Riess structures his program on something he calls the "four basic principles, or four pillars woman can arm herself with: the nutrition pillar, the activity maintenance pillar, the hormone balance pillar, and the mind and mood pillar." The book is broken down into sections describing and explaining the details of each "pillar". I found much of the information to be very basic things that are commonly presented as principles of good health. Whole foods, less caffeine, moderate regular exercise, deep, relaxed breathing, visualization for stress-reduction, healthy social connections, and knowing your own body's signals for good health are all discussed extensively. I didn't find anything particularly new on these subjects.
Reiss has a lot of information on bioidentical hormones, which he highly recommends. He says, "Once you understand how powerfully and safely your hormones can support you and your goals when their lives are optimized, you will understand why I believe that all Natural Superwomen should make the personal decision to supplement their hormones." Later he adds, "I invite you to consider what it would be like to recapture the parts of yourself that you consider to be the best; that is, aspects of your identity that you may no longer be able to experience. You can begin recapturing that power today." To me that reads like an informercial. I'm at an age where I have begun to pay attention to the debates over hormone replacement and I am interested in his theories and programs. I have to say though that I'm skeptical of his claims because of his presentation. He strikes me as a mite condescending.
I'll tell you the things he says that I like to hear:
In the chapter on Stress he recommends a three fold approach to managing stress.
- Identify the onset and source of stress.
- Visualize: acknowledge your agitated reaction with an inner discussion and with visualization of a calm scene.
- Breathe - take several deep and full breaths.
In the chapter on how to use diet to control depression her recommends high-quality, high-cocoa-content chocolate (among other things). YES. I am down with that.
For the rest of the book, I could take it or leave it. You can read more reviews from other women that liked the book more than I did at the Mother Talk blog tour here. You can read about it at these links too:
- Uzzi Reiss's website: Uzzi Reiss's Website
- Publisher's website: Publisher's Website
- CBS interview: CBS's interview with Uzzi Reiss
I'd love to hear what books you've read about women's health. What have you found that you really love? What would you suggest? What are you looking for?