Recommended Reading

ROAR: How to Match Your Food and Fitness to Your Female Physiology for Optimum Performance, Great Health, and a Strong, Lean Body for Life    Stacy T. Sims, PhD

               Summary:  Women are not small men. Stop eating and training like one. Because most nutrition products and training plans are designed for men, it’s no wonder that so many female athletes struggle to reach their full potential. ROAR is a comprehensive, physiology-based nutrition and training guide specifically designed for active women. This book teaches you everything you need to know to adapt your nutrition, hydration, and training to your unique physiology so you can work with, rather than against, your female physiology. Exercise physiologist and nutrition scientist Stacy T. Sims, PhD, shows you how to be your own biohacker to achieve optimum athletic performance.

Complete with goal-specific meal plans and nutrient-packed recipes to optimize body composition, ROAR contains personalized nutrition advice for all stages of training and recovery. Customizable meal plans and strengthening exercises come together in a comprehensive plan to build a rock-solid fitness foundation as you build lean muscle where you need it most, strengthen bone, and boost power and endurance. Because women’s physiology changes over time, entire chapters are devoted to staying strong and active through pregnancy and menopause. No matter what your sport is—running, cycling, field sports, triathlons—this book will empower you with the nutrition and fitness knowledge you need to be in the healthiest, fittest, strongest shape of your life.

Takeaway:  I was impressed by the range of topics covered by ROAR, including the advantages that women’s bodies do have against men, gut health, how sports foods and drinks are probably not right for you and can cause problems, that women need protein and synthesize it differently than men due to estrogen, that changes in your body and menstrual cycle affect your performance and it’s normal, and goes on to explain how training and eating can improve performance. I like that she reinforces the fact that real food is better nourishment than processed sports foods, in most cases. (It also just shows how much we are influenced by these marketed commercial foods and drinks.) She explains the science-y details behind it all, which I like. Although the drawback is that the book seems a bit repetitive. I would have liked to read more about menopause, because these are the women I support. It’s interesting to note that she states that as women lose estrogen, they become more insulin resistant, which causes an increase in fat storage. Other hormonal changes (DHEA reduction) cause sensitivity to glucose, again causing an increase in the storage of fat. So, the complaints I hear about women changing nothing, but passing age barriers and gaining weight around the middle has everything to do with the changes happening in your body. But my biggest takeaway here is (facts reinforced) that women lose 3% lean muscle mass each decade after the age of 30, and the solution is to add strength training to your routine and eat more protein. I think women – athletes or not – will gain valuable information that can be applied to their unique situation.

Devoured: From Chicken Wings to Kale Smoothies – How What We Eat Defines Who We Are            Sophie Egan

Summary:  A provocative look at how and what Americans eat and why—a flavorful blend of The Omnivore’s Dilemma, Salt Sugar Fat, and Freakonomics that reveals how the way we live shapes the way we eat.

Food writer and Culinary Institute of America program director Sophie Egan takes readers on an eye-opening journey through the American food psyche, examining the connections between the values that define our national character—work, freedom, and progress—and our eating habits, the good and the bad.

Egan explores why these values make for such an unstable, and often unhealthy, food culture and, paradoxically, why they also make America’s cuisine so great.

Egan raises a host of intriguing questions: Why does McDonald’s have 107 items on its menu? Why are breakfast sandwiches, protein bars, and gluten-free anything so popular? Will bland, soulless meal replacements like Soylent revolutionize our definition of a meal? The search for answers takes her across the culinary landscape, from the prioritization of convenience over health to the unintended consequences of “perks” like free meals for employees; from the American obsession with “having it our way” to the surge of Starbucks, Chipotle, and other chains individualizing the eating experience; from high culture—artisan and organic and what exactly “natural” means—to low culture—the sale of 100 million Taco Bell Doritos Locos Tacos in ten weeks. She also looks at how America’s cuisine—like the nation itself—has been shaped by diverse influences from across the globe.

Devoured weaves together insights from the fields of psychology, anthropology, food science, and behavioral economics as well as myriad examples from daily life to create a powerful and unique look at food in America.

Takeaway:  It’s really good to understand how our food culture (the food industry especially) is influencing what we eat. It’s fun to learn a bit about the how and why we eat, about immigration and food history and that we truly do eat from a melting pot.  There are lots of facts laid out for you to ponder. It’s kind of an evolution of American in terms of food. It gives you something to think about.

