20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
I sympathize with another reviewer who was not expecting a Christian book when she bought this. I was unsure about it myself. But it turned out to be so medically excellent that I'd hate for readers to reject it on that account alone.
The amount of space devoted to spiritual advice is very small. Most chapters deal with their subject alone ("Phytoestrogens," "Soothing the angry gut," "Skin Hair and Bones," "Menstrual Migraines" etc.). Even the chapter on Stress mentions God only briefly at the end, and its info on the relationship between stress hormones and female hormones was enlightening. Part 5, "The Power for Change," talks a bit more about God, but even there, the emotional emphasis is on embracing change and connecting with others. Christianity is only part of a chapter that, in turn, is only 9 pages anyway. References to the helpfulness of prayer are sprinkled throughout the book, but sparsely, and many of those reference the Hebrew Bible.
I completely support any readers who want no Christian slant in such a book. This one just isn't for you. But many non-Christian readers might not mind Smith's light touch. She believes that a spiritual center can be immensely beneficial during stress and change, and there's a lot to be said in favor of that. Though Smith might be horrified by my saying this, a reader can easily substitute her personal spirituality, Buddhism, the Tao, anything, for Smith's.
Smith is NO lightweight when it comes to medicine and nutrition. She never talks down to the reader or oversimplifies. I thought I was already pretty knowledgeable, but was surprised by how much biology and physiology I learned. It's very up-to-date as of my writing this review, and covers HRT studies that have recently made the news. Boxes in the margins organize and emphasize important points and information.
Coverage of nutrition is thorough and intelligent, not only about what to eat, but also the importance of timing. There's a nice recipe section for those who like to cook, and terrific general food advice that lets those of us with a cooking-aversion put together a good simple eating plan for balancing blood sugar, energy, mood, and weight.
The only weak point, to me, was the insomnia chapter. It was the standard advice about making the bedroom dark and cool enough, not using it for work or other stress activities, winding down, avoiding spicy foods, etc. etc. Heard it all before! Then again, I'm not finding any better advice anywhere else, and these are sound principles, just a bit wimpy in coping with a perimenopause insomnia. Smith's blood-sugar balancing diet can help these nighttime problems.
Great book for Christian women, still great for non-Christians who buy it knowingly, and can take the many benefits it offers, cafeteria-style!