Five Books That Will Transform Your Health

Good morning and happy Monday, you guys! Mondays are my favorite days around here – it’s the start of a fresh week, and these Monday Motivation posts are some of my favorite posts to write because it gives me a chance to talk about topics I’m really passionate about, that don’t always make it to my blog/instagram (since I focus a lot on fashion). This week I wanted to share five books on health and wellness that have been really influential in my life. Each one of these has helped shape my perspective on what it means to be “healthy,” and I’ve closed each book feeling inspired, motivated and hopeful about the future. So without further ado…

1. How Not To Die, by Michael Gregor, M.D.

The book How Not to Die is what really kickstarted my journey into the health and wellness world and first convinced me to eat a more plant-based diet. Although the title “How Not to Die” sounds a little jarring, the book is actually pretty true to it’s name: Dr. Greger runs through the fifteen top causes of premature death in America, and how to combat and reverse each one of them through a plant-based diet. The book is entirely based on science, and Dr. Greger has put in the research, sifting through hundreds of thousands of studies and basically summarizing the results in an easy-to-read and, at times, quite humorous book. This book is so inspiring; I’ve read it twice already and will definitely read it again!

2. Taking Charge of Your Fertility, by Toni Weschler

Despite the title of this book, this book is not about pregnancy. Rather, it is a book that I highly recommend ALL women, no matter what age, read. In “Taking Charge of Your Fertility,” Weschler explains how we can learn so much about our health just from paying attention to our menstrual cycles. I had no idea how body illiterate I was until I read this book. I’m just going to get really blunt here: a woman’s body is supposed to produce cervical mucus. In fact, the type and amount of cervical mucus changes throughout a woman’s cycle, and can hold clues to her fertility, health and so on. No one taught me that cervical mucus was a totally normal and HEALTHY part of being a woman (I used to think it was gross!) – and now that we’re trying to get pregnant, I pay attention to it and track it every day! And if you are wanting to get pregnant in the future, the book can help you identify any fertility problems before running to the doctor and getting involved in invasive diagnostic tests. I highly recommend this book as an excellent resource for ANY woman, no matter what life stage you’re in. I personally felt so empowered after reading this book!

3. Quench, by Dana Cohen & Gina Bria

This is a recent read, but I found it very transformative and knew I had to add it to the list. This book will make you re-envision the way you think about hydration. I always equated being hydrated to drinking lots and lots of water, but the authors of this book put forth science-based evidence that proves that’s not the best way to stay hydrated. Rather, it is better to “eat” your water (via the formation of “gel water,” which you can get through smoothies, hydrating fruits and vegetables, and CHIA SEEDS!). Along with case studies, the book educates readers about how proper hydration can affect digestion, energy, headaches, skin, bloating and many other common chronic diseases. At the end of the book, you’ll find a 5-day plan (with lots of recipes) for optimal hydration. I’ve loved all the recipes I’ve tried, and the book has changed some of my daily habits, including the addition of a large glass of water with sea salt and lemon every morning.

4. The Complete Organic Pregnancy, by Deirdre Dolan

Alright, there’s no denying this book IS about pregnancy! And no, I’m not pregnant. 🙂 But this book is a must-read for any woman even thinking of getting pregnant within the next five years. At the core, this book is really about living an organic life in general, and taking a closer look at your home and surrounding environment to make it as “toxin-free” as possible. The book is organized into three sections: pre-conception, pregnancy, and babyhood. In each section, the authors covers food, home environment, work environment, fitness, and play, and gives advice on food, water filters, beauty products, household cleaners, plastics and more. The text is easy to read and broken up by personal essays from mothers (the essays were actually my favorite part – they are quite entertaining and brought a human and more personal element to the book!). Although some of the advice may be a bit over the top for the average person (can you really afford an organic mattress for you and for baby?), I thought the overall message was one of hope, in the fact that we do have control over our environment and our lives!

5. The Food Babe Way, by Vani Hari

I read this book right after “How Not To Die” and it was a great introduction into organic eating (and living). Hari is a full-time food activist, and while she does come across a little intense at times, I learned soooo much about food additives and the food industry that really blew my mind. To be honest, I walked away feeling angry at the food industry and the FDA (and for good reason), and vowing to give up processed foods forever. I was heartbroken to learn that the things being put in our food in the United States are not legal in most other countries. The more that we, as consumers, are educated on the chemicals in our food, the better. We can demand change and vote with our dollars by not buying processed foods. All of this will make sense after you read the book, I promise! 🙂

If you have read any life-changing books on health and wellness, I’d love to know! I’m currently reading “Dirty Genes,” by Dr. Ben Lynch and although I’m only in the first couple of chapters, it is looking like it’s another book to add to this list.

Happy Monday! xoxo

Leave a Comment


  1. Joan

    Your first two books I’ve also read and are fantastic reads! So important for women to really understand monthly cycles – I didn’t read TCOYF until after I had our daughter at 26 and when I was struggling at 35 to have another it came highly recommended to me and now we have our happy little boy (I was about to try Clomid before reading it). How Not to Die is life changing; the produce department becomes your favorite part of the grocery store.

