I discovered Stefani Ruper, (who I privately call Super Ruper) the author of this amazing book, just a few months ago (6-7) on my search for a non-hormonal birth control. At that time I was on a pill for 14 years and desperately wanted to go off of it. Her posts about birth control and hormones on her amazing blog PaleoForWomen.com helped me to finally take the final step and throw away the Evil Pill. I still have SO MUCH reading to do on her website, but I believe the most important information you can get is in her new book, Sexy by Nature. I don’t really have many blogs that I follow religiously (except Everyday Paleo, Cave Girl Eats and maybe Whole9Life), I usually just catch whatever people are sharing on Facebook and then follow the links if I am interested. Stefani for sure is now added to my list of people I wanna read every word they put online from. :)
SHORT VERSION OF THE REVIEW:
This is what Cosmopolitan should write about. Women’s world would be saved for good.
LONG VERSION OF THE REVIEW:
(now, this will be long…)
First, Sexy by Nature is NOT a new Skinny Bitch. I just found out a weird comment on Everydaypaleo.com under Jason’s review of this book that was a perfect example of a bad interpretation of the title. The commenter obviously got disturbed by the word „sexy“ in the title and assumed that this book teaches young women on how to be „SEXY“ to attract men. Ha ha. Don’t judge a book by its… title? :D In my opinion the title is WONDERFUL and I understand why Stefani is so proud of it. Skinny Bitch can suck it now (and no, I didn’t read that one and have no intentions to do so).
Second, this book arrived to me without an outer paper cover. Stefani was so kind and sent me a PDF file of it so I could print my own (and Book Depository refunded me with 40% of the price because of the missing cover, which was super cool from them). The book without a cover looked so „naked“ and therefore not that sexy :D (because the cover is ABSOLUTELY beautiful, I love the picture and the color scheme it is designed in). I know the paper cover is not the most important thing about it, but for me as a lifelong book geek it WAS A BIG DEAL. The fact that I had to make my own cover made be feel super protective of the book now. I never lend books, ever, I would rather kiss a toilet seat than lend MY PRECIOUS BOOKS to someone’s dirty, oily, creepy, careless hands, (sorry, all of you, ALL of you!) and I even wanna wrap this one in some nice old ancient smelling newspaper to protect it even more now.
Third, this book came out on March 18th, which is my birthday and for that reason I feel so connected to this book (no, I am totally kidding, the release date has nothing to do with the fact that I absolutely LOVE this hardcover piece of work).
You know Sherlock Holmes, right? Do you also think the series with Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman is just The Best? (I know you do…) I mean, Sherlock, yeah, he is amazing and smart, he has a lot of knowledge and experience gained from all his cases, he knows all he has to do, but there are cases that are out of his area of expertise and he needs someone „better“ by his side to help – a real doctor, John Watson!
Now imagine all the guys in paleo sphere being Sherlocks. If people like Robb Wolf, Mark Sisson, Jason Seib or Chris Kresser are Sherlocks, Stefani is their Watson. A man, even super knowledgable, smart, experienced and empathic can never truly TRUUUUUUUUULY understand what it means to be a woman, what the struggles actually FEEL like, what PMS feels like, what is physically happening in woman’s body, only WOMAN can really understand. I am not saying a man is not able to successfuly work with women and help them or that his experience and knowledge is smaller or less valuable than woman’s, but you get the point. There are things only woman can understand and explain. (Here comes the old question about which is more painful – childbirth or kick in the nuts?)
For me personally, Sexy by Nature is like a sassy sister to The Paleo Coach. This Sherlock finally got an adequate Waston. I know that my „obsession“ with EPLifeFit, Jason and his book might seem a little repulsive to you by now, but hey, so is running and chronic cardio, and pictures of fitness models with „motivational quotes“ to me.
The reason that I have a Top 3 paleo books (The Paleo Coach, It Starts With Food and Primal Connections) and not just one, is that every book has „something“ and no book has it all. Sexy By Nature DOES HAVE IT ALL. Sexy By Nature takes all the most important knowledge that the author gained over time, mixed it with some solid science and research, sprinkled it with sweet bits of her personality and added a provocative title on top.
Stefani teaches you everything you will ever need to know at one place – paleo nutrition, paleo lifestyle, positive psychology, some biochemistry, some fitness, some hardcore science and some real life examples and her experience. As a normal everyday person, you don’t really need to know the greatest details about digestion, muscle growth or manufacturing of vegetable oils (we have other amazing books about these topics), but you should be able to understand you body, it’s signals, it’s biochemisty, you should be able to detect what is wrong and how to fix it, not just your body, but your mind, too. These two are very tightly connected.
More than anything else, this book teaches you how to heal yourself – both physically and emotionally, mentally. Because only healthy body and healthy mind equals healthy life. And Sexy by Nature provides you with 5 steps you should follow in order to get exactly that – healthy, happy, sustainable life. When I started reading, I wasn’t able to stop, the book completely sucked me in (even more than Hunger Games series), and I absorbed the information like a sponge.
The first part, TRAILBLAZE, really hit home for me – it deals with a few issues every woman have to deal with through her life, starting with body image, weight issues and lack of self-love and confidence. At this part I saw the biggest similarity with The Paleo Coach, it showed me that both Stefani and Jason are very passionate about positive psychology and they really understand what is happening in women’s minds, how society screwed us up mentally and how food industry screwed us up physically and their mission in life is very similar (and that made me love Stefani and her book right from the start). It points out a seven rules that modern society created for us and it offers you seven new, „Nature Rules“ instead, the ones that should free you, empower you and love you for who you are, not for other people or media tells you you should be.
