Mindfulness, wellness and health – oh my!
You’ve most likely been hearing these buzz words more and more in recent years. Today, with so much research being done and such information at our fingertips, navigating a healthy lifestyle can sometimes be overwhelming and confusing. It’s not a one-size-fits-all situation — there are many different paths to a healthy lifestyle. I want to share some solid and interesting books that I have come across, both on my own and in my studies in Integrative Health.
These 5 books mainly focus on nutrition and mindful eating, but also include some overall health and lifestyle ideals.
Some of these authors subscribe to different approaches to health, even conflicting ways of life, but for that reason, these books will make you think about your habits and why you do the things you do. I’ve found that when exploring these books with an open mind, something usually resonates with me, and I’m able to gain inspiration and tweak my way of living for the better!
Book 1: Primal Body, Primal Mind (Nora T. Gedgaudas)
Nora T. Gedgaudas’ Primal Body, Primal Mind, Beyond the Paleo Diet for Total Health and a Longer Life is one fascinating book, rich with graphs, photos, cartoons and molecular diagrams. Not only does she examine the benefits of the paleo diet but she goes beyond, she explains why some foods are more desirable than others using a historical lens. This book provides a platform for understanding and coping with the current systems of food and health in America. Further, this book discusses WHY people are kept in the dark about so many of these issues — money & politics.
Book 2: 4-Hour Body (Timothy Ferriss)
Timothy Ferriss (also author of 4-Hour Workweek), has spent his whole life experimenting with fitness, nutrition, & supplements and how they work together and affect all around quality of life. 4-Hour Body is essentially a manual on how to become a superhuman. He provides meal plans, and explains why eating a certain way will make you feel more alive than ever (my brother lost 40 lbs. from this book and has kept it off!). The thing I like about him as an author is that he has done clinical trials and also is realistic. Ferriss explains that you don’t have to do everything in this book to improve your life, but even if you have a small take away, the impact could be huge!
Book 3: The Tao of Health, Sex, and Longevity (Daniel P. Reid)
Ok – I have to be honest here. I have not read this one…yet! It is on my list and I have heard amazing things about this book! From what I have heard though, it’s great because it provides a detailed introduction to the ancient philosophy, ethics and religion of Taoism. Reid offers a guide to living a positive, balanced, and holistic life based on Taoist principles.
Book 4: Women, Food and God (Geneen Roth)
Roth’s Women, Food and God is a book I keep close to my heart. This book is definitely geared toward women and the relationship with food through a spiritual lens. It really focusses on how to be a mindful eater and shares the stories of women who were compulsive over eaters and explores how they got there and how to make real change. Through the experience of others and her own relationship with food, Roth provides a guide to letting food nourish you and heal instead of being used as an emotional crutch – which it unfortunately is to many.
Book 5: Grain Brain (David Perlmutter)
Grain Brain takes William Davis’ Wheat Belly to the next level! This book not only addresses a potential problem with gluten, but all grains. But what is so interesting is that in Grain Brain, David Perlmutter delves into the effects of grains on your mind, specifically dementia and other common diseases. He explores the connection between physical fitness and cognitive function. He also debunks some nutritional myths about cholesterol, among others. While some of this book can be a bit depressing, shunning everything that taste good, it left me feeling really optimistic, as he delves into the plasticity of our bodies and brains. It’s never too late to get healthy!