I’ve been an avid reader since I was a little girl, and so it’s no surprise that books have played a big part in my life. While most of what I’m reading these days is for pleasure and entertainment, here are a few of my favourite reads that have made a big impact on my health, my mindset and even my career over the years!
While I don’t love the subtitle on this book (“Using real food and real science to lose weight without dieting“), this is the book I recommend to friends and clients most often. Written by Darya Pino Rose, a neuroscientist, food writer, and the creator of SummerTomato, Foodist sets out simple, easy to implement strategies to change the way you eat.
My favourite part: Darya advocates for cooking at home as the best way to achieve good health (and so do I!).
The Happiness Project
I read the Happiness Project about six years ago. I had recently been married, moved into a new house and was feeling a little what now? All these years later and I still draw from what I learned from Gretchen Rubin in this book – I make my bed every day, keep an empty shelf in my home and try to check myself when I recognize I’m being a martyr. The Happier Podcast also tops my list of favourite podcasts!
My favourite part: Gretchen illustrates that happiness is achieved through small acts and conscious decisions made every day, not grand sweeping changes.
It’s All Good
Gwyneth Paltrow and her brand is a little bit like cilantro; you love it or hate it. I am definitely squarely in the love camp – for GP and cilantro that is – and it’s largely because of this book. It’s All Good was the book that made me realize eating nutritious food can absolutely doesn’t have to compromise on taste. Whether I am looking for a salad for a potluck or a quick smoothie, this is always my first stop – the recipes are quick and easy. Yes, there are a few recommendations for crazy expensive, hard-to-find ingredients but I just sub with what I’ve got on hand.
My favourite part: The braised chicken with olives and lemon.
For as long as I can remember, food has been a thing for me – whether I was trying to lose weight or trying to eat a “perfect” healthy diet (probably in hopes to lose weight). Intuitive Eating is all about breaking out of the diet mentality and learning how to tap into your natural hunger and satiety cues (two things I’ve tuned out for years). This one hasn’t just changed my life from a personal perspective, but also professionally – I talk about intuitive eating principals with my clients to help them achieve peace with food too.
My favourite part: This isn’t another diet or a book about what to eat, but rather how to eat.
One Part Plant
For the past few months, I have been busy running my businesses and being a parent and just trying to live that good life, and cooking has started to feel like one more annoying thing on my to-do list.For reals, the One Part Plant cookbook has completely turned that around. If Gwyneth Paltrow taught me that nutritious food can still be crazy delicious, Jessica Murnane has taught me that delicious nutritious food can be EASY. Seriously, I made the creamy mushroom lasagna on a Wednesday night, after a full day of work, with a cranky toddler nipping at heels.
My favourite part: All the recipes in this book draw on a set of basic pantry ingredients so a good meal is never far away. I’ve never been great at keeping a well-stocked pantry but that’s about to change!
Anatomy of the Spirit
Mind Body Spirit was the super woo-woo class I had to take in nutrition school and this was our textbook. When I started the class I took most of it with a grain of salt and by the end of it I had gone full woo. I had always believed in the mind-body connection, but Carolyn Myss and my instructor, Vivian, really opened my eyes to how deeply they are connected and how illness and disease can be rooted in our thoughts and emotions.
My favourite part: This book seems to be magical. I refer to it often – whenever I am suffering from an ailment myself or a client’s symptoms have me stumped. There always seems to be an anecdote in the book that perfectly explains the situation I’m pondering.
The Woman Code
I first picked up this book when I was diagnosed with PCOS. Reading this book not only helped me manage my own symptoms, it altered the trajectory of my nutrition career by blending my love for nutrition with my lifelong interest in women’s health and hormones. In the book Alyssa Vitti demystifies the menstrual cycle, busts some common period myths, and offers up some sound nutritional advice for getting that shizz straightened out. Basically, a book after my own heart!
My favourite part: This book isn’t just about food, it’s about learning to sync your life with your cycles to optimize your energy and moods. Bodies are amazing!
Taking Charge of Your Fertility
This was the book that gave me the confidence to ditch hormonal birth control once and for all. Whether you are looking to avoid or acheive pregnancy, Toni Weschler’s seminal book is a must-read. It’s by no means a breezy read – you need to invest some serious time into studying the text and into getting to know your own body, but the payoff will be worth it. Learning how to track and recognize my fertility signs was probably the most empowering thing I have ever done in my life.
My favourite part: The pictures! Honestly, how often do you ever see a picture of a fertile cervix? NOT OFTEN ENOUGH IF YOU ASK ME!
What are the books that have changed your life? I’d love to know in the comments below!