Book Review: The Park Avenue Nutritionists Plan by Dr. Jana Klauer

Book Review: The Park Avenue Nutritionist's Plan The no fail prescription for energy, vitality & weightloss by Dr. Jana Klauer (St.Martin’s Griffin, 2008)

Why I decided to read this book

I came across this book in the bookstore without having heard about it previously, which is rare because I usually choose books based on reviews or referrals.

The title peaked my curiosity because as a personal trainer this is an area of interest for me and the author’s credentials and experience give the book some pretty serious credibility. Author Dr. Jana Klauer holds a Master’s Degree in Clinical Nutrition from Columbia University, College of Physicians and Surgeons. She is a practicing “physician [with] clinical expertise in nutrition, metabolic adaptation to exercise, and biology of body fat regulation”.

What I liked about the book

Not a sermon

Klauer’s approach is not  “do this”  or ”do that”. She sets up clear illustrations of the effects of eating various foods so we are armed with the knowledge that “this is why”

Easy to read

A  lot of science and facts explained for readers with minimal knowledge on the subject.

The energy-centric approach.

I agree that you cannot lose weight when you are constantly tired with low energy and vitality. There are so many factors that affect energy and Dr. Klauer covers many as she guides you in “eliminat[ing] fatigue factors”:

-Fridge freedom

-Clean out your medical cabinet

-Join a gym

-Build a bedroom sanctuary

Workout wisdom: “You must exercise everyday of your life. Period.”

Energy bullets throughout the book provide cool facts and energy strategies.

Case studies. Success stories from real clients in Dr. Klauers practice.

Great and informative discussions including:

Tips for smart cocktail consumption after work

Antioxidant drink recipes

Power molecules with a great discussion of greens, classes of flavenoids and  how omega 3’s work.

Discussions I enjoyed

The discussion on the history grains and sugar through time is a ‘must’ read because it really puts into perspective how recently in the history of man that we began to consume these substances and how we really have gone overboard.

Metabolism slows at 30, why? Because we are done growing.  We have reached peak height, peak muscle mass, peak bone density and sexual maturity. We don’t need as much energy however our eating patterns are well established and we continue to feed for growth.

A great discussion on whole grains versus refined grains and their effects on the body when digested.

What is protein, fiber carbohydrates? I like the clear and simple descriptions from everyday life, not too technical.

What is the glycemic index?

Inflammation in the body

Why breakfast? Klauer offers a great explanation with discussion of Gherlin, how to use protein to energize and provide long lasting fuel and the dangers of sugar in the AM.

Fun Facts

Muscles renew themselves every three months.

Mashing potatoes and applesauce increase glycemic index because of greater surface area accessible to digestive enzymes

Fruit is sweet but is metabolized slower than sugar (sucrose) because it is metabolized int the liver, and it contains fiber.

Baked potato has more free sugar than table sugar

Carbohydrate is unable to repair cells (doesn’t contain nitrogen, only in protein)

Yikes, Watch out for

Neurotoxins. Beware of recipes that include Splenda. The growing rap sheet on this artificial sweetener makes me steer clear away from it all costs. The credibility of any nutritionist who recommends artificial sweeteners goes down the drain instantly.

Pro Grain. Aren’t we recovering from national food recommendations that made us obese by putting grains at the base of the pyramid? Klauer’s recommendations of cereals and breads came as quite a surprise, especially as I learn more about gluten intolerance.

Klauer’s ‘detox day’ sounds more like an ideal healthy and smart everyday strategy rather than just an occasional eating plan.

The sales pitch

Dr. Klauers Everyday Nutrition shakes are ready-to-drink meal replacement shakes and are mentioned throughout the book. You’ll have to order them.

Exercise suggestions

Klauer suggests that “aerobic exercise is the foundation…” She puts very little emphasis on resistance training for weight-loss and for energy which we now know is the smartest strategy.

Klauer suggests that “the best all-round exercise is the push-up”. I agree that push-ups are a great exercise for absolute beginners who are screened by a professional for functional joint mobility and postural alignment and when they are incorporated into a smart and balanced strength training routine. I find this is rarely the case. Most people have poor posture including rounded shoulders and anterior head carriage which can lead to shoulder joint dysfunction. Most people have pectoral (chest) muscles that are too tight and need to be stretched. I am very cautious when prescribing push-ups.

In this book exercises are recommended to be done on a stability ball to ‘activate’ the abdominal muscles.. Ie: chest press on a stability ball. This advice is not to be followed. New exercisers should develop core awareness on a stable surface and build a foundation. Exercisers looking to build a strong foundation of strength should do so on a stable surface and continue to do so to build strong, lean shapely muscle.

Klauer also suggests doing 50 crunches to increase core strength.  This strategy completely ignores the multiple functions of the core muscles and will promote muscle imbalances, poor posture and for most people will actually cause the belly to bulge instead of flatten unless they have built a foundation of core strength and have a balanced program.

NewYorkers only. There are many recommendations for places to eat and shop in New York.

Don’t expect

Checklists, learning points or chapter summaries. There are tons of great tips and detailed strategies throughout the book however you will have to read the book, and create your own checklists and action plans because the book does not include any. Take good notes.

Images. There are no images of foods, recipes or exercises.

Calories. Wile there are a few recipes at the end of the book they do not include preparation time, serving sizes, calories, protein or any other nutritional information.

Overall Summary

I found the first half of this book interesting and chock full of great facts and great discussions. I learned many great facts about food and its effects on the body and health. I recommend reading it to develop a deeper understanding of the effect food has on the body.

The energy tips are great and implementing them will most definitely produce drastic results to energy levels. Remember to take good notes because there are no checklists or chapter summaries.

As I progressed through the book I found one too many red flags to suggest this as a stand alone resource for weight-loss, fitness or health. This book is definitely not a great resource for recipes or meal plans and definitely not for fitness recommendations.

 

Author’s website

http://www.janaklauermd.com

Source: www.janaklauermd.com/

Image Credit:  www.janaklauermd.com/

 

Happy Training,

Shari


TALKBACK QUESTIONS

1) Have you implemented Dr. Klauers ‘Eliminating Fatigue’ factors and been successful?

 

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