In the opening pages of their new collaboration, Stress Makes You Fat Wrinkled and Dead [sic]: How to Avoid It!, naturopathic physician Eliezer Ben-Joseph and holistic physiotherapist Richard H. Lewis promise to deliver stress reduction advice that is “easy, fun, informative and eye opening.”
While such advice, indeed, appears in these pages, readers must sort through disorganized chapters and irrelevant material to sleuth out the useful nuggets. It’s not that the “eye openers” are absent; the authors do offer some fresh ideas. For example, in one segment, they suggest using a fan or white noise machine to muffle noise at night and help induce sleep. “Your emotions are ready for wondrous and beautiful dreams, a restful sleep and a night that feels like your childhood; where you can snuggle down and know that everything is all right…” Unlike the tone of some books written by experts in the field, this narrative is casual, conversational, and at times comforting, with easy-to-understand concepts.
But much of the advice—eat fruits and veggies, walk for good health, drink plenty of water—is already widely known. And the lack of organization within and between chapters becomes problematic. A Q&A chapter with listeners of Ben-Joseph’s radio show, for instance, is sandwiched between another about maintaining a positive mindset and one about packing belongings in preparation for moving, which seems to have little relevance in the context of this book. Additionally, misspellings and other errors (such as the lack of commas in the title) are distracting, as are Ben-Joseph’s overt plugs for his own line of vitamin supplements.
The book offers a smattering of tips that haven’t been overdone in other how-to books: Don’t combine certain foods if you want to avoid digestive issues, eat animal proteins only every other day, relax with autogenic training. Those willing to sift through the prose in search of such moments may find it worth a look.
Also available in hardcover and ebook.