Enjoy Every Sandwich: Book Review and 3 Giveaways!

by Tess

In July 2009, Dr. Lee Lipsenthal happily married and the father of two children was diagnosed with esophageal cancer.  Lee was an internist and medical director of Dean Ornish’s Preventive Medicine Research Institute.

  • In his book, Enjoy Every Sandwich, Lee navigates his diagnosis, illness, and treatment, with meaning, purpose and peace.

    Lee credits his life time practices of meditation, gratitude, prayer and connection with others for allowing him to become more fully alive and fearless in the face of uncertainty and death.

    What I enjoyed most about the book was the techniques Dr. Lee used while he was living to make sense of his world while he was alive.

    These are only a few gems from Enjoy Every Sandwich that Dr. Lee shares that allow us to embrace our humanity, judge less, and love more as we make sense of our everyday living.

  •   Make unconditional love a practice. When you become annoyed with someone you love, breathe in, remembering all the good about that person.
  • ·         Remember, fun stuff happens every day, life is an adventure, and death is no longer something to fear.

  • Find joy in your work. Write down the parts of your days that give you pleasure or excitement. Reflect on what energizes you and the coworkers you love. Increase those aspects of your life.
  • Be committed to make a difference, live life on your own terms. Continue to play, create, and love. Make opportunity out of every obstacle.

·         You have no control when it comes to the big picture of life. Learn to enjoy it in all of its suffering and pain. This concept is liberating if you can relax and accept it.

My mom passed away last year. I not only had the honor to hold her hand and witnessed it; I spent many days prior by her bedside, soaking in her presence. She was 90 years old and knew her time was near. She told me she had no fear, she had a good life.

In December, hubs and I went to my grandson’s 3rd birthday party. My mom had a close relationship with daughter No.2, Henri’s mom.  As we parked the car, I “felt” my mom’s presence like never before. I said to hubs, “Mom is here, she has come for the party.” 

I didn’t think any more about it. After the party was over Niki asked if anyone wanted a glass of wine.  I noticed the name on the label was, “Seven Daughters.” My mom had 7 daughters and three sons.
This book brought back good memories about my mom, death, family, and the meaning of life.

This book will help you embrace life, accept uncertainty, and live with a heart of gratitude and love.

I will be giving away three copies of the book. To be eligible leave a comment below, tweet this post, or share it on Facebook and Google +.


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    { 27 comments… read them below or add one }

    Jt Clough | Big Island Dog January 26, 2012 at 12:25 pm

    Am so enjoying the awareness of gratitude and of finding appreciation for those things that at first don’t exactly appeal!

    Another great read suggestion. Great stuff to fill the mind with.

    Mahalo Tess


    Tess January 27, 2012 at 8:19 am

    Yeah grateful for it all even the unappealing…there’s always a lesson in it, eh?
    Isn’t life grand?


    Cathy | Treatment Talk January 26, 2012 at 12:48 pm

    Hi Tess,

    What an inspiring book! When we lose close family members or friends, it does bring home the point how fragile life really is. That is why being grateful for what we have and enjoying each moment will allow us to leave this world with a sense of peace.

    Sounds like your mom was with you at that special party.


    Tess January 27, 2012 at 8:20 am

    Yes the book was inspiring! And life is fragile. I forget too often. Thanks for your support!


    Angela Artemis/Poweredbyintuition January 26, 2012 at 1:11 pm

    It sure sounds like your mother wanted to make her presence know at your grandchild’s party. I’m so glad you were with her and have nothing but wonderful memories and no regrets regarding your mother.


    Tess January 27, 2012 at 8:21 am

    Yes and the messages I get are always when I expect them the least. Before her death I never thought about these things or wasn’t aware of them.. Maybe there wasn’t a reason to be.


    Fran Sorin January 26, 2012 at 1:23 pm

    I have goosebumps. Talk about extraordinary. Thank you for sharing him..
    The label ‘Seven Daughters’ on the wine was a wonderful message. Once you open your eyes and ears, they’re all around.
    How beautiful that you were with your Mom when she died. And that you feel her presence? Of course….my Mom died 7 years ago and frequently I know she’s near me. Thank you for a heartwarming post. Fran


    Tess January 27, 2012 at 8:23 am

    Thanks for sharing about your mom and that you experience her presence. It’s still weird to me and it happens more often than ever.


    syd January 26, 2012 at 4:03 pm

    I am definitely going to look for this book now… thank you so much for sharing!


    Linda January 26, 2012 at 7:36 pm

    Sounds awesome.


    Vidya Sury January 26, 2012 at 11:38 pm

    “embrace life, accept uncertainty, and live with a heart of gratitude and love.” What a beautiful line, Tess! When my Mom passed away in Feb 2010, she was only 64 years old. We were very close and I had the privilege of never being apart from her all my life, as we were lucky to have her stay with us even after I married (at the ripe old age of 33 :-) ). I realized when she passed away in hospital, how grateful I was to have experienced her and how she never feared death. I considered myself very very lucky that I did not have regrets – no major ones, anyway – that I had not done something or missed telling her important stuff. Obviously I miss her, and always will, but I dream of her often – and also feel her presence many times – and that is so wonderful.

