I was recently sent a review copy of Change Bites: Change Your Plate Change Your Life in exchange for telling you about this exciting new book. Before I get to the actual book review, itself, I wanted to give a few quick thoughts as well as a brief personal story.
A Few Quick Thoughts
- I love that the book is relatively short, totally uncomplicated, and very easy and fast to read. Let’s face it, most of us simply don’t have the luxury of sitting and reading for hours each day – especially around Christmas and New Year’s. The fact that this book reads fast is a huge bonus.
- I love that the book, while using the author’s experiences as examples, focuses on the reader. This is YOUR story about YOUR health and it has the power to help a lot of people.
- I love that the book is interactive. There are numerous places for you to jot down your symptoms, your goals, your plan of attacks, etc. Books that serve as workbooks keep the reader engaged and the change they seek is infinitely more likely to happen because they are taking an active part.
- When doing book reviews on my various blogs, I often like to include a “Who Needs this Book” section. I’m not doing it this time simply because everyone needs this book! Whether you’re trying to transition to a vegetarian diet, trying to add more healthy foods into your daily meals, or suspect you may have an intolerance to dairy, gluten, and/or wheat, this book will help you tremendously. What’s more, if you simply want to take a proactive approach to your health and give yourself a good “once over,” this book will prove invaluable.
- I have multiple blogs and joyfully do book reviews on each. This year (seems to be a boon on great books!), I allowed myself to become swamped in books. I honestly had to struggle to keep up. Around October, I stopped taking in new books (for the rest of the year). But when the e-mail about this particular book came through. I knew, from the introductory e-mail, alone, that this was a very special book – one that could give people their lives back.. a book that could, in fact, even save lives. As you can see, I made an exception.
It’s a lot easier to take a leap of faith if your current state of “pain” is worse than the pain of changing. – page 21, Change BITES
My Personal Journey
Years ago, I began experiencing a number of health problems that I chalked up to a number of things: allergies, aging (after all, when you get on this side of 40, a lot of interesting things happen), thyroid, etc. I had digestive issues that, honestly, became so commonplace that they didn’t even register with me. I was taking Benadryl daily – in fact, I averaged two or three a day and this, somehow seemed normal to me – as did the Tums I frequently needed and the number of mouth ulcers I was continually getting.
The tiredness, lethargy, and overall feeling that I had to fight to make myself exert energy? That was attributed to the Benadryl – which, I’m certain didn’t help matters.
The worst part was the mouth ulcers. I LITERALLY kept at least one mouth sore or mouth ulcer for over a year. That’s right… for over a year, each and every day I had at least one mouth sore. The doctors would prescribe medicines, I’d swish with salt water.. it was a nightmare that I cringe over to this day. Those things are so painful and beyond annoying.
And yet… I somehow convinced myself this was all normal. After all, I was seeing doctors and they weren’t alarmed, why should I be?
Around this time, my oldest daughter, Emily, began to have a few health problems. She had to have her gallbladder removed and, just when we thought she was returning to normal, her health seemed to get worse. After reading everything I could get my hands on, I told her that I thought she should do an elimination diet with gluten/wheat because it sounded like she was either Celiac or extremely gluten-intolerant.
I told her that I’d do it with her – to help her out and give her support. We researched food, restaurants, and armed ourselves with all the information we needed for the journey. I’m an avid cook, so I knew that I’d be able to come up with gluten-free dishes for us to eat. What could have (and maybe should have) been frightening and depressing was actually kind of exciting and fun. Having someone with you on the journey, in my experience, helps a lot and I had every intention of being her partner in crime.
We decided we’d give it a month and see if her symptoms improved. Not only did they improve – they improved after just two weeks of totally eliminating gluten/wheat from her diet.
But there’s more.
My mouth sores and mouth ulcers disappeared and, over the years, have only returned when I’ve accidentally eaten wheat/gluten. My energy returned, I slept better, my digestive issues improved, and I was able to stop buying two boxes of Benadryl each week.
