New Book Offers Tools to Achieve "Wellth" – Total Health and Wellness

Glen Alex has spent her life advocating for better health for people, and now, in her new book, Living in Total Health, she offers a balanced and sometimes surprising journey into what it means to be healthy, wealthy, and wise-or what has become popularly known in the health and wellness community as “wellth.” Glen defines this new term as “the sum total of the richness and wellbeing found in good health. Wellth means being wealthy in health-that one has met certain physical diagnostic ranges and has a meaningful or joyful life. Balance.”

That balance is evident in this book because it’s not just solely about exercise or nutrition. Instead, Glen divides the book into three sections: Physical Wellth, Emotional Wellth, and Mental Wellth. Then each section is broken up into four chapters, including “Moving Your Body” (Physical Wellth), “Being Present” (Emotional Wellth), and “Stressing Less” (Mental Wellth). Each section and chapter is filled with discussion, personal stories to illustrate Glen’s points, and exercises for the reader to become more aware of and practice the topic at hand. Glen further clarifies her goal in the introduction by saying: “The purpose of this book is to offer a different perspective on health, not to regurgitate available how-to information on diet, exercise, etc. The intention of Living in Total Health is to activate your critical reasoning and challenge your adopted approach to health if you have not achieved your goals.”

One aspect of Living in Total Health that I especially appreciated was that Glen continually reminds us that all we need is already within us. She doesn’t ask us to perform any miracles but simply to do what we were naturally born to do. Rather than tell us to do hardcore exercises at the gym, she redefines exercise as any sort of activity that requires movement like a walk, yoga, or even doing laundry or washing dishes. The challenge is to get active. Sure, some people may choose to do more-and that’s great-but for most of us, Glen’s words of wisdom are a much needed reminder of how we can start.

Glen also makes it clear that we don’t have to go along with the health crowd becomes one size does not fit all. Each of us has our own individual body, and consequently, our individual nutrition needs require much more than “a patented dietary plan.” She encourages us to find out which foods our body reacts well to and to find nutritional balance in what we can enjoy and what will not upset or inflame our bodies. Other key physical aspects she focuses on include the importance of stretching, including when and how to do it, and the benefits of massage, including massage safety tips so you can ensure you find a reliable and trustworthy massage therapist.

In the section on Emotional Wellth, Glen explains the difference between feelings and emotions and how they are signals with messages for us. Perhaps the most powerful discussions in this section had to do with separating our emotions from those of others. Glen discusses the importance of setting boundaries with people, including emotional ones. Sometimes we may have to draw the line with someone about how to treat us, but we may also have to draw an emotional boundary that we do not let ourselves cross when it comes to taking on other people’s problems. While we can be sympathetic to people, Glen warns us against metaphorically putting on someone else’s shoes that aren’t ours-in other words, don’t take on someone else’s emotional baggage.

In the midst of these boundary discussions, Glen brings up the topic of domestic violence, and I think she makes a strong point here about the difference between a conscious and a thoughtless choice. So many male batterers will claim that a woman’s behavior is what drove them to beat her, but if that’s true, why don’t those men just leave the women so they eliminate the frustration in their lives? Nor are these men incapable of containing their rage since batterers will not behave abusively in public but only at home, which is proof that people make conscious choices.

In the final section on Mental Wellth, Glen focuses on how the accumulation of unhealthy life choices commonly impact the mental health and stability of the majority of us. At the forefront of mental issues is how stress affects us, and Glen offers tips for how to reduce it. She also helps us rethink our support systems, and she introduces the concept of creating an ecomap of your support system as an effective exercise to gain greater mental wellth in your life.

Living in Total Health contains so much more than I can go into in this short review, and throughout the book’s pages, Glen tells it to us like it is, in a kind, yet straightforward manner, like the good coach she is. Toward the end of the book, she explains her mindset about her purpose in life which informed her writing of this book: “I strive to fulfill my purpose for being on this earth, to actualize and share my inner gifts with others. My truth and the perennial state of love provide the foundation I need to reach my goal to become the best version of Glen and reflection of my Creator that I am capable of being.”

We should all strive for a similar purpose, and we can achieve it. Reading and practicing the principles in Living in Total Health is a good step toward that achievement and a greater sense of happiness and wellbeing all around.

Don’t Sweep It Under the Drug! – By: Dr Cathy Rosenbaum – Book Review

Finding the right balance in life for health of body and mind has become more difficult in today’s increasingly complex world. The world generally focuses on maintaining a youthful appearance, but this may not be the best way to achieve wellness. Indeed, this is especially true for Baby Boomers, who are now facing various medical issues as they mature. Because of busy lives and hectic work schedules, it is often easiest to take multiple prescription medicines as well as the ever popular dietary supplements, thus covering up the symptoms but often not dealing with the actual cause. A semblance of bodily health might be achieved, but important aspects of a person’s life are ignored in the process.

