Why The VB6 Cookbook by Mark Bittman Should be the Next Book You Buy (Review)

Ten Reasons Why You're Going to Love this Book

The VB6 Cookbook Collage

“The food you eat can be either the safest and most powerful form of medicine or the slowest form of poison.” – Ann Wigmore

If you’re looking for fun, simple ways to eat healthier, here’s a book that’ll prove to be a dream come true for you. The VB6 Cookbook: More than 350 Recipes for Healthy Vegan Meals All Day and Delicious Flexitarian Dinners at Night doesn’t just provide you with delicious, easy to make recipes that won’t break the bank, it makes eating healthier fun and.. yes… tastier.

Okay. Before you accuse me of getting my Self Help Blog mixed up with my Food Blog (Get Cooking) let me assure you I’m posting a cookbook review on Self Help Daily for an excellent reason. You see, this isn’t just a cookbook. This book is actually part of a life improving program, The VB6 plan by Mark Bittman.  Anything that can improve someone’s health and life is a perfect fit for a self help and self improvement blog.

Have you ever heard the term “flexitarian?” Flexitarian refers to a relationship with food that isn’t 100 percent strictly vegan.  It’s a way of eating that is flexible, meaning more people will actually STICK with it. Mark Bittman’s VB6 program is simplistically beautiful: You simply eat vegan before 6:00 pm.  The program has helped a great number of people improve their health, lose weight, and feel better than they’d felt in years.

See? I told you this book was a perfect fit for a Self Improvement blog!

Below are the Top 10 Reasons you shouldn’t wait another day before you buy The VB6 Cookbook:

  1. Gorgeous Book. Whenever I review a book on Self Help Daily or Get Cooking, I always pay close attention to my first impression of the book. Is it well-made (meaning it’ll stand up to years of use and enjoyment)? Is it attractive? Does it look like the publishers were serious about impressing the readers or was their heart only halfway into it? The VB6 Cookbook is a real looker. The beautiful, hardback, 250+ page book is everything, visually, I’d want a book to be.
  2. Mark Bittman. Period. To say I cook a lot is a ridiculous understatement. I’m in my kitchen more often than a Priest is in church.  I’m seldom happier than I am when I’m cooking meals for my family and I LOVE trying out new recipes as much as I LOVE using and re-using favorite recipes.  Mark Bittman is the author of many of my favorite recipes. When I want to try out a new recipe for something in particular, I’ll turn to Mark Bittman’s recipes before I turn to a lot of household name celebrity chefs.  His recipes never fail, it’s as simple as that.
  3. Healthy Eating = Healthy Living. Not long ago, I spent a few days in the waiting room of a cardiology surgical center.  I was with a family member who was WAY too young to find themselves in a hospital gown in such a place. Sad thing was, as I looked around, I saw A LOT of people who were WAY too young to be where they were. Heart disease isn’t just frightening, it’s striking more and more people and it’s striking them at younger ages.  Plain and simple, it’s the American diet and something has got to be done about it.  We’re creating our own plague of Biblical proportions and if people don’t wake up and start eating healthier, they’ll find themselves in hospitals, cardiology departments, and worse.
  4. KISS.  No, not the rock group.  KISS as in Keep It Simple, Stupid.  This book – or more to the point, this program – makes it painless and incredibly simple to start eating healthier. If you don’t know why that’s important, you must have skipped number 3.
  5. Delicious Food! Even if, somehow, you didn’t associate these recipes with healthier eating, you’d still love the delicious flavors.
  6. Fun Food.  Whether you’re one of those people who live to cook (like me) or you’d rather do just about anything BUT cook, you’ll love The VB6 Cookbook.  The recipes are fun, creative, and mix things up a bit in the kitchen.  You’ll find recipes you’ll be so excited about you’ll want to try them the very day you get the book.  I actually made my first recipe (Chipotle “Mayo”) from The VB6 Cookbook within 2 hours of getting the book in the mail. That’s a new record, even for me.
  7. Your Family. While this one may somewhat tie in with number 3, it’s important enough to get it’s very own number.  The more healthy meals you’re able to feed your family, the better their health will be. Not only are you giving them wholesome, healthy food at one particular meal, you’re introducing them to a whole new relationship with food. They’ll soon realize that healthier eating is actually more flavorful than unhealthy eating.  When you get right down to it, most unhealthy food tastes pretty much the same.  Fried. Fatty. Salty.  The VB6 way of eating will introduce your loved ones to a world of wonderful flavors that’ll make them fall in love with healthier eating.  Here’s a little secret about eating healthy – you can keep this between you and me, the kids and spouses don’t have to know: Healthy eating becomes addictive.  When you get rid of the bad stuff, you’ll find yourself craving the good stuff.  Where you once said, “I need a big fat cheeseburger with a farmer’s wealth of bacon,” you’ll find yourself thinking, “I have to have a Cherry Vanilla Smoothie and Vegetable Pot Pie or maybe Schezuan Beef and Celery..” (3 of the recipes in the book).  I don’t know why – but it’s my experience that the healthier you eat, the healthier you want to eat. Sadly the same is true about unhealthy eating.
  8. Motivation and Inspiration.  The first pages of the book include Mark Bittman’s “My Story.”  The motivational intro makes you even more committed to eating right. Basically, you jump right in the boat with the author and agree to go on a healthier journey with him.  He’s one of those authors who write in a manner that makes you feel like he’s talking to you, personally.  Reading his books (and even his recipes) feels like you’re having a nice little visit with him.  This type of writing cannot be taught, it’s a gift and when he was gifted, he was gifted generously.
  9. Information and Advice Beyond the Recipes.   After the wonderful Introduction, pages 12 through 45 lay out the VB6 plan beautifully. There are charts, information, meal plans, ideas, suggestions, and more.   There are also personalized tips and ideas with each recipe in the book – including “variations” and “more ideas.”
  10. You’re the Boss of You.  While The VB6 program is best (as in you’ll see the most results) if you follow it as designed, when all’s said and done, You’re the boss of you!  If you want to approach the program strictly and eat Vegan before 6:00 on most, if not all, days – go for it!  If you want to simply add MORE vegetarian meals to your diet, then approach the cookbook in that way.  If you’re simply looking for fresh new healthy recipes to serve your family… the cookbook is still a must have.

