BOOK REVIEW 1: Make Shift Happen & Sweet Potato Power

BOOK REVIEW 1: Make Shift Happen & Sweet Potato Power

image_printPrint PDF





It’s time to begin packing for Jimmy Moore’s low carb cruise so I wanted to launch a post on some of the books I have been reading and spot light two of them that I think are really good reads. I have shared them with my members and my patients and now I want to share my thoughts with my blog readers.

How to make your ‘I cans” always succeed your “I can’ts”

First up, is Dean Dwyer’s first book called “Make Shift Happen” I met Dean for the first time at Paleo fx and we happened to be a on a panel together and his responses to audience questions really caught me be surprise. He was one of the most amazing breathes of fresh air in Austin I met. We spoke and he told me he wrote a book and I told him I’d love to read it and he sent me a copy that came to my office during a clinic day at 9 AM and finished it at 3 PM, while I was seeing patients in my neurosurgery clinic. I could not put it down because it was so thought provoking.

This is the finest paleo book I have read, and I have bought and read them all. As a clinician, getting people to change is my toughest task. But in Dean’s book I found the easy to read recipe for true transformational change. This is the secret sauce of personal success. The book is awesome for any one interested in transformational change and this topic is sorely missing in Paleosphere and in modern life……it is a book that I can now hand to my patients when they tell me they ‘can’t’ do something…….I don’t care about their thoughts of “I can’t”…….I just care about their “I can”…….and Dean’s book opens their mind to “I can” big time. Dean has raised the bar for Paleo lifestyle and for modern thinking.

I have told many people on this blog that a single thought can change our DNA and I believe this with every sinew in my body. But Dean’s book tells the reader how to prepare the mindset to make this quantum leap in thinking. If there is one thing I can say is that most people fail at change because they suffer from impoverished thinking and never make this quantum leap to success.

I heard Allen Claxton, a minister, once utter, ” Today the treacherous, unexplored areas of the world are not in continents or the seas; they are in the minds and hearts of men.” Truer words have rarely been said. Modern life is in constant flux and is unyielding in demanding us to adapt to changes. As time proceeds on, changes are accelerating in our modern world and paralleling what is also happening in evolutionary biology. These changes are forcing us to do more with less time to adapt to these mismatches. When you factor in just how much data the modern human gets each day about health and diet, it’s little wonder that we adopt specific habits of thinking and framing data just to survive. According to IT research in 2010, the amount of digital data online doubles every 11 hours in our world now! At this pace it is impossible to keep up with the pace of change. In order to keep up with this mountain of data, the human brain is designed by evolution to create ‘desktop shortcuts’ and templates for thinking, evaluating, and getting to quick decisions. Dean even used other books to describe this brilliantly when he tapped Malcolm Gladwell’s “Blink” as an example of this, in his own book. Dean gives us his top 20 short cuts to improve our thinking to improve our DNA.

Dean’s use of his “20 shifts” are used to form a framework or a mindset for transformational change. A mindset is a mental inclination and a tendency to form a new habit. Being in control of your mindset and the manner in which you think makes the person better able to navigate the changes we face in modern life. When we control our own mindset with these “shift’s” we are allowing our brain to function by improving our response to modern environmental challenges so that we can win back our hearts and minds to accomplish transformation. Having the best tools, products, or diet available to us serves us no good if we do not have the individual organizational thought patterns that allows us to synchronize those tools with our thoughts to create the chance for optimal performance in our lives.

Clinicians like myself know that the worldview a person adopts will profoundly affect the outcome they are likely to get. Mankind has two mindsets, fixed and variable. People who have fixed mindsets believe their capabilities are carved into stone. this is further entrenched by our educational system in how it is applied. Many teachers still believe today that children’s IQ scores dictate the whole story of what they will become. People with this mindset interpret most of life with an either/or decision process, win/loss view, or a fail/ and succeed mindset. People with this mindset also have a passion for the status quo and they make up the majority of people in our world. They are also the ones who are most resistant to change. If a need for change surfaces in their life they look at it as a “change event”, and after it occurs they look to go back to their business as usual approach. This is why so many passionate New Years resolutions become forgotten promises by January 8th.

