Friday, December 4, 2009

Weight Loss for African American Women or Hope to Die

Weight Loss for African-American Women: An eight-week Guide to Better Health.

Author: Edmond Smith

Offering a new approach to weight loss tailored specifically to black women, this guide empowers women to develop skills for weight management and healthy living. Providing simple nutritional information and exercises, it addresses the common misconceptions of many so-called diets—almost all of which overlook or ignore the ethnicity component so essential to black women—and replaces them with a sound, culturally sensitive plan for black women to lose weight and stay healthy. An appendix of health-care resources includes advice on finding a physician, alternative health clinics, fitness centers, and public health facilities, and a glossary explains common medical and nutrition terms.

Library Journal

Many African American women are overweight and particularly at risk for developing heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and certain types of cancers. At the expense of their health, they put the needs of others ahead of their own. Here, Smith (family medicine, Hahnemann Sch. of Medicine) presents the results of her eight-week weight loss program in eight chapters. The participants, four overweight black women, were shown how to put themselves first and improve their overall health and self-esteem through food choices, exercise, meditation, and motivational techniques. The author details the weekly group meetings with the women and gives readers the fundamentals they need to follow the program themselves. Though "before and after" photos of the participants would have been helpful, there are illustrated exercises, recipes, meal planners, food and activity diaries, and resources for more guidance. Hopefully, the index (not seen) will direct women to the sections on specific concerns, such as high cholesterol and osteoporosis, since they are buried within the weekly synopsis chapters. Although this contains lots of helpful information, it could have been better organized. Roniece Weaver and others' Slim Down Sister (Dutton, 1999) is a more solid choice. Recommended with reservations for public libraries. Samantha J. Gust, Niagara Univ. Lib., NY Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

See also: Low Carb Gourmet or Guide to Raising a Child with Diabetes

Hope to Die: A Memoir of Jazz and Justice

Author: Verdi Woodward

The harrowing life of a heroin junkie, and the life changes that accompanied addiction, are succinctly captured in this gripping memoir of Verdi "Woody" Woodward. A professional saxophonist in the 1950s and a fixture on the Los Angeles jazz scene, Woody lost his way, became a "hope to die" drug addict and armed robber on the run, and spent a decade of running from the law before being captured. Incarcerated in two of the country's most notorious penitentiaries—Folsom and San Quentin—he found the strength to renounce not only drugs, but also the violence and brutality fostered by the prison system. Set in historically accurate hipster Los Angeles, Woody hits his lowest point but edges back to higher ground in this captivating narrative.

Los Angeles Times

A uniquely eloquent memoir of a man who found redemption in the dreamy tones of a tenor sax.

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