This is the first installment of a 5-part series called:
My Favorite Things
Coming up next is My Favorite Apps, Kitchen Stuff, Supplements & Herbs, and of course My Favorite FOODS…all things to help you thrive, so stay tuned!
It seems like there are two groups of people: those who love to read, and those who don’t think they love to read.
My closest friends can tell you I’m pretty much always reading about 4 books at a time. I’m constantly looking through book recommendations online to find new things for me to read. If you ask me, reading something according to your mood or atmosphere makes way more sense than trying to finish one book at a time. Especially because I’m someone who emotionally invests in every book I read. This way of thinking has gotten me through a lot of books!
Well, I have a message for everyone: There are many ways to “read” these days…including audiobooks! I am still hooked on traditional books, but I think audible.com is worth every penny – especially because they just increased the value by offering “The Great Courses”. Click here if you want to know more ’bout all that.
I wish I was like Oprah and could just shower people with all the things I love. This is my way of showing you I care (smile). I’ve rounded up a list of 12 book titles, covering Nutrition, Cookbooks, Non-fiction/Self-Help. Most of these items I cannot go without, and all of them will improve your life or replace something that’s holding you back! Check it out…
Nutrition / Weight-loss / Lifestyle
Perfect Health Diet: How to Regain Health and Lose Weight By Eating the Way You Were Meant to Eat
This is the most important book to me. It’s super sciencey – which would usually scare me away. It helped me make sense of all the diet advice out there. If you want to be healthy, it really comes down to minimizing toxins in your food, and maximizing the nutrients you intake. The scientists who wrote this book really know their stuff. It surprised so many people in the Paleosphere to see white rice and white potatoes being recommended in a healthy person’s diet; but after you see the science, you see why this makes sense. Anyone interested in Ancestral Health, the Paleo Diet, maximizing their nutrition, or tired of feeling like crap should DEFINITELY read this book.
Note: I recommend this book in the digital format for many reasons. I love a physical book in my hand just as much as anyone else, but digital readers are perfect for books with references, terms that are new to you, and content you’d like to refer back to. Imagine being able to type in a search word like “magnesium” and find every place it is mentioned in the book. Or how about highlighting a new word like “Apoptosis” so you can quickly see the definition? You can also highlight and make notes to refer back to. In this case, digital is the way to go.
Price: THIS DIGITAL BOOK is on SPECIAL for $3.00 LIMITED TIME CLICK HERE TO BUY (download the Kindle app and no need for a kindle)
Regular Price: $14-$20
Visit perfecthealthdiet.com for more info and a great resource
The Paleo Cure: Eat Right for Your Genes, Body Type, and Personal Health Needs. Prevent and Reverse Disease, Lose Weight Effortlessly, and Look and Feel Better than Ever
Chris Kresser is the expert I am constantly quoting and referring back to when I need some straight-up facts about nutrition and wellness. He is known as “the healthy skeptic”, and he wrote this book to help people figure out their own version of paleo. We are different in many ways, so why should we have the same restrictions? Anyone confused about what’s “healthy” these days, why people are suddenly allergic to everything, and what foods you personally should avoid, should buy this book.
Note: I recommend it in the digital format for many reasons too. I love a physical book in my hand just as much as anyone else, but digital readers are perfect for books with references, terms that are new to you, and content you’d like to refer back to. Imagine being able to type in a search word like “dairy” and find every place it’s mentioned in the book. Or how about highlighting a new word like “autoimmunity” so you can quickly see the definition. You can also highlight and make notes to refer back to. For The Paleo Cure, digital is the way to go.
Visit chriskresser.com for more info and a great resource
The Primal Blueprint: Reprogram your genes for effortless weight loss, vibrant health, and boundless energy
I was high on life for about a month after reading the Primal Blueprint. The message is so clear here, and actionable! Mark Sisson of marksdailyapple.com is the original Paleo blogger, and an inspiration to everyone in the field. This book is special because Mark takes a look at our modern lives and remind us of the simple ways we can start nurturing our inner primal being. Take a look at his 10 Primal Laws…
And if you’re into understanding what our body wants for fuel, then you have to check out his 8 Key Concepts here.
I love this program so much I am considering becoming a Primal Blueprint Certified Expert one day, by enrolling in his education program.
