Book Review: Be Healthy! It’s a girl thing: food, fitness and feeling great

Book Review: Be Healthy! It’s a girl thing: food, fitness and feeling great

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Book Review: Be Healthy! It’s a girl thing: food, fitness and feeling great


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Be Healthy! It’s a girl thing: food, fitness, and feeling great, guarantees to peek the appetites of young girls seeking recipes that targets nutrition, physical fitness, and positive self-assurance. Delectable entrees are featured in the seventeen chapters that incorporate the lowdown on food basics, illustrate how the human body is energized, offer tips for proper shopping, expose the facts about food labels, encourage physical activity to boost self-esteem, and draw up the Cactus Plant that will lead one into a healthy eating pattern. The text is spiced with humor and lighthearted language. Readers will quickly savor the rich content presented in brief portions and be energized with eye-catching labels, tempting factoids, and appealing black-and-white pictures and drawings. Sandwiched in the hardback/paperback are additional tools to assist young lasses making wise choices including menus, snack suggestions, recipes, websites, agency contacts, shopping lists, and charts listing vitamins and minerals. Authors Lillian Cheung (nutrition consultant) and Mavis Jukes (attorney and writer) have collaborated with other professionals in fields of nutrition and physical activity to relate accurate information. They not only encourage adolescents to link frequently with family and friends, but also advocate speaking to issues affecting their physical development—cafeteria choices or intramural sports programs. In a fast paced world, students, parents, and school staff will want to seize the opportunity to use the fun and entertaining guidelines in this book to stay healthy and fit.
Mavis Jukes has twenty years of writing experience and ten years of teaching experience, and is a member of the California bar. She has written many books for kids and teens, including three other health-related titles.
Lilian Cheung is a doctor of science in nutrition and a registered dietitian. She is the Director of Health Promotion and Communications and a lecturer in the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health. She has advised national media outlets (magazines, newspapers, and television) and government agencies, including the National Cancer Institute and the Centers for disease Control and Prevention.
Be Healthy! It’s a Girl Thing: Food, Fitness, and Feeling Great does just what the title says. This book provides a general overview of what’s important for young girls to eat healthy, exercise, and living a fit lifestyle. It is divided into chapters, and each has many small sections, which make it not only a fast read, but an easy reference book as well.

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On a scale of 1-4, with 4 being the best, I would rate this book a 4. The audience is probably pre-teens and young teen girls, as the advice is good but rather general. Some of the books strengths are its many external references, index at the back with definitions of the words, and the little changes you can incorporate into your daily life immediately. It doesn’t seem like you have to change your whole life to be healthier; you can start at breakfast, add in exercise, and little by little make these changes. It would be good to have more detail but then the book might be too long or too complicated. I think this is a great guide for girls who want an easy and safe way to be healthy, without making too many changes!
The first chapter in this book deals with your connection with the environment and ow to use the things in it to improve your health.
Chapter two is called, the absolute basics about food, and it pretty much explains exactly that. It talks about the different foods that come from plants and animals. It also goes a little into water and fluids.
The third chapter starts to describe how foods work. It gives easy to understand information on macro and micronutrients. It also lists the key vitamins and minerals for a growing child. On each topic the author has F.Y. I. boxes that give tips and facts on the topic, that relate to everyday life. This chapter also gives numerous reliable web sites on nutrition, health, and fitness.
Your heart is the topic for the fourth chapter. The information provided is on foods that are heart healthy. It also gives a brief description on how smoking affects you heart.
The cactus plan diagram is the main focus of chapter five and six. It is an easy way to see (and remember) how to eat well, drink, rest, and move in order to stay healthy and feel good. The cactus plan is a guideline for food and physical activity. The cactus plan pyramid is represented by a labeled drawing of a cactus, a sun, a moon, and a rainbow. The cactus plan is very similar to the Food pyramid. The basic concepts are all the same. It goes through each of the food groups and the recommended amount of each for teenage girls. It also gives some healthy pointers on the effects of sweets on your teeth. It explains how the sugar turns into acid and eats away the enamel on your teeth. It gives some tips on keeping your teeth and gums healthy.
Chapter seven is really an overview of food in general and how it links us to our culture, friends, and families. Food is an important part of our lives and not just nutritionally. Food is often used to show love and affection and give comfort. This chapter talks about preparing meals, serving meals and the process of shopping for the ingredients that make up the meal. It gives some suggestions for some quick and easy meals and snacks. This chapter talks about the importance of not skipping meals.
The eighth chapter is about taking charge of your body against the fast food industry. It gives some information on some of the food choices that you can make that are just as easy as grabbing a burger.
Chapter nine speaks on every aspect of being an adolescent vegetarian. Being a vegetarian takes a lot of commitment. It also has some areas that are of concern when dealing with adolescents. Being a vegetarian works for adolescents, but they have to meet the nutritional needs for growth, metabolism, and physical activity. To be a vegetarian you have to learn to have a variety of foods in your diet to be able to get the required nutrients.
The next chapter, which is ten, gives information on the health hazards that come with foods. Germs and bacteria could be extremely harmful to your health. This chapter gives the information you need to prevent germs and bacteria from forming on your food.
Chapter eleven deals with proper shopping. It goes into shopping guidelines, food safety shopping tips, and buying locally grown foods.
Food labels/ingredient lists is the topic of the twelfth chapter. The author gives you the information you need to be able to understand the food label. Understanding the food label is very important because it gives all the nutritional information.
Chapter thirteen and fourteen are dealing with physical activity. I really like these chapters. I felt they gave some great exercises and stretches that are easy enough to do and provide great benefits. These chapters also bring the cactus plan diagram back in and give the recommendations for physical activity on a daily basis for teenage females. Teenage females go through many different body changes and it is important to stay active and maintain a healthy weight. It also talks about the importance f staying hydrated when you are active. It gives other safety tips that are important to follow when exercising.
Chapter fifteen is focused on the topic of self image. Image is a very important factor for all teenage females. It is extremely important to understand that your body image is not as important as the health of your body. Fad diets and food disorders are some of the things that begin to affect females around the teen age. Bodies are supposed to be variable and not everyone is going to look like the typical Barbie. It’s important to stay positive and not to base your image on what you see in the media.
The next chapter, sixteen, focuses on the emotional parts of being a teenage female. It gives advice on seeking help and where help can be found. Teenage life is very stressful, awkward and just plain tough. There are people out there that care about your well-being and are willing to help. The biggest part is admitting you need help and then seeking it.
The final chapter is just a brief overview and it gives a detailed list of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals and what each one does for your body.
Overall I really enjoyed this book and would definitely recommend it to all teenage girls. I wish I would have had a book like this one to make me more aware of my body. The authors did a wonderful job and will help plenty of teenage girls by providing them with the knowledge that they need on all of these topics. Jukes, M., & Cheung, L.(2003). Be Healthy! It’s A girl thing: food, fitness, and feeling great. New York: Crown Publishers, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books. 1st ed. Pp. 114. ISBN 0-679-99029-1. $18.99 hard cover.
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