versions of your favs. They don't elimate the bad things, but they do limit it and work in more whole grains and veggies then I normally do in my cooking.

    As for the other reviewers comment about the grapes on page 82 - I can see how she got confused, but they actually say: "...;a slice of whole wheat bread, an ounce of cheddar cheese, and a half cup of grapes equals 200 calories." They are talking about how to get the most variety of vitamins in your snacks.

    Many who buy this book may find the info rather simplistic, which it is. Eat a variety of highly nutritious foods. But, buy it for the recipes.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Informative, January 31, 2006
    Excellent book to become familiar with eating habits during pregnancy. Most of the time, I eat healthy enough, but this gave me the opportunity to see what I might be missing and how it would effect the health and development of my growing child. Highly recommended, as are all of the "What to expect" books.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Good basic health tips, but not for vegetarians or pescetarians, March 21, 2010
    I recently learned I was pregnant, and wanted to make sure I was eating right for the baby so bought a few books to do some research. I'm not sure this one will get much use - I may donate it to a local library, in case someone else finds it helpful.

    In my opinion, the original "What to Expect When You're Expecting" is preferable to this book, as this doesn't give a lot of new info if you know have a basic knowledge of how to eat healthy anyway. The one big exception is the recipes that are included here, and the detailed breakdown of what different food options are available to meet each specific nutritional recommendation/requirement for pregnancy. Otherwise it's mainly just basic nutritional advice.

    The second issue I had with the book is that there is very little information available for vegetarians, or even for those who only eat fish/shellfish. It would have been nice if there had been more vegetarian dishes, or even vegetarian options listed for the meat recipes.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Definite Must-Have for Expectant Moms, July 21, 2007
    I wish I would have had this during my first pregnancy. I had asked all of my health care professionals what I should eat and how I should take care of myself during that crucial time, but the standard reply was always, "Eat healthy and exercise." This book defines what eating healthy and taking care of yourself during pregnancy involves. It includes tips on weight gain, pre-pregnancy and postpartum nutrition, information on low carb and vegetarian diets as well as family-friendly recipes.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Good Information, But Recipes Are Complicated, June 10, 2010
    This is a great resource for the first time pregnant woman. There is a wealth of nutrition information and answers to many questions. In some areas, I felt the book could be a little alarmist. Overall, your OB doctor is still the best source of information.

    Also, I felt some of the recipes had long (and depending on where you live, possibly hard to find) lists of ingredients. As a pregnant woman, I am not sure I would have the time to prepare these dishes. I did like the smoothie recipes and the muffin recipes, those seemed a little easier.

    Overall, for the price not a bad resource.

    5-0 out of 5 stars great book, March 14, 2006
    This book has great info. and great recipes. I have made a few and My family really likes them. I'm greatful for a book that has info and recipes that are easy to use.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Good Menu, but Very Expensive Ingredients, July 22, 2007
    Buying 2 days of food using this cookbook cost over $90 in our local grocer. So while the recipes are good, we are using them in extreme moderation as many of the main ingredients are hard to come by and expensive.

    4-0 out of 5 stars A good resource, August 1, 2006
    I really liked the What to Eat when You're Expecting (an older edition of this book). This new edition has more recipes than the old book (and few, if any, repeats). I prefer the format of the old book for the nitty-gritty nutrition info. ... Read more

    20. Promise Me: How a Sister's Love Launched the Global Movement to End Breast Cancer
    by Nancy G. Brinker
    list price: $25.99 -- our price: $15.20
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 0307718123
    Publisher: Crown Archetype
    Sales Rank: 5886
    Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    Suzy and Nancy Goodman were more than sisters. They were best friends, confidantes, and partners in the grand adventure of life. For three decades, nothing could separate them. Not college, not marriage, not miles. Then Suzy got sick. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1977; three agonizing years later, at thirty-six, she died.

    It wasn’t supposed to be this way. The Goodman girls were raised in postwar Peoria, Illinois, by parents who believed that small acts of charity could change the world. Suzy was the big sister—the homecoming queen with an infectious enthusiasm and a generous heart. Nancy was the little sister—the tomboy with an outsized sense of justice who wanted to right all wrongs. The sisters shared makeup tips, dating secrets, plans for glamorous fantasy careers. They spent one memorable summer in Europe discovering a big world far from Peoria. They imagined a long life together—one in which they’d grow old together surrounded by children and grandchildren.
    Suzy’s diagnosis shattered that dream.