I highly recommend The Primal Blueprint as an audio version for a quick, enjoyable “read” while you’re driving.
Price: $9-$18 (click the book photo to order online)
Visit marksdailyapple.com for more info and a great resource
Paleo Takeout: Restaurant Favorites Without the Junk
This cookbook is bonkers. It’s insane how many recipes are in it, and this guy Russ Crandall (AKA The Domestic Man) is one of my favorite chefs out there in the Paleosphere (maybe my absolute favorite. Okay yes, he is.). He’s an advocate of the Perfect Health Diet, my first book recommendation on this post, and has Paleo-ish recipes which include white rice!
“In Paleo Takeout, Crandall re-creates everyone’s favorite takeout meals using wholesome ingredients and some seriously inventive techniques giving you the opportunity to revisit your favorite restaurant classics, with all of the gratification and none of the regret!”
Here’s a sneak peek at the Chinese food section
Price: $10-$22 (Click the photo to purchase)
THE ANCESTRAL TABLE is his original cookbook I also refer to again and again for traditional foods from around the world. Click here to order online
His blog is downright ridonculous for any serious home cook or global foodie. Check it out at thedomesticman.com
Every Last Crumb: Paleo Bread and Beyond
This is another Paleo cookbook that’ll straight up blow your mind. Brittany Angell recreates EVERY grain-based food you miss when you go gluten-free or paleo. She is a master at it, and I highly recommend her website brittanyangell.com. This book has everything from english muffins, to hot dog buns, to cakes, pies, and taco. This book is high quality hardcover and makes a great gift for anyone who loves to bake.
Price: $10-$16 (click book photo to purchase online)
Zenbelly Cookbook: An Epicurean’s Guide to Paleo Cuisine
I found this cookbook because everyone and their paleo Mom will tag #Zenbelly in their photos on Instagram. She has several go-to recipes that make everyday life for gluten abstainers much easier. Her plantain tortillas are one of them! This cookbook is perfect for any serious home cook looking to cut out grains and dairy and still make drool worthy meals. Here’s a great description:
“With over 100 real food recipes, The Zenbelly Cookbook covers every course and occasion; from simple weeknight meals that can be made for the family in under 30 minutes, to elegant multiple course dinners that will impress any guest. The Zenbelly Cookbook will also offer entertainment tips such as: what can be made ahead, shortcuts that don’t sacrifice quality, and menu suggestions. The goal of The Zenbelly Cookbook is to make incredible, professional quality food accessible to the home cook.” – Amazon
Price: $10-$21 (click the book photo to order online)
The Homegrown Paleo Cookbook: Over 100 Delicious, Gluten-Free, Farm-to-Table Recipes, and a Complete Guide to Growing Your Own Healthy Food
This book is as incredible as the husband and wife team who created it. It combines two concepts that inspire me: a seasonal paleo cookbook and a beginner homesteading guide. The photos are from their farm and home, and the photos are just gorgeous! If you picture someone hugging the gift you gave them, this would be the book…for anyone interested in homesteading or seasonal paleo meals. The meals are reasonably simple, and masterfully done, and the homesteading guide is just enough to get your hands really dirty.
Price: $10-$27 (click the book photo to purchase online)
Follow their blog at sustainabledish.com for recipes, action from the farm, and ways to increase your eco-awareness.
