Monday, April 5, 2010

Book Review: How To Eat, Move and Be Healthy - Paul Chek

As I continue my quest to futher my nutrition knowledge I decided to purchased this much cited book. Chek is a well known figure in our industry. Regared as a genius by some, and a psycho by others. Sounds like my kinda guy!!

Chek is a firm believer in Metabolic typing. He also is a huge proponent of organic food. Throughout this book Chek talks about all the dangers of processed food, dehydration, lack of sleep, and lack of exercise.

Four Steps

Chek four steps in the book:

1. Complete a lifestyle and Nutrition questionaire

2. Nutrition Plan

3. Exercise Plan

4. Lifestyle Plan

Nutrition Plan:

As I stated above Chek is a big believer in Metabolic typing. This is a system that trys to determine what exact foods are right for your body to function optimally. Chek goes on to talk about the dangers of processed foods, and some of the additives that the FDA have claim are safe to be used in our foods when clearly it has been shown otherwise. Cheks also talks about the dreaded GMOs (genetically modified organisms), and the effect that these poisons are having on our bodies.

Chek also talks about why pasteurization and homogenization for many dairy products is probably doing more harm then good, because this process kills a lot of the key enzymes in the dairy. He recommends that if you are going to drink or eat dairy, get raw products.

So basically, to some up the main take home points from the Nutrition section:

  • Eat right for your Metabolic Type

  • Eat organic, and raw dairy (if you are going to have dairy) whenever possible

  • Limit or delete all processed foods

  • Drink half your body weight in water = kg x 0.o33

Exercise Plan:

Chek like many coaches is a believer in movements, not muscles. He talks about the seven key movement patterns that his has call Primal Patterns:

  • Squat Pattern

  • Bend Pattern (Deadlift)

  • Lunge Pattern

  • Push Pattern (Push Up)

  • Pull Patteern (DB Row)

  • Twist Pattern (Throwing)

  • Gait Pattern (walking, running, sprinting)

He believes that your exercise program should incorporate all of these pattens.

Lifestyle plan:

This section of the book was very interesting. Chek talks about the affects of stress, sleep, fad diets, and your digestive system.


We all know people who are stresser's (if thats a word). Chek thats about how stress can elevate the activity of your sympathetic nervous system (SNS). Your SNS is one half of your autonomic nervous system, the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) being the other half.

The SNS is also know as the "fight or flight" system. This basically means that your body is ready and alert for action. Think about the feeling you get before a big match, or event. People also call it adrenline. This is produced by the SNS. This "fight or flight" is a good thing when needed, but if it is constantly "switch on" so to speak, you will start to exhaust your body by producing too many stress hormones.

Cortisol is one stress hormone that gets bashed a lot, and true too nuch cortisol is a bad thing, but it is still important to our body. It is just that most people can never seem to get out of this fight or flight mode, and this is where cortisol can start to cause problems.

Chek points out that caffeine, which stimulates the SNS, can adventually lead to fatigue of the adrenal glands.


Chek talks about how important getting to bed early is. 10.30 seems to be the magical time? He talks about the many benefits from proper sleep, and how you can maximize these benefits.

  • Dont eat anything too big before going to bed as this will active the SNS, and when going to bed you want your PNS to be elevated to help your body for growth and repair

  • Try not to be around bright lighting an hour or two before going to bed

  • Try to get your workouts done in the morning rather then late at night

  • Try not to have too many electromagnetic things (tvs, computers) where you sleep. If you do, ensure they are off before going to sleep.

Fad Diets:

In this chapter Chek talks about not cutting calories, as doing so puts a lot stress on your body as it thinks you are in starvation mode. If your body thinks your are in this mode of starvation it will store fat, and not lose it as a protective mechanism.

Eat right for your Metabolic Type, and to be healthy and you will be fine.

Your Digestive system:

This chapter made me feel so dirty. After reading this chapter I realized that I am not as healthy I as thought I was!!

Chek talks abou the common causes of poor digestion:

1. Dehydration

When you are dehydrated the colon squeezes as much water as possible from your feces. This results in both constipation and the absorption of toxic fluids into the blood steam. So drink your water!!

2. Toxic Bowel

This is another cause of poor digestion. The following can cause a toxic bowel:

  • Processed Foods
  • Pasteurized Dairy Products
  • Processed Juices
  • Dehydrogenated Fats
  • Tap Water
  • Caffeine
  • Drug use (both recreational and medical)

3. Stress

As stated earlier stress can lead to the "Fight of Flight" mode. This in turn can lead to a shut down of the digestive system and result in constipation. So learn to relax more damn it!!


I liked this book. It is an easy read and informative. A lot of the information was not new to me except for the information on the digestive system and some other tips throughout the book. I think this would be a great book to give to a client who wanted more information on nutrition and lifestyle.

Things I took away fron the book:

  • Drink more water!!
  • Relax more - try decrease stress in your life. I find going for walks helps me a lot of the time
  • Quality sleep is essential for health

Stay Strong,


No comments:

Post a Comment