So the Christmas season is in full swing and I'm loving every minute of it! Something about this time of year that makes me reflect on the last year. From highs to lows and everything in between. This season always reminds me of what's most important and how truly grateful I am for my health. I truly believe one of the best gifts you can give your family and friends is the gift of health. Think about it, you could have all the money in the world but if you don't have your health, what does it matter? You can't enjoy any of it.
This season I want to encourage you to give the gift of knowledge. I love the verse in the Bible that says, “My people perish for lack of knowledge.” It really is true. I believe most people truly want to do good, but just don't know where to start or what to do. Arming people with knowledge, gives them the power to create change in their lives and generations to come. Just think what would happen if you started to change the way you eat? Trust me when I say people would take notice and everyone would be affected positively. What if you decided to stop using the chemical laden products you currently use and instead started swapping them out for safer, cleaner options?
“My people perish for lack of knowledge.”-Bible
You see it's not just about you, it's so much bigger than that. It's about bringing change to our society as a whole. This is what I dream about! Change doesn't happen overnight though, it happens with one person standing up for something better. Change starts with you.
I'm sure you've heard the phrase, “Readers are leaders.” As corny as it may sound, I fully believe this is true. Why can't we be the ones leading our families and communities towards a better future? One of the easiest ways to do this is by giving a book to read. Sometimes it's hard to share with friends or family about health, but giving a book to someone isn't. It's the easiest way to not say anything, while actually saying a lot. Have a book say it for you! As I've said knowledge is power, and all people need sometimes is just a little spark to set a fire ablaze within them.
“Readers are leaders.”
I wanted to compile a list of books that I've read that have helped me throughout my health journey. I also had Dr. Matt share some of his top picks too. I have some cookbooks I really like, some green beauty books and some health books in general. Buy them as a gift, buy them for yourself, whatever you decide I believe reading always makes us better.
Also, a great tip I've picked up to increase my reading capacity is to listen to books on audio. Especially as a mom this has been huge. Whether I'm driving in the car, making dinner, cleaning or just nursing my daughter(hello getting real), I just push play. Instead of just letting time pass, I'm investing in myself and learning.
Tips on Audio books:
Get Audible by Amazon– This has changed my life! You pay a monthly membership fee of $14.95 and you get 1 book with that membership free each month. Then after that you get 30% off any other book. Download the app on your phone/Ipad and then you can listen whenever you want. The books stay on your account so you can listen to them again if you want. You can roll over up to 6 credits. I love it!
Rent From Your Local Library- Get a library card if you don't already have one and check out audio books for free(and of course regular print copies)! Even if they don't have the title you might want chances are if you request it they'll get it in for you. No excuses that you can't afford books because it's absolutely free. Take advantage of this!
Split Audio Books with Friends or Family-Audio books tend to be more expensive then just a book, but if you split it 3 or 4 ways it ends up being the same price if not cheaper than a printed book. Everyone benefits but it doesn't break the bank.
My Top Book Picks-
- No More Dirty Looks(Green Beauty)-This book started it all for me as far as switching to green beauty, and I will forever be grateful for the way it completely changed my life! It's full of information on why makeup, skincare, hair products, nail products are all toxic and why. They also give alternatives and ingredients to avoid. A great book for someone starting their journey into green beauty.
- Skin Cleanse(Green Beauty)- This is a great integrative approach to achieving clear skin. It doesn't just address your skin topically but your whole person. It really helps to pin point what may be causing your skin flare ups. She takes on a less is more approach and some DIY recipes in the book.
- The Clear Skin Diet(Green Beauty/Health)- This book completely changed my thinking on skincare. I read it six years ago and I still go back to it time and time again. It is full of so many nuggets. It really sets the stage and shows how our skin is affected by diet and lifestyle. From the hard facts about the correlation to dairy and acne, how we need omega -3 fatty acids to why the Japanese diet is so good for our skin. A must read for anyone who wants to achieve clear skin without reaching for some medication.
- Taking Charge of Your Fertility(Women's Health)- This book has been such a resource for me throughout having my two girls. Before I even got pregnant this book helped me. I recommend any women read this, especially if you're wanting to have children in the future. I've found very few people actually understand their cycle and this lays it all out on reproductive health, pregnancy and natural birth control.
- Beautiful Babies(Women & Baby Health)- I remember reading this book when I was pregnant with my first daughter and it really shook me. It's such a good resource for fertility, pregnancy, breast-feeding and baby's first foods. You will walk away feeling armed to give your body and your baby the best care and nutrients.
- Nourishing Traditions Book of Baby and Child Care(Women & Baby Health)- This book is jam packed with some serious wisdom for the holistic mama. From breastfeeding, vaccines, child development and what nutrients are essential for baby.
- Healing Your Body Naturally After Childbirth(Women's Health)- This book really helped me take care of my body after baby. So often you have a baby and then all your energy goes into caring for the baby and we forget about the mother. The book does a great job of explaining what is happening in the body, why and what to do to help it through each phase. A great resource for any new mom!
- Eat This and Live(Clean Eating)- This book changed my thinking on clean eating. It is perfect for anyone starting their clean eating journey. It lays out what you should eat, why, how to prepare it the best, what nutrients are essential for optimal health and so much more. Plus, it shares why you want to avoid the Standard American Diet. It even has a lot of pictures-making it easier to read for those just starting out on their health journey.
- Dream It Pin It Live It(Dreams & Goals for your Life)- This book really challenged me to look at my life and ask what I want out of it. It made me realize how my dreams are possible and how to see them played out. I recommend this for anyone who is serious about wanting to see positive change in their life and doesn't want to be in the same place next year.
- The Magnolia Story-(Biography)-Call me predictable but I'm pretty sure anyone should read Chip and Johanna's story from the popular HGTV story Fixer Upper. I think sometimes people have the illusion that anyone successful doesn't go through any hardships. Their story proves this theory wrong and how success in life takes dedication and hard work.
- Fed & Fit Cookbook(Clean Eating)- This cookbook has been such a great resource for me in the kitchen. Cassey really lays out not only amazing paleo friendly recipes in the book but also some health principles that are life changing. The food is delicious and her story inspiring.
- Lexi's Clean Kitchen Cookbook(Clean Eating)- This cookbook has quickly become a favorite. If someone you know thinks “healthy” food can't taste good then this is the cookbook for them. Lexi really makes eating clean fun and creates all your standby comfort foods but with a healthy twist. I'm always amazed at the flavors that come out of her recipes.
Dr. Matt's Top Book Picks-
- A Mind of Your Own– The Truth About Depression and How Women Can Heal Their Bodies to Reclaim Their Lives
- The Compound Effect- Jumpstart Your Income, Your Life, Your Success
- Live Love Lead– Your Best is Yet to Come!
- Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain
- Think and Grow Rich– The power of attraction
- The Emperor of All Maladies–A biography of cancer
- Extreme Ownership: How US Navy Seals Lead and Win
- The Vaccine Friendly Plan
- The Hormone Diet: A 3 -STep Program to Help you Lose Weight, Gain Strength, and Live Younger Longer
- Adrenal Fatigue: The 21st Century Stress Syndrome
See any faves here? What are you currently reading and what are some of your favorite books?