    In 1977, breast cancer was still shrouded in stigma and shame. Nobody talked about early detection and mammograms. Nobody could even say the words “breast” and “cancer” together in polite company, let alone on television news broadcasts. With Nancy at her side, Suzy endured the many indignities of cancer treatment, from the grim, soul-killing waiting rooms to the mistakes of well-meaning but misinformed doctors. That’s when Suzy began to ask Nancy to promise. To promise to end the silence. To promise to raise money for scientific research. To promise to one day cure breast cancer for good. Big, shoot-for-the-moon promises that Nancy never dreamed she could fulfill. But she promised because this was her beloved sister.
    I promise, Suzy. . . .  Even if it takes the rest of my life.

    Suzy’s death—both shocking and senseless—created a deep pain in Nancy that never fully went away. But she soon found a useful outlet for her grief and outrage. Armed only with a shoebox filled with the names of potential donors, Nancy put her formidable fund-raising talents to work and quickly discovered a groundswell of grassroots support. She was aided in her mission by the loving tutelage of her husband, restaurant magnate Norman Brinker, whose dynamic approach to entrepreneurship became Nancy’s model for running her foundation. Her account of how she and Norman met, fell in love, and managed to achieve the elusive “true marriage of equals” is one of the great grown-up love stories among recent memoirs. 

    Nancy’s mission to change the way the world talked about and treated breast cancer took on added urgency when she was herself diagnosed with the disease in 1984, a terrifying chapter in her life that she had long feared. Unlike her sister, Nancy survived and went on to make Susan G. Komen for the Cure into the most influential health charity in the country and arguably the world. A pioneering force in cause-related marketing, SGK turned the pink ribbon into a symbol of hope everywhere. Each year, millions of people worldwide take part in SGK Race for the Cure events. And thanks to the more than $1.5 billion spent by SGK for cutting-edge research and community programs, a breast cancer diagnosis today is no longer a death sentence. In fact, in the time since Suzy’s death, the five-year survival rate for breast cancer has risen from 74 percent to 98 percent.

    Promise Me is a deeply moving story of family and sisterhood, the dramatic “30,000-foot view” of the democratization of a disease, and a soaring affirmative to the question: Can one person truly make a difference?
    ... Read more


    5-0 out of 5 stars Encouraging, inspirational and informational, August 28, 2010

    Customer review from the Amazon Vine™ Program (What's this?)
    What an encouraging book. I know the book is about the Susan G. Komen for the Cure not for profit foundation and work, but it goes way beyond that.

    The first thing that caught my attention was the solid family that Susan and Nancy were born into. The first section of the book while telling the story of Suzy and her battle with cancer also tells the story of a solid Jewish family that is committed to each other. I am encouraged by their family values, their family cohesiveness and the love and energy their parents put into being parents and training their children.

    Suzy is like her father, fun loving, conservative, probably republican and dedicated to helping others and volunteering for anything and everything. She never met a person she couldn't become a friend to. Nancy is more like her mother, determined, driven, a democrat, cause oriented, fair minded, and willing to push the establishment, in a very good way.

    Yet as Nancy describes, even though her parents were total opposites in personality and politics they loved each other and never fought over issues. They taught their girls to look at issues and make up their own mind as to what they thought and then to respect others for what they thought.

    This training would take Nancy far when it came to the world of breast cancer awareness. She promises Suzy that she will fight to make breast cancer a thing of the past. But at the time of the promise no one, repeat no one wanted to talk about it, hear about it or publish anything in print about it. That was the early 1980's. We have come a long way since then.

    Much of the book gives stories about survivor's of breast cancer. About volunteers who give their lives to the cause. About the love of one sister for another that drives Nancy to put together an organization that is amazing. From the beginning of having just $200 an some names of people to contact for support, the Susan G. Komen for the Cure has now raised and donated more than 1.5 billion towards breast cancer research, and it is paying off.

    Another aspect of the book that I found amazing was the description and detail that Nancy gives about how her father, her mother, her time at Neman Marcus and eventually her husband, Norman Brinker, gave to her and education her about how to organize and run a business, not for the sake of the business but for the sake of people and the benefit it will bring them.

    I was overwhelmed with the description of Norman Brinker and his management style that endeared him to his employees. Here was a man who worked hard and knew that his restaurant managers also worked hard. So, on New Years Eve when every restaurant would be open and doing brisk business, Norman would be at his desk in corporate headquarters and would individually call every one of the 400 managers to thank them for their hard work and to ask them about how their families were doing. His employees knew that he loved and care for them. What a great lesson.

    Nancy came to the cause of breast cancer awareness because it cost her the life of her dearest friend, her sister Suzy. She watched the horrible treatments and how Suzy suffered. She was determined to find a cure, make a change, help other women.