The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer from the People Who’ve Lived the Longest                       Dan Buettner

Summary:  With the right lifestyle, experts say, chances are that you may live up to a decade longer. What’s the prescription for success? National Geographic Explorer Dan Buettner has traveled the globe to uncover the best strategies for longevity found in the Blue Zones: places in the world where higher percentages of people enjoy remarkably long, full lives. And in this dynamic book he discloses the recipe, blending this unique lifestyle formula with the latest scientific findings to inspire easy, lasting change that may add years to your life.

Buettner’s colossal research effort, funded in part by the National Institute on Aging, has taken him from Costa Rica to Italy to Japan and beyond. In the societies he visits, it’s no coincidence that the way people interact with each other, shed stress, nourish their bodies, and view their world yields more good years of life. You’ll meet a 94-year-old farmer and self-confessed “ladies’ man” in Costa Rica, a 102-year-old grandmother in Okinawa, a 102-year-old Sardinian who hikes at least six miles a day, and others. By observing their lifestyles, Buettner’s teams have identified critical everyday choices that correspond with the cutting edge of longevity research—and distilled them into a few simple but powerful habits that anyone can embrace.

Takeaway:  You will learn some of the history of these specific areas of the globe and their inhabitants, get to know some of the centenarians, learn the simple ways they live their lives. The author then summarizes what he’s learned into key areas that can help us live our lives to the fullest.

  • Move Naturally – Everyone studied for the book was extremely active. They walked miles a day, gardened, etc. His point is no one has to run marathons or become powerlifter, you just need to move often.
    • Hara Hachi Bu – A phrase said by the Okinawans before every meal reminding them to eat until they feel 80% full.

Calorie restriction has been shown to be very important in longevity.
• Plant Slant – With the exception of the Adventist in Loma Linda, no one was a vegetarian. However, they all ate meet rarely, anything from once a week to only a few times a year.
• Grapes of Life – Wine. It plays a big role for the Sardinians and the Okinawans drink Sake, but the others consumed no alcohol. Either way, studies have shown a drink or two a day, especially of wine is beneficial to your health.
• Purpose Now – Having a sense of purpose, or a reason to get up in the morning, something that drives you.
• Down Shift – taking time to relax, meditate or slow down and enjoy life.
• Belong –To a community, but a part of something bigger than yourself. Religious communities, regardless of which one, have been shown to help people live longer.
• Loved Ones First – Relatedly, take time to cultivate relationships and spend time with friends and family. Prioritizing social life is something we really fail at in America.
• Right Tribe – People who share common goals and healthy lifestyle. Many studies have shown that who you hang out with has a huge impact on your lifestyle. Have an obese friend increases your chances of becoming overweight. Seek people who have the same above traits in mind.

Adopting as much of the Blue Zone lifestyle as you can will not only help you to live longer, but the time you do spend will be better and healthier.

Body Kindness: Transform Your Health from the Inside Out–and Never Say Diet Again              Rebecca Scritchfield, RDN

               Summary:  Imagine a graph with two lines. One indicates happiness, the other tracks how you feel about your body. If you’re like millions of people, the lines do not intersect. But what if they did?

This practical, inspirational, and visually lively book shows you how to create a healthier and happier life by treating yourself with compassion rather than shame. It shows the way to a sense of well-being attained by understanding how to love, connect, and care for yourself—and that includes your mind as well as your body.

Body Kindness is based on four principles.
WHAT YOU DO: the choices you make about food, exercise, sleep, and more
HOW YOU FEEL: befriending your emotions and standing up to the unhelpful voice in your head
WHO YOU ARE: goal-setting based on your personal values
WHERE YOU BELONG: body-loving support from people and communities that help you create a meaningful life

With mind and body exercises to keep your energy spiraling up and prompts to help you identify what YOU really want and care about, Body Kindness helps you let go of things you can’t control and embrace the things you can by finding the workable, daily steps that fit you best. Think of it as the anti-diet book that leads to a more joyful and meaningful life!

Takeaway:  I think this is a nice book to round out the more textbook-y Intuitive Eating and Health At Every Size. It has great tips for moving away from diet culture, practicing self-care and being kind to the body you have now, as well as how to cultivate more happiness into your life.

Girl, Wash Your Face: Stop Believing the Lies About Who You Are so You Can Become Who You Were Meant to Be                       Rachel Hollis

Summary:  As the founder of the lifestyle website and CEO of her own media company, Rachel Hollis developed an immense online community by sharing tips for better living while fearlessly revealing the messiness of her own life. Now, in this challenging and inspiring new book, Rachel exposes the twenty lies and misconceptions that too often hold us back from living joyfully and productively, lies we’ve told ourselves so often we don’t even hear them anymore.

