Friday, January 6, 2012

'Crazy Sexy Diet' - by Kris Carr...

"I am capable, confident, intelligent, resilient and in charge. Health and happiness are my birthrights and I accept with gratitude." - Kris Carr, "Crazy Sexy Diet"

Forget the silly title of this book, and ignore the word diet. What Kris Carr proposes within the pages of this ‘how to’ isn’t a diet, but a complete lifestyle overhaul. Lifestyle changes - not diets - are what we as a society should be focused on, not only to make us look and feel better but to improve our overall health and help us fight in the struggles against pre-mature aging, pre-mature death and disease.

For those who know me well, know that I do not believe in diets. I never have and I never will, I have in fact never gone on ‘a diet’ in my life. Why? Simple, diets do not work! Or rather they work only in the short term, gaining you superficial results that you almost immediately loose the minute you stray from the diet plan. Many new fad diets have come and gone over the years, and I have had too many girlfriends fall victim to the dangerous insanity most of these con men and woman perpetuate. Atkins, South Beach, Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers, you name it and I have a friend who’s tried it, and in virtually every case they’ve failed. Either the diet didn’t work for them, or they lost an exorbitant amount of weight in a very short time only to gain it all back in the weeks or months that followed them ending the diet. Very often I’ve known people to gain back not only what they lost but more, and sometimes as much as double. One thing all diets have in common is restriction and control. The reason why any of these diets work in the first place is because they have the dieter eating an unreasonably low amount of calories. Portions are tiny, and while certain things are restricted or allowed only in moderation within the scope of the diet, none of these programs ever truly seek to remove the unhealthy foods entirely. In fact many of these diets tell you that yes you can continue to eat your bacon and eggs and potato chips and pop and still loose weight, which is insane. It does however speak to the vast majority of people who want to reap all the benefits of diet without actually putting forth and real effort or work.

The word diet in my opinion - when used in it’s current mutated manifestation meaning ‘a restricted eating regiment’ rather then it’s actual original meaning ‘the foods a human or animal habitually eats - is one of the most heinous words in the human lexicon, offering nothing but negative connotations. ‘Diet’ books by contrast are nothing more then highly publicized mass-marketed money making schemes that pray on the weakness and insecurity of easily led people. They promise solutions that are neither realistic or sustainable for the long term. They are complete and utter shams peddled by charlatans. Diets are not the answer, lifestyle changes are.

So what does my disdain for diets and diet books have to do with the Crazy Sexy Diet you may ask? Well it’s my utter abhorrence for the subject that had me automatically reject this book based on it’s title. When I saw the word diet I didn’t even deem the book worthy of a glace at the back cover. However as time went on I began to pick up fragments of "Crazy Sexy Diet" in the media or from friends who’d read it, for a while the book seemed to be everywhere, but still I turned my nose up at it. Then a few months ago I happened upon an interview with Kris Carr that I was immediately drawn into.

I discovered that Carr was not, after all, peddling another fad diet book but rather a lifestyle shift. One inspired by the fact that she is a cancer survivor. I learned that in 2003 at the age of 31 she was diagnosed with terminal cancer that was completely inoperable. A dozen tumors in her liver, ten more in her lungs and absolutely nothing anyone could do for her. No radiation, no surgery, no chemotherapy. Though she sought out second and third opinions the prognosis was always the same. Not willing or ready to give up she took matters into her own hands. She found an oncologist willing to work with her, and she completely transformed her life. Nearly ten years later she still has cancer but it’s dormant, not growing, not spreading, not expanding, she is healthy. I was in awe, and I wanted to know more.

So about a month and a half or so ago when I saw Crazy Sexy Diet collecting dust in my local library I decided it was time to finally give the book a fair shake. I took it home, cracked the cover and devoured the entire book in one night, almost in one sitting mind you. I was that captivated, that intrigued, and that enthralled. Since then I’ve read bits and pieces over again, and I have to say this book is really kind of life-altering.

"Wellness is not just about nutrition. It’s also about ecology, spirit, passion and culture. The Crazy Sexy Diet takes in all these interconnected issues" - Kris Carr, "Crazy Sexy Diet"

Now, being that I’m already vegan, and a health nut ta boot, not to mention pretty familiar with the raw lifestyle though I’m not a raw foodist myself most of the information in this book was not news to me. A lot of it I’ve read in other books, or articles, or heard in lectures, but it had been a while since I’d read anything nutrition related, or more accurately anything raw or detox related. It also just so happens that at the time I picked this book up I had been experiencing some unpleasant ups and downs - which I still am - which I mentioned in a post a few weeks ago. Two weeks of vacation really through me off my routine, and it’s been difficult getting back on it since coming home. I had been having a lot of stomach upset, bloating, gas, indigestion and hadn’t really thought too much about it since I’d been so busy, but once I started reading this book it clicked. Finally the reasons why I was feeling so off balance were starting to make sense to me. Sometimes you just really need a refresher course you know?

