Apr 19, 2013

Book Review - Thinking in Systems by Donella H. Meadows

I've been wanting to get in to a systems thinking for some time already. As I often do, I'll try to find the best book for the subject. With systems thinking, book from Donella H. Meadows seemed to be it. Thinking in Systems was written already in 2001, but it feels as fresh as any book.

Book starts from very basic systems and theory round those. Even though it goes to very basics, it's not dull and boring, but interesting way to look on familiar systems. Via these basic systems book explains the underlying theories behind systems thinking.

Thinking in Systems builds cleverly up from the basics to more complex systems and to theories around systems. It is quite easy to follow, but it requires thinking to keep up with system feedback loops and other things affecting systems.

What is funny about the systems theory in this book, is that everything is actually quite simple and easy to understand as a system, but then on the other hand, no one can really tell how complex systems will actually work. I think this is actually how the world works, no one can really certainly tell how changes in system will at the end turn out.

Book introduces common pitfalls with systems. Most of are the things that can be seen almost everyday. People overcompensate on problems or react too heavily on some things. Often the underlying logic of system is forgotten and people are will fix something that has no effect in the overall or will make things actually worse.

It was an excellent book and I recommend it to everyone. This book will help everyone understand more about the world we live in. I'm bit sad to know that not that many will actually read this book. Systems thinking is not the trendiest subject out there. That's a pity. You can be different and read it.

Written by +Henri Hämäläinen

Apr 3, 2013

Book Review: Racing Weight by Matt Fitzgerald

Since my triathlon enthusiasm started I have been trying to get in to a lighter weight for better results. Losing weight has never been easy for me and with raising amount of training load, it has been even harder. That's the reason I got my hands in to a book from Matt Fitzgerald: Racing Weight.

Matt Fitzgerald is a sport nutritionist with a background of endurance sports, coaching endurance sports and working for food companies making products for endurance sports. For me that was background enough to prove he knows what he is talking about.

Book takes comprehensive, but simple enough approach to endurance nutrition. It talks through the basics of diets and different sources of nutrition. It quotes many studies from different points of view to diets and training. It also explains different trends in dieting and their pro's and con's.

Racing Weight ideology brings eating back to basics. It supports foods that are natural. It tells athletes to concentrate on quality of the food and then your own appetite.

Book offers simple methods to improve food quality. It recommends to think or even to calculate a bit what you are eating, but it still keeps things pretty simple. Book also offers good ways to manage your appetite and concentrate that you eat for real need of energy.

I loved the simplistic and naturalistic approach of the book. This type of methodology is not about trends or one truth about dieting. It is a comprehensive way to improve your diet and with that your racing weight. It will be easy to not lose weight or improve fat percentage after reading this book. This doesn't offer any magic tricks, but it makes you think of the elements what makes your body to lose or gain weight. For results that will last, that is essential.

I recommend this book even for the people who are not endurance sports enthusiastic. It gives so much good information to everyone about diets that it's valuable reading for all. It's easy and fun to read, so it's really for everyone

Written by +Henri Hämäläinen