With so many health-transforming books being released, WholeFoods wanted to know what the experts are reading. Here, David Minkoff, author of The Search for the Perfect Protein, shares his thoughts on two books he couldn’t put down.

There’s No Plan B for Your A Game: Be the Best in the World at What You Do by Bo Eason
I know Bo Eason.

He inspires.

That’s because he lives what he is.

It’s the authenticity that makes the man and his words speak truth without platitudes or hyperbole.

Nike says Just do it..

Bo Eason says dream it, decide it and then do it.

The book is a memoir of retired NFL player Bo Eason (Runt of the Litter—Broadway) as he brings you into his psyche and single mindedness, which led to him becoming a world class athlete and then successful playwright and actor. From his early life he learned from his family that who will be the best in the world is not determined by talent but “declaration, preparation, acceleration and domination.”

When you declare and put in 20 years of work you can achieve the goal of being the best. Bo outlines action steps to eliminate distraction and practice relentlessly to achieve your best. The book includes many stories from his life, and from his working with others like Jerry Rice who achieved greatness.

No matter a person’s age or station in life, it is possible to achieve the greatness you were born to achieve if you follow this plan. Bo sets up the blueprint for how to think it and then how to do it. If you are inspired by greatness so that you can achieve your own, then you will enjoy this book.

The Longevity Paradox: How to Die Young at a Ripe Old Age by Steven R. Gundry, M.D.
As a Cardiac surgeon doing bypass surgery, Dr Gundry had cases that had such fatty coronary arteries that he could not bypass them. For some of them he would suggest the diet that is detailed in the Longevity Paradox. It is a diet low in certain plant proteins called lectins. In some cases, by eating this diet, the arteries opened up and healed.

As a result of his research, Dr. Gundry posits that the “diseases of aging” we most fear are not simply a function of age; rather, they are a byproduct of the way we have lived over the decades. In The Longevity Paradox, he outlines a program to aging better—one that is based on eating the correct foods so that the organisms in our colon get the nutrition they need—and by doing so, they support our physiology and we feel and are healthier.

Per Dr. Gundry, our gut bacteria largely determine our health over the years. From diseases like cancer and Alzheimer’s to common ailments like arthritis to our weight and the appearance of our skin, these organisms are in the driver’s seat, controlling our quality of life as we age.

According to Dr. Gundry, it’s never too late to support these microbes by eating foods that are favorable to their survival. In The Longevity Paradox, Dr. Gundry outlines a nutrition and lifestyle plan to support gut health and live well. Could this be a good move toward the new science of aging? The Longevity Paradox offers an action plan to prevent and reverse disease as well as simple hacks to help anyone look and feel younger and more vital. 

In observing patients over the years with gut and dietary problems, sometimes this diet actually is helpful. As with all diets, given an individual patient, some work and some don’t. I do keep this one up my sleeve in cases with autoimmune problems. In some cases, it's excellent.

I learned a lot from this book. The physiology of gut health is presented and I got many insights into how diet does affect the microbiome and how it may help improve gut function. For anyone looking for a good education in gut health, I recommend this book.