Tag Archives: better than before

Happy Brain – Wendy Suzuki

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My Italian edition tells “more intelligent, more active, happier – the method that awakens and empower the mind”. So you expect an essay about scientific researches on brain, neurons and hormons.

This is actually a part of what you will find on this book: updated and carefully examined. But the most funny part is Suzuki’s life.

When she was a child, she dreamed to become a Hollywood star. Then she became a swot and shy girl. After that, she became a very awarded scientist and teacher.

But she was not happy.

This is the story of her change.

She started with the relationship with her parents: they never told each other sentences like “I love you” and when she decided to change this aspect, she first asked for… permission!!

Then she noticed that she was fat and in no shape at all. So she got on diet (again: a high protein diet, my god, someone must tell her to read Campbell, Esselstyn, Fuhrman, McDougall, Barnard, because she cannot he healthy with such a lifestyle) and started to exercise.

Exercise is the pivot of the book; Wendy Suzuki even put the exercise in a college class! The author analyses the effect of exercise on the brain, on the memory, on creativity¬†and on self-image. She explains using her knowledge of neuroscience, but the book is never hard to understand.She also gives us some tips: how to develop our brain capabilities through 4-minutes easy and little things (for instance: listen to TED’s videos or go up and down from your stairs).

Of course I do not agree with her high protein diet decision. And I do not agree with her when she says that the intentional exercise shall embody self-empowerment sentences without distinguish among them (for instance, she once suggests a negative wording like “I have no fear”, when I know that such sentences must never be negative, as it seems that our unconscious does not recognize the “not” form). But I liked her change a lot!

She was almost 40 years old when she noticed that something did not work in her life. Above all, I like her sincerity when she tells about her love affairs. I gasped when I read that she tried to meet new men through a meeting-organizer and through internet: is this so normal in the USA? And what about the coach? And the feng-shui mentor?

A well-know neuro-scientist with such whims!

Thanks God: I still have hope.

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Better Than Before – Gretchen Rubin

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I do not like the way the title of this book has been translated into Italian: it means “It is easy to change”. You just wait that the title goes on with “if you know how to do it”… but this is the way italian editors work.

Well, at first sight it seems that the author is obsessed with self-improvement, and this can give you the impression that she is rather perfectionist and fuss-pot, thas she is Always looking for a better way to spare time, read more books, write more, meet more people, be lean, be a good mother and wife and so on. I must admit that this first impression did not let her be very funny to me.

She often uses phases and episodes taken from the lives of her fans in internet or from chats with her friends, because she like to share her current passions with everybody to test if her opinions are true. Anyway, this method is rather subjective.

This is why I do not consider this book as a real self-help book. I rather consider it like a good chat with someone who is trying to improve herself. This is not little.

How many people do you know wich purpose is to become better than before? Maybe you know someone who tries to be the best in something, the best manager, the best mother, the best athlete and so on, but this is not the same thing. I would rather consider it like the opposite, in a certain way.

Gretchen Rubin does give you some nice tips on how to get good habits. The first tip is to work on yourself, to know yourself (although I think that her classification method is rather strict). One of her mantra is “be Gretchen“. We must learn to know ourselves and be ourselves.

What I do not agree on, is her diet habit.

I became vegan after having read a lot of books on diet and health, not only by vegan authors. I think I discovered the true secret to understand if a scientific research is good or not, and this secret is the time.

I bet that she has lost weight with a high protein diet. Of course she did, everybody does, it is physiological because our body normally works by carbs burning. And if you look at all high protein diet researches, you will see that they are tested on the short run (max one, one and a half year). On the long run, people either gain again their initial weight or they develop illnesses. At the end, I do not think that Rubin’s diet habit is better than before. Maybe better than the standard american diet, but in this case she is just leaner than before.

I hope that she can read some books of plant-based doctors (Esselstyn, Campbell, Barnard, McDougall, Fuhrmann and many Others). She is a book lover, I do not doubt that sooner or later she will put a question mark on her high protein diet habit.

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