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Natural Guide to Weight Loss That Lasts, A

by: Nan Lu with Ellen Shaplowsky

New York NY: Quill, an imprint of HarperCollins 2000, $14.95, Paperback
ISBN: 0-380-80905-2

Reviewed by: Jacqueline M. Newman
Spring Volume: 2005 Issue: 12(1) page(s): 25, 26, and 27

Not new and noteworthy except to those who have tried other diets with limited or no success. This is for folks who want to embark on a Chinese weight-loss system.

Take off twelve pounds and eight inches in six week’s, it touts, using what it calls: The Dragon’s Way. While dietitians may bristle, it boasts having discovered powerful ancient secrets of healthy weight loss. Needed is a small amount of time to practice ten simple Qigong energy movements. That and eating for healing and strengthening your qi. This Traditional Chinese Medicinal (TCM), Nan Lu claims is a unique program for harmonizing your whole body.

The book was for sale at a recent TCM/acupuncture meeting and many there were true believers; they said they tried it and it brought success. Clearly, they agree with those quoted in the book who claimed to follow ‘The Dragon’s Way.’ This meant no meats and dairy products including no yogurt. All are off limits, as are bagels and bread.

What is OK? Fruits are touted for healing the root cause of excess weight but only specific ones are touted. Listed are a dozen including kiwis, mangos, oranges, papaya, pears, persimmons, red apples, red grapefruit, red grapes, strawberries, tangerines, and watermelon. There are twenty-one vegetables, nineteen nuts/spices/and oils (olive, safflower, sesame, and walnut oil included) and bee pollen, coffee and tea, egg whites, honey, a mite of pasta, and but a bit or rice, a half-cup cooked, if needed.

One person told us that this Dragon’s Way includes a not-so-easy diet but a very doable set of exercises. Following it, one needs to start every day with ten walnut halves, a glass of watermelon juice made from the flesh, white inner and outer green parts of the rind, also apple juice, orange juice, and one recommended fruit. Lunch includes two pieces of recommended fruit. Dinner allows two or three portions of recommended vegetables, preferably selecting three different colored ones, each to heal a specific organ. After six weeks, one can enjoy a mite more lunch and leeway, but not too much.

Is this diet successful? Yes if you believe the dozens upon dozens of testimonials in person and in the book. However, some do not always make sense, that is, they are not to the point. It is low in calories, high in healthy fruits and vegetables, but only on page one hundred and seventy does the author warn that this type of dietary change comes with internal harmony and healing and yet another price. That cost is runny nose, restlessness, rash, and an unusual itch.

On the verso of the tile page, author and the publisher indicate not being responsible for any liability or risk incurred as a consequence of the application of the contents of this book. How often do folk read the reverse of any book’s title page?

So why review it? To help readers make informed choices. To help them do so not just by selecting a book touted at a meeting, a health food emporia, by a TCM other-trained medical practitioner, or after a suggestion by a friend or family. Perhaps the Dragon’s way is right for some; but this author and others need to warn folk on an odd-numbered early-in-the-text page. Do not throw the baby out with the bath water; there are some truths within. One is that stress can cause weight problems. The rear cover says herbal supplements can encourage body harmony and help a person avoid excess weight. It also says that food cravings signal body needs. Do they? My body always craves chocolate; would that I really needed it!

Do check with your own medical practitioner before trying to lose weight with this or any other ‘sure-cure’ system. Food can be a healing tool, but it does not cure everything. The book says that billions of people worldwide are benefitting from The Dragon’s Way. Billions? Be careful, and do avoid believing all found in print. Reading this book was enjoyable. There can be things to learn from it; and would that it alone took off everyone’s excess pounds.

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