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Educate In Fun And Exciting Ways

Tommy Balaam
Tommy Balaam Author Interview

Captain Fantastic and the Chocolate Planet follows the Captain and his hound onto a planet filled with sweets, but they learn that filling up on treats has consequences. Why is the subject of healthy eating important to you?

As someone who fluctuates in weight, having tried most diets at some point (which in turn has created an unhealthy relationship with food), I know first hand the importance of creating good eating habits early on. From energy levels, weight and general health, it’s so important to have a good diet. After all, you are what you eat! I always aim to educate in fun and exciting ways, which hopefully this book does.

What is your process for creating the vivid art in your books?

Hire an illustrator… I’m only half-joking because Daniel does all the amazing drawings. From an author’s point of view, it’s about having a clear vision of what you want the pictures to look like.

How did the idea for Captain Fantastic begin? Did you play around with any other ideas or characters before settling on him for your series?

I trained as an actor and I stumbled across children’s entertainment whilst looking for a side hustle. After a few years of working for other people‘s companies, I decided to take the plunge and set up my own party business. I wanted the parties to be superhero themed, so I messed around with lots of alter ego names and it was my dad who suggested ‘Captain Fantastic’, thanks Gary! Fast forward 10 years and we have been voted the UK’s no.1 children’s entertainment company, which I’m extremely proud of!

What can readers expect in the next book in the Captain Fantastic series?

Captain Fantastic and the Undersea Monster is my next masterpiece (I hope)! Captain Fantastic wants to explore the depths of the ocean but gets a little too excited and forgets to listen to people’s warnings.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

Imagine a world made of chocolate and sweets. Captain Fantastic and his hungry hound, Winston, think they might have landed on the best planet in the universe, with its marshmallow clouds and candyfloss birds.

They explore everywhere from Cookie Dough Cove to Mount Honeycomb, but it’s not long before they find out what happens when you eat too many treats. What will our space voyagers need to do before they can board spaceship Zippity-Zap for their next exciting adventure?

“Parents reading this to their children can use it to start a conversation about healthy eating in a non-judgemental, accessible way that children will respond to.” Dr Gummer, Good Play Guide

Second in the exciting series of intergalactic adventures, based on the awesome and educational Captain Fantastic parties.

Captain Fantastic and the Chocolate Planet

Captain Fantastic and the Chocolate Planet by Tommy Balaam is an imaginative and educational children’s adventure story of a spaceship captain and his dog Winston. When Winston is hungry and they find that there’s no food in their fridge, Captain Fantastic gets an idea. They travel to a Chocolate Planet full of sweets and treats for them to devour. They roam around, eating nearly everything in sight. When they return to their ship they’re so stuffed that they can’t fit through the door and don’t feel well. How will they ever get home?

Tommy Balaam’s has fun story full of vivid imagery, and it’s use of onomatopoeia and rhymes just makes the book much more engaging an interesting. The art in the book reminds me of a comic book style, with bright colors, clear pictures with some depth to them along with floating text boxes. The detailed artwork is visually appealing and will easily capture any child’s attention. This book does a fantastic job of delivering a message on health, eating, and exercise. It is certainly one of the more creative ways that I’ve seen to educate children on these topics. 

I am giving Captain Fantastic and the Chocolate Planet, by Tommy Balaam 5 out of 5 stars. Filled with incredible artwork, a sweet story, and fantastic characters, this a perfect gift for young readers. 

Pages: 32 | ASIN: B08PJPWJ18

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The What IF? Diet Plan

The What IF? Diet Plan: Transform your body and mind through intermittent fasting by [Alexis Cano]

I enjoyed reading Alexis Cano’s The What IF? Diet Plan: Transform your body and mind through intermittent fasting’ because not only was she talking to mothers, but to everyone who at some point has had an issue with their body. The motherhood experiences shared in the book were interesting to read and made one understand just how much of a struggle weight issue is for women who both have or do not have kids. Reading this book is one amazing experience that gets one carried away with the stories.

