Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Hemingway runs clean and healthy

New book offers practical and inspirational advice

Express Staff Writer

?Mariel Hemingway?s Healthy Living From the Inside Out.? $26.95. 288 pp. HarperSanFrancisco.

Not everyone, no matter who they are, can accomplish what Mariel Hemingway has so far in her busy life. She's a mother, wife, actress, model, author, celebrity and producer.

Hemingway's name and countenance helped her along the way, but every family, especially a family as well known as the Hemingways, brings with it dysfunction. As the youngest of three daughters, she has proved again and again that she, unlike many in her clan, is a survivor.

So, how does she do this? Moderation is her motto.

Celebrity in the Wood River Valley is interesting. Residents are aware of those in our midst but like to leave them alone. What we know about Mariel Hemingway, for instance, is that she grew up in Ketchum, is married to Steve Crisman, a filmmaker, has two daughters, has a healthy glow about her and is very shy in public.

Her new book, which she'll sign at Chapter One Bookstore 5 to 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 30, belies the latter notion to a degree. In it, she is chatty, engaging, funny and open.

"Healthy Living from the Inside Out: Every Woman's Guide to Real Beauty, Renewed Energy, and a Radiant Life" is as a testament to Hemingway's powers as well as those of wholesome food, moderate exercise and peace and quiet.

The book is like a workbook, filled with bulleted tips, recipes, questions, sidebars, photos, lists and a "30 Day Quickstart Program." It is very user friendly and, even if you're not a yoga person or a health food person (as she is to the nth degree), you'll find many aspects that inspire and coax.

But here's the thing that is most impressive. It's clear Hemingway has done an enormous amount of homework. She explains why some foods and drinks can affect us, and how we can make a nutritious diet part of our lives. She imparts clear information but also suggests authors, books and Web sites where more data can be found.

"I wanted to do things like in a magazine, with power points, for quick reference," she said. As for her seeming breadth of knowledge, she acknowledged it came as a surprise even to her.

"You know, you look back and you realize you're not a kid. That absorption of experience is what fills you. You do your research but as you probe that, and you have hunches, you realize 'Oh, my God, I'm totally on the right track.'"

This book is Hemingway's second. Her first "Finding My Balance" was a memoir with yoga. "I feel like this healthy lifestyle is what I was meant to do. I don't get bored by it. I'm looking toward making items, doing interviews, really going down that road and turning it into a real business."

Although the book is subtitled "Every Woman's Guide to Real Beauty, Renewed Energy and a Radiant Life," it's not a beauty guide. There are no photos of make-up tips, or discussion of which swimsuit style best suits your body type.

"This book is marketed for women, but my opinion is it's not just for women, and it's doable for anyone. We're all of body, mind and spirit; our sex doesn't change the fact that healthy living is important. It's empowerment. How do you feel when you change your breakfast? How do you feel when you exercise? I want to encourage people to ask this of themselves. I'm still doing it. I'm always looking."

At the end of the book is a 30-day program she developed.

"I hope people will use it to try the things suggested. There are ways to cut the crap, get rid of the noisy food. You determine your sort of map, but it's your map. Maybe you'll be a vegan, or raw-foodian. We all know what is bad for us. It's about determining what's bad for us. You want to find out what works best for you. If you say, 'I really enjoy hot fudge sundaes, and I want to have one,' then you teach yourself moderation. It's silly to throw the baby out with the bath water.

"This is not about being perfect or following anybody's specific things. There's a way for you, but you have to define it. I do feel if your fuel is clean, like with a car, you will run more efficiently. (Then) you're going want to take care of yourself and do more."

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