 Some of the recipes you’ll love:

  • Chipotle “Mayo” (the first recipe I made from the book – delicious! This “mayo” is a great dip for vegetables and is excellent as a condiment for burgers or protein patties)
  • Scrambled Sweet and Hot Peppers
  • Pico De Gallo
  • Nut Butters
  • Everyday Salad Bowl
  • Blueberry Spoon Bread
  • Schezuan Beef and Celery
  • Cherry Vanilla Smoothie
  • Avocado Banana Smoothie
  • Morning Milkshake
  • Pork Chop Pan Roast
  • Raspberry Sorbet on a Stick
  • Green Toast
  • Fruit Candy
  • Frozen Tropical Truffles
  • Red Paella with Scallops
  • Beans, Shrimp, and Fennel
  • Southwestern Bean Dip with Peppers (black beans, cloves,cilantro…)
  • Red Soup
  • Creamy Tomato Soup
  • Big Batch Cooked Beans
  • Rice Pudding with Slow-Roasted Fruit
  • MANY MANY MANY more.

From the Back Cover:

Mark Bittman’s breakthrough diet plan, first introduced in the #1 New York Times bestselling VB6: Eat Vegan Before 6:00 to Lose Weight and Restore Your Health . . . for Good (click through for the hard back version of this bestseller  – a Kindle edition is also available), has been hailed as “compelling” (Publisher’s Weekly), “commonsense” (Washington Post), “sustainable” (TheKitchn.com), and a “small painless change” that can have a “huge impact” (Salon.com). Now he expands on his appealing, simple, reasonable approach to flexitarian cooking with a companion cookbook, featuring hundreds of delicious new ways to make VB6 your permanent style of eating. It’s never been easier to eat vegan before 6:00 – and deliciously all of the time.

I hope you’ll click through and take a closer look at The VB6 Cookbook: More than 350 Recipes for Healthy Vegan Meals All Day and Delicious Flexitarian Dinners at Night – I’m really excited about this particular approach to eating and I’m having a ball with the wonderful recipes.

I know you’ll love The VB6 Cookbook just as much as I do.

Note: I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review. The opinions are entirely my own.

The VB6 Cookbook by Mark Bittman

The 2 Day Diet? Now You’re Talking!

Diet Two Days a Week, Eat the Mediterranean Way for Five

The 2 Day Diet
 I love it when I’m able to write a book review about a book that I actually got a lot out of.  Today I have the opportunity to do just that.

I was sent a copy of The 2-Day Diet: Diet two days a week. Eat the Mediterranean way for five to review and the benefits are twofold:

  • I get to tell you beautiful people all about a book that I know you’ll love.
  • I learned a lot about nutrition, calories, and eating healthy from reading the book myself!

I regularly read a great deal about health and nutrition (as in daily… 24/7).  Before reading The 2-Day Diet, I actually felt like I was sitting on an impressive amount of information when it came to the whole game of calories in/calories out.  However, after reading the book cover to cover, I now have a much better understanding of a body’s needs and a better handle on how the body uses food as fuel.

From the Back Cover:

Lose weight fast with the international diet sensation. Diet two days a week. Eat the Mediterranean way for five.

The 2-Day Diet is easy to follow, easy to stick to, and clinically tested. Simply eat a low carb, high protein diet two days a week, and follow the classic Mediterranean Diet (now recognized as the gold standard in warding off heart disease) for the other five.

The 2-Day Diet is designed to  maximize weight loss, minimize muscle loss and keep you feeling full. It  can have dramatic anti-aging and anti-cancer benefits. With this diet you can finally be slim, fit and healthy. With meal plans and 100 delicious and filling recipes.

“A far more effective way to lose weight.” –Daily Mail

“Put an end to 24/7 calorie counting.” – The Sun

“Revolutionary and clinically proven.” –Good Housekeeping

 

The Value of Updated, Clinically Proven Information

A lot of people cling to out-dated fitness and weight-loss information that really amount to little more than old wives tales. So much clinical research has been done over the years and it’s kind of nuts not to take advantage of the information this research has uncovered.

Researchers, doctors, and nutritionists are sitting on more information today than they were 20 or even 5 years ago.  In spite of this fact, most people still struggle with their weight and if most of us actually went for yearly checkups, we’d probably find several numbers that didn’t mesh with the numbers on our doctor’s chart.

I guess part of the problem is the fact that, sure, there’s a wealth of nutritional information available – but there’s even more junk food and empty calories available.  Pile that fact on top of the fact that we’re basically a non-active society and it’s a wonder the problem isn’t worse than it is!

The 2-Day Diet: Diet two days a week. Eat the Mediterranean way for five presents a clear plan for taking control of your diet and your health.  In addition to naturally solving weight issues, following this plan will also help you age better and will provide you with anti-cancer, anti-diabetes, and anti-heart disease benefits.  If you aren’t at your optimum weight – this program will help you find your way and if you ARE at your ideal weight, it’ll help you stay there.

Some of the information covered in The 2 Day Diet Includes:

  • the combination of exercises you need to be doing
  • eight steps to weight loss
  • the foods you should eat on the five days you aren’t on a “diet”
  • WHY this program works
  • meal planners
  • how to become more active
  • recipes for each of the 7 days
  • and more…

(review continued below)

The 2 Day Diet
 

From the Introduction:

It won’t come as a surprise to anyone reading this that we are getting fatter. Rates of obesity have reached epidemic proportions, and worldwide there are now more overweight people than those who are a healthy weight.  Despite massive government investment in healthy eating campaigns and any number of different diets promising effective weight loss, the number of us who are overweight just keeps rising…..

…. With so many different diets available, can The 2-Day Diet really make a difference? We believe that it can. The 2-Day Diet is designed to help you make the right choices, lose weight, change your habits, and actively improve your health without leaving you feeling deprived. Our work with serial dieters has shown that this unique approach offers a real alternative for anyone who struggles to stick to a conventional diet. We were so impressed by the positive results of The 2-Day Diet that we wanted to make it available to everyone who is struggling – or who has struggled – to lose weight.  The 2-Day Diet has paved the way to a slimmer, healthier future for many of our dieters…. – From The 2-Day Diet: Diet two days a week. Eat the Mediterranean way for five by Dr. Michelle Harvie & Professor Tony Howell

Click through any of the links above to learn more about this revolutionary (and common sense) approach to weight loss and management.

