Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Non-Fiction: The Lean by Kathy Freston

Always on the look-out for what is going to be happening next in books on food and diet, I knew I was spotting a winner when I saw The Lean (Weinstein Books) by Kathy Freston the author of the bestsellers Veganist and Quantum Wellness.

The Lean capitalizes on a couple of ideas Freston seems to have been developing in her earlier books, one that’s done no harm at all by her movie star sparkle. On the cover of the book, Freston, clad all in white, leans on a white wall, every lean inch of her looking slouchily healthy.

“There’s something about the word lean that I adore,” Freston enthuses in the book, “and everywhere I go, other people seem to love it, too. In fact they kind of open like flowers in sunshine -- I think because it’s such a mellow word, an easy word. Nothing about it feels forced …. In my previous books … I talked about leaning in the direction of change and finding yourself making quantum changes in your lifestyle without much effort.” Because, she adds, “weight loss is one of those changes that we can lean in to as well.”

That’s pretty much the thrust and the heart of The Lean. You want to be more lean? Then lean into Freston’s healthful principles of lifestyle and diet. “Happiness keeps us away from the cookie jar,” she promises at one point. “Change starts with the decision to change,” she says at another.

With a diet plan, some recipes and the motivation of her perfect, glowing skin smiling back at you from the dust-jacket, there really seems nothing to lose here. Or, depending on how you look at it, a lot to lose. But everything to gain. ◊

Aaron Blanton is a contributing editor to January Magazine. He’s currently working on a book based on his experiences as an American living abroad.

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