T.O's Finding Fitness: Making the Mind, Body and Spirit Connection for Total Health
By Terrell Owens with Buddy Primm and Courtney Parker Simon & Schuster (2008) Reviewed by: Roberta Anding, MS, RD, LD, CDE, CSSD
The book is designed to help the consumer look at fitness and nutrition in a holistic way utilizing mind, body and spirit to change your fitness profile and improve your health.
Synopsis of the Diet Plan:
A majority of the book focuses on exercise for beginners through advanced. It trains every major muscle group and involves progressive resistance to increase strength gains. The author stresses form and technique -- key components to maximizing gains as well as avoiding injury.
The actual diet includes three different plans. The author recommends the "general body maintenance" for anyone of any age or gender or for those wanting to ease their way into a more disciplined diet and includes seven days of breakfasts, lunches, dinners plus three snacks. In some cases, different meals and snacks are recommended for adults and teens. The "in-season" plan (described as "very rigid" and "not for the amateur") also includes seven days of three meals and three snacks, but adds supplement recommendations -- specifically the author's line of supplements. In the "off-season" plan, the supplements are absent, meal plans vary (some days include three meals and four snacks while other have two meals and three snacks) and indulges like chocolate and alcohol are introduced. None of the meals or snacks for any of the plans includes calories, fat, nutrient information or portion sizes.
Nutritional Pros and Cons:
The nutrition portion of the book has some positive features, such as dispelling the notion that eating healthy is expensive and -- although not stated verbatim -- discussing the value of nutrient-rich foods. Many common diet and training myths are addressed as well, including "muscle turns to fat," "don't eat after 7 p.m." and "skip meals to lose weight." Also emphasized are moderation, fruits and vegetables, whole grains, adequate fluids and including some of your favorite foods, such as chocolate.
It is difficult to analyze the meal plans due to lack of portion sizes. However, it appears the carbohydrates and the nutritional recovery from exercise portion of his meal plan may be too low in carbohydrates. For example, the author's post-game meal is 8 to 10 ounces of steak (approximately 56-70 grams of protein) and a potato (15 grams of carbohydrates). Additionally, his off-season meal plan assuming athletic portion sizes is approximately 2,000 calories. Hydration is summarized by stressing it "takes a gallon of water to maintain fitness."
The author stresses moderation, fruits and vegetables, whole grains, adequate fluids and including some of your favorite foods such as chocolate. However, the nutrition portion of the book could have been vastly improved by consulting with a real food and nutrition expert, the registered dietitian. Some of the basic tenets of nutrition were either absent or not explored in depth. There are some pearls of good nutrition in the book, but it would be difficult for the average consumer to sort the facts from fiction. The best use of this book may be as a primary, albeit basic, work-out guide, while elite and recreational athletes tailoring their diet for performance enhancement should consult a registered dietitian who is a certified specialist in sports dietetics.