FEEDBACK SO FAR
I’ve had overwhelming feedback so far from book readers globally about the remarkable improvements in health they have experienced and how they have been inspired by the case studies which they connected with. Despite the title, folks from all ethnic backgrounds (South Asian, East Asian, Western, etc.) have found the content useful. My goal was not just to overwhelm readers with scientific and nutrition information, but to also tell stories that readers could connect to and gain inspiration from. I’ve had physicians successfully use the principles in the book as well to make game-changing improvements in the lives of their patients.
A CONDENSED GUIDE TO MY BOOK
One challenge some patients and readers have echoed is the length of my book and how they wish they could get their friend, spouse, etc. to consume key content and benefit immediately. The good news is I’m working on that as we speak and it will be a groundbreaking approach to health and nutrition that is a significant update on the principles in my book, now that I’ve gained even further insights from the clinic and my wellness programs.
For everyone else who gifts this book to someone with a limited attention span, have them read the list below for guidance. Ideally I would love everyone to read the book from front to back, but I understand that a targeted approach might work better for others. I also am realizing that many of the patients seeing me in my clinic who say they have “read the book,” have overlooked some key content, so hopefully this guide can help re-direct readers to critical parts.
THE CORE PARTS OF THE BOOK:
Chapter 1: Inflammation and Insulin– I know it’s a bit long and has some excess scientific jargon, but it will help you thoroughly understand exactly how your lifestyle habits influence your health. It ties together key principles like insulin resistance and inflammation using simple images and analogies. Yes, I know the opening case study is a bit shocking and alarmist, but it’s real and is meant to spur less motivated folks into action. I’ve had many wives thank me regarding the case of “Ravi” (hypothetical name, but real patient referenced in chapter 1), a compelling story that finally spurred some of the least motivated husbands into action! Also focus on the Metabolic 6-pack which is a guide to some useful blood tests and biometrics that will help you understand your risk type better.
Chapter 2: Cholesterol– If you’ve ever had an abnormal cholesterol test or even have a family history of cholesterol problems, read this chapter end to end. It will turn upside down everything you thought you knew and what most doctors think they know about cholesterol. In my clinic most patients are left scratching their heads and frankly are frustrated that no doctor or nutritionist ever taught them about cholesterol the correct way. You will look at your cholesterol panel with a fresh set of eyes and perspective that most doctors don’t even use today.
Chapter 4: Your Body– You’ll finally understand why slender folks with just a hint of belly fat can be at just as much risk as someone who is more obviously overweight. I use images to depict why belly fat is so dangerous and provide recommended body size measurements that are far superior to using just weight or body mass index (BMI). I also talk about how to measure body fat, strength and muscle mass. Highly recommended chapter to read.
Chapter 5: The South Asian Struggle with Fat and Weight Loss– This is a critical chapter that teaches you how your body stores fat and I use a vegetarian Indian woman to illustrate how someone who consumes no meat, minimal fat and few calories still manages to gain so much body fat. After you read this chapter, you will have a completely different impression about food and nutrition that is contrary to everything you may have learned in the past and you'll understand the key factors that lead to weight gain and fat gain.
Chapter 6: CARBS Approach to Fat Burning– A must read. This is where I explain my overall nutrition approach using the “CARBS” mnemonic structure and concepts like net carbohydrates. I also cover essential topics like a guide to healthy cooking oils, how vegetarians can get more protein into their diet, why breakfast may be the unhealthiest meal of the day and how to do intermittent fasting (IF). You will have all the essential nutrition fundamentals covered after reading this chapter.
Chapter 7: An Enjoyable Approach to Exercise– Believe it or not, I don’t consider this to be an essential chapter right off the bat. I want people to understand the nutrition part first. I have plenty of very active patients who run or work out daily but still carry around extra belly fat and an abnormal cholesterol, blood glucose and/or blood pressure problem. However, once you come back to this chapter you will learn that exercise can be relatively effortless and I prescribe a simple program that can be done anywhere in addition to recommending some key Apps.
Chapter 8: Stress, Sleep and Fatigue-When I started writing this book almost a decade ago, my late father told me…. “Be sure to talk about stress in your book.” He gave me piles of articles and I acknowledged them but did not make them a high priority. I now want to say that stress and sleep issues are the most important barrier to my patients improving their health. Yes Dad, once again you were right! If you’ve tried other programs (including mine) and have not succeeded, be sure to read this chapter first. It will teach you about stress, sleep and fatigue and provide practical advice and even Apps that I personally use and prescribe that have been game changers. Sleep and stress are especially huge barriers for women trying to lose weight.
***If even the above is too overwhelming for you and you don’t need the science right now, but just need to jump right in, then you could go straight to Chapter 6 (nutrition) and then later read from the beginning so you understand the scientific foundation and remain motivated to continue your healthy lifestyle habits for the rest of your life. If you feel your nutrition plan has been good and consistent with my principles but you're still not reaching your goals, then do check out my exercise chapter and read Chapter 8 as well to help you fix your stress and sleep issues which are highly fattening, especially in women.
So these chapters are more specific to certain situations.
Chapter 3: Blood Pressure-If you or a loved one has high blood pressure, do read this chapter since I discuss several natural ways to manage blood pressure that have been successful in my patients.
Chapter 9: Women’s Health: I do encourage all women to read this chapter since as you ladies know, the female body is much different than the male body, especially when it comes to weight loss. I discuss the nuances here. If you are even thinking of getting pregnant, definitely read this chapter to avoid the epidemic of gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy) and other common pregnancy-related issues. We are also seeing lots of PCOS (read this if you don't know what PCOS is) in young teens and I'll show you how to prevent/reverse this condition which raises the risk of infertility, diabetes and heart disease later in life.
Chapter 10: Children’s health: This was co-written by my pediatrician wife, Dr. Shally Sinha, and was organized to address the top questions she faces in the clinic. If you have kids, are planning to have kids or have loved ones (nephews, grandchildren, etc.)who are kids, this chapter is worth a read.
Chapter 11: Anti-Aging and Elderly Health: This chapter is not just for seniors. It's for anyone who wants to live longer and slow down the epidemic of accelerated aging we are seeing in the clinic. Thirty year olds who look and feel like 50-year olds and are developing conditions like arthritis and advanced diabetes that we would typically see in seniors, is becoming too common in my practice. I also talk in detail about how to manage the epidemic of vitamin D deficiency.
Chapter 12: Achieving Your Goals: This is all about motivation, goal setting and building your health team. You might feel overwhelmed by all my advice in the book, so this chapter helps you break it down into priorities so it's more doable.
Case Studies: A few case studies have been provided so you can better understand what the lab results and biometrics mean and also to motivate you with some great success stories.
DON’T FORGET THE APPENDIX!!
This was never meant to be a recipe book. There are plenty of those out there already, but I do have a few key recipes and concepts that can easily be incorporated into your style of eating. I also provide detailed tables of key labs and biometrics in addition to my list of favorite health and wellness apps and additional links and resources.
OTHER WAYS TO LEARN AND CONNECT WITH US
I will be posting more often on my Facebook page, so be sure to join the conversation and you can post questions and comments that both I and my clinical dietician, Prerna Uppal and Dr.Shally Sinha (kid's questions) can answer. I will also post the latest and greatest research, upcoming events and some of my personal thoughts from daily life and in my clinic.
We also just formed a MeetUp group in the Bay Area, Bay Area Ancestral Health for All Cultures and Diets, so we can take our message straight to the community. Sorry about the long title, but we wanted to make it as descriptive as possible! I'll be joined by Prerna and Shally, so we can cover a an immense range of topics for adults and kids.