Approaching the Natural [Book Review]

Recently I read the book Approaching the Natural: A Health Manifesto by Sid Garza-Hillman, the in-house nutritionist at the Mendocino Center for Living Well at the Stanford Inn. I kind of want to take a solo vacation there to decompress. Maybe next year during my hubby’s busy season… when it’s easier to leave the baby with someone else. I always have vacation to burn off at this time of year.

Approaching the Natural

I liked how the author is credited right on the cover: Nutritionist/Author/Philosopher/Parent.
Isn’t it cool that “parent” is so important it’s right there in his credentials?

Oh… and the geek in me loves that Biz Stone (Twitter co-founder) wrote the foreword!

This is a small book. Not only in length, but also physical size. I have puny hands, but here it is in my hand.

Approaching the Natural in my hand

Small enough you could carry it around with you if you wanted!

I really enjoyed the book, it’s very readable. The writing style is very personable and you feel like Sid is just giving you a reality-check on how to look at your life. See how personable it is? I now reference the author like he and I are old pals. (Hi Sid, how’s it going?!)

It’s hard to argue against a book that starts like this:

Approaching the Natural introduction

The first part of the book is “Approaching the Natural Body”, incorporating practices that improve your physical body through food, exercise and connecting with the earth. The second part is “Approaching the Natural Mind”, taking care of your thoughts, your social network and yourself as part of the world at large.

While the eating part does advocate a vegan diet, no matter what your thoughts are toward that I do feel there is positive information to take away from that. (I’m conflicted on the whole veganism issue, but I think that is fodder for another post… if I feel that it would be interesting to people or it’s something I need to get out of my brain!)

And while I enjoyed the first part… the second part really struck a chord with me because that’s such a fundamental part of how I define health. I always say that health is the optimal expression of your physical, mental and emotional health within the confines of the genetic hand you’ve got. And to quote a line directly from the book, apparently my friend Sid agrees with me:

Caring for the mind is as important and crucial as caring for the body. In fact, one cannot be healthy without the other. From the book Approaching the Natural by Sid Garza-Hillman

Preach on!

He advocates the use of meditation to help you center your mind, but he presents it in such an approachable way that makes it seem like anyone could meditate.

Take one deep breath and then know that in that moment you were present and aware. From the book Approaching the Natural by Sid Garza-Hillman

I’m going to have to refrain from pulling quotes from this book too much, because I may end up quoting the entire second part on here! That wouldn’t be fair, Sid put forth the effort to write this book so I can’t just re-publish it all here.

Seriously, the book is very thought-provoking and I really enjoyed it. Even statements that I may not have agreed with were presented so I think about the subject and try to decide why I may or may not agree with them. If you get the chance, check it out. It’s selling on Amazon for $8.96 in print and $5.79 on Kindle.

Disclaimer: All reviews are my own opinion, this product was provided free for the purpose of review.

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