Robert Lustig is a Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Endocrinology and a member of the Institute for Health Policy Studies at University of California, San Francisco. He has authored 120 peer-reviewed articles and 70 reviews and is a leading voice on childhood obesity. And, his YouTube video “Sugar: The Bitter Truth” has been viewed over 7 million times. Obesity is a global pandemic. It’s astonishing how rapidly it’s expanding. And it’s COMPLETELY preventable. Lustig has dedicated his career to helping us understand the causes and how to “beat the odds against sugar, processed food, obesity and disease.” Big Ideas we explore include: Meeting the Darth Vader of the Food Empire (“Hi, sugar!”), two hormones driving the show (insulin + leptin), which fat you need to worry about most (big belly vs. big butt fat!), why so many diets work (reduced sugar + fiber), exercise (best ROI in medicine) and voting with ever dollar we *don’t* spend.
Elizabeth Blackburn won the Nobel Prize for her discovery of telemorase—“the enzyme that replenishes telomeres, which protect our genetic heritage.” Elissa Epel is one of the world’s leading health psychology researchers. Together, they have created a great book that walks us through the best of what we know about telomeres, why they’re so important and what we can do to Optimize them. If you’ve ever wanted to learn more about telomeres, THIS is the book to read. Big Ideas we explore include why telomeres are the secret sauce to aging well, the fact that your cells are listening to your thoughts (#1 tip? Shift from a threat response to a challenge response!), how to mind your telomeres (move from negative thinking to resilient thinking), how to eat, move, sleep your way to happy telomeres, and a challenging question: What will YOUR cellular legacy be?
Robb Wolf is a former research biochemist and is one of the leading thinkers/writers/practitioners in the Paleo or Ancestral Health movement. The essence of this book is the that while there are general principles of nutrition that work for everyone AND... Ultimately we need to figure out what works best for us as individuals if we want to rock it. Big Ideas we explore include: the fact that one size diets do NOT fit all (remember: "rough" tools vs. precision tools), discordance theory (there's a mismatch between our genes and our environment!), an anti-inflammatory diet (aka Paleo aka Phase I), personalized nutrition (aka 7-Day Carb test aka Phase II), the other pillars of health (sleep, stress, move, connection), and genetic + environmental lotteries (what to do if you lost them--lol).
James Clear has a super-popular website (jamesclear.com). Millions of people visit it every month and hundreds of thousands subscribe to his email newsletter. After reading this book, I can see why. He’s a great writer and distills the essence of habit formation into, well, its fundamental components—the “atomic” structure if you will—while showing us how those TINY little incremental improvements add up to MIGHTY results. I rarely say a book is a must-read but this one’s as close as it gets. Big Ideas we explore include: The math behind 1% gains compounding over a year (and a decade!), navigating the Plateau of Latent Potential (ever given up on a habit? Take note!), the importance (and etymology) of our Identity (get this: it *literally* means 'repeated being ness'), The 4 Laws of Behavior Change (remember: cue + craving + response + reward and... make it obvious, make it attractive, make it easy, make it satisfying), and the Sorites Paradox (can a single habit change your life?).
When I first saw the title for this book I thought to myself, “Really, Steve? THIS is what you think I need to hear? That nobody wants to read my sh*t? I thought we were working on our Resistance and winning the War of Art!" Then I bought the book and embraced the tough love with a growth mindset. Big Ideas we explore include WHY people don't want to read your sh*t (or engage with your product/or listen to your talk, etc.) (hint: they're REALLY BUSY!), how to be worthy of their attention, why the hero's journey is essential for effective storytelling (the 10 main points), doing what scares you the most, and the importance of giving us your gift (mine the gold, please!!).