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Eight Weeks to Optimum Health

Now expanded and updated: The book in which one of America's most brilliant and respected doctors gives us his famous program for improving and maintaining health already the program of choice for hundreds of thousands. Eight Weeks to Optimum Health focuses all of Andrew Weil's expertise in both conventional and alternative medicine on a practical week-by-week, step-by-step plan, covering diet, exercise, lifestyle, stress, and environment all of the aspects of daily living that affect health and well-being. And he shows how his program can be tailored to the specific needs of pregnant women, senior citizens, overweight people, and those at risk for cancer, among others. Dr. Weil has added the most up-to-date findings on such vital subjects as cholesterol, antioxidants, trans fats, toxic residues in the food supply, soy products, and vitamins and supplements, together with a greatly enhanced source list for information and supplies. Preventive in the broadest sense, straightforward, and encouraging, Eight Weeks to Optimum Health has proved to be, and in this updated version will continue to be, an essential book."
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About the Author

ANDREW WEIL, M.D., is also the author of Spontaneous Healing, Eating Well for Optimum Health, and Healthy Aging. A graduate of Harvard Medical School, Dr. Weil is clinical professor of medicine and director of the Program in Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona. He writes Self Healing, a monthly newsletter, and maintains the Web site He lives in Arizona.


Weil (Spontaneous Healing), a Harvard-trained physician attuned to alternative healing, delivers a concrete and convincing program in this holistic health guide. In a low-key but earnest tone, supporting his positions with reports of his own experience and those of others who have followed the program, Weil eases people into adopting new, beneficial habits (e.g., better breathing techniques) and the relinquishing of old, unhealthful ones (e.g., drinking coffee) in small steps. Thus, Week One introduces brief walks and some simple dietary changes such as eliminating saturated fats and adding broccoli, salmon and vitamin C. Gradually, the walks grow longer, the antioxidant supplements increase and further dietary changes occur, with green tea being introduced in Week Two, soy products in Week Three and herbal tonics and one-day fasts by Week Eight. To ease the process, a half-dozen or so recipes are included each week. What makes this program unique is Weil's emphasis on avoiding environmental toxins and the attention he pays to the mental and spiritual aspects of health. Whole grains, organic produce and use of sunblocks are essential elements of his approach, as are "news fasts," listening to music, buying flowers and performing service work. Specific guidelines for special cases‘pregnant women, children, travelers, the elderly‘are included, as are sources for some hard-to-find products, all of which adds to the persuasive authority of Weil's approach. BOMC selection. (Mar.)

Weil (Spontaneous Healing, LJ 5/15/95) has designed an easy, step-by-step program for wellness. The book's audience is the over-40 crowd. Weil's philosophy is that "most bodies come with warranties for eighty years of productive...trouble-free service, if basic requirements for preventive maintenance are followed." This book is meant as a guide to such maintenance. Its strength lies in its design, which uses small, easy steps to achieve big changes. For instance, Weil suggests eating broccoli just twice in Week 1, then builds on this to create a complete change of diet by Week 8. Recipes reinforce the message and make it palatable in every sense. Weil also stresses the importance of the holistic approach and includes a simple mental/spiritual component in each week's program. As a physician, Weil is careful to substantiate every claim, and he debunks some of today's more extreme alternative health theories. He also includes chapters outlining the special needs of seniors, children, and people at risk for cancer or cardiovascular disease. Sure to be a winner; libraries should stock many copies. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 11/1/96; BOMC selection.]‘Elizabeth Braaksma, Thunder Bay P.L., Ontario

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