    I would love to read this book. You post is very beautiful.
    Vidya Sury´s last post…Book Review: Balasaraswati, Her Art and Life


    Aileen January 27, 2012 at 12:29 am

    Such insights on how to live well – to live right. So much happens around us and like you say, “You have no control when it comes to the big picture of life. Learn to enjoy it in all of its suffering and pain. ” – brilliant!
    Aileen´s last post…How to Make Lasting Changes in Your Life


    Megan Bord January 27, 2012 at 7:58 am

    Oh my gosh, that book sounds terrific; thank you, Tess! Lately I’ve been soaking in more and more reminders to live life in a state of complete gratitude — from the body I’ve chosen, to the home I live in, to the friends I interact with each day. It’s all a gift. And beyond that, my gratitude has expanded beyond “me” to Mother Earth, for she is the great provider for all of us. The floorboards I walk across each morning to get from bedroom to bathroom: a gift from Mother Earth. The water that pours from my faucets and cleanses or nourishes me: another gift from Great Mother. The clothes I wear, the food I eat, the air I breathe… It’s all a gift. Life — at its essence — is a gift. And we, as humans, are so, so lucky that we get to partake in such a magnificent gift!

    Tess, I’m grateful for you; you frequently shine a light on areas within me that needed it. Thank you.


    Stephen Martin January 27, 2012 at 8:21 am

    Hi Tess — I’ve made several visits to Trappist monasteries and have always been struck by how the monks don’t just sit around waiting to feel holy. Rather, they engage in many rigorous practices that build their holiness. It sounds like Dr. Lipsenthal is advising the same thing — not just hoping for a vague feeling of appreciation and peace to come over us, but instead doing concrete work that helps get us there. Thanks for the recommendation!


    Arvind Devalia January 27, 2012 at 10:11 am

    Tess, thanks for sharing this book – clearly one I must put on my to read list:-)

    As Gandhi said, be the change you want. So we can simply be peace if we want more peace in our life.
    Arvind Devalia´s last post…How to See the Beauty and Greatness in Any Tragedy


    Rose Byrd January 27, 2012 at 12:09 pm

    Tess, this reliance on prayer, gratitude, meditation, and connection with others described by Dr. Lipsenthal as his coping techniques during his medical difficulties reminds me so much of how my mother dealt with the final 22 months of her life fighting cancer. This was in 2000 and people from her community at large still let me now how she changed lives there by her example! She is smiling down on us all, fluttering her wings with a Southern Belle flippancy! She smiles on me as I write, which is what she knew was always my “calling.”
    Rose Byrd´s last post…It’s a Snug World with Snug Science – Includes a Chance to Win!


    Lisa Irwin January 27, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    I often forget to stop and smell the roses along the way. This is a nice reminder that this is what life is all about…the here and the now.


    candice tyson January 27, 2012 at 12:42 pm

    Sounds like a great book.


    Kevin January 27, 2012 at 12:45 pm

    Sounds like an inspirational book !


    James January 27, 2012 at 1:01 pm

    add to book list :)


    Andrea January 27, 2012 at 1:18 pm

    Thank you for sharing the kernels of wisdom you culled from this book. I especially love the idea of making an opportunity out of every obstacle…I’ll think on that as my day unfolds. I would love the opportunity to read his work. Have a great Friday.


    Caroline McGraw / A Wish Come Clear January 27, 2012 at 2:23 pm

    Tess, I’m so glad you were able to feel that connection with your mom – what a magical moment it must have been.

    And the book sounds like a great read! I particularly liked the line, “Fun stuff happens every day.” So true! I had an interview with a reporter today, and was nervous about what I would say. A friend encouraged me to think of it as FUN, rather than WORK, and it made all the difference. :)
    Caroline McGraw / A Wish Come Clear´s last post…How To Find Contentment in the (Painful, Crazy, Joyous) Present Moment


    Trisha January 27, 2012 at 3:05 pm

    Lately I decided to try to make positive differences in other’s lives while on my life journey. Sometimes it may be at work, sometimes it may be with the person I’m standing in line with at the grocery store. Surprisely I’m finding many of my touches with others actually make positive differences in my life. I am so grateful to be alive and I hope I make positive differences in others as they are making positive differences with me.


    Mary Lee January 27, 2012 at 9:24 pm

    Tess, Embracing all that life gives us to live is our opportunity to open. It is such a gift. It sounds like Dr. Lee learned about life’s gifts and has much to share with his readers.

    Thank you for sharing.
    Mary Lee


    Paige | simple mindfulness January 28, 2012 at 12:24 am

    Life is a series of moments. Each one is precious. Being conscious of what we do with each of them and being grateful for the gifts in each of them can create an incredibly happy life. Tess, thank you for the beautiful stories that remind me of this.
    Paige | simple mindfulness´s last post…Why Do You Want What You Want?


    Bill Polm January 28, 2012 at 12:25 am

    Sounds like an uplifting and inspirational book. Anyone that lives that well in the face of approaching death, that is with an active awareness of it, deserves respect and a listen.
    Death is something we all have to deal with, in one way or another. And he’s right, the focus should be on living well and touching others. To reach out to comfort and help another person, especially with no motive for reward other than being able to help, is to me the finest thing a person can do.
    And do I believe we go on past death? Oh yes. Life really wouldn’t make much sense if we didn’t!
    Thanks for sharing, Tess.


    Cj VanDaff-Zondervan January 28, 2012 at 11:48 am

    Tess this looks like an amazing book. Thanks for making us aware of it. Your the BEST!


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