People with a variable growth and development mindset believe that their qualities can be cultivated and expanded through their personal efforts. They believe that anyone can grow and change via an application of life’s experiences. These people feel that their potential is infinite and can be developed with challenging learning. These are the people I seek out here in my blog. There is a reason things should not be made easy. It weeds out the thinkers who are rigid about thoughts.
Individuals who think from this worldview see the world through a win/win perspective, a both and and decisions process. Challenges are actively pursued as opportunities and risk is measured to a predefined level of tolerance.

Dean’s 20 ‘Shift’s‘ are designed to habitually force you to think in a growth variable manner without consciously forcing it down your throat. He does it in an engaging fun way and uses words than anyone can understand. My personal favorite shift is to think in ‘Beta mode’ and not be afraid of being directionally accurate in a world that demands precision. When I read it, it just spoke to me because instead of hitting WHAT and HOW in my brain……..he hit the WHY first. And getting to the why first requires variable inside out thinking……it requires the reader to engage their own ‘primal instinct or horse sense‘ that is based upon this win/win mindset.

I think this is a book everyone should own to obtain transformational change, and it has very little to do with the Paleo template……it is a book that will give you the “WHY” you need to change they way you think to get to the inner masterpiece that lies within you.


When Diet is correct, there is no need for medicine

Ashley’s book, “Sweet Potato Power“, has beautiful aesthetics and a simple message. Food is our best medicine and our most important tool in maintaining health. When our diet is wrong, no amount of modern medicine can overcome it.She makes this bold statement in a very quiet fashion through her book. We live during a time where modern life can totally destroy us by what we eat and how we apply modern conveniences to our lives. She reminds us, that we still have the ability to peer inside of our bodies and begin to retake control and power because we have more tools today to navigate us back to optimal health. Ashley gives you the tools to bridge the gap between your diseases and problems and to your doctors.

In this book she gives us a road map to 21st century healthcare delivery. It is clear to me one of her goals were to help the reader navigate the nightmare of modern health system by keeping you from it by giving you the tools to use food as your medicine. Her chapters on calories, food, hormones and low inflammation where like listening to an orchestra play flawlessly. She made it simple and easy to understand for anyone to read. Her visuals in this book were outstanding. One in particular using wood and convenience food really made an impact for me. I left the book in my waiting room for a week and asked patients what they thought of the book as I saw them in the clinic. All age groups thought Ashley did a great job explaining the complexities of the biochemistry in a simpleton fashion. Her chapter on hormones was a big hit with my older female patients. Many of them loved her description of the hormones more than my own! By far everyone’s favorite chapter was Chapter 7. This was also true for me as well. Internet forums are littered with people who are told that the “paleo diet” is all one needs to implement to get ultimate success, but yet it eludes them. This causes frustration, and they all know it is not true for many of us. Ashley actively embraces experimentation to find out what brand of paleo is best suited to the reader. She fully embraces the “quantified self” platform of testing in this book. She tells the reader that they need to monitor and learn and apply what they learn about their diet and their lab results to slowly get to optimal health. This is a very important message lacking in many paleo books today. She went into great detail for the reader of how to look for “well care physicians” to partner with.

She clearly says that if your doctor only “doctors” you in sickness they won’t be experts in how to keep you well. This message is vital to get out the herds of people who do not understand that our current system is built to work best for those who are already sick. There is little place in our current system for those who want wellness care. She introduced me and the readers to Wellness Fx and laboratory that is providing over 50 diagnostic tests to patients in a cost effective manner. Their labs cost a fraction of what it would cost if you had to use a conventional lab for testing. I spend a lot of money for testing yearly so this information alone was worth the book’s cost for sure. This really excited me, because as most of you know I am a huge believer in serial testing and frequent labs for me and my patients. It uncovers hidden issues and allows me time to reconstruct what is going on with the patient in real time. It allows me me time to fully assess dietary and lifestyle changes easily and allows me to make actionable changes to our treatment plans as we see fit with the lab data generates with the clinical data the patient reports. This also allows me to show a patient how their new behavior has directly affected their biochemistry and epigenetics for both the good and the bad to help them make better decisions.

