Blog Archives

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.

Buy Now From Amazon.com

The Bell Curve of Humor

David Jacobson Author Interview

David Jacobson Author Interview

What do you find is a common misconception people have about humor?

The most common misconception about humor is you have to be born funny to use your sense of humor. Not true. Think of humor like a muscle, if you exercise it, it will get stronger, if you ignore it, it will weaken. Anyone can exercise their sense of humor and practice using it more.

I find that some people have a good sense of humor, while others do not. How does having a good sense of humor play into the habits you describe?

We are all on the bell curve of humor with some apparently more comfortable using humor and others less comfortable. Past negative experiences with humor, such as being teased or criticized for their sense of humor can definitely make one more hesitant to use their sense of humor. Some have even been mocked for the sound of their laughter. This discomfort can be overcome and practicing these humor habits can help one become more comfortable with their sense of humor.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

Just in the concept stage right now, I’m looking at doing a book on the role of humor in leadership. I also have a children’s book in the works called “The Frog Who Couldn’t Jump” for children with arthritis.

Author Links: GoodReads | Facebook | Website

7 1/2 Habits To Help You Become More Humorous, Happier & Healthier by [Jacobson, David]

“7 1/2 Habits To Help You Become More Humorous, Happier & Healthier” is an easy and fun book to read. The practical applications on how to improve your sense of humor make this a ‘keeper.’ This book reveals the mysteries to improving your sense of humor to be happier, healthier, have better relationships and make you a more humorous person. This funny, uplifting and endearing book will teach you the secrets of using humor to decrease stress, cope with adversity and enhance the good times. It tells the story of one man’s rise from the depths of illness and chronic pain to the heights of success attributable to his daily humor habits. He explains his discovery of how the simple use of HUMOR can transform your life and the world you live in.

Buy Now From Amazon.com

For Good Health

Shantha Kumar Author Interview

Shantha Kumar Author Interview

The Vegetarian Diet Guru is a guide that provides strategies to design diets for specific nutritional needs. Why was this an important book for you to write?

Diet plays a central role in determining the structural and functional basis of our living and is basic to our sustenance and productivity. Modern medicine has relegated the role of nutrition in our well being, and I wrote this book mainly to bring its importance to the fore and also provide individuals with the knowledge and means to be in charge of their dietary planning. Nature has provided us with a bounty of options to fulfill our nutritional needs but it is up to us to make the right choices for good health. I wanted to outline recipes that use natural, time-tested ingredients and combinations that utilize the latest scientific principles that enhance the value of food, while providing flavor, nutritional balance and variety.

In normal body homeostasis, all parameters fall within normal ranges and the body is on autopilot mode, with the various systems working in unison to provide robust energy, growth and vitality. However, in disease conditions, the body is off balance and requires additional monitoring, medications and diet therapy to function effectively. While the recipes in this book are based on vegetarian selections, they can substitute or supplement non-vegetarian diets as well, as the nutrients and their actions are very similar.

This book has more than 150 recipes. My favorite recipe was the Green Chilies Curry. What is your favorite recipe from the book?

My favorite dish from this book is Masala Okra Curry. Okra is a valuable vegetable in vegetarian diets due to its multiple benefits. Okra is high in fiber, being a rich source of soluble pectins and gums that lower cholesterol, insoluble fibers that aid digestion, and mucilage containing polysaccharides and glycoproteins that lower blood sugar. Other carbohydrates include low glycemic neutral sugars galactose and rhamnose. Okra seeds have 20-40% essential unsaturated fats, and also, rare in vegetables, high amounts of protein, made up of amino acids lysine and tryptophan which are usually lacking in cereal-based vegetarian diets. Okra is also rich in polyphenols and catechins, which provide exogenous anti-oxidant defense against lipid peroxidation and increase endogenous glutathione peroxidase for stabilizing intracellular redox status. This powerhouse of nutrition in this recipe is combined with tomatoes, onions and spices which add to its value. This curry can be a side dish to accompany rice, rotis or complement other menus.

What is a common misconception you find people have about dieting and how they can overcome it?

The common misconception about diet is “one size fits all”; however, people are very unique with respect to their dietary needs, tastes, cultural preferences and health status. Thus, menus have to be customized taking individual factors into consideration. Often, it is difficult to find the right solution for dietary problems and information sources can be confusing or misleading, sometimes even dangerous. In addition, there are plentiful natural, prepared and commercial foods to tempt our palate. In these cases, it may be best to follow safe or tested alternatives that are proven to be effective.

Another common aspect of diets is their content and how the combination of foods affects their assimilation. That is why knowledge of nutrient values helps to precisely target the recipes and menus towards meeting the requirements as closely as possible. Often, with diets and nutritional health, a holistic approach works best rather than an isolated, symptom-based approach. The dieter should aim at harmonizing various body systems in the most optimal way, gearing towards maintaining equilibrium and normal function. Diet should be the first line of action in preventing disease and always have a supportive role in curing and ameliorating abnormal conditions.

Some diets can give results for a short time, but may not be practical for the long term, but here the diet plays a timely role to correct deficiencies or excesses and normalize after which, one can switch to a maintenance diet. Also, some degree of experimentation or trial and error can be allowed with diets and individuals can tailor their diets according to how their body reacts to foods. In the final analysis, a good diet is one that makes you feel happy, energetic and healthy.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

In this book, I have explained basic principles of Nutrition and Diet Planning in health and some abnormal conditions. In my next book, I would like to provide further details, better understanding and additional resources for healthy diet planning. Dietary practices are very personal and it takes time for people to commit to change. Diet should be habit forming and in tune with our lifestyle and modifying them according to our needs is a lifelong process. I would like to provide convincing arguments for food choices, simplified menu planning and food preparation strategies, dietary guidelines for other specific conditions and equip people with knowledge, freedom and practices to plan and use their diets optimally for the health and well-being of their family. As we delve deeper into our knowledge about what, how and why our body works, we realize that we have to reclassify foods and nutrients further into sub-categories that work in a coordinated manner. Although all this information may not fit in a book, I would like to popularize these ideas and publish at appropriate times to reach a larger audience.

Author Links: GoodReads | Website | Facebook

The Vegetarian Diet Guru“The Vegetarian Diet Guru” is a nutrients-based menu planning guidebook that explains and provides strategies to design diets that meet nutritional specifications according to individual requirements. There are low-calorie recipes for weight loss; low-glycemic carbohydrates based recipes for blood sugar control in pre-diabetes and diabetes; rice, millets and oats-based recipes that can be used for individuals with wheat gluten hypersensitivity; high fiber vegan and vegetarian recipes for gastro-intestinal health; high protein dishes using lentil bean and dairy proteins to lower BMI (Body Mass Index) and increase muscle mass for vegetarians.

 

Available on Pothi.com

 

Guided Meditation Adventures

Christopher Stone

Christopher Stone

The LGBTQ Meditation Journal offers contemplative spiritual adventures to enhance confidence and tranquility. Why was this an important book for you to write?

Your question necessitates a brief history of the Meditation Journal genesis.

Mary Sheldon originated The Meditation Journal concept, back in the mid-1990s. By the end of that decade, three highly successful books of guided meditations had been published, namely, The Meditation Journal, Meditations for the Twenty-first Century, and Meditations on Relationships.

Our first three volumes flew out of Costco and Target stores nationwide, as well as traditional bookstores. We were surprised by their immediate success. For a while, we considered a fourth volume, Meditations for Teenagers, but for various reasons, the book never happened.

Five years ago, Christopher signed on with Laura Baumbach’s MLR Press, a publisher of primarily LGBTQ fiction, and he has subsequently written three novels and four short stories for the Press.

Mary Sheldon

Mary Sheldon

Ever since becoming an MLR Press author, I have thought about an LGBTQ Meditation Journal. In the summer of 2016, at Mary Sheldon’s housewarming party, I asked my non-LGBTQ co-author, if she would write it with me. She said, “Yes!” and soon thereafter, I pitched the book to Laura Baumbach. The publisher greenlighted the project and then blessed us with her amazing Executive Editor, Kris Jacen, as our editor.

When trying to improve any area of our lives, Mary Sheldon and I turn to the real and eternal, namely the spiritual, rather than to the erroneous and temporal, to wit, the material. So, for the both of us, it is organic to improve all of the conditions of our lives with the metaphysical discipline of meditation.