10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works–A True Story
I adore this book! I breezed through it in a week! I probably could’ve read it in 2 days. Dan Harris, known for anchoring on ABC news, is hilarious, vulnerable, and increasingly cynical. This book is great for anyone who wants to quiet their busy mind, or has mood swings, or is interested in meditation or Buddhist beliefs. Here’s a quick synopsis:
“Harris had the ambition and drive to rise to ABC News television anchor. He’d felt the ‘journalistic heroin’ of reporting from war zones, anchored national broadcasts, and even recovered from cocaine addiction. But he also had a voice in his head, the same voice most of us wrestle with, constantly second-guessing him. If he could only quiet that voice, he’d be happier and less stressed. Harris was already covering the religion beat when he veered off on a personal journey to find answers beyond the self-help gurus. Along the way, he talked to Eckhart Tolle, Deepak Chopra, a host of Jewish Buddhists, and even the Dalai Lama before reluctantly trying meditation. Approaching it with all the skepticism of a reporter, Harris checked out the neurological research and learned that meditation was being used in the corporate and military arenas to heighten focus and clarity. After going on a meditation retreat, he ultimately found the balance he sought between ambition and inner peace. In this brave, completely engaging, and often hilarious book, Harris achieves his aim of demystifying meditation.” –Vanessa Bush
Price: $10-$15 (click the book photo to purchase online)
Better than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives
There is so much to love about this book. I literally think everyone in the world should read it! Don’t you ever wonder why you can’t just stick to a new habit, or do something you really WANT to do? Whats holding us back? What are some actionable steps we can take to change that? This is a subject that’s been tackled before, but someone finally took a different angle. The author, Gretchen Rubin, is a writer who studies happiness, and she wrote this book after discovering something about habits. We are all very different people with different tendencies, so how can one habit-forming strategy work for us all? It won’t. She pinpoints all of our different tendencies and helps you learn very actionable tricks to start making habits stick. You will love it!
Try it on audio book and listen while you’re driving! And to all my podcast listeners out there, you have to check out her awesome podcast called “Happier”.
Price: $13-$20 (click here to order online)
I highly recommend her website gretchenrubin.com for great advice on how to increase your happiness and productivity.
Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History Of Four Meals
This is a book I will never forget. I even plan to read it again because it has so much to say. I usually wouldn’t pick up a book this long, but after all the hype about it I decided to give it a try. I fell in love with the Author, Michael Pollan, and his writing style. If you want to know more about where our food comes from, and hear a thoughtful interpretation on food philosophy, this book is for you.
“It’s a fascinating journey up and down the food chain, one that might change the way you read the label on a frozen dinner, dig into a steak or decide whether to buy organic eggs. You’ll certainly never look at a Chicken McNugget the same way again. Pollan’s narrative strategy is simple: he traces four meals back to their [origin]. He starts with a McDonald’s lunch, which he and his family gobble up in their car…Corn feeds the steer that turns into the burgers, becomes the oil that cooks the fries and the syrup that sweetens the shakes and the sodas, and makes up 13 of the 38 ingredients (yikes) in the Chicken McNuggets. Later, Pollan prepares a dinner with items from Whole Foods, investigating the flaws in the world of ‘big organic’; cooks a meal with ingredients from a small, utopian Virginia farm; and assembles a feast from things he’s foraged and hunted. -Pamela Kaufman, Executive Editor at Food & Wine magazine.”
Price: $8-$15 (Click here to purchase online)
The Feast Nearby: How I lost my job, buried a marriage, and found my way by keeping chickens, foraging, preserving, bartering, and eating locally (all on $40 a week)
I love the way this memoir includes recipes throughout the book. That made it even more special to me! I’ve recommended this book several times to mothers and home cooks who want to appreciate the homesteading life, and get inspired to be more self sufficient. Here’s a nice intro for you:
“Within a single week in 2009, food journalist Robin Mather found herself on the threshold of a divorce and laid off from her job at the Chicago Tribune. Forced into a radical life change, she returned to her native rural Michigan.
There she learned to live on a limited budget while remaining true to her culinary principles of eating well and as locally as possible. In The Feast Nearby, Mather chronicles her year-long project: preparing and consuming three home-cooked, totally seasonal, and local meals a day–all on forty dollars a week. ”
Price: $13-$20 (click the book photo to purchase online)
ThenWildlife Friendly Vegetable Gardener: How to Grow Food in Harmony with Nature
What an inventive book. This book is for gardeners, and people who’d like to know how they can co-exist with the natural wildlife surrounding us. Just by looking at the cover you will see the playful drawing style she uses to show the different creatures. This was the perfect book for me because I hate looking at real-life insects. But these cute cartoon drawings were the perfect way for me to see which insects are beneficial and which are pests. “This one-of-a-kind book shows you how to create a peaceful co-existence between your vegetable garden and the wildlife who consider it part of their habitat. By understanding and working with the surrounding environment – instead of continually fighting it – you’ll reap a larger harvest with much less stress and effort. ”
Price: $13 (Click the book photo to purchase online)
Comment below and tell me which books you’ve read!