5 Summer Reads to Boost Your Health

Recommended Books for Your Wellness Journey

I divide the books I read into two categories – brainless and brain fuel. The brainless ones are purely for entertainment – action, romance, drama, fantasy, etc. In other words, I don’t have to think too much because they do all the work for me. The brain fuel ones are books that educate me and help me to expand my mind and my life. That may sound a bit heavy for summer reading, which is why I’m a strong advocate for mixing in both. If summer is your best chance to read, by all means make the most of it! Use it to entertain and educate.

To help with the brain fuel type, I wanted to share some recommendations that are very personal to me. These are the books that helped to start me on my integrated wellness journey or have been pivotal along the way. I share them with you in hopes that they’ll help to boost your health and wellness as well. Enjoy!!

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The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals by Michael Pollen

As I was starting to question what is in the food we eat (with the help of my then young son’s seemingly random food allergies), this book truly set me on my path of thinking about how we eat and what we eat. From the history of corn in our food supply to the big business of the organic food industry to the shortening of the food chain to the ethics of eating animals (spoiler alert: Pollen’s “perfect meal” includes meat), he provides a lot of “food for thought” as we look more closely at where our food originates and how it gets to our table. While it is a big book, Pollen’s writing style is so comfortable and easy to read that you’ll quickly feel like you’re a part of his journey instead of just reading about it.

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Discovering Your Soul Signature by Panache Desai

This book was my introduction to turning inside and realizing that my mental wellbeing needed some work and that this was as much a part of my overall health as the food that I eat. Desai guides you through changing the energy that surrounds you while also learning to accept yourself in the process. He does this by taking you on a 33-day journey that includes thoughts and exercises for morning, noon and night. Through these, the path that he leads you on is gentle but profound. This book won’t lead to all the answers you may be looking for, but it will certainly get you started in the right direction.

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Harvest for Hope by Jane Goodall*

So genuine, well-written and eye-opening, Harvest for Hope will quickly become a page-turner that you won’t want to put down until you’re done. In fact, this was the book that made me declare that I wanted to be much more intentional about what I’m putting in my body and that made me want to eat a mostly plant-based diet. While convincing you to do that is not necessarily Goodall’s goal, she does strive to bring more consciousness to our dinner tables. That way, however and whatever you decide to eat is a well thought-out decision as opposed to an unconscious acceptance of what our highly industrialized food system puts in front of us.

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Crazy Sexy Kitchen by Kris Carr*

Once I had read the previously mentioned books, I knew I wanted to eat differently, but I wasn’t exactly sure where to start. This book was my road map! It showed me how to equip my kitchen for healthy cooking, how to understand the foods I was getting ready to prepare and then told me exactly what ingredients I needed and what to do with them. To say that I was less than adventurous when I first started out would be an understatement, so I needed detailed recipes and instructions. With easy steps to follow for each of the recipes, I quickly realized that I could not only cook in a healthy way, but that the food could taste delicious as well! If you’re a newbie to a healthy kitchen, please, please use this book as a resource!

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The Urban Monk by Pedram Shojai, OMD

If you’ve ever thought “I’d love to live a more healthy, intentional life, but I’m simply too busy! I don’t have time for that right now!” this book is for you. Dr. Shojai combines eastern wisdom with modern hacks that will help you navigate the real world in a real way. He understands that we live in a fast-paced world where the surfaces that we walk on every day are probably more concrete and pavement than dirt and grass and that we can’t spend all day in reflection, being conscious about our food or exercising because we do have families and work that needs to be done. BUT, he does offer steps that will help us to jump off the crazy hamster wheel that we often find ourselves on and where we can make changes that will help us thrive.

*While I can’t guarantee that these books are available at your local library, they are available at mine. Checking out books from the library is a fabulous way to educate yourself and potentially change your life – at no cost (unless you keep the books for too long and have late fees…).

I am so happy to be able to share these books with you. They truly have changed my path, and I hope they will be beneficial to you as well. Of course, if you’re looking for additional healthy living resources, be sure and check out my Recommended Reads and Resources.

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