So, it follows that it was important for us to help others help themselves by using the same spiritual approach that we use effectively in our own lives.

But even though the LGBTQ Community was our focus, we were determined to write guided meditation adventures that could benefit everyone, LGBTQ, or not.

felt that there was a focus on self-love and acceptance in this book. What were some themes you tried to capture while writing?

Yes, self-acceptance and self-love are essentials for healthy, successful living. We both believe that everything made by the Creator originated spiritually and perfectly. And so, Christopher and I ask readers to employ a spiritual perspective when using our meditation adventures. We ask everyone to think of themselves as the perfect, spiritually-created, externalized ideas of the Creator’s making, and not as the flawed material beings reflected in the mirror. Our point of view reflects Divine Science rather than Earth’s limited material sciences.

And, regardless of the current conditions in their lives, we want everyone to know they have value and worth; quite simply, they matter.

After reading this book I felt that my open-mindedness of the world was reinforced. What do you hope readers take away from this book?

We hope readers will open their minds and hearts, and come to an understanding that self-acceptance, love, peace, pride, and dignity are essential. And we want them to know that if these qualities are now in short supply, our guided meditation adventures are one excellent method of enhancing them.

What is the next book that you are writing and when will it be available?

Christopher and I would like to write The Children’s Meditation Journal.

Of course, winning a contract for such a book is largely contingent on the current book being successful.

Right now, Christopher is in edits with the second volume in his series of Minnow Saint James Metaphysical Adventures novels. It is named The Coming of Beth, and it will be MLR Press published in the first half of next year.

Author Links: Twitter | Christopher’s WebsiteMary’s Website | Facebook

The LGBTQ Meditation JournalFor the fourth in their highly successful series of guided meditations books, Christopher Stone and Mary Sheldon focus upon the LGBTQ Community, offering a month’s worth of contemplative spiritual adventures to enhance confidence and tranquility while inspiring self-acceptance, love, peace, pride, and dignity. Edited by Kris Jacen, the book explains the process of focused attention known as meditation and it offers a simple relaxation technique to induce a meditative state of mind.

Editor’s Note for eBook readers: For those that do look at page counts between print and ebook files, there is a big discrepancy between the print and ebook editions of this journal in PDF format. Don’t worry, you are not missing any content. The difference is that the print version of the book contains space to note several months observations for each meditation.

Buy Now From Amazon.com

LEAD Yourself to Optimum Health with Plant-Based Nutrition

With LEAD Yourself to Optimum Health with Plant-Based Nutrition, Glenda Gill changes the way we think about food and empowers us to take charge of our own health and prevent or reverse chronic diseases with a whole food, plant-based diet.

Extensive research has shown that a plant-based diet is the key to optimum health, and this book contains everything needed to start you on your journey. Within its pages, you will find a wealth of information on plant-based nutrition, as well as the science explaining why animal-based products are harmful to the body and the planet. In addition, you will find tools, tips, and tricks to help you or your family make a successful transition to a plant-based diet.

Buy Now From Amazon.com

What Came of the Tough Times

Bryan Falchuk Author Interview

Bryan Falchuk Author Interview

Do a Day: How to Live a Better Life Every Day is written using your experience with turning your life around; losing weight and eating healthier. What was the thing that motivated you to write a book and help other people?

I have seen the Do a Day philosophy work so well, not just for myself, but for all the people I’ve been coaching and mentoring over the years. No matter how many hours I spend coaching, I still can help enough people, so I wrote the book to share the approach with as many people as possible. Based on the feedback, it’s working. Not a day has gone by since the book came out where I don’t get some kind of outreach from someone who the book has impacted.

What I like most about this book was that there were stories from your own life in it which helped me relate. Where there some experiences you felt were harder to write about then others?

Yes, definitely. It was hard to go back in time to some of the more painful moments in my life, like when my wife was in the throws of her illness and it wasn’t clear she would survive, or some of the pain I experienced as a child that shaped a lot of who I am today. But there’s so much growth from those moments that I have benefitted from, so I focused my mind of what came of the tough times rather than dwelling in the toughness of those times. That is, I used Do a Day in looking back. Instead of being trapped by past pain, I looked at what I can achieve today.

