Saturday, September 17, 2016

Presto!: How I Made Over 100 Pounds Disappear and Other Magical Tales, by Penn Jillette

Mr. Jillette is best known as a fabulous magician in his show with Teller. This autobiography focuses on his realization that poor health -- in his case, really scary bad poor health -- was due to his obesity and his embrace of the Standard American Diet.

With help from Ray Cronise (who is referred to as CrayRay, as in crazy, i.e., cray-cray), Mr. Jillette jump starts his weight loss by first breaking his addiction to sugar, oil, and salt, by eating only potatoes. Eventually, he adds the components of a whole food plant based diet free of sugar, oil, and salt. Essentially everything folks like Dr. Alan Goldhamer, Dr. John McDougall, Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, Dr. Dean Ornish, and many others have been writing and speaking about for years. Mr. Jillette didn't look to them, but rather to a hobbyist (no offense to Mr. Cronise). Fortunately, the hobbyist was on a solid base to give advice.

An important note: Mr. Jillette can't make it through a paragraph without some level of profanity. If that bothers you, don't even open the book. Also, he makes it pretty clear that he's on Withings payroll - a maker of wifi attached scales that garner mixed reviews on Amazon. Consequently, he pushes them hard.

But all that can be forgiven in this very entertaining book.

Oh, when you get to recipes, keep going. They are tucked into the middle of the book; back to the narrative in just a few pages.

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