Finding a better way is possible, and Dr. Cathy Rosenbaum provides the path towards wellness in her book, Don’t Sweep It Under the Drug! First, with the guidance of a medical professional, Baby Boomers, as well as the rest of the population, can better manage their prescription medications. Carefully reviewing these medicines along with any dietary supplements can help eliminate the dangers of drug interactions and minimize any adverse side effects. Similarly, incorporating complementary practices, such as massage and aromatherapy, and making lifestyle changes can further be of benefit. No wellness program would be complete, though, without attention to relaxation and spiritual development. By taking this holistic approach, even those with chronic illnesses can begin to feel better and more at ease with their aging process.

Among the many health-related books available on the market, Dr. Rosenbaum’s book offers Baby Boomers with a balanced way to achieve health, both of body and mind. As a pharmacist and medical professional, Rosenbaum has a unique insight into the pharmaceutical industry and gives readers an overview of the fundamentals of drug approval, polypharmacy, drug interactions, and more. Additionally, she outlines some alternative approaches to medication that readers can explore with their doctors. Indeed, all of the information provided would be difficult to obtain elsewhere. Rosenbaum’s explanations of complex issues such as drug interactions are extremely accessible to average readers and give them the needed background to better improve their health. Don’t Sweep It Under the Drug! also includes many practical strategies for improving wellness, including an emphasis on spiritual development, something that is sorely lacking in many similar books.

Dr. Rosenbaum’s passion for helping others is clear in her book. What started with a family member’s health crisis has become for her a way to walk alongside others as they make gradual changes to improve their lives. Certainly Rosenbaum’s book is written for Baby Boomers and so would directly appeal to their needs and values, but the book would easily have value for anyone attempting to maneuver through a maze of prescriptions, dietary supplements, and lifestyle changes. Brief and yet filled with important insights, Dr. Cathy Rosenbaum’s Don’t Sweep It Under the Drug! is a necessary addition to the library of any reader, whether young or old.

A Book Review: Wheat Belly – Lose the Weight and Find Your Path Back to Health by William Davis, MD

In Part One, Dr. Davis gives us the shocking news (if we didn’t already know it), that Whole Wheat is unhealthy. In fact, the wheat we have today is nothing like the wheat of old – as recently as with our grandparents. He gives a thorough history of the grain of wheat. Gluten is the key ingredient, according to Davis, that makes wheat stick together and what makes problems for many. Other grains have gluten as well, but since Americans do not eat as large quantities of these other grains as we do wheat, Davis simplifies by saying, “wheat.”

Then, in Part Two, Davis presents all of the ways in which wheat destroys health. What we have today has been genetically changed into something that is actually addictive. Dr. Christine Zioudrou and her colleagues of the National Institutes of Health studied the effect of gluten on the brain. It penetrates the blood-brain barrier. Based on the effects to the brain, they called the polypeptides “exorphins” – short for exogenous morphine-like compounds. Also, wheat functions as an appetite stimulant. Wheat produces belly fat that looks like a pregnant belly. Further, wheat triggers the production of a cycle driven by insulin of satiety and hunger with emotional ups and downs. This visceral fat is very dangerous to our health. One outcome is diabetes.

Some suffer from celiac disease – the intestines react violently when wheat, even a tiny bit is consumed. While animal products including cheese upset the pH in the body by producing too much acid, wheat also disrupts the balance. Excess acid in the body produces joint pain and demineralizes the bones. Other problems that wheat causes include cataracts, wrinkles, osteoporosis and dowager’s hump (bent posture) skin problems (acne, rash), and heart disease. Regarding the brain, wheat messes with cerebellar health. “Cerebellar ataxia is progressive, getting worse with each passing year until the sufferer is unable to comb his hair, brush his teeth, or go to the bathroom alone. Even the most basic self-care activities will be performed by someone else.” (p.167) Peripheral neuropathy has also been linked to gluten. MRIs have also shown brain damage in the cerebral cortex the center of memory and higher thinking. Dementia and temporal lobe seizures have been connected with wheat as well.

Finally, in Part Three, Davis guides his readers in how to “create a healthy, delicious, wheat-free life”. He lists foods that contain wheat and give recipes in the appendix. What is left in a wheat-free life? Vegetables, raw nuts, good oils (butter, olive oil, coconut and others), meat and eggs, some dairy and some fruit. By doing so, you will enjoy a healthy and slender life. Davis makes an excellent case.