Though a lot of this book was a refresher for me, there were thing of which I was vaguely familiar that the book explained more fully. The book also goes way beyond changing your diet which I appreciate. Carr covers topics of personal care, meditation, relaxation and other holistic health and wellness treatments. This book is loaded with tons of useful information whether you’re a newbie or a veteran I think there’s a little something for everyone here.

I especially enjoyed chapter 2 which is all about PH Balance in your body, enzymes and eating more alkaline. Chapter 5 which is all about digestion and explores the process in a lot of depth. Chapter 6 Which is all about juicing. Something I’ve never done, and never been that interested in although Carr (as well as others) make it sound so sexy and fun! That I’m actually very interested now in investing in a juicer. Chapter 7 Which is all about taking care of your body through meditation, exercise, dry brushing, essential oils, massage, breath work and so on, and finally the sections in Chapter 9 that deal with probiotics and digestive enzymes were of particular interest. It’s amazing what you don’t know about your intestinal flora, and how backed up your bodies waste management system can become. Never in my life have I ever even entertain the notion of going in for a colonic but honestly it doesn’t sound like a half bad idea, especially considering how off kilter I’ve been feeling as of late.

I also really liked the upbeat nature of the writing. The book didn’t feel pushy or make you feel bad, it laid out simple truths that you can either accept or not. She fills the book with positive affirmations and does a really good job of making you feel like you have support and comradery. I think this is important particularly for people who may not have a good support system in their life. You can get to feeling like you’re all alone in the world but Carr makes you feel like part of a group. I also like the way she speaks positively about the body, and her encouraging words to help the reader feel more comfortable with theirs. In a society where so many woman - and men too - have severe body image issues these reassurances are very comforting.

Another great thing about the book is she offers a 21 day cleanse. Each day is laid out with her suggestions, advice, menu ideas and comfort and support. It’s a really great section of the book that she obviously put a lot of heart into. In the back of the book are a bunch of recipes to use during the cleanse or anytime and they’re also pretty wonderful. A lot are raw, but there are many cooked recipes as well, and several recipes for green juice and green smoothies. In the very back of the book Carr offers a great resource guide. Which is perfect for those who’d like more information on PH Balance, Fighting Cancer, Gi Index, and so on. As well as cook book ideas, and support for people transitioning to a gluten-free or vegan - or both - diet.

Now, having said all of that, I’ve read a lot of reviews that criticize the book for it’s use of bad language. Yes there is swearing, not an overly dramatic amount mind you, but it’s there. Think of this book as a kinder gentler "Skinny Bitch" but with a different goal. She never calls the reader an idiot or a bitch or anything like that but she does curse. Some people don’t like that, personally I could care less. I grew up in a family full of construction workers and I’ve been cursing like a sailor since I was 9. However if you’re sensitive to that kind of thing you may want to keep that in mind. Other people have criticized the book for it’s not being realistic or workable for the average everyday person. Personally I think this is an excuse, and it’s the same thing I hear from omnivores all the time as to why they’re not vegan. Honestly anything worth doing takes a little bit of work, and If you haven’t got the time to be sick, or don’t want to get sick then you need to find the time or make the time to be healthy. It’s as simple as that. If you don’t want to buy a juicer then don’t, make green smoothies. If you don’t want to buy a dehydrator then don’t you can use your oven on it’s lowest temperature setting but honestly it’s not even necessary for simple raw food preparation. What you need is to find balance, and do what works best for you. It certainly isn’t Kris Carr’s fault if you don’t know how to manage your time, so keep that in mind too.

The information in this book is solid, it’s well researched and well informed. I think she does a really good job of making a connection with the reader, and helping you realize the things that might not be so great in your life without being pushy. She’s great at offering support, and she makes you feel comfortable. Whether you agree 100% with her, or her plan, or not doesn’t matter, I really believe that there’s a lot of good here, there’s a little something for everyone and I think we could all benefit a little from the advice within these pages. So go order yourself a copy on Amazon or pick it up at your local library, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed as long as you read it with an open mind and an open heart. Remember that your health is everything, so stop putting it on the back burner.

"I am calm and light, I am peaceful and easygoing, I find beauty in simplicity." - Kris Carr - "Crazy Sexy Diet"

*** Photo found through Google Images ***

1 comment:

  1. Good info! Man, terminal cancer & she's still around! That's crazy. That just goes to show you the power of healthy eating/drinking. It's also really cool to look back at this post & see how far you've come from this. "I'm interesting in juicing" & BAM! Now you're a juicing machine. Glad you liked the book. - M