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Health Your Self by Dr Nic Gill


If the name rings a bell, that’s because Dr Nic Gill stands head and shoulders above ordinary Kiwis by virtue of his professional association with those national symbols of peak masculinity and glowing good health: the All Blacks.


Gill is the All Black’s strength and conditioning coach. Vis a Vis, given the team’s dominance on the world stage, he’s doing a pretty fine job. So when he writes a book about how to get healthy and stay healthy, it’s likely that people will sit up and take notice. Especially as the advice offered comes from a welter of personal experience combined with the science of someone at the peak of sports’ medicine.


Gill is an Associate professor of Health, Sport and Nutrition. He was raised in a typical Kiwi family – a fact I know because he lived nearby with his hard-working, community-minded parents. Like any Kiwi kid, of a certain age, he lived cheek by jowl with nature, and enjoyed good access to the great outdoors.


He admits to growing up eating a diet fairly typical of his generation which was not blessed with an understanding of how food affected health and well-being. Eventually he began to spend less time exercising and he also began to notice that he was below par – time poor, eating too much fast food, and frequently tired.


As he began to understand more about the way food can shape our lives, so too did Gill’s personal quest for understanding more grow. He began to join the dots between poor nutrition and ill health. And in the face of this country’s growing obesity epidemic, his desire to share this knowledge and help ordinary Kiwis overturn poor health and make better choices has resulted in this book.


It’s very accessible, easy to read and well set out with clear headings, pages for notes and goals. The reader can track his or her own findings and results; and find ways to improve their health and well-being with easily available foods and no gym equipment. It makes abundantly good sense.


This is one of the best locally-produced health and fitness books I have seen in a long time. It would make a wonderful gift for someone you love who wants to improve their outcomes.


Reviewer: Peta Stavelli

Penguin Books NZ, RRP $40


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