The author starts the book by explaining to readers what The What IF? Diet Plan is and I liked this discussion as it gives the reader an idea of what Alexis Cano will talk about in the book. Alexis Cano’s personal history with food, her weight journey, and how she tried intermittent fasting was eye opening. Through her experiences, one learns that no matter how hard things are, it does not hurt to try. Everyone’s experience with food is different and in her book, Alexis advises everyone to first understand their bodies before jumping on any diet plan. By knowing what your body can take or reject, you are in a better place of choosing what you can consume and knowing what portions to eat.

There are several important topics covered in the book. Some topics that had me intrigued were about why restricting calories does not work, the power of hormones, how different meals like breakfast, lunch, and supper work in the body, and tuning one’s fasting. Know what science says about the intake of water when thirsty versus intake of soda? The author has a full discussion lined with facts. The author also talks about myths and weight experiences that people pass around as facts. Reading this book makes you see that there is a lot of misinformation out there about food and weight issues. The author talks to people that want to either add or shed some weight.

I appreciate the author for not only talking about the body but also touching on the mind. Mental health is as important as physical health. Whatever we consume affects both the mind and the body. Alexis Cano is a brilliant author. She has a way with words and can easily convince one to adapt to a new, healthier lifestyle. The author also provides health tips and explains how best to adapt to a unique diet. What I like most about Alexis Cano’s writing is that the discussions in the book felt grounded in reality and felt achievable. She does not sugarcoat anything and tells it as it is. She gives bitter truths and openly talks about eating habits that are harmful to the body. Reading this book will not only help you achieve your desired body, but will also have you work on your goals while being in a better state of mind.

Pages: 129 | ASIN: B08K4RM5RJ

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Enhancing our Capacities

Shantha Kumar Author Interview

Shantha Kumar Author Interview

Functional Nutrients For Brain Health is a perfect title for this book as it outlines the different foods that can cause different health effects. What is a common misconception people have about food and brain health?

As we enter a new millennium, we are endowed with astounding knowledge about our Universe and ourselves and it is in our best interest to use them to our maximal advantage. We have to strive to protect our environment, our health and well-being and continue the momentum in the right direction. For this, we have to harness and combine the wisdom of the past with the insight and progress gained in the current information era. Lifestyle options with adequate and nourishing food, exercise and rest are needed to cope with the challenges we face every day.

Thus, the focus of this book is to provide guidelines for preserving and enhancing our capacities of intellect and thinking with proper dietary practices. This is especially important as we have extended lifespans, a plethora of commercial food products, food supplements, food fads and drugs that may be baffling to consumers. With increases in incidence of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, dementias and symptomatic brain disorders like autism, a retrospective look into how diet can influence proper brain function can help alleviate these conditions.

The brain is the control center of the body and as such, it has to function ideally for the rest of the body to be in perfect health. Besides its role in coordinating motor and sensory functions, the human brain has a major function in higher-order thinking and information processing skills. The role of the brain in fact extends beyond the physical into the meta-physical realm and consciousness.

A common misconception that people have about food and brain health is that what is good for the body is also good for the brain. However, this may not always be true, because every system in the body is specialized and nutrient needs are based on this. A high protein diet may favor an athletic body but may not be an ideal composition for brain functional activities. Similarly, a ketogenic diet may favor weight loss but may not be the best fuel for the brain. Also, growing fetuses, infants and children can have different nutrient requirements than adults for proper brain development.

What were some topics in the book that were important for you to cover?

I would consider this book as a preliminary attempt to understand the relation between diet and brain health. There are contradictory views on the effects of foods on brain health and the diversity of dietary practices, cultures, food availabilities makes it challenging to discern the right foods to use and the wrong foods to avoid. The approach I used for my book is to look closely at “best practices” in cultures where brain health was a priority and use scientific data to support their dietary styles. Another approach was to look at studies where specific diseases were correlated to dietary principles and try to have a disease model with a scientific basis to fit into these conditions.

However, to make the book useful to consumers, I have some dietary guidelines, plans and recipes which is the ultimate goal and this is a work-in progress.