 

 

How to Lower Your Blood Pressure in 4 Weeks Without Prescription Drugs

Review for Janet Bond Brill's Latest Book "Blood Pressure Down"

Blood Pressure Down: The 10 Step Plan to Lower Your Blood Pressure in 4 Weeks without Prescription Drugs
When I was offered an opportunity to review Blood Pressure Down: The 10-Step Plan to Lower Your Blood Pressure in 4 Weeks–Without Prescription Drugs on Self Help Daily, I jumped at the chance. I was already familiar with the author, Janet Bond Brill, PH.D., R.D., L.D.N., and had even previously written a review of another of her books: Prevent a Second Heart Attack (click the link for the review).  Truth be told, after reading Prevent a Second Heart Attack, I was already looking forward to the author’s next book!

Like most people, I’m completely and utterly drawn to the idea of handling as many health problems (and potential health issues) as “naturally” as possible. Obviously this isn’t always possible – after all, many medications are life savers.  I like the thought of a patient proactively working with their doctor – doing their part to bring about healing and better health.

From the Back Cover

For the 75 million Americans with hypertension, a safe, effective lifestyle plan—incorporating the DASH diet principles and much more—for lowering blood pressure naturally.

If you have high blood pressure, you’re not alone: nearly a third of adult Americans have been diagnosed with hypertension, and another quarter are well on their way. Yet a whopping 56 percent of diagnosed patients do not have it under control. The good news? Hypertension is easily treatable (and preventable), and you can take action today to bring your blood pressure down in just four weeks—without the potential dangers and side effects of prescription medications.

     In Blood Pressure Down, Janet Bond Brill distills what she’s learned over decades of helping her patients lower their blood pressure into a ten-step lifestyle plan that’s manageable for anyone. You’ll:

   • harness the power of blood pressure power foods like bananas, spinach, and yogurt
   • start a simple regimen of exercise and stress reduction
   • stay on track with checklists, meal plans, and more than fifty simple recipes

Easy, effective, safe—and delicious—Blood Pressure Down is the encouraging resource that empowers you, or your loved ones, to lower your blood pressure and live a longer, heart-healthy life.

75 million Americans, alone, have high blood pressure – the number just blows my mind.  One of my daughters recently commented (kind of matter-of-fact) that just about everyone she works with has high blood pressure. The disease is almost as rampant as it is dangerous. Needless to say, if you have high blood pressure, please make sure that you’re under a doctor’s care.  Read Blood Pressure Down: The 10-Step Plan to Lower Your Blood Pressure in 4 Weeks–Without Prescription Drugs, taking notes throughout the book, then take the book and your notes to your doctor.  Tell him/her that you want to treat your blood pressure as naturally as possible!

Below are just a few of the things I love most about this wonderful book and just a few of the reasons I’d love to see everyone add this book to their library as soon as possible.

  1. I’m not the least bit “medically inclined.” My knowledge of medicines and diseases couldn’t even fill a notebook.  Let’s not let this get out, but I”m not entirely certain I could fill 2 notebook pages! Yet, Janet Bond Brill makes everything beautifully clear.  When I read her books, I always find myself wishing she’d taught my biology classes. She puts everything “within reach” of her readers, which is wonderful of her considering this is life and death information.
  2. This book presents a DOABLE action plan. You’re given 10 clear steps that you can begin implementing the very day you open the book.  In reverence to the authors and publishers I work with, I never want to “give away” too much information. For one thing, it’s simply not fair to them!  For another thing, however, it’s not fair to my readers because I’d never want you to miss out on a wonderfully important book because you think you’ve “gotten” all the information you need.  This is why I don’t want to lay out the ten steps for you here, however, I will tell you one because it makes me smile (as in ear to ear): Eat Dark Chocolate.   Each “Step” has an entire chapter devoted to it.  Eat Dark Chocolate has 16 pages, itself, detailing how dark chocolate has strong beautiful roots as an ancient medicine.  You learn how and why dark chocolate is so healthy and then you’re given the magic words: Eat 2 Tablespoons of Natural, Unsweetened Cocoa Powder or One or Two Squares of Dark Chocolate Every Day.  Yes, Ma’am!
  3. Exercise – as in what qualifies and what doesn’t – is covered in great, clear detail.
  4. You learn the effects sleep and relaxation have on blood pressure.
  5. Recipes! There are quite a few delicious and healthy recipes included.  Sometimes it’s hard to know which foods are healthiest – after reading Blood Pressure Down: The 10-Step Plan to Lower Your Blood Pressure in 4 Weeks–Without Prescription Drugs, you won’t have any more excuses. You’ll know for certain which foods you should throw on the table and which foods you should throw in the trash.
  6. You’re also given tips for slashing salt at home as well as in restaurants.  Salt is very problematic for hypertension, but getting rid of it’s a lot easier than you’d think.  You’ll also see where salt is showing up in foods you never would have expected.
  7. Label Lingo – you’ll learn what to look for on labels at the store. There is a list on pages 88-89 that I’ve written on an index card. I’ve become quite a label reader, so arming myself with healthy information makes good sense.  As the author says, you’ll learn where the salt’s “hiding!”
  8. You’ll learn the importance of magnesium as you’re given 10 easy tips for adding magnesium to your day.
  9. The author takes a very confusing subject (supplements) and lays it all out in plain language.  At the end of the chapter, you know exactly which supplements you should be taking.
  10. Last, but certainly not least (in fact, it’s my favorite thing about the book!): Blood Pressure Down: The 10-Step Plan to Lower Your Blood Pressure in 4 Weeks–Without Prescription Drugs is for ANYONE, whether you have high blood pressure now, have a family history of high blood pressure, love someone who has high blood pressure, or simply want to eat healthy as a preventive step.  I, personally, do not have high blood pressure.  I have, however, read this book cover to cover, memorizing the information as I went along. I feel like I am armed with information that’ll help prevent me from ever being one of the 75 million Americans with hypertension. Equally important, I have information to share with my family to keep them from developing problems with their blood pressure.

This author is all about preventing diseases, not just treating them, and I hope you will follow her advice as well.  I “whole-heartedly” recommend this fantastic, potentially life-saving book.

About the Author: Janet Bond Brill, PH.D., R.D., L.D.N. is a nationally recognized expert in cardiovascular disease prevention and the author of Cholesterol Down and Prevent a Second Heart Attack. She has been a nutritionist in private practice for many years. Visit her website at www.drjanet.com.