    In researching the need she found a statistic that floored me. During the Viet Nam War over 58,000 service men lost their lives (I felt the loss of 5 friends). During that same 10 year period of time 339,000 women in the U.S. died from breast cancer. Yet no one was talking about this silent killer. I didn't know that statistic. But I agree with Nancy, that was wrong. Something should have been said long ago. Even with all the research going on there are still some 30,000 to 40,000 women a year who will die from Breast Cancer. The work needs to continue.

    You will be challenged by this great book. You will be given information that you won't be able to set aside and ignore. You will be challenged to make a response, will you contribute cash, become a volunteer organizer, join a research team or a Public Relations Advocate. After reading this book you won't be the same.

    I plan to see that others read this book, get familiar with it and then make some informed decisions about their involvement.

    Oh, and one last thing. The love story between Norman & Nancy Brinker is worth the price of the book. Two people who found each other, fell in love and pushed each other to great heights in their different business and all the time falling deeply in love with each other. They were made for each other.

    God was gracious to bring them together, because Nancy was going to need Normans support throughout this whole adventure to make it happen. He was always there with the right words of advice, the display of management that was needed and the loving family time that allowed them to wind down and relax after a hard day of work.

    Well, I have said a lot. There is so much more to say, so instead of me rewriting the book here, pick up a copy and read it. You will not be sorry. If you have ever had someone die from Breast Cancer this book will help you with the grieving process.

    If you presently have breast cancer, this book will prove motivational for you. You CAN SURVIVE, that's the point of the book. If you have a family member with Breast Cancer you will learn what your supporting role is and what to expect.

    You will learn about cutting edge treatments. You will learn about choices you have to make regarding treatment. Some get aggressive, some more conservative, which will you do?

    Well, I have gone on and on. I enjoyed this book and feel like I was let into a bit of heaven to learn about Suzy and Nancy's family, then to learn about the driven volunteers for SGK and how they all pull together even in the tough times because they are all dedicated to stop the cancer and save women.

    Please don't let the hype put you off from reading this book. Pick it up, jump into it and don't put it down till you're done. You will be a changed person and much more aware about breast cancer when you finish.

    Enjoy this fascinating read.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Two Sisters, One Promise, September 20, 2010
    ..."The only singular truth about breast cancer is this: there is no singular truth about breast cancer. Our best strategy is to respect and listen to one another, share what we learn, reach across the aisle, and make women's lives a higher priority than political agenda. Because I guess there actually is one absolute truth about breast cancer: There shouldn't be any." ...from Promise Me page 25.

    I moved to Peoria for my nursing education during the years Susan G. Komen was diagnosed with and later died from breast cancer. Our paths never crossed.

    Then in the early 1986 a buzz around town started about a Cancer race to be held to honor a young woman who lost her fight, but whose family would not let her memory vanish when other women of all ages were engaged in the same battle. It was the first annual Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in her hometown with 800 women. Now every Mother's Day Weekend thousands of women and men walk/run from the Metro Center to help fund and find a cure. May 7, 2011 will be the 26th year. A crowd of 25,000 (including men)are anticipated. Some will be young mothers pushing strollers, others link arms holding their heads up as proud survivors, a number will carry signs with printed pink names in memory of loved ones who are no longer beside them, and still more come in hope to funding and finding a cure.

    The Promise did not end with just a race. There are five SGK screening centers in Peoria alone, including the 15,000 square ft Susan G. Komen Breast Center that is a screening and diagnostic service center for all of central Illinois that is located on the second floor of the medical building where I am also employed on the 4th floor. Every morning women of all ages ride the elevator with me and stop at the 2nd floor. Their faces tell their stories, some expect good news, others bad. Most are strangers, but some have been my co-workers, my friends. I have my own annual screening performed there too, always with fingers crossed.

    Over the years I wondered about the personal story of the two sisters, their immediate family and their Peoria roots. This book tells the story of a close knit, loving family who were devoted to each other. We should all be so lucky to have Susan and Nancy's immediate and extended family as our own. The Goodmans never met a stranger. Beginning with Ellen Goodman's sense of community responsibility, she demonstrated her dedication to others in a hundred different ways. The impact of the individual. A lesson that was not lost on her daughters. The book details all the fundraising and business expertise needed, the forethought and implementation required in the day to day operations and plans for future of the SGK organization. The book related how Nancy faced and fought her own personal battle with the demon breast cancer. On a lighter note, there is a beautiful love story between Nancy and her husband Norman.

    Not only has the Peoria community vastly benefited from SGK but countless women thoughout the world have been educated, screened, diagnosed and treated thanks to the Promise given to Susan by her little sister, Nancy.

