Category Archives: Health

bLU Talks – Business, Life and the Universe Compiled by Corey Poirier

Reviewed by Lisa Brown-Gilbert

More than just an assortment of self-help lectures, BLU Talks Presents: Business Life and the Universe offers a thoughtfully produced collection of unpretentious, coaching soul-help discourses. Compiled by Corey Poirier, this is the first book in the series, which contains an expansive variety of lectures and intimate anecdotes which together culminate into an overall varietal hosting of meaty subjects created to guide, edify and inspire.

Brimming with sparks of cogent knowledge, each “talk” primarily focuses on a different element, situation, or practice in life. The inspiring lessons come across powerfully but are related in such a warm and welcoming style that allows for easy and authentic resonance between the author and reader.

Additionally, the expertise involved is vast, your instructors come from all walks of life, including mothers, authors, business owners, advisors, leaders, spiritualists, Reiki masters, overall intelligent thinkers, and go-getters, with many of them wielding expertise in multiple disciplines. Some narratives are based on life experiences that touch the heart as well as expand the self, such as Alli Mackenzie’s A Day We Will Remember Forever or Carey Lowe’s chapter which presents character flaw identification titled, Self – Improvement. Others sharpen the business acumen from a very different perspective like The Secrets They don’t Teach You at Business School by Dr. Allen Lycka. Similarly, the Universal element emanates from the enlightened perspective in Aurora Light’s Intention, Synchronicity, and Love Co-Creation with the Universe, which is absolutely one of my favorites. Likewise with lectures like Grow by Jennifer Eckel which discusses stopping negative attachments or Caroline Stewart’s Radical Honesty as well as Cultivating Resilience Through Trauma by Gary Benoit.

The Secrets to Living a Fantastic Life: Two Survivors Reveal the 13 Golden Pearls They’ve Discovered by Dr. Allen Lycka and Harriet Tinka

Reviewed by Douglas R. Cobb

The Secrets to Living a Fantastic Life by Dr. Allen Lycka and Harriet Tinka is a very inspirational and thought-provoking book written by two people who lived through extremely traumatic and trying experiences. The authors learned from those experiences and grew to understand that they did not have to allow what happened to them to influence the rest of their lives negatively. Instead, they both chose to move on and have successful careers and happy lives, and decided to collaborate and write a book to help others also live “fantastic lives.”

The Secrets to Living a Fantastic Life is subtitled “Two Survivors Reveal the 13 Golden Pearls They’ve Discovered.” Those “golden pearls,” or life lessons, aided them to get past the traumatic events in their lives and to move on. The self-help book that they wrote, detailing what those 13 golden pearls are, is full of revelations that the authors hope will inspire readers of the book. The negative things that everybody experiences in their lives, to one extent or the other, do not have to define who we are as people.

I really liked it that Dr. Allen Lycka and Harriet Tinka opened up in The Secrets to Living a Fantastic Life and revealed the nature of the traumatic experiences they went through. Dr. Lycka was diagnosed as having Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS) and he was told he only had six months to live. Harriet Tinka was a fashion model and a Woman of Distinction who lived through the terror of being kidnapped by someone she knew, stabbed by the man, and left for dead. Dr. Lycka and Harriet Tinka could have let these things embitter them and alter the course of their lives and careers for the worse. Instead, they moved on, grew, and didn’t let the negative things they went through define them.

What are the 13 golden pearls that the authors discovered and relate to their readers in The Secrets to Living a Fantastic Life? Being an author myself, I don’t want to reveal too many “spoilers.” I’d rather that potential readers of the book get the pleasure of checking out what the pearls are on their own, by reading Dr. Lycka and Harriet Tinka’s book. They reveal what the pearls are in a captivating and entertaining manner by both telling stories from their own lives and also by utilizing a myriad of quotes from famous authors like Ralph Waldo Emerson and celebrities like Sir Paul McCartney, Christopher Reeve, and Bruce Lee.

I will mention a couple of the pearls that I loved reading about the most, though, and those are the importance of forgiveness and laughter. I will talk more about a few of the other pearls with Dr. Lycka and Harriet Tinka in an interview that they graciously agreed to do with me, which can be read elsewhere at this same site.