 

Bouncing Back from Life’s Challenges and Disappointments

An Inspirational Article by Author Linda Graham: Hiccups and Hurricanes

Bouncing Back by Linda Graham
When you read (or hear) the words “bouncing back,” what do you think of? I suppose it’s because I’ve had three daughters, but when I see/hear the words, I initially think of “bouncing back” from a 9 month pregnancy, labor, and recovery.  I imagine the time and effort it takes to “feel whole” again.

This imagery can actually accompany anything that we need to “bounce back” from.

I remember when my husband’s mother passed away.  When we went to a ballgame soon after and my husband was taking business calls as he ate popcorn and got ready to throw out the first pitch, I thought “he’s returning to a type of normalcy.”  Put another way, he was “bouncing back.”  All of us who have lost loved ones know that, at some point, you have to get up and carry on. You have to find a way to smile again and look at the future with hope as you make peace with the past and present.

Whether it’s the loss of a loved one, a health set-back, financial thunderstorm, or relationship disaster – we either bounce back or we stay down.

Staying down just isn’t an option, right?

A very talented author, Linda Graham, MFT, has written a fascinating and thought-provoking, book wonderfully titled Bouncing Back: Rewiring Your Brain for Maximum Resilience and Well-Being.

From the Back Cover of Bouncing Back:

Resilience is the ability to face and handle life’s challenges, whether everyday disappointments or extraordinary disasters. While resilience is innate in the brain, over time we learn unhelpful patterns, which then become fixed in our neural circuitry. But science is now revealing that what previously seemed hardwired can be rewired, and Bouncing Back shows us how. With powerful, time-tested exercises, Linda Graham guides us in rebuilding our core well-being and disaster-proofing our brains.

Below is an article that was written by Linda Graham. It sort of “sets the stage” for the book.

Hiccups and Hurricanes: Bouncing Back from Life’s Challenges

By Linda Graham

We are all called upon to cope with hiccups and hurricanes in our lives — losing our wallet and car keys, discovering mold in the bathroom, missing three days at the office to care for a sick child — and we do. We are resilient heroes in our own lives every day as we skillfully navigate the disruptive, unwanted changes of the washing machine going on the fritz or the car needing a new transmission.

Occasionally we have to respond with grace under pressure to greater troubles and tragedies: infertility or infidelity, a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer, losing a job, a son wounded in combat overseas.

The way we can bounce back from such everyday disappointments and extraordinary disasters is through resilience – capacities innate in the brain to respond to the inevitable twists and turns in life flexibly and adaptively.

Modern neuroscience is revealing how we can harness the brain’s capacities of neuroplasticity to rewire our habitual patterns of response to strengthen what I call the 5 C’s of coping:

  1. Calm: You can stay calm in a crisis.
  2. Clarity: You can see clearly what’s happening as well as your internal response to what’s happening; you can see what needs to happen next; and you can see possibilities from different perspectives that will enhance your ability to respond flexibly.
  3. Connection: You can reach out for help as needed; you can learn from others how to be resilient; and you can connect to resources that greatly expand your options.
  4. Competence: You can call on skills and competencies that you have learned through previous experience to act quickly and effectively.
  5. Courage: You can strengthen your faith to persevere in your actions until you come to resolution or acceptance of the difficulty.

More than 80 exercises in Bouncing Back allow you to do this rewiring safely, efficiently, effectively.  The tools and techniques drawn from mindfulness practices and relational psychology create and accelerate brain change and strengthen the parts of the brain we need to cope.  You recover a deep resilience and well-being that will last a lifetime.

An example: Keep CALM and Carry On

The fastest way to regulate the body’s stress response and return to a sense of calm is to activate the release of oxytocin in the brain.  Oxytocin is the neurostransmitter of safety and trust and is the brain’s direct and immediate antidote to the stress hormone cortisol.  Oxytocin can be thought of as the neurochemical foundation of resilience.

The fastest way to release oxytocin and mitigate stress is through safe touch in a soothing relationship.  Fortunately, neuroscientists have demonstrated many times that even remembering or imaging someone we love and by whom we feel loved is enough to release small but regular doses of oxytocin.

Exercise: Hand on the Heart

We come into steady calm by experiencing moments of feeling safe, loved, and cherished and letting those moments register in our body and encode new circuitry in our brain. This exercise offers a way to evoke those feelings.

1. Begin by placing your hand on your heart, feeling the warmth of your own touch. Breathe gently and deeply into your heart center, taking in a sense of calm, peace, goodness, safety, trust, acceptance, and ease.

2. Once that’s steady, call to mind a moment of being with someone who loves you unconditionally, someone you feel completely safe with. This may, of course, be a partner, child, or parent; but if the dynamics of those relationships are complicated and the emotions mixed, you may choose any true other to your true self: a dear friend, a trusted teacher, a close colleague or neighbor, a therapist, your grandmother, a spiritual figure like Jesus or the Dalai Lama, or your wiser self. Pets are also great for this exercise.

3. As you remember feeling safe and loved with this person or pet, see if you can sense in your body the positive feelings and sensations associated with that memory. Really savor a feeling of warmth, safety, trust, and love in your body.

4. When that feeling is steady, let go of the image and simply bathe in the feeling itself for thirty seconds. Savor the rich nurturing of this feeling; let it really soak in.

The Neuroscience:

Breathing deeply, gently, and fully activates the calming branch of our autonomic nervous system, the parasympathetic branch. The parasympathetic modulates the body-brain’s fight-flight-freeze response when we feel threatened or agitated. Breathing, or pranayama, has been a core practice in yoga and meditation to relax the body and steady the mind for over 3,500 years.

Breathing positive emotions into the heart center steadies the heart rate, restoring the equilibrium of the body so that we can remain present and engaged. In evoking a memory or image of feeling loved and cherished, we evoke a sense of safe connection with others; the oxytocin immediately
reduces our stress.  That evocation also activates the prefrontal cortex, which triggers the hippo-campus to search for explicit memories of moments when we have been held, soothed, protected, encouraged, believed in, times when we have reached out for help and received comfort and support

Through safety and trust in connection, we come back into our baseline equilibrium. From there, with our higher, thinking brain calm and alert, we can mobilize quickly, act skillfully, and take care of business.

Based on the book Bouncing Back: Rewiring Your Brain for Maximum Resilience and Well-Being. Copyright © 2013 by Linda Graham. Reprinted with permission from New World Library. www.NewWorldLibrary.com.