  2. I also LOVE How Not to Die, it completely transformed the way I look at food. I am also interested in reading Quench and The Food Babe way, thanks so much for the suggestions!

  3. Zoie

    Two things: 1. I bought an organic mattress a couple of years ago and it was pretty reasonably priced and very worth it
    2. I am reading Why We Sleep By Matthew Walker. Very informative to how important sleep is to our overall health and how it affects mental health like anxiety and depression amongst other things

  4. Sally Nichols

    I cannot wait to read these. I’m trying to get pregnant too, and I just finished “Woman Code” by Alisa Vitti. It opened my eyes to hormones and how to take care of your adrenal glands. I didn’t even know I was experiencing adrenal fatigue until I read this book – I HIGHLY recommend!

  5. Maureen

    Intuitive Eating: A Revolutionary Program That Works by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch is amazing! It shows how diets do not work and that the most healthy thing you can do is listen to your body’s natural hunger cues. This principle is amazing and it’s incredible how listening to your body and eating when you’re hunger until satisfied can make you feel so much better.

  6. These books look really interesting. One of my relatives, who is the tallest and skinniest woman I know, has breast cancer. It has really put me on the quest for answers as far as my own health. Thanks for these great recommendations. 🙂

  7. Aimee Leisenring

    Wonderful post girl, I’m all about healthy living!
    I HIGHLY recommend you check out THE book “Winning the Cancer Battle” by Bob Phillips and Louis Smith on Amazon! They’re certified nutritionist who battled terminal cancer, they offer great tips on how to reduce the risk of cancer, diseases, etc! Definitely a must read 🙂

  8. Loving these book recommendations! I am definitely checking out the first one “How Not to Die”. Sounds like such a great one!! Also, loving your cropped cardigan and denim shorts! Super Cute!! Happy Monday Babe!! 🤍💞

  9. thank you SO MUCH for these books!! for awhile i was really into learning about food and how it affects me and i loved “it starts with food.” i have a few audible credits i’ve been holding onto because i wanted to listen to something that i felt like really enhanced my life, and i am so excited for these!

    ps. trying to get pregnant! 😀 i just had my first baby in september and i loved all of it. rooting so hard for you! you’ll literally be the cutest pregnant human being in THE WORLD! 🙂

  10. I’ve been wanting to read some of these for so long but always forget about them when I move on to my next book!

  11. Kelsey W.

    I agree, “How Not To Die” is a game-changer of a book! I also love how he provides immediate foods to help stop/reverse/repair damage made to the body through the standard American diet. I recently read “Brain Maker” by Dr. David Perlmutter and it is all about optimizing brain health by having a healthy gut. He also makes the connection between poor gut health and brain diseases like Alzheimer’s, as well as autoimmune diseases like MS, among a lot of other issues (depression, ADHD, etc.). He includes lots of recipes and types of foods to create a powerhouse gut microbiome. Highly recommend! 🙂

    • Kimberly

      Adding “Brainmaker” to my booklist – thank you!!

  12. Samantha

    Can you recommend any books that aid in digestion? Thanks so much for the suggestions I’m going to order Quench!

  13. Laura Leigh

    LOVE this! Thank you so much for sharing this with us. Definitely want to read ALL of these!

    xo Laura Leigh

  14. Haley

    One to consider reading that I found super informative while preparing for pregnancy is “Real Food for Pregnancy” by Lily Nichols, RD!

  15. Danette

    Thank you for posting such an educational interesting blog post! I can’t wait to read these. I just finished the better baby book and while yes a little intense and maybe unrealistic if your going to try and incorporate every single thing I think it’s still highly informative!

  16. Haley

    You have GOT to read Genius Foods or The Genius Life by Max Lugavere. Highly recommend!! Changed my life and very well written/ easy to read!

  17. Caro

    Thank you for the great book recommendations!! Your book reviews are my favorite posts!

    Somewhat related is Expecting Better by Emily Oster. She is an « economist who disproves standard recommendations about pregnancy to empower women ». I loved reading that book when I was trying to conceived/early pregnancy. 🙂

  18. Kelly

    Omnivores Dilemma was a fantastic book and it’s all about how much effort goes into producing a single meal and the shortcuts that are now taken!

  19. I have heard sooo many good things about “How Not To Die” – think I will definitely go and give it a try! “Quench” also sounds very interesting, very much suited for a secret nerd like me, haha 🙂
    xx Janine

  20. Kimberly

    LOVE THIS!!! These are on my booklist 🙂 I am all about educating yourself and the number of well-researched books and resources out there has never been better! And Caitlin, good for you for planning ahead!! I’m a student family nurse practitioner and IBCLC and a huge passion is helping women think ahead for life’s excitements and demands, such as preparing for pregnancy and also breastfeeding. We are holy, fertile nurturers for life – whether through pregnancy, parenting of all kinds, or within our communities, and I think there’s no better way to recognize that power in ourselves as women than to nurture ourselves from the outset.