When you get advice from a four-star general, you’d better sit up and take notice, right?
But did you ever expect to get health and diet advice? From General Colin Powell? (I didn’t think so.)
I didn’t either, but through Laura J. Wellington’s new book “The Four-Star Diet: Based Upon the Wisdom of General Colin Powell & Other Ridiculously Brilliant Leaders,” that’s exactly what I got.
Laura created an entire way of looking at food and health from a Powerpoint by General Colin Powell entitled, “A Leadership Primer.” I can only imagine the power that his original presentation had with its audience, and the book is bound to have a similar impact on readers.
Each chapter extracts a quote from Powell’s slides and builds it into a lesson on self-care, health, discipline, nutrition, or some other aspect of overall wellness.
It’s pretty remarkable that his words have such a versatile appeal.
- It’s a quick and easy read, easily digestible *ahem!* by chapter.
- The author’s delivery is friendly – you’ll feel as if your next-door neighbor is talking to you in the front yard.
- The book makes some excellent points about the “battle” against excess weight and poor health — and calls on readers (mainly targeted at moms, it seemed to me) to be the leaders toward good health in their families.
- Laura herself is quite an inspiring leader. She was widowed young, with five children to raise — but that didn’t stop her from founding six companies of her own and consulting with dozens of others. Just knowing that a hardcore mom’s brain was behind the book was a giant plus for me.
- The Four-Star Diet isn’t any kind of eating plan at all. You won’t find a recipe here – not even a recommendation to cut out or increase any certain type of food. It’s much more strategic than that. It’s about crafting your viewpoint on health in a way that enables you to make the choices that work for you and your family.
- I enjoyed the way each chapter opened with the Powerpoint quote directly from the General, then the author’s brief translation of it, and finally a broader story to round out the lesson.
Here’s one of my favorite Powell quotes from the book: “Never neglect details. When everyone’s mind is dulled or distracted, the leader must be doubly vigilant.” The second I read this, I realized its connection to the benefits of meditation. A leader must keep a sharp, focused mind — the kind of trained mind that comes from regular, disciplined mediation.
- I was lucky enough to have been given an advance reading copy for review, so I have every confidence that the typos and other minor glitches (hello! grammar nerd here!) have been worked out before final printing.
- Health connections to the leadership quotes can sometimes be a stretch. I only felt this for one or two of the 20 chapters, though — and after all, stretching is good for us!
Another of my faves, which I think can be extrapolated to parenting overall — probably to all of life: “Don’t be buffaloed by experts and elites. Experts often possess more data than judgment. Elites can become so inbred that they produce hemophiliacs who bleed to death as soon as they are nicked by the real world.” WOW. Isn’t that so true?!