*    *    *    *    *
Linda Graham, MFT, is a licensed psychotherapist and meditation teacher in full-time practice in the San Francisco Bay Area. She integrates her passion for neuroscience, mindfulness, and relational psychology through trainings, consultations, workshops, and conferences nationally. She publishes a monthly e-newsletter, Healing and Awakening into Aliveness and Wholeness, and weekly e-quotes on resources for recovering resilience, archived at www.lindagraham-mft.net.

Find Bouncing Back: Rewiring Your Brain for Maximum Resilience and Well-Being on Amazon!

The Complete Idiot’s Guide to The Acid Reflux Diet

If Acid Reflux is a Problem for You, This Book Will Become Your New Best Friend

A few members of my family have had nightmarish experiences with acid reflux. After watching what they go through, I marked this condition as one I pray I never experience.

I do, however, have a great source of information, help, tips, and recipes for my loved ones as well as you. It’s The Complete Idiot’s Guide to the Acid Reflux Diet and it can help sufferers enjoy eating and life again!

This is another one of the excellent “The Complete Idiot’s Guides” that I was sent to review.  I love these books so much, I have an entire book shelf that’s orange. I pass them around for others to enjoy, then they come home to roost on the shelf. I pluck them off regularly to find information or recipes.

Seriously, you should begin your own collection of these outstanding books.

If you or someone you know has acid reflux, by all means you’ll want to start your collection with The Complete Idiot’s Guide to the Acid Reflux Diet!

From the Back Cover:

If you live with acid reflux, you know how painful it can be – the burning, nausea, bloating, and sleepless nights.  But there’s good news! You can reduce and even eliminate your symptoms with a few healthy diet and lifestyle changes and enjoy eating again!

Packed with tips for treating and relieving your acid reflux- plus over 140 delicious recipes that won’t aggravate your symptoms – this helpful guide gives you everything you need to know to be free of acid reflux for good.  In it, you get:

  • A look at how your digestive system works, what causes acid reflux, and common symptoms you might experience.
  • Advice on keeping a food journal to help identify and eliminate your “trigger” foods.
  • Nutritional notes on the proteins, carbohydrates, and fats you need and how they can help – or hurt – in your battle against acid reflux.
  • Tips for preparing digestion-friendly foods quickly and easily at home, plus suggestions for avoiding reflux when dining out.
  • Over 140 mouthwatering recipes for acid reflux-free living, from breakfast to dessert.

Some of the chapters include:

  • What Causes Acid Reflux (a great education on the workings of the digestive system, who’s at risk for acid reflux, diagnosing acid reflux, when to seek help…)
  • Treating and Relieving Acid Reflux (includes herbal and plant-derived remedies, tips for sleep and managing stress, medications that help and medications that hurt…)
  • Weight Management with Acid Reflux (watching calories, the connection between acid reflux and weight, creating balance, healthy eating on a budget…)
  • Ensuring Your Success on the Acid Reflux Diet (protein and the Acid Reflux Diet, How much fat do you need?, good fat vs bad fat, carbohydrates, menu planning, exercise…)
  • Cooking and Dining Out Strategies (tasty flavor combinations, smart substitutions, “at the restaurant,” different cuisines, fast food, special occasions…)
  • Recipes for Reflux-Free Living (Breakfasts, breads, snacks, appetizers, sandwiches, salads, entrees, poultry, vegetarian main courses, pastas, grains, vegetables, desserts…)

The Complete Idiot’s Guide to the Acid Reflux Diet will set you up for success because the book, itself is set up for success.  Everything is spelled out beautifully and simplistically. Each chapter sums up what the reader has learned with a recap the author calls “The Least You Need to Know.”

Each time I read a Complete Idiot’s Guide, I think, “Why didn’t all those school books I read over the years use THESE authors and THIS approach?!”

If you or anyone you know experiences the evils of acid reflux, I strongly recommend this great book. I’ve used many of the recipes, myself, and I don’t even have acid reflux!  Click through one of the links for more information.

Check out the ridiculously impressive collection of The Complete Idiot’s Guides on Amazon. They cover just about everything you could possibly think of!

The Next Book You Have to Read: Sitting Kills, Moving Heals by Joan Vernikos, Ph.D.

Why We Have GOT to Get Moving!

Sitting Kills, Moving Heals
I’m asked the following question a lot, “What’s your favorite book?”  My answer?  “Besides the Bible, cookbooks, and every Agatha Christie mystery I ever met… my favorite book is the one I just read.”

Sounds trite, but there it is – the pure, plain, simple truth.

I love books a great, great deal.  They’re mentally stimulating – whether they’re a great mystery by Christie, an inspirational book by Max Lucado, a “Complete Idiot’s Guide to..” (love those!), or a self help book everyone…  or no one..  is talking about.

I recently finished reading Sitting Kills, Moving Heals. Not only is this the next book I hope YOU read, I hope it’s the next book you recommend to everyone you care about. The information is golden and, quite frankly, a little startling.

From the Back Cover:

Your Chair is slowly killing you.  But exercise alone isn’t the answer.  Easy, everyday, all-day movement will keep you healthy for life.

Medical studies show that too much sitting will shorten your life, even if you exercise.  No matter how much exercise we get, most of us spend hours each day immobile in our chairs, and we’re fatter, sicker, and more tired than ever before. Why isn’t exercise enough? What’s missing?

GRAVITY!

Dr. Joan Vernikos, former Director of NASA’s Life Sciences Division, applies her groundbreaking NASA research on Gravity Deprivation Syndrome to everyday health here on Earth.

Your body needs to move in gravity to stay healthy.  In the near zero gravity of space, astronauts’ muscles and bones atrophy, as if they were rapidly aging.  Sitting all day at a desk, in long commutes, or in front of the TV is just like zero G – if you don’t move in gravity, you’ll suffer the same rapid aging as astronauts.

Astronauts are quickly restored to full health by returning to active life on Earth – and so can you.  Vernikos shows that the key to lifelong health is more than just traditional gym exercise, but a natural lifestyle of constant, natural movement that resists the force of gravity.

Vernikos’ easy-to-follow, commonsense plan shows how simple, everyday, fun activities like walking, gardening, dancing, golf, and more will keep you healthy, strong, and independent your whole life long.

