To flog myself publicly, I’m calling up that I’ve been bad about exercising in the past few weeks, only going to the gym twice (sometimes just once) each week. All of the sordid details are documented on my Twitter exercise blog. This is all a result of my new year’s resolution to become more physically fit.
To help reach this goal, I also decided to learn about how the body is powered. I want to understand how food becomes fuel, and how to maximize my body’s benefit from that fuel. As the first step, I read Michael Pollan’s “In Defense of Food,” a sort of a follow-up to his “Omnivore’s Dilemma.” (I reviewed the latter a couple of years ago.) Pollan’s thesis is that food needs defending, because what we eat now isn’t food, but a food-like substance. He promotes the consumption of whole foods — things that our great-grandmothers would have recognized as food — rather than packaged foods that make nutritional claims. In fact, he’s basically opposed to “nutritionism,” demonstrating that most people are better off simply ignoring the concept of nutrition and instead eating a broad spectrum of plants and grains, with the odd bit of meat thrown in. I learned an enormous amount from Pollan’s book, and it’s had a genuine impact on how I eat. Recommended.
Can anybody recommend a decent book about the musculoskeletal system? Everything I’ve come across about the locomotor system is either meathead porn or dry textbook stuff. I’m hoping there’s something like “In Defense of Food” about the human body.