Learning to Quit: How to stop Smoking and Live Nicotine Free by Suzanne Harris and Paul Brunetta

Reviewed by Lisa Brown-Gilbert

Often easier said than done, quitting smoking can be one of the more daunting experiences that someone can face in life and while there is an abundance of guides on the market, it may seem like when you have read one, you read them all. However, within the text of Learning to Quit: How to stop Smoking and Live Nicotine Free, readers/potential quitters become empowered by virtue of its expert authors, encouraging tone, motivational success stories, a bevy of resources and easy to manage exercises. Co-authored by Suzanne Harris R.N. and Paul Brunetta MD, this book is more than just another guide to quitting smoking; it is more like the bible for quitting smoking.

Overall, the book presents a full-spectrum view of the multilayered and quietly intimate process of taking back your life from smoking. Both well-written and thoroughly organized, the book text is divided into two halves; the first half of which explores and delves deeply into an intriguing series of questions concerning smoking which also are the same questions that smokers looking to quit should challenge themselves with answering; for example, Chapter 1 queries “What Moves You to be a Non-Smoker? ” followed by an overview of the issue and original documented experiences told from the experiences of several past patients. The connection to their struggles comes easily as their stories ring as relatable, candid, and insightful with the ultimate outcome of their eventual successes bearing a gift of motivation.

Also, there are included pictures of the patients which adds an additional dimension of realism to their included testimonies. Each chapter ends with a reiteration of key points, action steps and also includes a space for personal notes. Additionally, within this half of the book, Chapters 9 and 10, amply provide a blueprint to be implemented for embarking on your personal smoking cessation sojourn.

Consequently, as a whole Learning to Quit: How to Stop Smoking and Live Nicotine Free brims with inspiration and powerfully important information presented in an attention-grabbing multi -perspective view of a life-threatening habit that to some (myself included) seems almost impossible to overcome. Entirely, this was not only an intriguing read but a necessary read for any smoker period. As you move through the content, your mindset becomes altered as you stop and take pause while wallowing in the fact that when you smoke, you have lost authority over yourself, your life and your health. Anytime is a good time to start taking it back, as a matter of fact, the sooner the better as proven by the many success stories within the book, including the authors. One aspect of the book that I found particularly interesting was the poignant look at the difference between fear-based and desire-based motivation. Also, the authors offer access to a multitude of helpful resources through their website Learningtoquit.com. Ultimately, this book is a must-have for anyone thinking about or determined to quit. It is an eye-opening and mind-altering call to take back your power.

Trauma, Shame, and the Power of Love: The Fall and Rise of a Physician Who Heals Himself
by Christopher E. Pelloski, MD

Reviewed by Lisa Brown-Gilbert

Trauma, Shame and the Power of LoveAlthough sexual abuse and pornography of children is nothing new within this society, each time it is discovered and reported there is an accompanying knee jerk reaction of anger, disgust and distrust that follows so much so that it becomes hard to see the many facets of the whole truth about the situation such was the case with Christopher E. Pelloski M.D. In his book, Trauma, Shame and the Power of Love, which is a biographical work, he bares his soul and shares his experiences from arrest to trial as a non-productive participant of child pornography.

Not in the Pink by Tina Martel

Not in the Pink

Reviewed by Dianne Woodman

Imagine being diagnosed with the frightening and life-threatening disease of breast cancer. Your entire world is turned upside down, and you are supposed to “patiently” wait until you meet with an oncologist to get information about your prognosis. This is exactly what happens to visual artist Tina Martel. She loses patience with the medical system and uses the Internet to read everything she can find about breast cancer.

Not in the Pink is a candid, heart-wrenching, and humor-laced account of Tina Martel’s personal ordeal with breast cancer. The memoir offers unique insight into a disease that strikes women without any prejudice or warning. Tina provides readers with a bird’s eye view of how a breast cancer journey is a roller-coaster ride with patients vacillating between periods of feeling upbeat about winning the battle and periods of feeling disbelief, panic, anger, anxiety, guilt, denial, frustration, and depression.

What Makes Olga Run?: The Mystery of the 90-Something Track Star and What She Can Teach Us About Living Longer, Happier Lives by Bruce Grierson

What Makes Olga Run

Reviewed by Caryn St. Clair

Olga Kotelko took up track and field at the age of 77. That’s right-when most people are slowing down, this dynamo of a woman ramped up her physical activity to an almost unheard of level. When What Makes Olga Run? was written, Olga was 93 years old and to the point in her track career that there were not always other competitors in her bracket so sometimes she competed in the men’s division. When competing, her times (or distances in the field events) were often so good that not only did she win and set records, she would have won and set records in two age brackets below hers. The author takes readers through a series of steps as scientists try to determine why. What makes this woman so special, so strong and so fast? What gives her the stamina and body of a person decades younger?

The Take-Charge Patient: How You Can Get the Best Medical Care by Martine Ehrenclou, M.A.

