Our speeded-up culture is adversely affecting all aspects of our lives. Marc David has been a nutrition expert at Canyon Ranch retreat center for more than ten years, a workshop leader at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, and is the author of Nourishing Wisdom. In this paperback, he presents an eight-week program designed to renovate how we eat. His multidimensional approach melds cutting-edge research on body biochemistry with insights from holistic health and spirituality.

He begins by pointing out the limitations of digestive aids, fad diets, and the myth that "the right way to lose weight is to eat less and exercise more." The real key to health and weight loss is metabolism which he defines as "the sum total of all the chemical reactions in the body plus the sum total of all our thoughts, feelings, beliefs and experiences." The book is organized around a slow down diet based on eight universal metabolizers: relaxation, quality, awareness, rhythm, pleasure, thought, story, and the sacred.

M.F.K. Fisher once observed: "If time so fleeting must see humans die, let it be filled with good food and talk, and then embalmed with the perfumes of conviviality." Not a bad description of what every meal should be like. David is convinced that many of the ills of our body and the ailments of our soul are based on the fast pace of our lives. We need to slow down — especially when we are eating. Here are some of the problems with scarfing down a meal: it results in a physiologic stress-response that diminishes our calorie-burning power; it shortens our breathing, which leads to less oxygen intake and more fat accumulation; and it lessens our pleasure from food, decreasing cellular energy production and increasing our feeling of eating more.

The message is strong and clear: when you eat, eat; don't do other things. Breath deeply and savor each bite of food. Take a cue from Europeans who sometimes take three hours to enjoy a meal. Everything in this well-thought out paperback is in sync with the global slowness movement that has been gathering momentum over the years.