We’ve, needless to say, avoided gluten entirely since doing so put us squarely back in the game of life.
Change Bites: Change Your Plate, Change Your Life
Change Bites was written by Marissa S. Costonis, H.C., who had her own personal journey with her health and the way her body was responding to food.
It makes sense, when you think about. So much so that I’m amazed it takes most of us so long to make the food and body connection.
Imagine if a new experimental drug came onto the market. If you’re like me, there’s no way on earth you’d take even one, let alone a daily dose, if you weren’t certain of the effects it’d have on your body. Yet, we put bite after bite after bite of food into our mouths each day without a second thought.
Some of this food may be doing as much harm to your body as the drug would be.
One of the interactive exercises in this book involves taking a close look at your health. You’re asked questions you probably had not considered before and are given an opportunity to uncover clues your body has been leaving for you – clues that something is wrong. If my daughter and I had had this book years ago, we would have saved ourselves a lot of pain and sickness. What’s more, we’d have been able to STOP eating something that was causing damage to our bodies.
About the Author: Marissa S. Costonis spent over a decade in change management consulting leading a variety of business transformation initiatives around the world. After developing neuropathy and a host of other health problems began to pile up, Marissa decided to break down the change process one bite at a time to transform her health with great success. She became a Certified Health Coach and launched her business, Change Bites, LLC.
From the Back Cover:
Finally, a step by step process for how to change your eating habits and transform your health!
- Are you inspired or even forced to try a new eating strategy, but not sure how to get started?
- Do you have a good sense of what to eat, but not sure how to to make lasting changes to your eating habits?
- Want to improve your health, but don’t want to give up all the foods you love today?
- Have a growing list of health problems, but afraid to admit that food could be the culprit and the cure?
New Year, New You?
My husband and I frequently talk about the important role food plays in health. I love how, on the back of Change BITES, the author says food can be the culprit and the cure. Profound and so very true. Whatever the condition my daughter and I have, I’ve often thought of people in our family and wondered if they, too, had this condition and suffered needlessly. Perhaps, because their problem wasn’t caught early enough, they did lasting damage to their bodies.
I hope you’ll read more about Change Bites: Change Your Plate Change Your Life – if you recognize yourself in any of the following, this could be your first step to making 2019 the year you begin feeling better than you have in years!
- Do you feel more tired than usual? It is NOT always a sign of the aging process. Your body could be maxed out simply trying to digest food that it’s having difficulty digesting.
- Are you, for health or other reasons, thinking about becoming a vegetarian or vegan? This book can help you overcome any initial setbacks and help strengthen your mind and resolve.
- Do you suspect that you have a food intolerance? Does dairy seem to make you bloat or do you feel unusually gassy after something as simple as a sandwich? Food you eat each and every day could be doing more harm than good. This book can help you know for sure.
- Do you want this to be the year you and your family eat healthier… and not just for the first two weeks of January?! The reason resolutions usually don’t stick is because we don’t have the “glue” to make them stick. This “glue” is how we react to change and the various challenges it presents. Again, this book could prove invaluable.
- How about your moods? Food intolerances don’t just effect how we feel – they often effect how we behave. If you suspect you’ve been crankier or more emotional than you used to be (undoubtedly loved ones will let you know if this is the case), the cause may be in the kitchen and not the person in front of you. I read an article written by a man with a severe gluten-intolerance. He said that the first (and most profound) symptom he had when he had been accidentally glutened (when gluten or wheat passes your lips without you realizing it) was a severe shift in mood. In fact… and I found this kind of fascinating… his wife and children usually realized it before he did. They’d basically tell him to go to his man cave for a week or two until the symptoms passed!
Basically, if you aren’t the same person you were a few years ago (or even a few months ago), it may be what you’re putting into your mouth. The self-assessment exercises and golden advice given in this book can help you get back to the person you remember. Again, I really, really, really hope you read more about Change Bites: Change Your Plate Change Your Life and consider grabbing a copy for you and/or anyone in your life who could benefit.
~ Joi (“Joy”)