Book Review: The Telomere Effect

Book Review: The Telomere Effect

Author: Elizabeth Blackburn & Elissa Epel

Subtitled “Living Younger, Healthier, Longer”, this book is an evidence-based guide to the lifestyle factors that impact ageing, with plenty of practical information and tips you can implement to help live a longer and healthier life.

Telomeres are tiny caps on the end of our DNA, a bit like the tips on shoelaces, and are believed to protect the DNA from damage. As our cells age, the telomeres shorten and fray.  But, as the authors explain, there are many things we can do to protect our telomeres.

The book is divided into four sections.

Part 1 explains what telomeres, the role they play in ageing and the power of having longer telomeres.

Part 2 discusses the impact of stress on telomeres and ageing. Learn how your personality and thinking styles can affect your telomeres, along with stress reducing techniques you can use to help with managing stress, anxiety and depression.

Part 3 starts with a self-assessment of the personal wellbeing and lifestyle factors know to be related to telomere length, so you can identify the areas you might want to focus on.  This is followed by chapters on exercise, sleep and nutrition, with plenty of practical suggestions for each.  There are also tips for breaking habits and building new habits along with an example of what a ‘perfect’ day might look for if you are focused on supporting your telomeres and protecting them from damage.

The final section (part 4) discusses the influence of our environment, along with the impact of lifestyle factors during pregnancy and early childhood on a child’s future health.

The main action points from the book are summarised at the end in ‘The Telomere Manifesto’, which acts as a great reminder of the main messages to take away from the book.

While the authors spend time explaining the science, this is combined with plenty of practical information and tips, making the book easy and enjoyable to read. And for those who want to understand more about the science of telomeres, there’s a comprehensive list of references for each chapter at the end.

If you’re interested in learning more about how and why we age, and the lifestyle changes you can make to slow ageing and live a longer and healthier life, this book is well worth reading.

For more details visit

The Good Carbs Cookbook

The Good Carbs Cookbook

Author: Dr Alan Barclay, Kate McGhie ad Philippa Sandall

Available from: all good bookshops or online at Booktopia

Despite all the current focus on low-carb diets, carbs are not the enemy. In fact, eating the right carbs is important for our health and energy levels.  But what are the ‘right’ carbs?

This book, written by Australian authors, including a dietitian and chef, explains which carbs we should be eating, why they are a valuable part of our diet and how to incorporate them into tasty and nutritious meals.

The first chapter is an introduction, explaining exactly which foods are ‘good’ carbs and the benefits they provide.

This is followed by four sections covering the main ‘good carb’ groups – vegetables, legumes, grains and fruit.

Within each of these chapters is an overview of the food group, how much of them we should be aiming for each day and more detailed information on specific vegetables, legumes, grains and fruit including what to look for, how to store them, their nutritional information and recipes.

At the back is a chapter on understanding carbs, explaining exactly what they are and the impact they have on our health.  This is followed by a comprehensive nutritional analysis for each recipe and an index.

There are recipes to appeal to all tastes, with ideas for breakfast through to dessert.

Roasted pumpkin soup with harissa, Pan roasted sweet potato and beetroot with grapefruit glaze, Smoked paprika, potato and chickpea salad, Mixed grains salad with marinated zucchini and Banana and peanut ice-cream are just a few of the yummy-looking recipes on offer.  There are over 100 recipes in total, many with full colour photographs.

If you want to understand more about the benefits of eating ‘good carbs’ and need some inspiration for incorporating them into your meals, this book is a great place to start.



Website Review: Healthy Food Guide

Website Review: Healthy Food Guide

The companion website for Australian Healthy Food Guide magazine, the Healthy Food Guide website aims to make healthy eating easy and delicious. It provides accurate and evidence-based information from nutrition experts on a range of nutrition topics from A(dditives) to Z(inc).

The site features some great tools for judging portion sizes and reading food labels, menu and exercise planners, and product reviews to keep you up to date with new foods as they hit the shelf.

There are hundreds of recipes which have been developed in consultation with dietitians and nutritionists so you can be sure that they deliver on their healthy promise, without compromising on taste. The recipes cover different meals and occasions, seasons, and special diets from dairy and gluten-free to diabetes-friendly to low sodium.  They also have a number of recipe ‘collections’ including ‘5pm panic’ (healthy meals in under 30 mins), ‘homemade takeaways’ (healthy homemade versions of your favourites) and ‘meals for one‘ (for those who cook for themselves and don’t want to eat the same meal 4 nights in a row!).

You can sign up for their e-newsletter and even get 5pm Panic! recipes sent straight to your inbox.

For nutrition information you can trust and help with within delicious healthy meal ideas, this website is worth checking out.

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