With painful honesty and fearless humor, Rachel unpacks and examines the falsehoods that once left her feeling overwhelmed and unworthy, and reveals the specific practical strategies that helped her move past them. In the process, she encourages, entertains, and even kicks a little butt, all to convince you to do whatever it takes to get real and become the joyous, confident woman you were meant to be.

With unflinching faith and rock-hard tenacity, Girl, Wash Your Face shows you how to live with passion and hustle–and how to give yourself grace without giving up.

Takeaway:  Overall good reminders for lifestyle changes that can improve your life. Rachel’s story is told in a girlfriend to girlfriend chit chatty style, so it’s very relatable.

Health at Every Size:  The Surprising Truth About Your Weight  Linda Bacon, PhD

Summary:  Fat isn’t the problem. Dieting is the problem. A society that rejects anyone whose body shape or size doesn’t match an impossible ideal is the problem. A medical establishment that equates “thin” with “healthy” is the problem.  The solution:  Health at Every Size.

Tune in to your body’s expert guidance. Find the joy in movement. Eat what you want, when you want, choosing pleasurable foods that help you to feel good. You too can feel great in your body right now—and Health at Every Size will show you how.

Health at Every Size has been scientifically proven to boost health and self-esteem. The program was evaluated in a government-funded academic study, its data published in well-respected scientific journals.

Updated with the latest scientific research and even more powerful messages, Health at Every Size is not a diet book, and after reading it, you will be convinced the best way to win the war against fat is to give up the fight.

Takeaway:  Once again, this book demonstrates that living in diet culture creates stress in our lives. It’s amazing what we believe about our weight, or rather what we’ve been led to believe about our weight. Health At Every Size gives examples of myths around weight and weight loss. If you are tired of diets – of restricting food and then binging, tired of feeling like a failure – because you’ve been told that you are in control when on a diet, tired of being scared of food – because it’s either bad or good, then it’s time to read and learn about Health At Every Size. You can learn to trust yourself, listen to your body and really be in control of your life, the food you eat and the movement you choose to do.

Intuitive Eating: A Revolutionary Program That Works  Evelyn Tribole M.S. R.D., Elyse Resch M.S. R.D. F.A.D.A.

Summary:  First published in 1995, Intuitive Eating has become the go-to book on rebuilding a healthy body image and making peace with food. We’ve all been there―angry with ourselves for overeating, for our lack of willpower, for failing at yet another diet. But the problem is not us; it’s that dieting, with its emphasis on rules and regulations, has stopped us from listening to our bodies. Written by two prominent nutritionists, Intuitive Eating will teach you:

  • How to reject diet mentality forever
  • How our three Eating Personalities define our eating difficulties
  • How to find satisfaction in your eating
  • How to feel your feelings without using food
  • How to honor hunger and feel fullness
  • How to follow the ten principles of “Intuitive Eating”,
  • How to achieve a new and safe relationship with food and, ultimately, your body
  • How to raise an “intuitive eater”
  • The incredible science behind intuitive eating

Takeaway:  Removing yourself from diet culture is tough, but this book helps teach you the steps to get to where you take care of your body and mind. Improve your life by focusing on living and not on stressing over your body and your current diet. There are a few key principles to the intuitive eating process:

* Unconditional permission to eat when hungry and what food is desired
* Eating for physical rather than emotional reasons
* Reliance on internal hunger and satiety cues to determine when and how much to eat

Eating in the Light of the Moon: How Women Can Transform Their Relationship with Food Through Myths, Metaphors, and Storytelling             Anita A. Johnston PhD.

Summary:  By weaving practical insights and exercises through a rich tapestry of multicultural myths, ancient legends, and folktales, Anita Johnston helps the millions of women preoccupied with their weight discover and address the issues behind their negative attitudes toward food.

“Storytellers speak in the language of myth and metaphor,” Johnston explains. “They tell us a truth that is not literal, but symbolic. If we hear the stories with only the outer ear, they can seem absurd and untrue, but when listened to with the inner ear, they convey a truth that can be understood and absorbed on a deeply personal level. In this way, stories help us connect with our inner world, to the natural rhythms and cycles of the earth, and to the power of our intuitive wisdom.”

Takeaway:  I love this entertaining way to explore disordered eating, the reasons behind disordered eating and the relationship women have with their bodies. We can all learn something about how we may have lost touch with our bodies and have become disconnected from our inner feminine and our hunger, and how to increase our self-awareness. It guides us through insights and practical exercises, toward empowerment, explaining how to regain the power of intuition and get in touch with feelings, instead of stuffing them down or numbing them away. Whether you are in recovery for an eating disorder or not, it is truly a book about the beauty of women and our inner strength.