    Participate. Get a "breast buddy" to remind each other about a monthly self-check and annual screening. Walk/Run in your local SGK Race for the Cure and enlist 10 friends to join. Volunteer at your local chapter. Pick this book for your next Book Club read and discussion. Give a copy of the book to your best friend.

    Give a copy of the book to your sister.

    Two sisters, one promise.


    5-0 out of 5 stars Moving, Inspiring, and Beautifully Written, September 18, 2010
    I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to read a pre-publication copy of PROMISE ME, and I loved it so much that I immediately ordered a hardcover copy to keep, along with one for my own sister. It's hard to do this book justice in a brief review because it moved me on so many levels. First, I enjoyed it as a heartfelt, sometimes heartrending look at the relationship between Nancy Brinker and the vibrant force-of-nature that was her sister, Susan. (There was so much more to this incredible young woman than the breast cancer that took her life!) The book also paints an inspiring portrait of the determination, perseverance, and organizational know-how that have gone into Nancy Brinker's tireless efforts to keep her promise to her sister and change the lives of so many women around the world. A third strand - one I enjoyed immensely - looks at the history of the treatment of breast cancer (from unspeakable to outspoken) through the lives of so many courageous and inspiring women. (There was even a section dealing with the oft-ignored incidence of breast cancer among men and the progress made in that arena.) Without ever for a moment overwhelming me with data or making me feel preached at, the book managed to impart (through so many powerful stories) information that could save many lives.

    I can only imagine how much more meaningful PROMISE ME would have been had my life, or those of my closest friends or family members, been touched by breast cancer. But every woman has a vested interest in eradicating this disease.

    If you enjoyed it as much as I did, you, too, may end up buying a copy for your sister as well as yourself.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Inspiring, September 26, 2010
    This book will have you mesmorized from the very first page to the last..

    The love between these sisters, the amazing parents they had and the journey they take in the name of breast cancer research is truly amazing!!

    P.S. I am Mailing a check to the Susan G. Komen foundation in tomorrows mail!!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Amazing! Totally recommend, October 19, 2010
    Don't walk, RUN to buy this book. I loved every page. Nancy Brinker is a huge inspiration and this story was so touching. I saw it listed as a New York Times best seller and decided to check it out. I loved learning about the founder of the pink ribbon - and how one person can make a huge impact on the world while inspiring so many others to join her promise. I just ordered 5 more copies to give as holiday gifts. Thank you Nancy Brinker and Susan G. Komen for the Cure for all you do to fight for the future of me and my daughter.

    5-0 out of 5 stars OUTSTANDING, October 9, 2010
    This book gives a marvelous history of the treatments of breast cancer through the ages, and updates to current times.
    The book made me laugh, made me cry, made me angry, gave me hope.
    Through it all, there was evidence of a love between sisters that was refreshing.
    The book is finished.
    The work is not.
    Wonderful read!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Promise Me - A Promise Made - A Promise Kept, October 7, 2010
    Promise Me is that once in a lifetime book that brings together a promise made, a plan conceived, and a promise kept. Nancy Brinker and Joni Rodgers give life and love to a family, and a foundation. A fantastic chronicle of a dream, a promise and a world waiting for pink revolution. Nancy Brinker and Susan G. Komen together make a great story. Nancy Brinker and Joni Rodgers together bring that story to life. FANTASTIC!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Incredible and Outrageous at the same time!, September 28, 2010
    I'm a breast cancer survivor, along with my Mother, and this is the book has educated me more than anything else. This book makes me want to raise my hands and fight like no other. The outrageous history of women and families affected by this disease is eye opening and we must never stop fighting. What an incredible storyteller, magnificent visionary and heartwrenching caregiver of all the women in the world wrapped up in one person named Nancy Brinker.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Touching view on sibling love and devotion., October 18, 2010
    I loved this book!
    I enjoyed reading about Susan and Nancy as children
    and their adventures together. The love and dedication of Nancy, to eradicate this horrible disease is so very touching.
    Being a two time cancer survivor, I was so moved by the story. I walked the year before the campaign was launched in the US.
    NOW.. it's so moving to see the enormity of the various walks to raise money and awareness.
    One person can make such a huge difference in this world of ours.
    These two girls were raised well by their wonderful parents.
    They were taught to always look up and to never look down on others less fortunate.
    God Bless this beautiful family..

    5-0 out of 5 stars promise me, October 17, 2010
    An excellent book about how one woman`s fight for life and her devoted sister changed the breast cancer movement--Excellent book- ... Read more

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