One thing that I discovered with some of the food discussed was that although foods have health benefits they often also carry negative affects. What is a food that carries more health benefits than negative affects?

The ideal food, especially for infants and children, is milk. It is a complete food with correct proportions of macro and micronutrients and fluids. For adults, adequate and optimal quality and quantity of nutrients is important and foods can be beneficial when this principle is applied. Foods should also be customized according to a person’s needs and health status to maintain the body in homeostasis.

Do you plan to write more book on health and well being?

At this time, I would like to concentrate on making my ideas and work useful by applying the knowledge base about diet and health into the actual practice of planning diets. Also, providing people with better awareness and information regarding scientific evidence and strategies, so they can make informed choices in their food habits.

Author Links: GoodReads | Website | Facebook

The evolution of mammals and humans is marked by a massive expansion of higher thinking abilities which has paralleled changes in associative regions of the brain and inter-neuronal connections.. This book aims to portray the role and influence of dietary factors in brain health and its intricate networks and has suggested menu options in diet planning for preserving healthy cognitive functions and preventing disease. With increasing life span, it has become a challenging issue to preserve the normal functions of the nervous system and prevent cognitive decline due to aging processes. The rising rates of diseases like obesity, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, autism, depression disorders that affect personality and brain health can be countered by dietary practices that establish better equilibrium and homeostasis in the body and central nervous system. Thus, optimal brain health involves nurturing and maintaining these capabilities and the structural and metabolic networks in the brain. Some of the relevant macronutrients (Caloric Energy, Carbohydrates, Proteins and Fats) and micronutrients (Vitamins, Minerals, Phytonutrients – Flavanoids, anti-oxidants, etc.) and their cellular and systemic functional roles in normal and abnormal health are discussed. Traditional practices in dietary control in cultures with a strong history of mental abilities have been used as the foundation for many of the recipes and suggested diet plans, while scientific advances in our understanding of the nervous system has been used as the rationale for some of the dietary modifications to achieve optimal cognitive abilities and preserve memory functions, especially in the aging process.

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Osteoporosis and Osteopenia: Vitamin Therapy For Stronger Bones

Osteoporosis & Osteopenia: Vitamin Therapy for Stronger Bones by [Lusk, Bryant]

Osteoporosis & Osteopenia: Vitamin Therapy for Stronger Bones, by Bryant Lusk, is a comprehensive guide to bone health. The author discusses the link between lifestyle choices, age, gender, and eating habits (largely vitamin intake), and bone health.

Interestingly for a book of this subject matter, Lusk seems to have gone the ‘choose your own adventure’ route for his writing technique. Readers can choose between intensive study modes and brief overviews to ‘get the main idea’, and there are ways to achieve a hybrid approach that sits somewhere between the two extremes. It is a fantastic idea on the writer’s part to include that kind of flexibility for his readers, and it is a tool that will likely help this work reach more people than most other books on the subject.

The driving principal behind this work is, of course, to educate. To that end, the author goes to great length to discuss each topic as fully as necessary. The book is laid our in bite-sized chunks, each one focusing on a particular aspect of the overall topic. For example, there is a chapter on zinc, one on vitamin D3, another on liver and kidney health, and many more. Included in each section, there is information related to standard vs vegetarian diets, guidelines for how much and how often various vitamins should be taken, information on inhibitors that adversely affect the given vitamin or mineral, and then personal advice from the author.

An example of the type of background information provided for each of the mineral and vitamins can be found at the start of each chapter. You’ll see the vitamin or mineral’s impact on the human body in list form. Not only for bone-related issues but for all others as well.

One of the most useful parts of each chapter is the ‘how much and how often’ section. Here, the author goes into the recommended daily dosages of the various supplements, all the time adjusting for different types of people living different types of lives. Then, a convenient table is provided to show what types of foods contain said vitamin or mineral and how much would need to be consumed in order to absorb enough. Then, another table showing differences between common supplements, along with which are best and which to avoid. A short discussion about how to inhibit and enhance absorption is then held before advice from the author and finally moving on the next chapter.

