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More than a war story of epic proportions, it is a blueprint for a healthy, vibrant and exciting life. were I able to ensure that the very best among my friends and military comrades read just one book - this would be it.
What would have made Natural Born Heroes better?
I came from Born to Run to this and was as if in a maze . The author didnt know as if what he was writing about .
What was most disappointing about Christopher McDougall’s story?
it had no momentum
A truly magnificent story. Learned a lot, cried a bit and laughed out loud at the amazing relationships and adventures. Thank you for writing this.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
I have just finished reading ‘Natural Born Heroes’ by Christopher McDougall and it truly put in focus my transition over the last couple of years from obese to normal and how it was achieved so very easily by breaking myself from refined carbohydrate addiction.
Compared to some I was not even that addicted, I hardly ate chocolate and candy, I did not eat sugar in my beverages, but I did like really good bread, along with pasta and potatoes. But I was still a steady 30-40 lbs overweight, even when I tried to reduce calorie intake and take more exercise. All that changed in July 2014, when someone suggested I consider doing Paleo - I say doing, as it is more a way of life than a diet. I did not cut out calories, I ate what I wanted, just no refined carbs and very little unrefined carbs. I was not hungry and did not crave bread and cookies, as long as I did not eat them. The core fat melted away over a period of 3 months and by 6 months I had quite naturally lost 35 lbs. while just taking reasonable exercise. I found I had more energy when I was not taking on carbs and I seemed to just feel great. Over the last year, I more or less maintained my weight, easing in to some calories from Carbs, but I found very quickly that little indulgences like the occasional Pizza had a very negative impact on my body fat, carbs just went straight to waist fat and made me hungry again for more carbs. I realised that the completely unnatural cereal and sugar based ‘nutrition’ we have been fed over the last 30 years was indeed completely false. Eating good quality meat, butter, eggs, milk, fish was actually very healthy and we had been fed lies about good food. Certainly I do not advocate eating factory grown meat fed on corn and concentrates, but real grass fed meat and dairy is exactly what our bodies require, along with plenty of fresh green vegetables, fish and a few seeds and nuts.
When that kind of diet is combined with a normal level of activity, which for me is mostly quick ChiKung exercises in the morning and as much walking I can do, with some running, I feel great. When I lapse to eating carbs for even a couple of days, I feel the way I used to, losing energy and vitality.
I liked ‘Natural Born Heroes’ as it combined ancient and modern Cretan history, Minos to the German occupation, with personal journeys in fitness.
I think the example of Timothy Noakes, the ‘guru’ of carbs for athletes and his regret and transformation away from being a carb guru to being an overweight type 2 Diabetes sufferer, was quite an insight. Noakes now healthy, has now thrown out carbs as being a killer and is now a believer in a healthy low carb lifestyle.
Another really interesting point in the book was made about energy drinks and the scandal surrounding the drink more fluids campaign. You don’t need energy drinks as an athlete, you need a healthy diet and a few sips of water.
We have slain the dragon of cigarette addiction, but have we slain the dragon of the processed carbs addiction?
There is a lot in the book about how the human body is capable of amazing feats of endurance, especially when in a natural low carb condition. It is certainly well worth reading if you want to become an amazing athlete, however, for the average person, who just wants to be healthy and fit and does not want to go to an early, painful and obese grave, it is also recommended reading!
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
What disappointed you about Natural Born Heroes?
Having read Born to Run several times, I came to this book with reasonable high expectations. Sure, those poor reviews Natural Born Heroes had received were only an accident, I thought. I was wrong. The book was a big disappointment. Natural Born Heroes is patchwork of narratives put together to make the underlying story - the kidnapping of German general - go the distance. Frequently, I found myself lost wondering when the central story would come back into play. Some of McDougall "discoveries" are only half interesting and way too drawn out, while those relating to nutrition have the factual inaccuracies and misrepresentations common in those who do not understand the science (the book should come with health hazard warning!).In sum, the book rarely excited and frequently annoyed. That's the sad truth.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
I loved born to run and was really looking forward to this. Hoping it would have some insightful and inspirational value. I gave born to run a 5/5 I think and from the blurb thought this one could give it a run for its money. Wrong. This is idealistic clap trap, trying to summarize how to be a "hero." I found myself either disagreeing or saying "well that's stating the obvious" far more often than thinking "that's true" or "well put." Listen if I was young naive and looking to conquer the world maybe I'd find this inspiring, but if you are older (I'm only 33) and wiser I'd give this a miss. it is by no means as good as born to run. Also the reader has an annoying dramatic voice that sounds like he should be narrating children's movies. On the positive side? Not much. Lot of old war stories if you are into that but they're being interrupted constantly by being told how they relate to the "hero" concept.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful