Strong is the New Beautiful

I’ve found a great book worth reviewing after a long drought of reviews.

Get Lindsey Vonn’s new book Strong is the New Beautiful. The gold-medalist U.S. Olympic skier lists exercises you can do to get strong.

Yet who knows–maybe you’re not a fan of Lindsey Vonn or you don’t like her hair or something like that–you don’t have to take her word for it.

Take my word: for over five-and-a-half years long before Vonn detailed these exercises I’ve been doing them on my own at the gym. Vonn listed these exercises in 2016 and I’ve been doing them since 2011.

It might be unusual–yet I like going to the gym. Vonn believes most people resist exercising. No–I enjoy exercising at the gym.

Lindsey Vonn recommends strength training 2 days per week. You got that right: only 2 days with cardio mixed in. For the last year I’ve trained 2 days a week and 3 days a week on other weeks.

Working out consistently for 2 or 3 days a week even when you experience a setback and haven’t done exercise for a week or two here or there is the secret to success.

It’s true you don’t have to work out 4 or 5 days every week for an hour at a time.

If I did that I’d have no energy left over to have a social life or even to cook dinner or make the bed in the morning.

Lindsey Vonn quotes these statistics which are the prime reason for going out and buying her beautiful book:

“The more muscle mass you have, the less likely you are to die early from any cause,” according to research.

“A recent study found that shopping for fresh food is 24 percent cheaper per calorie than subsisting on processed stuff.”

Lindsey Vonn also gives recipes for tasty, healthful, easy-to-prepare meals.

It’s true: Strong is the New Beautiful.

The Coloring Book

I’m reading The Coloring Book by Colin Quinn. The front cover lists this selling point: “A comedian solves race relations in America.”

He skewers stereotypes by daring to say what no one else is. He attacks the P.C. police–who he thinks actually live in suburbs and don’t know what they’re talking about.

I’m glad he makes fun of a topic like this–because Quinn has a gift to make us think as well as laugh.

Sarah Silverman–another great comedian– was quoted in TimeOut NY–“Humor can change people’s minds more than anger.” A truer comment wasn’t ever spoken. You don’t fight hate with hate. You cure it with love and laughter.

Colin Quinn trusses up Italians too–and as an Italian I find this one of the funniest sections of his book. He roasts people of all colors and ethnics equally.

As Quinn would see it–and these are my words–the world’s been bleached of color. His Antidote is The Coloring Book.

Now, I would like to see Quinn make fun of actual racists–which is a different topic for another book.

I stopped doing business with a gym membership director (in 1992) and a real estate agent who were racists. They were a whiter shade of pale. The agent was showing me apartments in 2011–yes you heard that right–50 years after the civil rights movement.

How could that be? I wondered. This person was so hateful that I stopped doing business with her. It would cheer me to hear or read a comedy routine about people like this. Nothing should be sacred in comedy.

For now we have The Coloring Book. Go out and buy it–or at least like I did–check it out of the library.

As someone with a sense of humor that runs in her family and her extended not-blood family, I cheer on anyone who can make fun of what goes on in society. Laughter truly is the best medicine.

Love @ First Click

Love @ First Click I installed as an e-book and read in total on Monday.

The author gives great tips like not using the same screen name for your dating profile that you use for other social media and not using your real name.

One suggestion the author gives is to hug the person you meet in person for the first time after messaging on OKCupid or another website. Not confident I think this is the way to go except at the end of the meeting.

The first meeting is supposed to last 45 minutes to 90 minutes. You’re supposed to mingle with more than one guy or gal at the same time before deciding who to choose.

The iBook is only $11.99. It can be read quickly in a couple of days. You can put into practice some things right away.

The Longevity Book

I’m back. With another review of a celebrity book: Cameron Diaz’s The Longevity Book that follows on the heels of her The Body Book.

It doesn’t go on sale yet. It’s on an embargo at the library so it can’t be checked out until a certain date. As with all these embargoed books I read them before they go on sale and before they’re able to be checked out by library patrons.

The one good point about Cameron Diaz’s book is that she talks about menopause. I’ll be 51 this spring. She goes into an overview of what happens like hot flashes and cold sweats.

