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Eight Weeks to Optimum Health: A Proven Program for Taking Full Advantage of Your Body's Natural Healing Power

Weil M.D., Andrew

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In Eight Weeks to Optimum Health, Dr. Andrew Weil translates the brilliant insights and discoveries he outlined in his acclaimed bestseller, Spontaneous Healing, into a practical plan of action: a week-by-week, step-by-step program for enhancing and protecting present and lifelong health. The Eight-Week Program sets up a foundation for healthy living that will keep your body's natural healing system in peak working order. With clearly defined and authoritatively informed recommendations, Dr. Weil explains how to

¸  Build a lifestyle that protects you from premature illness and disability
¸  Fine-tune your current eating habits so that your diet is more nutritious
¸  Walk and stretch in regimens that satisfy weekly exercise requirements
¸  Safeguard your healing system by adding four antioxidant supplements--vitamin C and E, selenium, and mixed carotenes--to your diet
¸  Incorporate five basic breathing exercises for greater relaxation and energy
¸  Benefit from visualization, overcome sleeping problems, and test and filter your water supply
¸  Make art, music, and the natural world more important parts of your life

PLUS--a dozen tailored programs that address the specific needs of pregnant women, senior citizens, overweight people, and those at risk for cancer.

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"Health," Dr. Andrew Weil writes, "is a dynamic and temporary state of equilibrium destined to break down as conditions change." In other words, there's no such thing as the type of health that allows you to feel equally great every day of your life. Instead, Weil suggests, your goal should be to improve your resilience to disease, and while you're at it, feel more joy and strength.

As to how you should gain this strength, joy, and resilience, Weil doesn't come on with a hard sell to give up every bad habit or all of the foods you enjoy. Instead, he suggests gradual changes: clean your pantry of whatever cooking oils you have there, except olive oil; start taking vitamin C three times a day; walk a few minutes a day; eat some fish and broccoli. The program is so simple and sensible that anyone trying it probably will feel better in a week.

The program then gets progressively more involved--more supplements; more of a shift toward a diet based on whole grains, fruits, and vegetables; more exercise. Besides these steady changes, each week's program has a focus: In week 2, you start drinking bottled or filtered water; week 3 focuses on organic produce; week 4, on sleep; week 5, using a steam bath or sauna; week 6, trying a "universal tonic" like ginseng; week 7, volunteering in your community; and finally, in week 8, figuring out how to integrate permanently the elements of the program into your life.

Even those who don't go for the entire program will probably find something here to like--the recipes, maybe, or the suggestion that you cut back on strenuous types of exercise like running and competitive sports in favor of brisk walks. It's perfectly useful either way: as a total lifestyle overhaul, or a series of suggestions, any one or two of which will probably help you feel better. --Lou Schuler

From the Publisher:

When my mother went on the Sugarbusters diet recently, she had made a decision to change not only her eating habits, but her physical exercise habits as well. She'd heard about Eight Weeks on Oprah and asked me to get her a copy. We now have lengthy discussions about the principles of Dr. Weil's approach, and she is leading a much healthier life. It's been a great way for us to bond as well.
A. Scheibe, Editor, Ballantine Publishing Group

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