Joy McCarthy is the Holistic Nutrition and Health Expert to Global TV’s The Morning Show. Her journey to health began in her late teens when she suffered from hormonal imbalance, digestive problems and anxiety. In an effort to find the answer to balance her hormones, she went from one specialist to the next. The only solutions presented to her were medication after medication to alleviate the symptoms. After three years of this search for answers, she decided to stop looking for a cure and address the root cause of her hormonal imbalance.
Source: Excerpts From Joyous Health, About page
I’ve learned so much from this book. It’s not strictly about being eco-friendly. But it totally ties into related issues about health. Why do we go green? For most people it’s to reduce the amount of toxic chemicals they are exposed to on a daily basis. Working on that assumption, you would also want to eat healthy foods without chemicals. In my mind it doesn’t make much sense to use non-toxic personal care and wear eco-friendly clothes, only to eat food full of toxic chemicals. Most conventionally processed foods actually contain carcinogens.
In the first chapter McCarthy talks about how dieting and calorie counting isn’t sustainable and why. She emphasizes eating real food, listening to your body, prevention of symptoms, and how eating healthy food is just one part of whole body health. She also talks about eating patterns, mindful eating, and simple habits that you can incorporate into your life right away. She illustrates her points with tips, recipes and real life examples from clients.
Chapter Two is all about your gut. McCarthy talks in detail about what exactly happens when you eat food and why lots of people experience digestion issues. She emphasizes chewing, drinking lots of water (to assist your liver), eating fiber, eating water rich foods, and taking probiotics. She also gives solutions to common digestive problems, lists fiber rich foods, which foods to eliminate or reduce, eating techniques and food combining. Besides the tips, recipes and real life examples, McCarthy also includes some simple home tests you can do to see how well your digestion works.
Chapter Three is deals with foods, supplements and habits. What you eat can affect your mood. She advises using a food journal to see how certain foods affect your mood. She also talks about food allergies/sensitivites, good carbs, high quality protein, good fats, and how to avoid emotional eating. I loved the strategies she recommends in this chapter! My faves are: writing a love letter to yourself and the brain dump. The love letter to yourself works at replacing negative thoughts with positive thoughts. Can’t sleep because your mind is always thinking? Do the brain dump before you go to bed. It helps you to release all the niggling thoughts of the day.
Chapter Four is about detox solutions and why it’s important to detox. She lists some foods to eliminate while detoxing, food additives, artificial sweeteners, top 7 foods to avoid, what is BPA, best natural detoxifiers, the dirty dozen, clean 15, dry skin brushing, clean personal care and social detoxing.
Chapter Five is about superfoods and healthy lifestyle habits. She lists some superfoods to eat and why you should eat superfoods. She also talks about eating a rainbow of food colours, which foods to eat organic, and list some lifestyle habits to adopt.
Chapter Six is about creating the joyous kitchen. McCarthy talks about the joyous health food pyramid, includes a 10 day meal plan, serving sizes, stocking your kitchen, shopping on a budget, healthy alternatives to things like ketchup and tools for the kitchen.
Chapter Seven are the recipes. I have to say, these recipes sound really delicious. I’m going to try some as soon as I can write them down.
She ends the book with some final thoughts about transitioning slowly, focusing on health and how you feel as opposed to your numerical weight. I think that all makes a lot of sense. At the end of the book she includes the food and wellness journal template so we can track our own progress.
I thought this book is well written. Joy McCarthy repeats some of the same things in each chapter. I’m not sure if that’s because she’s trying to emphasize their importance or what. I found the repetition a little redundant because of that. But otherwise, I did learn a lot from this book. It’s always good to know how your body works even if your body does it automatically without you having to about e.g. digestion. As for the recipes, they sound really yummy. Though a lot of them seem to include bananas. I tend to avoid bananas since my acne gets worse when I eat them. So I’ll substitute bananas for something else. Looking forward to seeing what Joy McCarthy will be writing about in her next book.
Here are some enlightening quotes:
“Your subconscious cannot distinguish between truth and fiction. It accepts your thoughts and words as reality…Your body will accept as the truth what you say and think on a daily basis.”
“The average person can have anywhere from 7 to 25 pounds (3 to 11 kg) of impacted fecal matter in their gut.”
“Fifty percent of aspartame is the amino acid phenylalaine. Too much phenylalaine is a neurotoxin; it excites the neurons in the brain to the point of cellular death. In fact, ADD/ADHD and emotional and behavioural disorders can be triggered by too much phenylalaine in the diet.”
“Your brain is actually a very fatty organ –it’s composed of up to 60% fat…Fat helps your brain function because it aids in the transmission of nerve impulses.”
Have you ever read Joyous Health? What did you think?