Ladies: I tell you: that accounts for why suddenly at nine o’clock at night I’m heated up and ten minutes later I’m breaking out in a cold sweat.

I skimmed only the sections of the book that interested me.

The Kate Hudson book Pretty Happy I liked more even with its numerous drawbacks like detailing how to go on a cleanse. I don’t do cleanses. I don’t think they’re necessary or ultimately healthy. And mostly because if I want to eat a couple of macaroons, I’m going to have the macaroons.

To be honest: there was nothing exceptional about the new Cameron Diaz book as compared to Christiane Northrup’s bible The Wisdom of Menopause. And the Mayo Clinic has a great DVD on menopause that I’m going to buy instead of reading the Northrup book (which I tried to read straight through and ended about 100 pages short of the end. The book clocked in at near 900 pages.)

I hear–you can ask your doctor to be safe–that taking two 400 mg Vitamin E pills helps with hot flashes. A woman who’s a few years older than me told me this.

Again: I do wish ordinary woman who want to speak their mind for others to hear would get book deals not just celebrities and other famous people.

Yes: I skimmed only the sections of The Longevity Book that interested me. What I read was impressive in its own way.

The book reports on–and I’ve reported elsewhere on–how maintaining social connections and friendships and other relationships as we head into our sunset years accounts for having better health and happiness.

Right now I’m reading sentence-by-sentence an utterly fascinating memoir that I’ll talk about early next week after I’m done reading it.

Right now I just want to crawl under the covers with a tub of Ben & Jerry’s.

Pretty Happy

The latest book I’ve read in one day is Kate Hudson’s Pretty Happy.

I’m not a fan of books that celebrities write extolling their latest incarnation as a lifestyle guru.

My prime beef with books like these is that I have a distaste for the fact that a traditional house / that is publisher won’t publish an ordinary person’s great book. Instead readers are treated with a glut of books celebrities write on topics du jour.

You can see from my photo that I have a toned, athletic body and gorgeous face. Yet even I am no fan of seeing beautiful women’s photos in any kind of inspirational book for other women.

Kate Hudson as I did won a genetic lottery in the looks department. That doesn’t signal I want to see her in skimpy clothes throughout her new book about body acceptance.

I give this book *** stars for its good intentions. Yet does a publisher think ordinary women will be enticed to buy this book because a famous person is telling us what to do?

Another flaw to this book is that the questionnaire on body type seems to calculate you incorrectly when you add up the numbers. I’m most likely a Vati body type yet adding up the numbers labels me as a Kapha-a woman with a medium to heavy build and slow movement.

(A guy mistook me for a professional runner one day when I ran like mad to catch an approaching bus.)

The one technique I will use that Hudson details is that of keeping a Drawing Board–a type of journal where you check in every day with yourself about how your body feels and what you’re thinking.

Thus the idea of keeping a Drawing Board is the one resounding Plus of this celebrity book that I endorse.

Other than this it’s sad that a book like this that an ordinary woman might write is not going to get published.

I recommend checking this book out of the library. For a better inspirational book, buy and read Martina Navratilova’s Shape Your Self. Also buy Pamela Peeke, M.D.’s Body for Life for Women instead.

I just can’t help it: I have a distaste for seeing beautiful women everywhere in the media. They were born beautiful so I know they can’t help it.

Still I think: when are we going to see ordinary faces and ordinary women glorified for our expertise and savvy in living our lives as remarkable women?

Why Not Me?

I read the Mindy Kaling book Why Not Me? She’s America’s Funniest Woman.

At the end she tells readers the secret to success: hard work. You got that right. She earned her success via hard work–and doing it with a smile.

I’m right with her–confidence doesn’t matter–persistence matters. Not quitting, not giving up on yourself or your goals matters more than anything. It even matters more than talent–because a lot of people who have talent don’t use it, so they’ve squandered the gifts they were given at birth.

Mindy Kaling is a natural-born comedian. Like her, I had to work longer and harder to get what I wanted in the face of people who told me it wasn’t possible. She and I know that no one else has power over us–each person living on earth is their own champion. No one else holds the keys to our happiness or our success.