Personally, it was also very hard to talk about parenting. That chapter is the shortest in the book, and the one I wish I could do more with. I think it was hard to write because being a parent is so profound and powerful, but also because this isn’t my son’s book and he didn’t choose to be in it, so I wanted to balance respecting his privacy with getting the message across. I shared only one story in that chapter, and I think it’s enough to illustrate the point I’m trying to make, but the chapter is clearly different from others in the book.

I felt that the book did a great job giving sensible advice about everyday life. What is one thing you hope readers take away from Do a Day?

The one thing I want them to take away is the power the approach offers to overcome and achieve. Being free of the past and simultaneously not living in fear or anticipation of the future is incredibly empowering for you to do the best you can today. Each day of doing your best adds up to a life that is full of achievement instead of sadness and regret.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

My plan for my second book is to move to the next step in Do a Day. The first book was some of my stories.

For the second book, I want to share the stories of my readers and people I work with.

I have only experienced so much, but the stories people come to me with are so varied and profound, I think reading about this and seeing how Do a Day helps in even the most extreme situations would be incredibly impactful for those looking for a connection to their experience that they couldn’t find in the first book.

Beyond that, there are some specific situations that warrant a full book on them alone. I don’t want to give too much away, but I can see a series of deeper dives into these tougher life situations with more specific guidance on how to put Do a Day into action to overcome and achieve.

The good news is, life is ever changing, challenges keep evolving and are always specific to each individual experiencing them, so there is so much to share with Do a Day. You can expect much more from me and Do a Day over the years to come. I’m so excited to help even more people change their lives.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | New Bodi Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | New Bodi Instagram | Website

Do a Day: How to Live a Better Life Every Day by [Falchuk, Bryan]Bryan Falchuk overcame adversity, lost nearly 100 pounds, ran a marathon, dramatically changed his diet and created an approach to help others live a better life, every day. That way is Do a Day.

Like so many people, Bryan has faced challenges in life, like obesity, depression, work stress, the responsibilities of parenthood, the potential of losing his wife to illness, and more. And he struggled, like anyone else. Through that struggle, Bryan learned the secret to not just overcoming any individual challenge, but creating a life of achievement, happiness and harmony. In Do a Day, you will learn how to make each day contribute to your goals so you can live the life you want to live – a better life.

Do a Day will free you of the burden and judgment of yesterday‘s choices, while relieving you of the pressure of what tomorrow may bring. By teaching you how to identify your true motivation and how to use that to focus on what you have to do today, Do a Day will help you change your life.

Buy Now From Amazon.com

Do A Day

Do a Day: How to Live a Better Life Every Day

Do a Day by Bryan Falchuk is written from the author’s own experience of turning his life around – losing weight and eating healthier. He has turned his method into a general philosophy, which he wants to use to help others with achieving their goals and improving their lives. The book is organized into relatively short chapters, so that it can be read a little each day. In order to help readers who want to leave the book and come back to it, each chapter has a helpful summary at the end.

Do a Day is appreciative of people’s differences and faults – the author doesn’t write as if he expects everyone to live exactly as he does now. He even shares where he went wrong on his journey so the reader can learn from it. These semi-autobiographical sections are one of the strengths of this book, for me.  It added interest and a more human element than lists of instructions.

I felt as if some parts were over-explained, such as the metaphor of the chapter entitled “Before My Dawn”. I enjoyed the humor that I read, but there was too little of it, making the book a little more serious than it otherwise could have been.

The chapter order was well-chosen to guide the reader through the author’s philosophy, and I appreciated the references to scientific studies and other data that lent some credibility to the method, which was otherwise based on anecdotal evidence.

The content of the method itself was not revolutionary, but I felt that in this form it might be more accessible and inspirational to some people who might otherwise not care or not have the opportunity to learn about it. Do a Day felt like an honest account that didn’t promise any quick, or low-effort fixes.

Mainly, the book gives sensible advice. It covers how to apply the described way of thinking to every aspect of daily life – exercise, eating, parenting, work, and getting through a bad day. It’s very thorough, and feels like a natural fit for each.

Overall, it contains useful advice with interesting sections of autobiography and is well-explained and is accessible and inspirational.

Pages: 137 | ASIN: B06W9L9NDT

Buy Now From Amazon.com

%d bloggers like this: