Book Reviews

The Pillars of Health

John Pierre

Self Improvement, Empowerment, Inspirational, Spirituality

978-1-4019-4220-5

The Pillars of Health introduces four solid principles that provide a strong foundation for vibrant and lasting health: nourishment from real food; creative stimulation for the mind; joyous physical m... More

Feb 21, 2014 atthedrivethru

Reading the Pillars of Health by John Pierre truly does cover every aspect of the mind and body. The book is broken up into four parts: The Pillar of Nutrition, The Pillar of Mind, The Pillar of Motion and the Pillar of Compassion.

The very first thing addressed by John Pierre is processed foods and how we need to get back to eating wholesome foods and not letting our kids be sucked into the world of processed foods. But the most important argument in the entire book in my opinion, comes in this section titled “Scary Diary” which is an argument I have been having for years with just about anyone that drinks milk. He states that: “A male cow doesn't drink his mother’s milk past infancy. When we drink cows’ milk, we not only consume the lactation product of another species, but we continue to slurp it long after we’ve been weaned.” He also goes on to state that we can get the same calcium from plant matter and that “When we drink the hormonal secretion of a bovine, we consume a species-specific mammary-gland discharge never intended for humans.” The rest of the section is loaded with recipes that also encourage designing your own meals with his suggested choices.

The next section, the Pillar of Mind, covers how to eat well for your brain and how to train your brain. The Pillar of Motion is loaded with tons of exercises and the Pillar of Compassion talks about negative thoughts and healing from that, as well as training your mind to think more positively.

All in all I think it is a great book to keep as a reference as it can almost be used as an encyclopedia of health and I truly enjoyed what he had to say about processed foods. It made me feel like someone was standing behind me and saying, “Yes! You are right for feeling this way about processed foods! Dont always believe the labels!”

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from Hay House Publishing for review purposes.

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Nov 29, 2013 alpha_andy_omega
In The Pillars of Health author John Pierre offers a holistic approach to health and wellness. The four pillars supporting a healthy lifestyle offered are: nutrition, mind, movement, and compassion. This book is a fairly good starting place for someone new to these ideas. If you want to make a positive change in your life, but are unsure about where to start, this book could serve as a great road map. There are many useful ideas that can be integrated into your daily routine. I personally, found the author's inflexible vegan stance in the nutrition section a little off-putting. Not that I doubt the health benefits of such a nutritional choice, but no convincing scientific evidence is offered, just opinion. The pillar of mind, is the most interesting part of the book. A lot of good info, and personal experience working with the elderly make that portion of The Pillars of Health a good read. The section on movement was great, particularly helpful if you're job entails a lot of sitting. There are some nice and easy moves to get your blood flowing, and keep your muscles flexible and healthy. The final pillar of health is compassion, and this is where the book gets a little preachy. The author spends a good portion of each section on a fault finding expose of modern life and its foibles. After spending so much time finger-pointing, the section on compassion just comes off as a kind of ironic. But that said, there are still enough positive aspects that make this book worth reading. I received this book free for review purposes from Hay House. I was not paid for my opinion, it is mine alone.
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Oct 08, 2013 realmomma
After being on the go for almost a week traveling to Toronto I have to say one of my favorite ways to recharge is kick back with a good book and The Pillars of Healthn is my choice this week!

I don’t know if you heard but I’m training for a Tough Mudder course!! I am so excited because having an end goal is just what I need in my life right now to stick to a healthy lifestyle of diet and exercise. Not that just being healthy isn’t a good reason but I find it is so easy to just put things of until tomorrow as if it will actually just happen

The Pillars of Health: Your Foundations for Lifelong Wellness

The Pillars of Health – What I’m Reading Now
According to John Pierre there are four pillars of health, he breaks each on down in the book which makes it easy to digest and link the areas together. The four pillars are:

The Pillar of Nutrition
The Pillar of the Mind
The Pillar of Motion
The Pillar of Compassion
There is a mix of scientific terms along with explanations in each chapter which I really appreciated because I don’t understand most of those words but now I do and can use them! For me books that use “the big words” get confusing and numbing after awhile that’s what made this book so intriguing and digestible.

When it comes to nutrition he broke everything down into simple changes we can do every day to move towards a healthier lifestyle which was easily carried on throughout each pillar. When we create a healthy lifestyle we need to make simple changes every day towards becoming the person we want to be and he makes it sound so simple and easy!

For me this book is great because it focuses on health as a whole body experience rather than just one aspect like food or exercise. We really have to align ourselves with our goal in body, mind, and spirit in order to be the person we set out to be. This book will truly help you on your journey to be a healthier version of you! It truly is the foundation for a healthier you and lifelong wellness.

I received this book for free from Hay House Publishing for this review. The opinion in this review is unbiased and reflects my honest judgment of the product.
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Oct 07, 2013 suziconfesses

A few weeks ago Hay House Publishing sent me John Pierre's "The Pillars of Health" for review

As you all know I'm a huge advocate of natural healing and alternative medicine so was excited to see what this book had to offer.

In the book, John Pierre breaks health down into four pillars which are:

The Pillar of Nutrition
The Pillar of the Mind
The Pillar of Motion
The Pillar of Compassion

Right from chapter one I really appreciated how John coupled the scientific terms and explanations right along side simple easy to understand examples. Sometimes authors get so caught up in the science of their passion, that they forget to make it easily understandable for those who may be just entering the world of nutrition or exercise without "dumbing it down" for those knowledgable in the topic.

The pillar of nutrition gives a lot of great information on nutrition and how simple changes in your diet can make huge impacts on your health. For those already engrossed in health and nutrition it might not provide new insight, but for those who are looking to learn about foods and a health diet this is a great resource. It's informative without being over the top with science terminology and is easily relatable.

The pillar of motion like the pillar of nutrition provides lots of great information while continuing to make the information relatable and doesn't make a reader feel overwhelmed. His approach to explaining the importance of not only movement - but also fun it one that is so often lost in books and articles on fitness. With lots of exercises explained and demonstrated through photos it is a great place to get some new ideas even if you are a fitness "pro".

I purposely skipped over the pillar of the mind as I wanted to write about it at the same time I wrote about the pillar of compassion. These two pillars are what really make the book for me. When most people think about health they think diet-exercise-diet-exercise-sleep-diet-exercise an so on. As a general population we focus health into what we do and what we eat, and sometimes sleeping (but not always). I think it is fantastic that John takes the time to explain why both your mind and compassion play just as big a role in your health as what you eat and what you do. He writes about how to take care of our brains, how to "exercise" your brain and modalities you can use to help enhance brain function, and then on the compassion side of things he writes about the importance of compassion and how to cultivate it. I don't want to give too much away as these were my favourite sections of the book, certainly well worth the read.

As someone who has read many (many) books on health, fitness, and nutrition I can honestly tell you this is one of my favourites. It concentrates on your health as a whole, not a single aspect of it, and dives into so many areas that I really believe in (like aromatherapy, mind confusion, and having fun) while also covering the fundamentals of a proper diet (complete with recipes) and exercise. I was able to take away a few new ideas for exercises for my seniors fitness classes to make my classes more effective and enjoyable for them.

If you are looking for a great book to help to start on a journey to a healthier life, or are looking to add another resource to your library this is a must have. Even if you don't agree with everything in it, I think there is something that everyone can take away an implement in their own lives to make their pillars just that much stronger.

This book is available for purchase on Amazon The Pillars of Health: Your Foundations for Lifelong Wellness


FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from Hay House Publishing for this review. The opinion in this review is unbiased and reflects my honest judgment of the product.

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Oct 03, 2013 BethanyG
There is a new book out about health called the pillars of health by John Pierre. The premise of this book is a help you improve your life by improving your health and fitness and your nutrition all at the same time. While Pierre promises he can help improve your life by improving your health, he also promises that it will be fun in the process.

While this book is filled with helpful information such as diet, exercise, and nutrition plans it is all information that I have previously seen in other books, websites, media outlets and nothing was new to me. The basics of his plan are to eat a vegetable-based diets, avoid processed foods, and to get as much exercise as possible through the four pillars that he lists this book.

The four pillars consists of nutrition, mind, motion, and compassion. These are the four cornerstones of his “lifelong wellness” plan, that if you already live a healthy lifestyle, you would earn you know about these. I do like the fact that he addresses the mind and body connection and offers ideas on how to improve your brain function and mental acuity. He shows that the body is connected as a whole and for you to have a healthy body everything must work in unity.

What I don’t like about the book is the images of the exercises that are all in black and white. This gives the book a feel reminiscent of a 1980s fitness book. Plus all of the information has already been included in other books which makes this redundant for myself. Although, if you are new to living a healthy lifestyle, this book might just be the one for you.

There is one more thing I would like to say as a positive about this book and it’s that it has some great recipes in it, the only downside is they are scattered throughout the book which makes to find the recipe you want. You just might even read over them if you’re not paying attention.
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Oct 03, 2013 hhreviewer2

Pillars Of Health by John Pierre is a comprehensive guide to all aspects of health and well-being from the physical to the mental/emotional to the spiritual. It is a whole person approach. In fact, I am very pleased that the author took the time to explore areas of nutrition, the mind, movement, and compassion so thoroughly. Too often the term "health" refers only to the physical despite that it encompasses much more than that.

Like another reviewer mentioned, there are a few contentions that I have to make regarding Pillars Of Health. While I heartily agree with the whole food movement, I do not agree with the author that vegetarianism is the best dietary choice for all humans. We are individuals and need to find what works best for us. However, that said, John Pierre does a superb job addressing issues of avoiding processed foods and choosing whole foods whenever possible. The chapter on diet is most enlightening.

The following chapters are then on the mind, movement, and compassion. Each of these cover the ways in which we can exercise our brain, our body, and our spirit by providing exercises for each of these systems. Even though the physical body is, of course, very important when it comes to health, these other components can be just as vital to our wellness.

I would recommend Pillars Of Health by John Pierre to individuals in search of a more holistic approach to health and wellness, with the caveat that a person must find the foods that work best for their own body rather than following the most recent fads.

This is my review of Pillars Of Health by John Pierre. I acknowledge that I received this book free from Hay House Publishing to review. The opinion in this review is unbiased and reflects my honest judgment.

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Oct 02, 2013 CoachCatalyst
About a month ago I signed up to join Hay House Book Nook. I get to choose a newly published book, they ship it to me for FREE and all I have to do is read it and blog about it. So here is what my thoughts are about this book.

I was first drawn to the book because it asked "Do you go to the gym religiously? - for a couple of weeks at a time?" I immediately nodded yes. And then the next few questions sold me on it. "Do you find yourself desperately to focus but unable to keep up with everything going on in your hectic life? Are you frustrated by a world that seems full of inconsiderate, unpleasant people?" I know that I could answer yes to these with great ease. I could even relate to the fourth question "Have you been on every diet imaginable, yet still feel unhealthy and low on energy."

As I started reading this book I was interested in what he had to say regarding the effects of processed foods on the body. I was in agreement until we reached the point where he started talking about how bad animal proteins are on the body. This was something that I immediately reacted adversely to. I love meat. I am a rancher's daughter. I am a meatatarian. I eat vegetables because the meat I like to eat like vegetables. And it is the way I have always been and I am not interested in changing that. Well not full time anyway.

As I continued on with the book I loved the fact that it was not entirely about how and when and what to eat. The author touched on more than just that. More than the importance of getting you body moving. He also spoke about supplements and essential oils. I knew more about the supplements than I did about the essential oils part of things. So once I finished the book I was so interested I contacted a friend so that I was able to learn even more. This is what makes for a good book in my opinion. It sparks the desire to learn.

Mental Acuity is one of the pillars of health. He spoke o the importance of exercising your brain. To really challenge it in different areas. This was honestly something that I never gave much thought to. I am blessed with an excellent memory and razor sharp wit. Never before did I consider that I may lose that.

The final pillar - compassion - spoke deeply to me. This is a huge part of my life and something that I believe in greatly. It was incredibly refreshing to see that someone else thought that compassion for yourself and others was important enough to be a pillar of health. This is certainly not something you see in every health and weight loss book.

Since reading this book I have made some changes in my life. I can credit 'The Pillars of Health' for sparking the change. I am currently eating more of a plant based diet. So much so that I am only eating animal protein three times a week. I am still learning about the many uses of essential oils and I even work on exercising my mind on occasion.

Now as I mentioned previously, I was provided with a free copy of this book in exchange for a review of it That being said...my review is definitely favorable. It was a relatively easy, interesting read that was able to get me to see a different point of view. If you are looking to purchase a book that covers whole body/mind health....this is a book for you.

Who knows...you may find yourself skipping the BACON aisle in the grocery store!
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Sep 30, 2013 stephaniesherie
I have had a great time reading The Four Pillars of Health by John Pierre. There are so many nuggets tucked in this book that cause me to think again about my food, its sources, and the effects on my overall health. Yes, overall health, not just one aspect. With all the health books out today, I've become quite the stickler for solid research and John Pierre provides references for the bigger claims in this book such as:

Opioids carve out pathways in our brain when we eat or even THINK of highly palatable foods.

My hump in this deal is reconciling the "treats" I enjoyed my entire life, that are intensely damaging. Not only eating them, but the thought of eating certain processed foods stimulates the "dopamine pathways" in the brain. Check out what John says about them.

Because chemically tweaked foods supersede nature by hijacking the primal pleasure centers in the brain, we're no longer satisfied by just an apple or a handful of almonds.

According to Pierre, our body has two main ways of giving us the green light of nutrition. They are stretch and nutrient receptors. Filling our tummies with lots of food low in nutrient value will leave us wanting more in short order. If we only eat high nutrient foods without enough fiber to literally, fill us up adequately, we will again be searching for food. This leads me, in the first few pages of this book , to the following realization about why losing weight can be challenging:

1) We aim to eat less food, but miss out on the fiber (think 100 calorie snack packs) so we say we can't lose weight because we are hungry.

2) We eat junk food but our bodies know better than to think we can make it all this process food but instead of leaving the junk food alone, they are addictive so we crave them more and more!

Something I've noticed in myself but doesn't seem to be addressed in traditional therapies is nutritional deficiencies can alter mood and behavior. In this referenced claim Pierre says that the highs and lows of blood sugar, lack of fiber, eating processed grains (cookies, pies, cakes, etc.) are a major culprit.

The grinding of grains into flour by factory machines increases the grains' surface area - we're essentially having the machines chew our food for us -- which allows it to turn into sugar much faster in the body.

Believe it or not, all this information is in the first eighteen pages! He continues with well documented sources concerning dairy. In the book The China Study Dr. T Colin Campbell, Ph.D, showed that cancer could be turned on and off according to the amount of casein in the diet.


Pierre's solution for this madness is to adopt a plant based diet. He admits that although a salad may not be as attractive to people as cookie, we must think in terms of "nutrients delivered." In the plant based diet, Pierre says that green leafy vegetables "are the most important power foods we can ingest." He suggests smoothies, green drinks, huge salads, and legumes. His has a food chart in the book.

Pierre takes quite a bit of time discussing oil. This was an enlightening chapter for me as I have used oil my entire life. After this sentence, it made sense.

There's no refined oil found in nature -- this is a clue...The biggest culprit when it comes to weight gain, lethargy, and blood-sugar problems is the over consumption of oils, regardless of their source.

Have you heard of putting lemon on an apple to keeping from turning brown, or oxidizing? Pierre says, and he cites his source, that this is what plant foods do to our brain. It is the antioxidants in the plant foods the guard our bodies and brains from damage.

I am so excited reading this book. I want to share with you so much more of the easy understand wisdom of this book. I could spend a week studying his sources. The remainder of the book discusses motion and compassion but he brings things back to the diet first and foremost. He works with children, teens, and seniors and sprinkles stories of their wellness in the book.


Hay House sent me this book for my honest review.
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Sep 17, 2013 Yvonnemg74
I want to start out by saying that I don't believe in everything that is printed in this book. I am a meat eater, and I always will be. I don't think all meat is bad for you. BUT, reading this book has made me think a lot more on some of the other things I have been ingesting. I have been planning a while to change the way I eat, and The Pillars of Health is really motivational in this respect.

The Pillars of Health starts out with the ways we are believing we need to eat, and what is wrong with those ways. We watch commercials tell us how we should eat, but generally those commercials are spouting the most unhealthy meal choices possible. How are we to know what is right and what is wrong when we are always being told a mixture of both? The book continues to explain how eating right can help us, both mentally and physically.

I really do believe that food can heal. It's something I learned in college and it is something that has stuck with me since then. I think that if we eat the right foods we can fight illness, whether we are fighting something we've already got or something we are trying to avoid. This book really delves into the process of eating right for health, and I love that about it.

However, The Pillars of Health isn't just about eating right. It's about living right too. What we eat is only one small part of living a healthy life. Getting the right amount of physical activity, and choosing the right modalities towards health matter too. This book really is an all around guide to living a better and healthier life. I enjoyed the fitness tips and the recipes too!

*In an effort towards full disclosure, I must let you know that I received this book free from Hay House for review purposes.
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Sep 12, 2013 connielivingston
This was a really fun read! Pierre has a great, holistic approach to helping individuals find their "foundation for lifelong wellness." The four sections of the book cover nutrition, mind, motion, and compassion. This is a really interesting - and different - way of approaching health. It was great to page through each section and discover new ways of supporting overall health as well as approaches that were familiar but with added tweaks.

Pierre covers, in the first section, how our culture is truly in a nutritional crisis. The author discusses the negative effects of our harried lifestyles and the negative impact it has on health and nutrition. He then discusses "real food" (so sad that this even has to be re-defined!)

In the second section, Mind is the focus. He discusses, here, how we can support brain health. He then moves on to Motion which talks about how important moving our bodies is! There are great photos in this section with recommended tools to make exercise fun and easy.

Finally, the author discusses Compassion and how we can go about cultivating that in our lives. Lots of great ideas here! These four "pillars" of health make so much sense when one takes the broad view and considers how each supports the whole body. I loved the information about how to help individuals focus on good nutrition and other positive lifestyle habits to avoid taking medicines treating ADHD and other conditions.

Pierre even went into using high-quality essential oils which I was pleased to see since I've also found them to be so helpful in my family's health and well-being!


FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from Hay House Publishing for this review. The opinion in this review is unbiased and reflects my honest judgment of the product.
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Sep 10, 2013 Mystic812

The Pillars of Health by John Pierre covers alot of territory in a book of only 227 pages. The book starts off talking about "real food" as opposed to processed food. There is a handy daily food reference chart which lists food groups and a general guide for amounts you should eat per day. In this chapter there are only a few recipes for smoothies (try the Pumpkin Pie Smoothie!) and salads. I was expecting there would be more recipes in the book and was a bit disappointed with that. There is also a section on using essential oils and there are a few recipes such as a disinfecting room spray and a relaxation spray. The single largest portion of the book is dedicated to exercise. There are numerous photos illustrating various types of exercises using a jump rope, bands, a chair, a Flexi-Bar, etc., and specifics on how to strengthen different parts of your body. The book also touches on the subjects of mental acuity and positive thinking and examines some supplements and how they relate to brain health. The last part of the book is titled "The Pillar of Compassion". It's a great chapter with lots of advice on how your thoughts and words effect people with advice on how to be more positive in general. Overall, I enjoyed the book. Initially, because of the title, I was expecting more information on food and recipes. Personally, I would have enjoyed more of that and less of the exercise illustrations, but it depends on what you are looking for in this type of book.

FTC Disclosure: I was not financially compensated for this post. I received the book from Hay House for review purposes. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.

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