Kaling writes in her book too that thin women–skeletons in clothes–should not be the gold standard we aspire to be. Perpetuating the idea that girls don’t have confidence and need to be given it is a myth Mindy Kaling exposes too

You don’t need confidence. I’ve always believed you just need to persist in taking action in the direction of your goals. Persistence trumps confidence in my book. It’s called getting up every time you fall down and trying again. Doing something different when what you first wanted to do doesn’t turn out to be the right thing.

Here’s to you, Mindy Kaling! Read her book–she’s a national treasure.

My Own Antidote

I realize that some of what Republicans say makes sense. Yet they’re destructive on the issues that do matter to me.

My biggest screed I’ve written in here about is climate change–I’ve written about this in every incarnation of the blogs I’ve kept. Our elected officials voted to prohibit independent scientists from advising the EPA on climate change.

Yet you can’t tell me that in Brooklyn, NY when it’s 16 degrees with a wind chill at 0 on a Sunday and two days later it’s 54 degrees on a Tuesday–you can’t tell me that’s a natural and normal occurrence.

No–Monsanto–you can’t tell me that industrial agriculture is sustainable–it’s not sane either and it’s destroying our planet.

This is where I break away from believing that whole swaths of people buy what they hear and what other people and leaders and corporations are selling. I didn’t ever trust anyone else to have my best interests at heart. One of the antidotes is simple: don’t believe what you hear.

My prime beef is that books like The Antidote conflate political ideologies with actual racism. This is where I differ: I think actual racism does still exist. I learned this the hard way when I was attacked. Yet I’ll be the first one to tell you that stereotyping people is not the way to go.

A better antidote exists: think for yourself.

A clerk who gave me a makeover in The Body Shop in 1996 told me: “Everyone tells me to hate white people and have nothing to do with them. I refuse to go along with that.”

In this way it boggles my mind that The Reverend thinks any rational person would allow another person to tell them that living in poverty is perfectly acceptable. I lived in a dangerous apartment complex for a little over a year. Crack vials littered the hallways. One day I arrived home from work and saw a guy lying on the pavement in front of the lobby door–he’d been stabbed or else OD’d–I knew better than to go close enough to find out.

Is that something to aspire to? I kid you not: who would accept this as a way of life if an alternative existed? I got out of that mode of living as soon as I could.

Corcoran’s in Brooklyn was accused of steering. I kid you not about this too. I lived on Staten Island in the 1970s and 1980s. Back then all the African Americans lived in apartment buildings–buildings that were mostly housing projects. You can’t tell me this was by choice that they chose to live in impoverished areas.

Tell me again why preaching God as salvation and telling women not to have an abortion is the way to go. The authors of Freakonomics claim the good thing about legalizing abortion was that fewer kids were born into poverty–thus the crime rate went down. This actually makes sense as a theory.

Like I said I think the Reverend author of The Antidote is right-on in the issue he tackles. I agree that we can’t whitewash the truth.

My point though is that we can’t–and shouldn’t–conflate a political ideology with actual racism.

My point is that every American should rise up to speak out about the issues that matter to them.

Even if our elected officials are mostly on the take from Big Business–I think the solution is to rise up and think and speak for ourselves.

Which is what I applaud the Reverend for doing. More of us should do it.

The antidote to hate is love. My mother and I crashed the wedding of a neighbor’s daughter (we weren’t invited.) I remember 20 years later what the priest told the new spouses: “When you fall out of love you can decide to love.”

It’s as simple as this folks: each of us can decide for ourselves to love our neighbors.

It comes down to choice. And I have a hard time believing that most people choose to hate or buy into hate as a way of life. I say this as a person who was attacked.

I say this as a person who doesn’t think other people need saving–either by God, a political party, or some kind of leader.

We just need to treat each other with dignity. It starts when we think for ourselves about how we want to act towards others.

And you’d better bet that if climate change continues unchecked it will hasten widespread poverty in the world. Something that no Republican will admit to.

The antidote to what ails us extends beyond our own zip code. We have to heal the planet at the same time we heal ourselves. If we don’t heal the planet, what will be left?