This book is certainly important and is full of wisdom that is not always easy to find in such a digestible package. In fact, in all the years I have researched the effectiveness of supplements, I’ve only come across a handful of texts as well balanced as Osteoporosis & Osteopenia: Vitamin Therapy for Stronger Bones. This book is going to go into my collection as a reference book that I will frequently visit.

Pages: 138 | ASIN: B07QPWPLG7

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A Satisfactory Fitness Level

Robert Duffy Author Interview

Robert Duffy Author Interview

What is your experience in health and fitness and how has that helped you write this book?

I came across BX plans about 50 years ago, and used it regularly. After 30 years of hard and varied living I got back into using the exercises.

What is one common misconception people have about exercising?

One of the biggest misconceptions about exercise is that most people think it has to hurt when it doesn’t. Slow and regular is the best way.

What are the BX plans and how are they designed to help people stay fit?

It is based on the world famous Canadian Air Force fitness plan. The purpose is to create a satisfactory fitness level and keep you there with light exercises.

Author Links: Instagram | Facebook | Website

Get fit and stay fit with the XBX 12-Minute Plan for Women Based on the world-famous Royal Canadian Air Force exercise plan, these progressive exercises will take you to peak fitness in your own time and at your own pace. No special equipment needed. No expensive gym fees. No group memberships. Just you, the book and twelve minutes a day. With a minimum of space required the full-colour illustrated plans can be enjoyed by anyone, anytime, anywhere. Get fit and stay fit in the time it takes to drive to the gym!

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Physical Fitness: XBX 12-Minute Plan for Women

Physical Fitness XBX 12-Minute Plan for Women is a short book that provides an exercise program for women who are over 20. Each age group has a suggested length they should spend on each workout. Useful information on reasons why someone should be fit, weight control, and how exercising can change how you feel physically are also provided. In addition to tips, there are also charts that provide which exercises a woman needs to complete and how many for how long. There is also a useful chart to fill out goals and progress.

This book was a quick and interesting read. One of my favorite parts of the book was that it gave pointers on how to exercise by not exerting oneself and taking it slowly. Another part I loved was that they cautioned people, who may not be able to exercise, to consult with their doctor. It is important to note this because not everyone is on the same health or abilities level. Exercise should not hurt, and people should stretch beforehand as well as take it slow. That is why the author suggests a certain amount of days on each workout as well as not trying to get all the exercises done in the amount of time if you struggle with it in the beginning. I think it is great to tell people to slowly build up their workout routine rather than trying to rush and possibly harm themselves. While it seems like there are a lot of exercises to do in a short amount of time, the book does state to do them at your own pace and continue to work toward the goal. Do not get overwhelmed or be intimidated. It is important to not hurt or strain yourself.

I also like that there are charts to show you what exercises to do, how long to do them, and how many to do. The chart was a little confusing at first but easily understood with the explanation. The pictures in the book are very useful. Not many people, myself included, would know what some of the exercises were. Additionally, with each increase in the charts, new steps are added to the exercises. The illustrations show exactly how the exercise should be completed and really help with any confusion. Finally, if you have a physical copy of the book, it gives you spaces to write goals and where you are. So if you have a specific goal to meet weight wise, you can write it in the book.

There were a couple of things I would have liked to see. For instance, the author mentions how research indicates certain aspects of health and exercise, but it would give it more credibility with references. The book mentioned healthy eating, as such, I think it would have been better to include more detail on this topic. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who would be interested in looking to help with their sedentary lifestyle.

Pages: 100 | ISBN: 1910843008

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Game Changer: The Elite Athletes Guide to Peak Performance

Every athlete has the same goal: Victory. Game Changer: The Elite Athletes Guide to Peak Performancebrings together the best of the best for taking any athlete from any sport and catapulting their performance to the top, FAST.

Combining the most cutting-edge scientific wisdom with real life case studies, Game Changer provides a clear blueprint to victory, and will put you at the top of your game faster than anything you’ve ever experienced. Ready to reach your peak performance? Apply the scientifically proven, easy and straightforward practices in this book and get ready to WIN!

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