The second part, titled NOURISH is dedicated to the food side of the story. It is not a few pages on the importance of real foods with YES and NO food lists though. It goes pretty deep into the details and the whys of paleo nutrition (or primal if you will). Nothing I would not have read before (cause I read a lot!) but the way the information is served makes it very unique, easy to understand and even easier to remember.
The third part (by far my favorite), called LIVE is exactly what I miss on most paleo blogs nowadays. Everyone writes about food, everyone shares recipes, everyone knows what you should eat or not, most of them even know why, but a few are focusing on the stuff I like to call „outside-the-kitchen paleo.“ (Another favorite of mine writting about similar stuff is Evan Brand on NotJustPaleo.com, look him up, his stuff is awesome.) This part teaches you how to add the „HAPPY“ to the „HEALTHY“ to complete the equation. 10 chapters dedicated to some of the most important life factors are: Stress, Sleep (very valuable to me!), Standing, Sprinting, Strength, Sex (wink), Sunlight (finally we have sun again!), Spirit, Settling and Striving. You can get the idea what are these about based on the title.
When you are done with nourishing your body and your mind, you can move forward to part 4: OVERCOME. This part targets specific issues you might have and are looking for an answer, including fat loss, fertility, low libido, skin issues, PMS, mental health and more. This to me is the most helpful part. I finally properly learned how thyroid works and finally decided to get mine tested (soon), it added to the knowledge I had from Liz Wolfe’s Skintervention Guide, it made me realize that even if I do not plan to ever have babies, I should still take care of my fertility (because it is the most important thing in woman’s body, it is connected to all sorts of other health problems AND because you know, never say never, maybe I will change my mind in 5-10 years…).
Part 5 with a title STRUT describes these last steps on the way to your own SEXY. Final and very important words on self-love, sex appeal and fearlessness are like an icing on the (paleo)cake and should leave you empowered, self-loving and being aware of your sexuality, health and capable of anything you put your mind to. In Disney world, finishing this book would be like a magical kiss from your prince Charming, turning you into a real princess. Reading Sexy by Nature really changed me in so many ways. I no longer „love my body even with my big butt.“ I just leave the big butt out of it, I don’t need to point out that I love it too, despite the fact it is big. I found a whole new kind of love for myself, my body, a spiritual part of me, for who I am as a person. I do not want to eat healthy „because I should“ but because I wanna be as healthy, happy and vibrant as possible so I can enjoy this wonderful life for many many years to come. Happiness was always my goal in life and now I have an ultimate tool that is gonna help me tremendously. I will for SURE go back to reading it again whenever I need a reminder of WHY am I doing all this with my life (because I love myself) and WHO do I do it for (me and myself only).
My copy of Sexy by Nature is flooded with colorful sticky-note bookmarks. I bookmarked every line that touched my heart. I would cover the whole book in a pink sticky note if it was possible. But I would love to share at least a few of my favorites:
page 43: „It’s time for all of us women to accept ourselves for who we are. This doesn’t mean that we need to stagnate – absolutely not. We still must set goals and strive toward them. We still must aspire toward better health and love our lives. But we have to own who we are.“
page 45: „My body knew what it needed. I didn’t. My job, as I finally came to understand after years of war, wasn’t to control it, but rather to develop my understanding of those needs and then do my best to meet them.“
page 45: „Bodies are powerful and beautiful things. Shouldn’t we want to be at harmony with them? Shouldn’t we want to have a good relationship with them? Shouldn’t it be a delight to treat them well so that they treat us well in return?“
page 69: „The best way to achieve health, sex appeal and happiness is to work with it rather than over or against the body. It is to start from square one in terms of how we understand our bodies, and to appreciate their true nature and power.“
page 147: „Life is about being happy, not about being perfect.“
page 193: „Life is big. Life is overwhelming. Life is full of enormous questions that no one has any idea how to answer. Religion is a response to those questions. Philosophy is another response, but of a slightly different flavor.“
page 197: „True happiness comes from mindset, relationships, feeling comfortable in your world, and building a meaningful life.“
page 283: „Your body does not need to be resticted or deprived in order to be healthy. It needs only to be given natural nourishment, with toxins kept to minimum. Armed with these tools on the road to exultant health… now this is where the fun begins.“
This book has really been a great gift from Stefani to all the women. It was a greatest gift I could ever give myself (I bought it for myself as a b-day gift). It is the one and only book I would wanna give every woman in my life that I love, even to those who I „kinda-like“ and hell, yes, I would buy hundreds of copies, put a stall on the town square and give them to strangers for free. If nothing else, this book taught me to own and love who I am and to take care of that body the best I can. We all know that saying: „Your body is a temple“ and blah blah blaaaaaaaah, but truly, it is. And especially us women, we should nurture and cherish our bodies, since those are the only bodies we will ever get (unless you believe in afterlife, reincarnation or better, like me, living in a sci-fi fantasies of our possible future).
If you are a girl, woman, lady, and you care about your health, you need this book. If you suffer with bad digestion, hormonal imbalances, fat loss resistance, acne or sleep problems, you need this book. If you have low self esteem, no sex drive, if you don’t feel comfortable in your own skin, if self-loathing is the only way you are able to treat yourself, you need this book. If you are a man who wants to understand women and their unique needs, forget it, you can never do that. I am kidding, get this book!!! I know my boyfriend is a little sad about not being able to read it. (Hopefully some good little publishing company will take care of that in Czech Republic.. I will for sure suggest this book to some of them for translation!