A little rant
Shocking, I know, but I find it a little hard to be mean. So every now and then, I reach for my trusty pal Art Schopenhauer and turn to the page wherein he writes, paraphrasing,
“ Goddammit! Write In blood. Spill it. Cut your wrist and paint the page. Never waste your time reading anything not written in blood and never ever write anything without it.”
So today – usually the day I reserve for book reviews – I put on my Schopenhauer hat and rant. Just a little.
This Tuesday I recommended Dr. David Katz’s site and books for sound, reasoned, and science based nutritional advice. His isn’t the only good book at the bookstores but it’s one of the best. Want to know what one of the most popular health books are these days? The Daniel Plan – 40 Days To A Healthier Life. By? Pastor Rick Warren. And not happy to just shill diet books between sermons, you can now buy The Daniel Plan Journal, The Daniel Plan Study Guide, The Feast, The Cookbook – I don’t know – maybe there’s a Praise Music To Dine By CD. I don’t even know what all this stuff is but there’s a lot of money to be made here.
I’ll come clean. These might be great books. I haven’t read them. I don’t intend to read them. There is nothing here that, if useful, is new. Crappy advice comes and goes weekly. What I don’t like is how they are marketed. And how this entire scheme is pyramided to make money. You’ve got a culture of fat people. They all feel badly about how sinful they are and how they gossip and how they secretly tape Girlfriend’s Guide to Divorce and how they don’t really care for the poor and then they read “God designed our bodies to be healthy, providing everything we need to thrive and live abundantly” and they groan a little. Time to lose weight. Time to suffer a little. All I need is this book, and those audio tapes, that journal. Gotta have that cookbook. Lucky for them the Bible bookstore has all these laid out in a row for them to pick and choose from.
To be fair, a quick Amazon search reveals lots of diet books for religious types. Your Muslim Cookbook has the ‘famous bean pie’. There is Eternal Food for Hindus and Buddhists. Not to be outdone by other Christians, the Mormons have their Mormon Cookery. For the brave there is Food and Adimu of the Cuban’s Santeria (in English). It purports to have many fine recipes and instructions for sacrificing animals and using or eating their entrails.
I’m instantly suspicious when I see anything natural and normal tagged as religious. There will be quackery or money involved. Someone is going to try to convince me that the laws of physics don’t really apply here or that this is the way god wants you to do it. See? It says so right here. Ugh.
Deep breath. Okay. If you need Siva or Daniel or aliens hiding behind comets to help you improve health then go for it. But my advice is to forget the Daniel Plan and it’s ilk – this is just a money making scheme. And I have all the advice you need and you don’t even need to pray for it. It comes from Michael Pollan and sums up everything good about food, nutrition, and health:
Eat food. Less of it. Mostly plants.
Thank you. Amen.
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