Today, program graduate Caitlin Iles is sharing her review of Sexy By Nature: The Whole Foods Solution to Radiant Health, Life-Long Sex Appeal, and Soaring Confidence by Stefani Ruper.
Stefani Ruper plays an important role in the ancestral health community as she is one of few research-focused writers who specializes in women’s health, sifting through research done primarily on men to find the information that is most relevant for women struggling to find their healthiest bodies and minds. The approach to nutrition from which Stefani works is that women must come to healing from a place of self-love, acceptance, and with the knowledge that we must nourish our bodies, not fight them, to be well. Her whole book is founded on the Sexy by Nature Golden Rule:
“Your body is a natural body, with natural needs, that, when loved properly, loves you right back.”
And all her dietary and lifestyle recommendations are predicated on that assumption.
Her book is divided into 5 steps to achieving radiantly sexy good health, all of which come together to create a beautiful and personalized diet and lifestyle.
Part 1, Trailblaze, is great and involves replacing seven previously held rules on what it takes to achieve a healthy and fit body with smart and achievable rules. These include Beauty Conformity vs. Celebratory Uniqueness, Restriction vs. Nourishment, and more. I loved her analyses and deconstruction of the old rules and her reasoning behind incorporating these new, loving, and health-promoting rules into your life.
Part 2, Nourishment, covers the basics of nutrition, which are the foundation of the Sexy by Nature diet plan. Her recommendations are pretty standard fair in terms of what the ancestral health community recommends for dietary guidelines, though her emphasis on ensuring adequate carbohydrate consumption for thyroid health is something fairly specific to her focus on female hormonal health. She also focuses quite extensively on establishing a diet that specializes in female nutrition goals, which includes eating more regularly, higher carb intake (at least 100g/day), and listening to your body’s hunger and fullness signals. This section is easily digestible (heh heh) and Stefani clearly and concisely explains her reasoning behind the inclusion or exclusion of specific foods.
Part 3, Live, goes into more detail about specific aspects of our lifestyle that go beyond food but that play a hugely important role in our overall health. She covers the effects of stress, sleep, standing, sprinting, strength, sex, sunlight, spirit, settling, and striving. I loved this section because sometimes people get so caught up in focusing on the food that they forget how many other wonderful things it takes to make up a truly fulfilled and healthy life.
“True happiness comes from mindset, relationships, feeling comfortable in your world, and building a meaningful life. It does not come from the frenetic parts of Western existence—busyness, perfectionism, and the acquisition of stuff. “
Part 4, Overcome, offers some fantastic suggestions for dietary and lifestyle interventions to help women manage issues such as weight gain, PMS, poor skin health and more. She does a wonderful job of explaining the root causes of many of these issues and how diet and lifestyle impact the development or management of them. It’s super informative with enough science for us nutrition nerds, but also explained very clearly.
Part 5, Strut, is all about self-love, confidence, inherent sexiness, and flaunting your fabulousness to the world. This angle of Stefani’s approach to women’s health is one of the major reasons I fell in love with her writing. She encourages us ladies to embrace our natural bodies exactly where they are and recognize that if we feel imbalanced or suffer from PMS or excess weight it’s not because our body is working against us, but because she is trying to do her very best to keep us alive with what she’s been given. Recognizing this fact is one of the first steps we need to take in order to achieve true and lasting healing and Stefani is a master at raising the battle cry for women everywhere to love themselves just as they are.
“You are the one who determines how sexy you are.”
All in all, I definitely recommend this book to practitioners and clients alike, as I think there is tons of fantastic information about female hormones and exercise, the dangers of perfectionism on body image, and self-love in addition to all the great stuff on diet and other lifestyle factors.
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