The good: I especially enjoyed the chapters on stress hormones. It was interesting to learn about their cycles and biorhythms, and by and large, the patterns she described rang true to me, especially the part about the "CortiZone." I also liked that, while she used caloric intake to monitor the diet, she also broke that down into ounces of protein, carbs and fat. I appreciated that she differentiated between simple and complex carbs. I already understood that, but I think there is a tendency to throw ALL carbs under the bus, which is a mistake. I think her advice about the times of day to eat was spot on.
The mediocre: When all is said and done, this book gives a different narrative spin to the same dieting advice that has been doled out for years: eat less, exercise more. Not that it's necessarily untrue, but there is very little new information in this book. What does separate it from the others is the narrative of the stressed out caregiver who never cares for herself. The book does talk about reducing the stress, but the way to reduce it is to eat less and exercise more. A little circular.
The not so great: I did not care for the reliance on non-fat dairy. Many of us are lactose intolerant. I do understand that the sample diets are just that, a sample, but it would have been nice to see different diets reflected in the samples: vegan, vegetarian, etc. I was also surprised that while added sugar and the role of insulin in appetite was addressed, the author also suggests energy bars, weight loss shakes and non-fat yogurts as quick foods that can help you. Just one of those things would exceed the added sugar allowance for many of us and increase insulin which would increase appetite. Some of the information seemed outdated, and I wonder if the author still stands behind some of the assertions. For example, the author suggests a number of supplements for the over 40 woman to take, but specifically says that vitamin D is not necessary if you eat dairy and get 15 minutes of sun/day. This advice is out of step with the current recommendations. There also seemed to be a lot of repetition - padding to make the information book length.
I'd love to see a more updated version that reflects changing demographics. The book was written in 2000, which means it was aimed at women born in 1960 or earlier. Women are now having babies later in life, and that must affect things. The author talks about how women over 40 are losing muscle mass because they are no longer getting the incidental exercise of hauling toddlers around. I am a 45 year old nursing mother who spends much of my day running after and lifting young children. I am not the majority, but I am far from alone in this.
Overall: B. It kept me reading, provided some inspiration and reminded me of some things I already knew, which is important.