The 20/30 Fat & Fiber Diet Plan

This is the diet that Larry King went on post-heart attack. Basic idea is that you can only eat 20 grams of fat and at least 30 grams of fiber every day. My copy has hundreds of recipes in the back to help you get started. Reducing your intake of fats to 20 or less does a lot to help you lose weight. Fiber keeps you full throughout the day so you don’t get hungry. Final component of the diet is moderate exercise– even just walking will do.

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Validation for my approach to putting down books I don’t like

My strategy for reading is pretty simple:
Finding books to read:
* Browse a bookstore or library, open books that picque my interest and read the first line. If the first line doesn’t convey the writer’s style and provide enough “oomph” to intrigue me, I usually won’t bother
* Suggestions from respected sources (friends whose taste I agree with, NYTimes [occasionally], blogs I read regularly)
What if I’m caught in a book I can’t enjoy?
* The first line was good, but 50 pages in, I’m still struggling to turn the pages? If I think the book might possibly get better, I usually push through another 50 pages and re-evaluate.
* If, at 100 pages in, it still sucks, I give up.
* All these books land in my “Stranded” category.

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Guns, Germs, and Steel

Enjoying so far! Papua New Guineans smarter than modern European/Americans b/c genetically had to weed out the dumb ones (only smart ones can survive a society of tribal infighting, murder, wars), as opposed to Euro-US society where germs were the biological deterrent– if you had strong genes, you survived. Also throws in a jab at “passive entertainment” of TV, movies, etc. which doesn’t promote mental development.
Finished this one in Mexico. Great combo of history, linguistics, and geography. Basic premise is that the conquering civilizations were dominant b/c of the natural resources they had at their disposal (plants prone to cultivating, large mammals that are domesticatable). Food production is the key to building civilizations. Then societies can specialize in having central government, professional warriors, inventors. Another key is that Eurasia was the largest landmass, so ideas travelled freely along the east/west axis where plants survive in the same latitudes. Interesting considerations of Africa, Australia, and the Americas. Some good stuff in the afterword about why Europe and not China. He also left some open questions, and outlined a plan of further study.

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Blech. Started reading this and struggled mightily. I almost didn’t pick up Guns, Germs, and Steel at the library b/c I was not enjoying this sequel. However, I’m happily enjoying Guns, Germs, and Steel right now– think he put his best work into the first book!

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