Last year, I read some really good books that inspired me. Read on for the titles, authors, and quick synopsis.
No Impact Man by Colin Beavan – This book was left in my office by a co-worker I never met and was going to be thrown out before I swooped it up. It sat on my shelf for a couple months before I finally started reading about Colin’s chronicles of living a life with little to no impact, in Manhattan of all places. I found this book to be eye-opening and inspiring. It really makes you think about how much we all consume on a daily basis. There is also the No Impact Man documentary which I watched after reading the book. Highly recommended!
French Kids Eat Everything by Karen Le Billon – I’ve mentioned this book on the blog before and will likely continue to do so. I’m not a mom yet but found this book insightful and very interesting. The author moved from Vancouver to France – where her husband is from – with her two young daughters and spends a year learning the “ways” of the French and their non-picky little eaters, very different from (most) kids in North America. The book describes cultural differences between how food is viewed, prepared, and eaten in North America vs. in France, along with antidotes and a few recipes for readers to try at home.
A Year of No Sugar by Eve O. Schaub – This book was another winner and really helped me solidify my gripes against sugar. Eve and her family spend a year with a very limited sugar intake. I absolutely loved this book. For some unexplained reason, it made me feel nostalgic for a life I’ve never lived. Eve’s way of describing her hometown in Vermont (in my mind, seemingly perfectly simple… think: Gilmore Girl’s Stars Hallow); paired with her relentless quest for more knowledge about sugar; and her detailed accounts of her findings, feelings, failings, as well as successes, made for a delightful and educational read!
In the past years I have dabbled in quite a few other books about eating and living a compassionate, healthy, informed and educated lifestyle. In the spirit of full disclosure, I didn’t make it completely through all of the following books and, for the ones I did read entirely, it has been years since I’ve finished them, so these descriptions are quick and unrefined.
Food Rules by Michael Pollan – This book is an obvious one. This is basically a staple in any “health conscious” person’s kitchen/home and though, as my grandpa pointed out, Mr. Pollan doesn’t have any credentials in nutrition (he graduated with a degree in Journalism), his thoughts and “rules” resonate with me (and many others!).
Eat only foods that will eventually rot …that’s just good sense. (Although I would respectably add a timeline in there because we all know there’s that smart ass ready to tell us that McDonald’s goes bad too. Eventually.)
Naturally Thin by Bethenny Frankel – I found some gems in here about letting go and just living; urging you to realize food should not be the devil or your best friend; like her rule You Can Have It All, Just Not All At Once – what a relief and a perspective shift! This book helped me let go of some serious limitations I was putting on my diet. Worth the read.
The Skinnygirl Dish by Bethenny Frankel – Bethenny lists tools and provides recipes in this book for healthy, non-stress noshing.
Skinny Bitch by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin – I first read this book in college and still remember the authors advise to Trust No One (not even them). I love this advice to this day because it’s so true! In the end, you know your body better than anyone. With conflicting information from experts telling us Paleo Is The Only Way To Live in one article and then Veganism being The Cure For Cancer in the next, it is especially important to do your own research and come up with your own guidelines.
The Kind Diet by Alicia Silverstone – This book is all about being a Vegan with a capital V and living well… kindly. Surface level, I felt kind of judged while reading this book. Alicia outlines the steps to become a vegan and then a “superhero” vegan (someone who, if my memory serves me right, eats only nuts, seeds, and maybe a few leafy greens, like on their birthday, as a treat). But, if you can leave your ego out of it, this book is a good one with a meaningful message. It includes pretty pictures and recipes to start A New Vegan Lifestyle. Yeah!
The Honest Life by Jessica Alba – Okay, I don’t know what the deal is with celebrities writing lifestyle books now (what happened to fragrances!? asking for jLo…) but I’m completely on board with it. Overall I didn’t love the book – and was more interested in an inside glimpse of her life – but it highlighted a few tips and tricks here and there and I dig her message so, it’s all good. Money well spent.
The Body Book by Cameron Diaz – I should probably give this book a second chance but I could barely get through the first chapter… I like Cameron Diaz well enough but I distinctly remember feeling like I was reading an unedited letter while perusing this book. To me, her thoughts sounded scrambled and sporadic… like she didn’t really have an end goal… but the book seems to align with what I’m interested in so I’ll make an effort to try again and let you know how it goes.
Stay tuned and eat your greens.
** Note this blog went through a rebrand and is now veg vibes; which aligns better with the direction I organically gravitated towards. It’s all about your vibe**