Sitting Kills, Moving Heals is a fascinating read from page one.   Learning about the effects of gravity and “Gravity Deprivation Syndrome” literally made me stand up and pace as I read a great portion of the book!  I love the encouragement to move – for adults and children, alike.  As the author points out, children mimic what they see adults do. If children see active adults, they’ll tend to be more active, themselves. However, if they see inactive adults who rely too heavily on television, computers, and other forms of technology – they’ll probably mimic the inactivity as well.

Exercise is not a substitute for activities that come naturally throughout the day, 365 days a year, for the rest of your life. – Page 52

Among Other Things, the Book Includes:

  • Easy ways to “sneak” more activity into your day.
  • The benefits of stretching.
  • The 8 Fundamentals of G-Effective Activity.
  • How to create healthy habits that’ll keep your body from aging prematurely.
  • Stretches and Exercises to prevent muscle atrophy (remember, we’re dealing with a NASA expert here!).
  • The Health and Fitness Pyramid explained in detail.
  • How to completely relax.
  • Strength Training benefits.
  • The author’s expertise on gravity and exercise machines.
  • Gravity therapy and rehabilitation.
  • Helping the brain heal itself.
  • How to be a kid again and why you should!
  • Benefit of inversion (gets blood to the head).
  • Benefits of certain sports and activities.

Basically, you’ll gain a whole new way of looking at your health and life.  This is honestly a book unlike any other and I’m 100 percent certain it” effect your life and health positively.

See Sitting Kills, Moving Heals: How Everyday Movement Will Prevent Pain, Illness, and Early Death – and Exercise Alone Won’t for more information. This one’s a life changer.

Finding Your Way Back to You by Lynne Saint (Review)

Wonderful Book... Wonderful Concept!

Finding Your Way Back to You

One of my favorite e-mails to receive is one containing the words, “Could we send you a book to review on your self help blog?” Beautiful words to this book lover – absolutely beautiful.  More times than not, if someone offers you a book to read and review, the book will be great. People with so-so or even bad books don’t seek reviewers. Why would they?!

Finding Your Way Back to You by Lynne Saint is a very special little book.  Very. It takes real talent to pack so much information, motivation, and inspiration into a mere 141 pages. I’ve read books 4 times as long that didn’t leave even half the impact this fun-to-read and even funner to live book does.

From the Back Cover:

Are you at a crossroads in life, lacking in motivation, looking for a new direction, or just plain ‘stuck’?

Finding your Way back to YOU is a practical resource written specifically for women who have found themselves in any of these positions.

Written by Lynne Saint – experienced Life Coach, NLP Practitioner and Hypnotherapist – this is a hands-on book with an accompanying downloadable journal and weblinked exercises.

Lynne’s straight-talking guidance, drawn from Coaching, Neuro Linguistic Programming and Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, will help you to change your behaviour, and motivate and support you throughout your personal journey of self-discovery. This book will help you to develop and achieve the goals that you have dreamed of.

This book is written to and for women because we are the ones who are most in danger of “losing ourselves.”  We wear so many different titles in life…

  • wife
  • mother
  • daughter
  • employee
  • etc..

We’re supposed to be, literally, ALL THINGS TO ALL PEOPLE. Whether we’re caring for aging parents, raising small children, trying to make ends meet financially, or simply trying to be the best wife and mother we can be – we very often neglect something that’s just as important: Trying to be the best us we can be!

That’s where this wonderful, upbeat, and inspiring book comes in. The words, quotes, and exercises cause you to think… I mean really think… and that’s the point.  We can’t hope to reunite with our true self if we fail to realize she’s missing.

Here’s a scenario most of us are familiar with:  When we were teenagers, and even into our early 20’s, we wouldn’t be caught dead in public (especially in front of that special someone) without just the right clothes on, our hair done, make-up perfect, perfume in place, and nails looking NICE.  Fast forward a little bit.  Add a child or two or three to the picture.  There’s laundry to do, bathrooms to clean, meals to cook, a family to care for – often on top of working.

Nail polish? Perfume? Ha!

We tend to lose ourselves in all the chaos and chores.  We become someone’s mother, someone’s wife, someone’s grandmother,  someone’s employee…. I did something alarming one time which, quite frankly, served to wake me up.  As I sat at home on the couch one night, in sweatpants and a huge t-shirt with my hair a hot mess, I wondered, “What would the 18 year old me think if she’d looked into the future and saw this?”

My initial reaction: She’d cry!  To say that I was all about looking my best when I was a teenager would be the biggest understatement in the world.  I was always armed with extra nail polish, perfume, make-up, and even a spritzer bottle I kept filled with scented water to spray on my naturally curly hair.

Scented!  I honestly added a little of my favorite AVON fragrances to this “miracle water” (Sweet Honesty until I graduated to Soft Musk).

We tend to lose track of the real us – the one who wants to look, feel, and be her best. Sadly, many women allow their dreams to die because they become so preoccupied with helping others live their dreams.

“You aren’t going to change your unique personality, and neither should you want to, but the new skills you will learn in (Finding Your Way Back to You) will give you the awareness to manage your traits to become your best and most successful self.” - Page 2

How committed are you to your marriage?

How committed are you to your children?

How committed are you to your parents?

How committed are you to your job?

How committed are you to your home?

Now, the tough question. How committed are you to you?

Finding Your Way Back to You isn’t just a book, it’s a journey. That may sound very self-helpish and it may be dripping in “guru juice,” but it’s true in every sense of the word.  You don’t simply read and discard Finding Your Way Back to You, you WORK and GROW through the book.  You take a journey and the destination is the you that you dreamed of being when you were 18.

  • Learn to recognize what or who is holding you back.
  • Learn to identify destructive thoughts and reprogram them to help rather than hurt.
  • Learn to block limiting beliefs.
  • Regain your confidence and even your swagger!
  • Find balance in your life that’ll allow everyone around you, including you, to live the life of their dreams.
  • Get motivated and find out how to STAY motivated.
  • Boost your self-esteem.
  • Become the person the little girl version of yourself would be proud of.

As you read the book, you can find free worksheets that’ll help you along your journey.  You can download them on the publisher’s website.

Finding Your Way Back to You is available on UK’s Amazon in paperback, but on our Amazon (USA) I can only find it as a Kindle Edition. If you have a Kindle, this is awesome news for you because the Kindle edition of Finding Your Way Back to You is only a couple of dollars!

