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Book Review: Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers by Robert M. Sapolsky

By Nikki Jarrett

Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers by Robert M. Sapolsky

About the Author:

“Robert M. Sapolsky is a professor of biology and neurology at STanford University and a research associate with the Institute of Primate Research, National Museum of Kenya. He is the author of A Primate’s Memoir and The Trouble with Testosterone, which was a Los Angeles Times Book Prize finalist. A regular contributor to Discover and The Sciences and a recipient of a MacArthur Foundation “genius” grant, he lives in San Francisco.”

Why I Recommend this Book:

If you are struggling to sleep, lose weight, or going on a supplement gold digging quest to find a solution to your health issue, then read this book. I talk about stress management ALL. THE. TIME. with clients and how important it is to manage their stress levels to reach performance goals and/or their weight loss goals. It’s easy to say but difficult to actually do and maintain because, as we all know, stress is constant.

This gives you a deep dive as to what ‘stress’ is in this day in age, bc it’s no longer the fight-or-flight for survival. Stress can be caused by a simple thought in our mind, *cough cough ‘overthinkers’ couch cough,** and can literally cause a chain reaction in our body. He also dives into how the fight-or-flight response mode is different in women! Game changer for sure!

Even though it starts out “sciency,” Sapolsky makes it easy to follow and understand the complexity of your system. I enjoyed learning the history on how we got here with science and how a rivalry between 2 scientists led to a great discovery about our hormones and the connection to the brain.

This will be a book I’ll reread too, because of how much information is in it, you certainly can’t absorb it all in one read. Take your time reading it, and see how you can apply this knowledge to how you coach your clients. You certainly can recommend it to your clients to read it also. It might be beneficial for them to do the research for themselves!

Why I Don’t Recommend this Book:

This book took me some time to finish because it was quite a lot to read and absorb too. With a book that is based in science, I tend to take my time to really understand it. I look up things that are related because it brings up more questions! There are about 100 pages in the book that is just a “Note” section, which caused a deep dive into google! LOL I enjoy learning history about science but you can get sucked into a wormhole (fair warning, if you’re anything like me).

Some may find this a bit much to read, but if you give yourself time and patience you can do it. Read 10 pages at a time and before you know you’ll have it read.

As Always:

I always want to be honest in these book reviews, but understand this is only my opinion and can differ from yours. I would love to hear your feedback on this book. Comment on it and we can chat!

Star Rating: 3.5

  • Good info

  • Lead to more learning

  • A lot to absorb and understand

  • Great guidance and simplification of the science.

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