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Reviewed by Joe Wisinski for Readers' Favorite
Open Heart: The Transformational Journey of a Doctor Who, After Bypass Surgery at 61, Ran Marathons and Climbed Mountains is an inspirational instructional manual. Author Akil Taher, M.D. underwent open-heart surgery at age 61 and realized he had to change his lifestyle. Only eight months later he ran in his first, but not his last, half-marathon. Furthermore, he engaged in body-testing activities such as running full marathons, climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, completing a triathlon, and competing in a 100-mile bike race. In addition to relating his physical adventures, Taher writes about the role diet plays in his now-healthy lifestyle. He revolutionized his food intake, cutting out meat, dairy, eggs, and sugar and replacing them with a plant-based diet. Taher’s book is based on both his personal experiences and reputable sources.
This book is terrific. Author Akil Taher, M.D. is a fine storyteller and his book is part adventure story and part inspiration. Taher’s transformation from being a man with numerous medical problems to a fit, healthy, septuagenarian athlete makes for enjoyable and motivational reading. Not everyone will agree with all of his advice, but Taher lays it out in an easy-to-understand fashion for the reader’s consideration. He notes that changing our diet may be even more difficult than changing our exercise routine, and wisely recommends that readers take “baby steps” to transform their lives. “We are capable of doing much more than we think we can do,” he writes. It’s Taher’s hope that his readers don’t wait until they get into his formerly dire physical strait before taking action. I recommend Open Heart to anyone who is open to improving their physical health.