Book Recommendation: Grow a New Body: How Spirit and Power Plant Nutrients Can Transform Your Health by Alberto Villoldo

Synergy between scientific and spiritual practices for optimal health.
Grow a New Body: How Spirit and Power Plant Nutrients Can Transform Your Health by [Villoldo, Alberto]
Once I started reading Grow a New Body, I’d a hard time putting it down. Before sharing some details of the book, I just wanted to clarify that it’s the first book I read from Dr. Villoldo, and although I enjoy exploring practices that promote wellbeing from a variety of perspectives, it’s also the first time I’ve had contact with shamanic rituals. After all, why wouldn’t I be interested in learning subjects I appreciate—nutrition, spirituality, nature—from a new angle?……..


I was thrilled to learn Dr. Villoldo’s diet plan is aligned with the latest evidences of unbiased clinical and experimental researches. After all, his protocol is similar to the ones reputable figures such as Dr. Hyman, Dr. Mercola, Dr. Longo, Dr. Lipman and Dr. Perlmutter recommend. Right in Chapter 1 we get a glimpse of what’s coming ahead—we delve into the details later, in Chapters 5 and 6.
Just recently I started studying the synergy between food and spiritual rituals as a one practice. I used to think of them as separate activities. Well, they can be powerful when brought together, creating a deep sense of awareness and gratitude due to their potential to heal from inside out. So why not taking advantage of that while preparing, consuming, and digesting our meals? As I shared above, it’s the first time reading about shamanic practices, but during the last year or so I’ve had the chance to read 2 books that incorporate spiritual practices and rituals around meals. They focus mostly on Buddhist practices involving cooking and eating, whereas Grow a New Body also adds the healing aspect of proper nourishment to the spiritual practice.

Even though I enjoy being in nature, going on adventures with certain regularity, and being away from technology whenever is possible, I’ve never brought shamanic rituals into my forays, and never being on a true vision quest as Dr. Villoldo suggests in Chapter 14—which is the culmination of what we previously learn throughout the book. I’m sincerely excited to try it out. Just as an encouraging clarification, we surely don’t have to attend any one of his retreats or to spend money with expensive products and vitamins. In fact, Dr. Villoldo states clearly right in the introduction “…in this book, I offer you the same practices you’d learn in the retreats, including the medicine plants and spiritual strategies that will help you return to health and keep your health for the rest of your life.” Also, for the vision quest, we don’t have to go in the remote wilderness; instead, Dr. Villoldo suggests that the natural setting can be done even in an urban area close to home, just making sure “the place is beautiful, safe, and sufficiently secluded that you’ll not be interrupted by hikers.”

Some of the takeaways I learned throughout the book are: [1] exploring rituals enrich life experiences, [2] being open to unknown elements by trusting our instincts is key in life, [3] being in direct contact with nature in a deeper level is innate to us, and [4] having simple yet nutritious meals is precisely important for our healing journey.….

– Review by Haical Sajovic Haddad


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