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Wellness Reading List

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Stack of books

Books transport, teach, and tell. In this age when folks read headlines and snippets, books offer depth and detail. Life’s journey takes you many different places but wherever you go, there is a book to lift you up, make you laugh, or teach you valuable information. Over the course of the last ten years as I migrated from the psychology world to community health, several books enlightened me personally and professionally. Speaking to different parts of my life, these books transformed my health and home. My cabinets are tidier, refrigerator healthier, and days fuller. Relationships changed. Walking and working out with friends and hubby is a priority.   Surrounding myself with positive people a must. 

These are my top wellness reads to date. It is not an exaggeration to write, these books changed my life. 

Salt, Sugar, Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us by Michael Moss

In Salt, Sugar, Fat, Pulitzer Prize–winning investigative reporter Michael Moss shows how we ended up ingesting absurd amounts of sugar, fat, and salt on a daily basis.  With real examples from boardrooms, labs, and whistleblowers of huge companies such as Kraft, Coca-Cola, Frito-Lay, and Nestlé, Moss uncovers the intentional engineering and marketing of food. 

His narrative explains how we’ve gone from apples to engineered foods such as Apple Jacks cereal.

This book startled me. It changed what I purchase for my family.  This easy to read book is a page-turner.

The Blue Zones Solution: Eating and Living like the World’s Healthiest People by Dan Buettner

National Geographic fellow Dan Buettner spent a decade researching places in the world where folks regularly live to a ripe, old age with little to no chronic disease. These areas are known as Blue Zones. What he discovered was not so much an exact diet but a generally plant-slanted diet in conjunction with a lifestyle that promoted movement, community, and relaxation. He and his team eventually took this model and started applying it to U.S. cities. This book offers great lifestyle recommendations, checklists, and stories to help you create your own Blue Zone. It includes a list of 50 superfoods and dozens of recipes. A fun read with some easy to implement ideas for optimal health.

Don’t want to read the book? Check out the website www.bluezones.com

Either Slim by Design – Mindless Eating Solutions by Brian Wansink, Ph.D.

This book by Cornell University professor, Brian Wansink is fascinating. His groundbreaking work at the Cornell Food and Brand lab reveals how innovative and inexpensive design changes in home kitchens, restaurants, grocery stores, schools, and workplaces can make a difference in what you eat and how much you eat. The book is packed with helpful information such as how to arrange foods in your refrigerator, what size plates to buy, and more. Wansink offers checklists, assessments, and illustrations for how to rearrange your kitchen, where to sit in a restaurant, or what to offer in your workplace breakroom. Written in everyday, entertaining language, Wansink offers practical solutions for changing your everyday environment to make you “slim by design.” 

No time to read the book, check out www.slimbydesign.com

The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

In general, I am a little leery of all housekeeping advice but this book is different. The basic gist is pick up everything you own, ask yourself, “does this spark joy?” and if not, get rid of it. But it is more than that, the book tackles our notions of nostalgia, urges us to take care of our belongings, and offers practical suggestions for undertaking serious purges in the home. Kondo argues our lives will be more blissful if things are in order, easy to find, and bring joy. Science backs up her assertions. This book literally changed my perspective on belongings. I dove into closets and cupboards and discovered I was hanging onto items I never used, let alone enjoyed. Her suggestions allowed me to thank items for their service and let them go! Short and written in a straightforward practical manner, this book will de-clutter your home and mind!

How to Make Disease Disappear by Dr. Rangan Chatterjee

Similar to his predecessors Dr. Katz and Dr. Weil, Dr. Chatterjee believes medicine should be about preventing disease not simply treating the symptoms once a patient is ill. Chatterjee notes that half of all Americans suffer from a chronic disease, with one in four people suffering from two or more. He writes diseases are not an inevitable result of aging but often due to our lifestyles.  Drawing on relevant, current research, Chatterjee’s 2018 book suggests a life free from disease revolves around four pillars: relaxation, food, sleep, and movement. The book occasionally treads deep into biochemistry land but overall, is a relaxed, fun read.  His suggestions are practical and easy to incorporate. Even if you only make a few of his suggestions habit, your life will improve. 

Short on time, visit his website at https://drchatterjee.com.

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Mary Sue Dehn

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