The Take-Charge Patient:  How You Can Get the Best Medical Care Reviewed by Teri Davis

Who is the one person who is most responsible for the quality of your health care? It’s not your doctor. It’s you.

When you’re sick, really sick, you call the doctor. Then the average person trusts that the doctor has the correct diagnosis and then prescribes proper treatment to get you back to normal. This sounds fairly simple but in reality can be a complete nightmare, especially if the diagnosis is wrong and the prescription does not heal the real problem. What do you do then?

While writing this book, the author, Martine Ehrenclou, had developed a pain which became worse. She went to a variety of doctors which prescribed many different treatments, including surgeries. Eventually, after many painful challenges that were literally debilitating, she was able to have a correct diagnosis and was able to have surgery to solve the initial problem. These experiences ended up being the perfect guideline for her utilizing her own recommendations to this excellent resource.

The suggestions and information in The Take-Charge Patient are practical and realistic. The writing style is easy to understand and keeps the reading interested as each chapter continues. From the medical aspect, if you actually follow through with the author’s suggestion, any doctor should be thrilled about
any patient being so involved with their care.

The 57 Physique Solution: The Groundbreaking 2-Week Plan for a Lean, Beautiful Body By Tanya Becker and Jennifer Maanavi

The 57 Physique SolutionReviewed by Caryn St. Clair

Many people may recognize the title The 57 Physique Solution from a series of exercise DVDs that have been available for quite some time. Now the instructor featured in the DVDs and the CEO of The Physique Solution Company have teamed up to write a book expanding on the DVDs. The book is divided into four parts.

Part One of the book includes an introduction to the program giving readers the history and the science behind The 57 Physique Solution. Basically, the first two chapters tell readers what the system is all about, how and why it works and what readers can expect to gain from following the program.

The second and third sections really go together. Part Two gives readers a chapter each on moves for warm ups, thighs, seat, abs, back and cool downs. Part Three then puts it all together for readers with two complete 57 minute workouts.

Super Body, Super Brain: The Workout That Does It All By Michael Gonzalez-Wallace

Super Body, Super Brain by Michael Gonzalez-WallaceReviewed by Caryn St. Clair

There seems to be a new health, diet or fitness book published every week and so my first thought when I started browsing through this book was is this book really necessary? Is there anything left that hasn’t been said before? Well, after reading the book cover to cover and then going back and tagging specific areas for a closer look, my thoughts have changed to more like what a great addition to the “Health and Fitness” section of bookstores and libraries around the country this book is! The author has taken the subject of personal fitness and developed a plan that incorporates not only diet and exercise, but involves the mind as well. Though a performance trainer himself, the author used input from various health practitioners from neuroscientists to physicians to psychiatrists to develop his program.

The book is divided unto three parts. Each part is geared to people with varying stamina and differing goals. The program is very easy to follow with photographs and charts where helpful. Part One is titled The Basics Behind the Brain-Muscle Connection. There are four chapters that site various researches into the mind-body connection. While this was my least favorite part of the book, it sets up the philosophy behind the rest of the book. Part Two titled Exercises consists of eight chapters six of which deal with a different level of exercise based on the reader’s need. Not only is the workout explained in great detail, there are photographs showing the exercise being performed so that there is little room for error. Then there is a chapter devoted entirely to walking and lastly one for family mind-body health. Part Three is titled Eating Plan and is exactly what the title says it is. It is one chapter long and gives the reader an action plan to develop a healthy eating plan to support the exercises and create a healthy living lifestyle. While there is really not a lot of new material covered in this chapter that most people who read this sort of book has not heard before, the plan is set up in a logical systematic way.

Staying Fit After 60: Introducing the Exercise for Life Program by Calvin Hill

Reviewed by Teri Davis

Who would be the most likely person for writing a fitness book than someone who is a living example of a particular program?

Staying Fit After 60:  Introducing the Exercise for Live Program by Calvin HillCalvin Hill realized as he was approaching the age of sixty, that he was not living a healthy lifestyle. Determined to live life to the fullest, he developed his own fitness program for people who are not planning to spend immense amounts of money on equipment or a health club.

For the past seventeen years, Calvin Hill has been the walking billboard for his program. He is his best endorsement for this particular series of exercises for keeping fit mentally and physically.

As Hill approached the age of sixty, he began exercising and started to search for simple activities that would strengthen every muscle and bone group in his body. The results were the loss of thirty pounds, feeling more mentally alert, and discovering less stress on his joints resulting in less pain.