This is a book every patient should consider owning of gifting to someone who needs help avoiding our healthcare system. I also think it has information in it that can make a patient a better consumer in the healthcare arena. It will allow them to make better decisions about the healthcare advice they are getting from their providers. I have a copy of the book in my waiting room for my patients to use and ask me questions they might have. I ask them to bring the book in to the clinic if they have any questions they are unsure of. It has seemed to be a valuable resource for them so I think that this is a great thing.

The final point I’d like to make is that the ending of the book has everything about how to prepare a sweet potato one might imagine! My personal favorite is found on page 201. Ashley includes her recipe for sweet potato linguine which is now being used as the base for many of my summer time recipes that will show up in my e-cookbook soon! The recipe is awesome!

Ashley has given us all a piece of her that can help each and every one of us to improve our former selves today. The road to optimal is no longer a mystery to us…….Ashley makes it clear it is a choice. Sweet Potato Power is a smart decision while traveling the road to optimal in my estimation.

About the Author:

No Comments

  1. coldbren May 4, 2012 at 7:21 pm - Reply

    Can’t wait to read both of these books. Am very interested in finding a good/inexpensive lab. Have a great trip!

    • Jack May 4, 2012 at 7:39 pm - Reply

      @Coldbren or is have a major blood draw sale now as we speak

  2. Beckita May 4, 2012 at 10:42 pm - Reply

    I just received notice that “Sweet Potato Power” is on its way to me and I’m excited to read it!

    I found you in early March by God-incidence, Dr. K, and what a find you have been. I began the Leptin Reset immediately and started adding cold training by the end of that month. It’s now been two weeks of nearly daily tub soaks with ice on my torso. As a retired teacher, I have time to wear the ice vest for much of the afternoon. I’ve got my share of nausea, some muscle aches and sometimes fatigue as part of the detox. They’re my sweet symptoms: signs of healing happening.

    The gifts thus far include: silky skin, hugely diminshed hunger resulting in peace with food, tough nails, first-time-in-forever without scaly heels, weights for lifting doubled and tripled, and my knees… oh my knees!

    I, too, tore a meniscus… for me it was simply rising from a picnic table nearly two years ago. I was 58 at the time and diagnosed with end stage arthritis in both knees with such deterioration in the knee with the meniscus tear that the surgeon nixed the idea of surgical repair.

    I decided to milk all I could out of ’em. So I began hobbling by cane into the club as I cycled daily; then added weight lifting to my therapy. A month later my doc said he’d never seen a salvage result quite like it.

    Neither he nor I had any idea how much added relief and strength I would achieve with cold. There have been certain positions in bed that brought about discomfort. Not any more! I navigate stairs in ways I simply couldn’t before embracing cold. My walking is stronger than it’s been in a loooooong time as well!

    Thank you so much, Dr. K. YOU are my inspiration to keep going.

    I was especially struck by your attitude of daring folks to give your ideas a try so I jumoped into everything on intuition and I’m just now working my way through your blog posts, from the very beginning.

    I’m looking at testing, yet have often read references to your opinion that testing should wait if one has begun CT. I’m going to visit with my HCP with whom I have a great relationship. If she’s not ready/comfortable in working with the suggested tests, I’ll definitely be making an appointment with you.

    I wonder, are there any tests that would provide good info for me right now as a new CTer? My main grief since doing the LR and starting CT is waking anywhere from 2-4 at night. I can meditate and ease my way back to sleep but I’d rather be sleeping.