One way or another, just get your hands on Finding Your Way Back to You!  This is the sort of book you’ll pass around to every female you know.  I can’t wait for my daughters to read it – I think it’ll keep them form ever “losing” any part of themselves.

What better gift could a mother give her girls?!

“It’s never too late to be what you might have been.” - George Elliott, Author

Also See: Love reading? Live for books? I totally recommend She’s Got the Book for Fiction Book Reviews.

Ancestory, Genealogy, and Your Family Tree

The Best Guide for FIning Your Way to the Past

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Genealogy With my self help website, food blog, and other online publications, I have the opportunity to read and review a good number of books. I’ve been a bookworm since the great and varied adventures of “Spot, Dick, and Jane,” so you can imagine how delirious I am when a new book to review comes in the mail. My smile stretches from ear to ear and my feet kind of do this little happy dance.

I’ve got nothing but mad love for great books, the authors who pen them, the publishers who publish them – and nothing but crazy mad love for the publicists who add to my personal library.

A recent book is from one of my favorite series of books, “The Complete Idiot’s Guide To…” series.  I’m mad about these books!  They take a subject matter that you’d LIKE to be an expert in and MAKE you an expert.  Given the fact that these wonderful books cover just about any subject you can think of, that means you can become an expert in any field you want.

I’ve always been fascinated by genealogy, for example, but honestly had no idea where to start. When asked if I’d be interested in reviewing The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Genealogy, 3rd Edition, I jumped in with both dancing feet.

About the Authors

Christine Rose is a full-time professional genealogist. She was elected a fellow of the American society of Genealogists in 1988, an honor bestowed on only 50 living genealogists at any time.  Kay Germain Ingalls is a certified genealogist and is past president of the Association of Professional Genealogists and a trustee for the Board for Certification of Genealogists.

I’ve always wanted to dig around in my own family tree (as well as my husband’s).  I’ve been intrigued with my ancestors since I was about 17 years old.  A great, great uncle showed me a picture of someone in our family from YEARS ago.  She was dressed like Laura Ingalls Wilder if that gives you an idea of how old the picture was.  Her name was Annie, and her picture made me freeze in my tracks. She looked exactly like me.  My mom and other relatives in the room all looked back and forth between me and Annie’s picture and everyone agreed that we looked exactly alike.   My mom tried to get her hands on more pictures and information of Annie, but nothing really turned up.

To this day I’d just love to know more about her!  How many children did she have?  Who did she marry? Did she love animals? Did she have a cup of coffee by her side all day, too?  Things like this fascinate me.  I couldn’t help wondering, too, what her children looked like and what they did with their lives.  And their children, and their children, and…

From the Back Cover:
You’d love to learn more about your ancestors, but the wealth of information online, in family scrapbooks, in libraries, and at courthouses is so vast, you don’t know where to start your search.

The next best thing to a personal genealogist, this revised and updated guide gives you all the knowledge you need to trace your heritage.  In it, you get:

  • Guidance on sorting through census data, plus tips on widening your search with surname variations.
  • Tips for fact-finding in newspaper archives, military records, Social Security records, cemeteries, and more.
  • The latest information on using Ancestory.com, GenWeb, and other online sources – plus hundreds of links to visit.
  • A new chapter devoted to researching African American lineage.
  • Expanded information on how to use DNA testing in your genealogical search.
  • Insightful ideas for breaking through the brick walls and seemingly dead ends all genealogists face.
  • A primer on organizing your work with charts, forms, and logs; citing sources; and establishing a numbering system.

The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Genealogy, 3rd Edition is like having a couple of genealogists siting on each side of you – telling you why you should research your family history, where to begin (with Mom and Dad!), how to proceed, and what to watch for. The advice and tips are priceless. I promise you, the book is filled with things you’d never have even thought of.

There are “Tree Tips” as well as “Lineage Lessons” and “Definitions” along the way. The definition prompt came in handy with Daguerreotypes, as you might imagine.

Who are You?
What’s the fascination? Curious as to why Grandpa never spoke about his family? Yearn to know your ethnic roots? Whatever it is, this part will get you going. Starting the search with your own family, you’ll learn how to spot the significance of all the papers and memorabilia you’re sure to find. If you’ve already started with the Internet, find out how to build on that.

You’ll also get the basics of recording what you find and an introduction to some of the charts, forms, and logs that will help you keep on track. You are laying the groundwork for a wonderful adventure. – From the Intro to Part 1

And that’s just Part 1!

I could give you a wonderfully flowery spiel about how “learning who your ancestors were will help you learn who you are.” I could point out how important it is to unearth family traits, illnesses, and whatnot to better understand and protect you and generations after you. I could also tell you how much your mind LOVES learning new things and the pursuit of new hobbies such as genealogy. And all that would be true. But, frankly, I’m just going to say this, “How freaking cool would it be if you found a face in the past that looked just like the one in the mirror?!”

Click through The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Genealogy, 3rd Edition to learn more. Trust me, this is a book you’ll want to add to your library because this is book that will serve you well.

A Great Summer Read: The Millionaire’s Handbook

How to Look and Act Like a Millionaire Even If You're Not

The Millionaire's Handbook

Sigh. I love The Millionaire’s Handbook: How to Look and Act like a Millionaire, Even if You’re Not. In fact, I want to be this book when I grow up.

I regularly do book reviews for Self Help Daily, as well as a few other websites. 7 out of 10 times the book I’m sent to review is a wonderful book that I’m delighted to share with my online friends (that’d be you). For the self help blog, most of the books are a little serious in nature – after all, self improvement, health, fitness, and self motivation are serious matters. Because of this fact, I think I got an extra kick out of The Millionaire’s Handbook: How to Look and Act like a Millionaire, Even if You’re Not. When I first opened the book, I thought it was going to be a straight-laced, straight-faced approach: “To look like a millionaire, one must first believe that they are a millionaire, for all good things begin with thought.” I thought it might urge the reader to purge negativity from their center…. to embrace their potential.

Yes, as a matter of fact, I do read a lot of books, why do you ask?

I wasn’t even out of the Introduction before I realized that this book had much more FUN running through its veins than I thought. I wasn’t off the first page of the Introduction before I developed a literary crush on the book.

This book will show you how to wing it till you cha-ching it – by spending what little money you do have wisely and making a positive investment in yourself. It will help you gain the trappings of luxury – even if you’re six generations removed, not just from Kevin, but from anyone who brings home the Bacon. You’ll learn how to look, dress, speak, and behave like a millionaire so that you, too, can enjoy the same privileged lifestyle.

