Books, Family, Food Inspiration, London

Drop Dead Healthy

June 23, 2012

Happy Saturday! I have about 15 hours to kill before I finally fly home so a blog post is just the right activity to keep me busy!

I arrived in London yesterday afternoon after packing up the rest of my things and dropping them off at the storage place. My dad was in town for the night so he invited me and my brother out for dinner (in case you’re wondering, my sister was invited too – we’re not that cruel – but she had already made other plans). Dinner was good, but we went to a restaurant where it didn’t feel appropriate to take pictures of the food. Sorry. I do have some phone pictures of our breakfast though, just to add some color to this post.

I stayed the night at my dad’s hotel so instead of hitting up my usual London breakfast spot (Le Pain Quotidien 😉 ) we had breakfast at the hotel. Whenever my dad takes us out for dinner, breakfast, etc. he keeps telling us to load up on the food. I always take it literally. This morning I had …

… a cappucino,

… a jar of bircher muesli,

… a very large plate of fruit (the plate was the size of my usual salad bowl, but who doesn’t like fresh fruit?) and …

… scrambled eggs and pastries (pain au chocolat, bread with jam and almond danish)!

As you may have observed from previous breakfast posts I’m usually not one to have scrambled eggs for breakfast, but when I see eggs at a breakfast buffet I just can’t resist a spoonful.

After breakfast my dad had a quick meeting so I decided to take the tube to Oxford Street to do  a little shopping. I arrived right when the stores opened and ten minutes later I already walked out of Banana Republic, shopping bags in hand! I love SALES!

I also discovered the Anthropologie Store on Regent Street and while I was a bit mad at myself for not having been there before it was probably good for my bank account. I do a lot of online browsing at stores that I like so I knew that they had really cute kitchen supplies but I could have literally bought the whole store!!!

My dad had to catch a 3 o’clock flight so I hurried back to the hotel to get our things and we drove to the airport together. Since my flight leaves early tomorrow morning I thought it would be smart to stay near the airport to avoid a long journey in the morning. I arrived at the hotel at around 3pm and am bored to death. There’s really not much to do. I’ve already been to the gym, taken a bubble bath, explored the hotel, read tons of blogs but really the most exciting activity is to stare out of the window and observe the planes landing and taking-off … until I remembered that I had a book recommendation that I’ve wanted to write for some time now!

Drop Dead Healthy

As you may or may not know I’m a huge fan of Julie’s blog Peanut Butter Fingers. Shortly after I started reading I told my sister about my newest blog obsession and now she’s a huge fan too. When we’re together we often start discussing things Julie writes about (mostly about Sadie-related things or workouts) and Fraser feels excluded since he’s not an PBF-addict yet! Anyhow, one of the cool things Julie does is write a monthly book club post about a book her readers choose. Though I’ve never actively taken part in the book club, I have read many of the recommended books but for this month’s book I just feel like I need to share my thoughts with you all!

The book we’re reading this month is Drop Dead Healthy: One Man’s Humble Quest for Bodily Perfection by A. J. Jacobs.

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Even before Julie announced that this would be the the book for June’s book club I knew that I’d read it and write about my thoughts, whether good or bad. I know that a lot of you are very interested in health and as I nutrition student I myself enjoy reading just about anything that will give me even more insight in the world of fitness and health.

What I was most happy about is the fact that this is not another useless diet-book. It’s simply a man trying to be the healthiest person alive after suffering from pneumonia and keeping track of his achievement or mis-achievements in what seems like his diary.  Each chapter highlights a different important bodily function or body part, such as the heart, the brain, the lungs, the skin and within that chapter Jacobs tries to discover as much as possible of how to become healthier.

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The book however does not only talk about what we must eat or drink or how much exercise is best for optimal health but really digs deep into finding out how to avoid chemicals in your household, how to protect your ears from the constant noise or how beneficial the Paleo diet is in everyday life.

I loved the open approach Jacobs uses to become more healthy. While most other people would simply include a gym session here or there or eat a serving more of fruit per day he wrote a good amount of the book while on the treadmill wearing his noise-cancelling earphones. He did research on almost anything you could imagine and even got together with some of the most-trusted specialists in their field. For instance, in one chapter he goes shopping at Whole Foods with Marion Nestle, nutritionist and author of books like Food Politics or What to Eat. He seeks advice from people who know what they are talking about but isn’t afraid to comment that not everything’s that’s been labelled as healthy or health-promoting will actually do your body any good!

The book follows Jacobs and his family for 2 years revealing detailed stories about family-life (I loved the anecdotes on his grandfather). While I really enjoyed the whole book, loved the writing style and am now more knowledgeable than I was before the favorite part of the book however were the last couple of pages for the simple fact that it included this wonderful quote by “fitness expert” Oscar Wilde:

“Be moderate in all things, including moderation. There’s room for immoderation”.

It’s really the last couple of pages and the Epilogue where Jacobs reveals his opinion on the project he has undertaken for the last two years and I think the quote sums up his sentiments perfectly.

While I myself frequently say “everything in moderation” is better than depriving yourself of something that you really like, in the end as long as you live a healthy, active life for the rest of the time a couple of days of immoderation won’t hurt you. Balancing out overly-healthy and pig out fests is key! No diet necessary!!!

For more info on the author and his book visit this website.

Hope you enjoy the book as much as I did and for anyone who’s already read it  I’d love to hear your thoughts!!!

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3 Comments

  • Reply Drop Dead Healthy | Peanut Butter Fingers July 2, 2012 at 7:50 pm

    […] Health Inspirations […]

  • Reply Julie July 2, 2012 at 8:50 pm

    I took a couple of things from this, but my favorites were Dr. Oz’s quote about too much working out makes you old and then, orthorexia.

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