    May the good you lavish on so many return to you at least a hundredfold. Also wishing you well on your committment as you cruise.

    • Jack May 5, 2012 at 6:11 am - Reply

      @Beckita you could get away with a simple bio hack ……if your doc understands how to read the tea leaves of them. You should ask them before you jump. HS cRP DHEA S and Vitamin D level……at 58 I think adding a “Full” thyroid panel and a female hormone panel would be wise too.

  3. Skell Skate May 5, 2012 at 3:13 pm - Reply

    Good reviews/recommendations.

    • Jack May 6, 2012 at 7:08 am - Reply

      @Skell Skate Im cool with whatever they want to say……….its their life. They just have no clue or perspective but that does not bother them……….

  4. Santiago May 6, 2012 at 8:40 pm - Reply


    A question about seafood. For practical reasons I find more convenient to buy canned seafood, like sardines, tuna, etc. Is there any danger with this approach?. I ask that cause there is some concerns about the internal cover of the cans that might me toxic.


    • Jack May 7, 2012 at 7:42 am - Reply

      @SAntiago I now shy away from all canned goods because of the concerns of BPA linings as you mentioned. I do check my BPA levels and have done so for 5 yrs. You can find a list of BPA free cans manufactures on line if you search for it as well. Then you can make informed decision.

  5. Nonchalant May 6, 2012 at 9:55 pm - Reply

    Nice reveiws, thanks! I recently received Making Shift Happen, and I have just now ordered Sweet Potato Power. Can’t wait to dig in!

  6. Suzanne Damare May 7, 2012 at 3:13 pm - Reply

    How does one check their BPA levels?

  7. MamaGrok May 7, 2012 at 3:41 pm - Reply

    *sobby voice*

    But I can’t eat sweet potatoes without bloating wah wah wah!


    Okay, but they do look like GREAT books from the amazon reviews!

  8. Ruby Kittany May 8, 2012 at 12:07 am - Reply

    Good book. Got it on Kindle and read over two CT sessions. Concise, simple and to the point. I like that it stresses experimentation and customisation of diet — it’s a truism that we are all different and yet hardly anyone factors that in. Thanks, Dr. Jack, for yet another good recommendation.

    • Jack May 8, 2012 at 12:25 am - Reply

      @Ruby your welcome!

  9. Resurgent May 8, 2012 at 2:49 am - Reply

    Just read about the Low carb cruise fiasco…
    This work by some perverted minds is utterly despicable.
    I am glad you are safe and unharmed. God bless you.!!

    • Jack May 8, 2012 at 7:05 am - Reply

      @ Resurg Thanks. I did try to help several of the Galveston Police who needed CT in a bad way.

  10. Maggie May 8, 2012 at 6:11 am - Reply

    Hi Jack. I just read this quote and thought of you:
    “The world is always ready to receive talent with open arms. Very often it does not know what to do with genius.”

    I keep thinking of Semmelweis, who was able to reduce childbirth deaths from 35% to 1% after making a simple observation, but was ostracized by the “gentlemen” establishment docs who were offended at being asked to wash their hands.

    • Jack May 8, 2012 at 7:05 am - Reply

      @Maggie interesting quote

  11. Linz May 8, 2012 at 8:45 am - Reply

    Just an echo of resurg. Wonder how many of those policemen
    have numb feet, chattering teeth and excruciating sinuses.
    They won’t let you go next time!

  12. Jennifer Johnson May 15, 2012 at 11:54 am - Reply

    Dr K, is “Sweet Potato Power” something we can implement with the Leptin RX or is more After Leptin Rx eating? Thank you

    • Jack May 15, 2012 at 12:10 pm - Reply

      @Jennifer I think you can use it both times depending upon your particular issues. The only people I would likely bar from it are those who are morbidly obese or those with horrible eating disorders that are causing LR.

  13. Jennifer Johnson May 15, 2012 at 3:05 pm - Reply

    thanks Dr K!

Leave A Comment