Bruce Lipton is a Stem Cell Biologist with a focus on Epigenetics. With a bio like that you would be forgiven for thinking you needed a science or biology degree to read any of his books. At least that’s what I had thought prior to reading this book. You know the type. Where you dare not read unless you have access to Google to help you decipher the words let alone the concepts.

Pleasant surprise

This was, surprisingly, not the case – it ended up being a fascinating read with a ton of “oh, so that’s what that means” moments in it. It was fascinating and the author is quite comical in his portrayal of scientific information. His approach went a long way in helping the subject matter be less intimidating.

Bridging the gap

I would say that the author bridged scientific esoterica and every day application very well. I found the book inspired me to actually stop reading and do a little independent research as I went along. Some of the information was a bit contrary to my own personal beliefs. But, the author does state that his views aren’t the most popular (from the very beginning).

Re-readable (I know that’s not a proper word, but it works)

This is the kind of book you may need to read more than once. The author introduces a number of alternate theories and points of views which may be applicable at different stages of an individual’s journey. The author, being a researcher himself, readily refers to established research as well as his own as he covers various topics and presents the information in a logical manner.

Belief systems

The title is a very concise summary of what the book is about which is how our belief systems affect our physical body. We experience this on a more acute level with things like stress or dislike for a situation or person. The tell tale knot in the stomach, tension headache or something to that effect. These are all very real and physically prevalent manifestations that we are all too familiar with.

What you can learn from a single cell

Dr Lipton took those ‘feelings’ one step further and looked at single cells and their reaction to various influences both real and perceived.

He puts forward some compelling results from studies and tests and from there it isn’t a big leap to realize how the reaction of the single cell is remarkable. Multiply it by the approximate 30 trillion cells (that’s 30 with 12 zeros behind it!) and its downright hard to ignore.

There were many, and I mean many, light bulb moments for me during this book. I have read a few ‘science-y’ books, but this one was an absolute pleasure. No dozing off and maybe 2 Google searches the first time I read it.

Dr. Lipton’s work

Dr. Lipton has a number of YouTube videos and talks available on the internet. I’ll be honest, I find his written work better than the spoken. Partly because in his videos and talks he delves into very deep and intellectual content. I prefer to read and metabolize at my own pace. This is a personal choice and you may find his visual work engaging, so I would still encourage you to check it out.

Hope you enjoy this as much as I did.

If you are thinking this is going to be anything like SALT FAT ACID HEAT by Samin Nosrat, then you are in for a bit of a shock. As amazing and excited Chef Samin makes us about food, so Michael Moss will flip that on its head and make you seriously rethink your mainstream food choices.  Michael Moss is a multi award winning investigative journalist, who through a series of events, decided to take a deep dive into what’s in our food. The reporting and subsequent book has since become a staple read in the Health and Wellness community and for good reason.

Like a movie

The book was exceptionally well researched and reads like a punch-in-your-face Hollywood movie script. Having said that I would not classify this as an ‘enjoyable’ read. The information left me feeling very uncomfortable. Similar to the feeling you have after watching a really good thriller, there may have even been a few audible gasps while I was reading.

Who are they?

The one thing I really appreciated though was that he put names and actions to those we often refer to as ‘they’. By ‘they’ I mean the people we refer to when we say things like: They are just in it for the money or they are a ruthless bunch. We know they definitely exist. From our side of the table though, we get the distinct feeling that our best interests are not involved in their decision making.

Pulling back the curtain

Getting the curtain pulled back and giving us a glimpse is a rare occasion. If, like me, you have been on a journey around food and health, you know that what he speaks about illustrates a very real and current problem in the world today. There are very few people on the planet that are not being affected by these companies and people. This may make you feel intensely resentful toward these companies and those that work there.

The real problem

By now you can guess that the book may not be telling us what we ‘want’ to hear. That in the land of food supply everything isn’t sunshine and roses and may leave you enraged. But having said this, I would urge you to consider it on a more personal level. I have had family members and friends who have worked for some of the companies mentioned in the book. On a person to person level I know they aren’t bad people. Neither did working for the company suddenly make them bad people. They do not wake up in the morning and head to work with malicious intent. The author points this out about many of the executives he met with as well. He is reasonable and measured when assessing where the real problem lies. It’s the system as a whole that needs to be overhauled.

Everything in that system needs to be shaken up. All the way from the soil our food comes from to what we choose to put on our plates. Upsetting as the information may be – as enormous as the task ahead is – there is still hope. The fact that Michael Moss is able to get this information to us is a huge step in making changes to that broken system.

You cannot fix what you don’t know about.
You cannot make changes if you don’t know where to start.

My biggest take away is that the change starts with you and me. The small things like where and who we choose to buy our food from has a collective impact. Knowing more and actually using information like this empowers us.

This is a really well researched and written book and worthwhile getting your hands on. And, to circle back to Chef Samin, no, it will not put you off her food; rather it will encourage you to learn more about what she shares. Getting back to wholesome, straight from nature, home cooked food.

BOOK REVIEW – THE CULTURE CODE by COLTAIRE RAPAILLE

One of my favourite books I have read over the last few years is:

The Culture Code, An Ingenious Way To Understand Why People Around The World Live And Buy As They Do – Coltaire Rapaille.

Coltaire Rapaille has spent decades studying cultures and consumer behavior as a cultural anthropologist and marketing expert. The author shares some phenomenal insights about familiar products and how they got to be so familiar. Coltaire’s insights have been massively beneficial to companies around the world. But, this glimpse into what happens behind the marketing and sales scenes, has had a profound effect on me as an individual.

You may get angry

In the first chapter I highlighted something significant on just about every other page. By the second chapter I realized that I should either read the book or color in all the pages. I found myself vacillating between shock, outrage and some profound “aha” moments. We all know that companies invest a great deal in understanding the human psyche. They leverage this knowledge for profit and gain. When you begin to comprehend the intensity behind these studies, you cannot help at first feeling a little manipulated and outraged. Which is exactly how I felt at the beginning of the book.

Look past the words

Once I moved past my anger and applied a more pragmatic mindset, I was able to appreciate the life lessons. What makes Coltaire Rapaille so successful is his ability to move past the façade of words and hear what we really mean. He calls this the code or more specifically The Culture Code. He defines this code as: “the unconscious meaning we apply to any given thing” (pg. 5). An example of this is his study into the American culture around toilet paper, which he sums up to be: INDEPENDANCE.

Awareness is key

Coltaire Rapaille very adeptly takes you through his process to come to these conclusions. Especially for some of our favorite products (and imprints) like cars, makeup, cheese, love, alcohol, being overweight or pretty and many more. Some of the codes are astonishing at first and in some instances seem too primal to be real. However, once you have that awareness, you begin looking at yourself and those around you objectively. You see he is scarily accurate in his assessments.

Knowledge is power

How this translates into personal revelations and understandings I think will differ from person to person. It will be very difficult to read this book and not have a new perspective on the world around you. I highly recommend this book to anyone and everyone. My only advice would be to set aside your emotive reactions and focus on the reality of the information. Commerce is commerce and people are people. As groups we tend to follow the crowd and often don’t see the need to disrupt the status quo. However, as an individual you have the choice to empower yourself with knowledge and awareness. Armed with newfound information you then have a choice as to how much and how you are influenced by the world and people around you.

Personal belief system

This book also speaks to our personal belief systems which we use to filter our daily experiences. In my blog – Why You Should Have a Personal Philosophy, I speak about these in more depth.

If you are as crazy about books as I am and like to keep track of what you have read and learnt head on over to the Nutrimentals Page and download a free Reading Tracker!