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