Exuberance leaps off the pages of Kris Carr’s latest book, “Crazy Sexy Diet.” It’s an inspiring diet and lifestyle program that she developed to heal herself of a health imbalance. “Imbalance” is her elegantly understated way of referring to the nearly two dozen tumors that had developed in her liver and lungs. In facing this cancer, she determined that she would not engage in battle. Rather, she would embark upon the greatest adventure of her life. Such unabashed moxie is seldom seen, but in this book she puts it in the palm of your hands.
In the book’s Foreword, Dr. Dean Ornish, (founder and president of the Preventive Medicine Research Institute and Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of California–San Francisco) refers to Kris’ approach as being based not on a fear of dying, but on the joy of living. She abundantly demonstrates that contagious spirit throughout the succeeding chapters.
She begins by giving us a vivid contrast. Prior to her diagnosis, she was a jet-setting starlet, eating to be thin, with a list of medicated and self-medicated symptoms and an atrocious yet mainstream convenience-based diet. Once diagnosed, however, she became a self-healing, reflective, iconoclastic “wellness warrior,” empowered by her own educated choices, realizing the strength that resides in a simple plant-based diet, nestled within a meditative and thankful lifestyle. As she states it, “[I traded] my fast-paced New York City party life for…a simple, nature-filled existence in Woodstock, New York. I exchanged road rage for prayer, fast food for fasting, swapped martinis for organic green drinks and a compassionate vegan diet.”
While not everyone can make a physical move as significant as Manhattan-to-Woodstock, each of us can improve other aspects of our lives, which is exactly what Kris demonstrates for us in “Crazy Sexy Diet.”
It’s more than just diet, she is quick to tell us. It’s about a fully-integrated and health-supporting lifestyle. Sustainable healthcare is comprised of yoga mats and meditation sessions, in addition to good food.
The book contains many testimonials, which reinforce Kris’ approach to life. Each chapter contains a review section, which serves as a checklist to someone adopting her prescription. She has a significant posse of guest contributors, from medical doctors to Wayne Pacelle of the Humane Society of the US, from actress Emily Deschanel to Jivamukti Yoga co-founder Sharon Gannon. Her writing is irreverent and provocative, without sacrificing meaningful information. Not once does she commit the fatal flaw of preachiness.
This last point is important, for the changes she’s suggesting are rather wholesale. It would be easy for a writer, having once healed herself, to become dogmatic or heavy-handed. Quite the contrary, she is candid about her own deviations, and encourages a compassionate application that considers not only our own flaws, but the feelings of others. Compassion is one of the key items in her diet, it seems.
In presenting us with the path she’s taken, she reminds us that life is a creative endeavor. This is a very important lesson for us all, especially as we see the status quo crumbling before our eyes. It’s time to do things differently.
Dr. Ornish states that “joy, pleasure, and freedom are sustainable.” Kris is a vibrant embodiment of these ideals, and thankfully she’s provided a recipe everyone can follow.