Three Books from Square One Publishers

Summer (Non-fiction) Reading

A few days ago I posted some of my summer readings, mostly fiction. But this posting is all non-fictio, ones that I have been reading as part of my research on healthy aging. All three books are from Square One Publishers (‎).

Overcoming Senior Moments by Frances Meiser & Nina Anderson.

The subtitle, “Advancing memory function for all age groups,” refers to the fact that whatever your age, we all experience occasional memory. However, as we age, these lapses seem more frequent. The extreme, of course, is Alzheimer’s disease, but as the co-authors point out in the list on page 1, there are many issues related to memory loss, from aging itself to vitamin deficiencies, with drugs, menopause, table sugar and a host of health problems that affect most of us at some time in our lives.

Using charts, cartoons, drawings and lists, Overcoming Senior Moments is a handy primer for those of us concerned about our aging brains. The co-authors make the task simpler with the use of visuals to discuss how the brain works, exercises that help (ex. midline crossing movements to strengthen both sides of the brain, such as playing catch, piano, sweeping and finger painting), and foods and supplements that add to the recipe for memory strength (ex. water, good fats, enzymes, antioxidants).   Basically, the book appropriately gives us “food for thought” to tackle the changes in our brains and what we can do to keep our brain circuits strong.

One quote that demonstrates the seriousness of this topic can be found on p. 61.
Free radicals  (highly active compounds produced when molecules react with oxygen) play a key role in the deterioration of the body. Under attack from chemicalized foods and environmental pollutants, our bodies generate excesses of these cell damagers. After years of free-radical assaults cells become irreplaceably lost from major organs such as the lungs, liver, kidneys, the brain, and particularly our nervous system. This loss is the primary cause of aging.”

Overcoming Senior Moments costs $9.95 and contains 78 pages of fact-filled and visual aids to help us retain our memory.

All Natural Anti-Again Skin Care by Nina Anderson & Howard Piper is another guide with a natural approach to taking care of our skin.  (As a post-menopausal woman I am acutely aware of the changes in my skin since menopause, so this book really sparked my interest. es)

On page 7, the two authors note that: Aging begins when the DNA and RNA molecules (the only substances in the body which are capable of reproducing), fail to exactly duplicate themselves.

One of the important issues raised in this booklet is about skin products made from petroleum-derived ingredients, because petroleum interferes with our body’s ability to replace skin fat. This is because petroleum blocks skin fat production, merely coats the skin with no nutritive value.  There are also many other toxic chemicals founding skin products that the book recommends we avoid. On page 10 is a list of some of these toxins that should be on the labels. These are a few: aluminum salts, boric acid, formaldehyde, laurel alcohol sulfates, phthalates, sulphur, and zinc salts.

The following chapter titles are a clue to the contents of this guide: Taking Out the Garbage (Discussion of exfoliation), Watering the Garden of Beauty (rehydration with naturally occurring NaPCA), Undoing the Damage (ex. with honey), Healing (ex. horsetail, aloe vera, rosemary & seaweed) and Measures to Keep the Skin from Aging (Problems & Solutions).

The last section lists Natural Skin Care Products and where they can be found, such as an herbal/mineral skin spray,Rose Hip Seed Oil for sun-damaged and premature again, flax seed, aloe vera, and other natural products.

All Natural Anti-Again Skin Care (39 pages) costs only $4.95 and is well worth this minimal investment.

Big Yoga by Meera Patricia Kerr is not specifically for older women, but rather, larger women. However, since I believe yoga can be started at any age, this would be a good book to use for older women (of any size) who have been hesitant to start a yoga program.

As author Kerr photo on the cover illustrates, she is not a small person. However, in the beginning of the book, the author notes that BIG has a double entendre: it means not only yoga for larger bodies, but also has the subtler meaning of being expansive and inclusive of all the Yoga practices. Combining the two, we see that Bog Yoga can easily mean a comprehensive Yoga for bigger people.

What surprised me (pleasantly) was that the beginning of the book delves into the history of Yoga, which I found enlightening. Since I have been a yoga enthusiast for   41 years (I started in 1972), many of the names and concepts were already familiar, but Kerr put them in a sensible order.

Thus, the book is divided into Part One: Yoga Basics, which includes its evolution and overcoming stumbling blocks; Part Two: Yoga Practices, (the core of the book);
And finally there are a glossary, resources, and index to complete the book.

The book also includes many photos of the author doing the poses that are included in Part Two, so it can also be used as a do-it-yourself guide.  Most importantly is the Kerr’s own positive attitude about doing Yoga as a bigger person. She is not ashamed or embarrassed about her body and takes great pride and pleasure in being able to share this attitude throughout the book.

The subtitle, “ A Simple Guide for Bigger Bodies” delivers what it promises, and more, because I learned the history of Yoga and I found an author who makes no apologies about her larger size and works to help other women feel good about themselves through their yoga practices, which has been adapted by the author to be practiced by larger women (or men). With more than 200 pages, this is a comprehensive guide for any larger person serious about finding an acceptable, doable, exercise program that fits her body.  It costs $17.95

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