There are entire stores filled with chichi clothing. There are countless ways to pamper, party, and globetrot – all while sampling the world’s finest luxuries. But if you have to worry about how much it all costs, then this is the right book for you. It will help redistribute the perks that come with the power of money, so that we can all get more of what’s coming to us (for a great deal less).

If you can dream it you can look it. This book describes eighteen separate aspects of looking and acting like a millionaire, even if you aren’t one. Each chapter begins with a fictional scene, which sets the stage for the true-life advice and tips that follow.

As we travel together through these chapters, you will meet some friends and learn what to do (and, indeed, what not to do)….

The book is, obviously, written in a humorous, very fun to read fashion but the truly great thing is: There’s a lot of priceless advice in this book. You can look and behave as though you have more money than you actually do!

One of the first sections in the book includes Twenty Must-Have Items to Look Like a Millionaire. A few of these are:

 

  • One pair of sunglasses that hides majority of face for instant celebrity appeal.
  • One gadget (cell, iPhone, iPad, BlackBerry) to prove your time is valuable.
  • One ticket stub to a cultural event within the last year.
  • An eye for art (Not confusing Jasper Johns with Jackson Pollock is a good start).

Some of the Chapters in The Millionaire’s Handbook:

  • The Ten Laws of Material Success (Or How to Dress the Part on a Pauper’s Salary)
  • Amass a $64 Million Vocabulary
  • Skimp on the Items No One Else Will Notice
  • Covet Thy Neighbor’s Catalogs
  • Develop an Obscure Hobby
  • Blend in to Stand Out
  • Millionaire Skin
  • Foster an Eccentricity
  • You, Only Richer
  • Show Some Class
  • Your Personal Brand

In the back of the 267 page book, there are a few pages dedicated to websites and books that’ll help you along your way to looking richer and a list of  20 Must-Have Catalogs…  I’m afraid to say I only subscribe to one.  I have so much work to do.

This wonderfully funny and enjoyable book actually gives you FACTS while it feels as though it’s just giving you FUN.  You LEARN while you think you’re just LAUGHING.   The Millionaire’s Handbook would make an ideal book any time of year – whether you’re sitting enjoying a cup of hot chocolate in the winter or lying in the sun in the summer.  It’s the sort of book you’ll devour quickly, then lend to everyone you know. With the promise that you get it back.

Take a closer look at The Millionaire’s Handbook: How to Look and Act like a Millionaire, Even if You’re Not.  I can’t recommend this book enough!

 

The Swiss Cheese Theory of Life

How to Get Through Life's Holes Without Getting Stuck in Them!

The Swiss Cheese Theory of Life

The Swiss Cheese Theory of LIfe, by Judith A. Belmont, MS and Lora Shor, MSW, is such a fun, delightful, and thought-provoking book that I only wish I could put a copy into each one of my reader’s hands.  I was sent my own review copy a few weeks ago and I’ve really gotten a kick out of it.

Don’t get me wrong. Just because it’s fun, delightful, colorful, and has a killer personality doesn’t mean there isn’t a great deal of substance here, because there is.  The fact that it has a great deal of fun serving up the wonderful nuggets of self growth simply means that you’ll stay with them all the way to the end.  I can’t imagine anyone bailing on this book midway – you’d be too afraid of missing what might come next!

From the back cover:

Take The Swiss Cheese Theory of Life Challenge

  • Are you trying to make changes in your life, yet find yourself digging deeper into a hole?
  • Do you “know better” but still continue unhealthy patterns and habits?
  • Do you often have “why does this happen to me” thinking?
  • Are you looking for happiness in all the wrong places?
  • Are you ready to make healthy changes in your life…. physically, emotionally, spiritually?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions – this book is for you!

The Swiss Cheese Theory of Life is a book about resiliency. Using Swiss Cheese as a metaphor for life itself, you will explore ways to get through life’s holes without getting stuck in them.  Swill is not like any other cheese – and neither are you!

Top 10 Things I Love About The Swiss Cheese Theory of Life:

  1. The book has such a positive vibe it floats off of the pages.  There’s no negativity, scare tactics, or heavy handed advice.
  2. The authors treat important matters as important matters but don’t take things overly seriously. Life’s fun and this book doesn’t just “get” that, it celebrates it.
  3. I look at reading as sitting down and having a friendly visit with an author or authors. These authors are great company and I’m hoping for more collaborations.
  4. This book is highly interactive, inviting the reader to think, solve, and resolve.  We don’t grow when others do all the thinking for us!
  5. There are many fascinating quotes, illustrations, and examples. The lively writing is compelling.
  6. There are FUN illustrations and even comics. LOVE that!
  7. The book reads very fast, but doesn’t at all feel like “fast food.”  It’s fine dining quality but can be read by even the busiest person in no time at all.
  8. The authors show you how to take complete control of your life and bring the changes about that YOU want – not the changes someone else wants for you. Very important.
  9. The authors take good ole human emotions and short-comings into consideration. Very often they hit you with your excuses before they’ve even completely formed in your mind! Best of all, they offer solutions.
  10. Last, but certainly not least, this book shows that it is never, ever too late.  Lifelong mistakes or even even consistent shortcomings can be turned around.  The ship can be “righted” and.. guess what… we’re at the helm!

About the Authors:

Judith A. Belmont, MS, is a national speaker and corporate wellness trainer, with over 30 years of experience as a psychotherapist. From college teaching to working with Fortune 500 companies, Judy uses practical, action-oriented strategies to get people through life s obstacles. She is the author of two professional books, 86 Tips for the Therapeutic Toolbox and 103 Group Activities and TIPS.

Lora Shor, LSW, is a psychotherapist, work/life consultant, and national speaker. She has helped thousands learn and implement resiliency skills and transformation techniques for happier, healthier, balanced lifestyle. Lora is an international consultant to Fortune 500 companies, the federal government, and non-profits, and also maintains a private clinical practice in the Philadelphia area.

The Swiss Cheese Theory of Life is JUST the book I want each of my readers to have by their side when the new year rolls in.  When you’re sitting at the table with pen and paper, making your New Year’s Resolutions, I want this book to be there with the three of you!  It just may be the glue that’ll make those resolutions stick.

Take a closer look at this very special book: The Swiss Cheese Theory of LIfe