I’ll Push You: A Journey of 500 Miles, Two Best Friends, and One Wheelchair         Patrick Gray and Jason Skeesuck

Summary:  Friendship takes on new meaning in this true story of Justin and Patrick, born less than two days apart in the same hospital. Best friends their whole lives, they grew up together, went to school together, and were best man in each other’s weddings. When Justin was diagnosed with a neuromuscular disease that robbed him of the use of his arms and legs, Patrick was there, helping to feed and care for him in ways he’d never imagined. Determined to live life to the fullest, the friends refused to give into despair or let physical limitations control what was possible for Justin.

So when Justin heard about the Camino de Santiago, a 500-mile trek through Spain, he wondered aloud to Patrick whether the two of them could ever do it. Patrick’s immediate response was: “I’ll push you.”

I’ll Push You is the real-life story of this incredible journey. A travel adventure full of love, humor, and spiritual truth, it exemplifies what every friendship is meant to be and shows what it means to never find yourself alone. You’ll discover how love and faith can push past all limits―and make us the best versions of ourselves.

Takeaway:  A story of strength – physical, mental, spiritual, but the highlight for me is the strength of relationships and the importance of holding space for those in our lives. We are so much stronger together than we are by ourselves. Learning to open ourselves up to those relationships allows us to let go of the need to control and let others into our lives to help; it allows others joy that contributing creates and therefore gives us joy in return. These experiences and relationships create a much richer life.               

Stop Saying You’re Fine: The No-BS Guide to Getting What You Want      Mel Robbins

Summary:  This hands-on guide from Mel Robbins, one of America’s top relationship experts and radio/tv personalities, addresses why over 100 million Americans secretly feel frustrated and bored with their lives and reveals what you can do about it.

Mel Robbins has spent her career teaching people how to push past their self-imposed limits to get what they truly desire. She has an in-depth understanding of the psychological and social factors that repeatedly hold you back, and more important, a unique set of tools for getting you where you want to be. In Stop Saying You’re Fine, she draws on neuroscientific research, interviews with countless everyday people, and ideas she’s tested in her own life to show what works and what doesn’t. The key, she explains, is understanding how your own brain works against you. Because evolution has biased your mental gears against taking action, what you need are techniques to outsmart yourself.

That may sound impossible, but Mel has created a remarkably effective method to help you do just that–and some of her discoveries will astonish you. By ignoring how you feel and seizing small moments of rich possibility–a process she calls “leaning in”–you can make tiny course directions add up to huge change. Among this book’s other topics: how everything can depend on not hitting the “snooze” button; the science of connecting with other people, what children can teach us about getting things done; and why five seconds is the maximum time you should wait before acting on a great idea.

Blending warmth, humor and unflinching honesty with up-to-the-minute science and hard-earned wisdom, Stop Saying You’re Fine moves beyond the platitudes and easy fixes offered in many self-help books. Mel’s insights will actually help vault you to a better life, ensuring that the next time someone asks how you’re doing, you can truthfully answer, “Absolutely great.”

Takeaway:  Learning that you stand in your own way to accomplishing what you want to accomplish is mind boggling. But how many times have you considered a change, then spent time over-thinking it, decided it would be too much and finally decided that the status quo was easier. Even though it isn’t what you really want and it doesn’t inspire you or excite you? Change is scary. But you can learn how to live a more fulfilling life by making progress toward and reaching your goals. You may also find interesting opportunities along the way.

Your Body’s Many Cries for Water: A Revolutionary Natural Way to Prevent Illness and Restore Good Health             Dr. F. Batmanghelidj

Summary:  In his best-known work Dr. B outlines the breakthrough medical discovery, that if we drank more water daily degenerative diseases such as asthma, diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease, bulimia, Alzheimer’s disease and many other afflictions could be prevented and sometimes cured. This book explains a new discovery that lack of water in the body-chronic dehydration-is the root cause of many painful degenerative diseases, asthma, allergies, hypertension, excess body weight, and some emotional problems, including depression. The book explains the damaging effects of dehydration in the fourth dimension of time.

You will learn how to use water to:

  • Prevent and reverse premature aging
  • Eliminate pains, including heartburn, back pain, arthritis, colitis pain, anginal pain, and migraine headaches
  • Cure asthma in a few days, naturally and forever
  • Cure hypertension without diuretics or other medication
  • Lose weight effortlessly and naturally, without strict dieting

Takeaway:  The majority of the population spends each day dehydrated. This book explains the science behind how your body uses water and how it compensates when there isn’t enough water. This dehydration impacts our bodies in different ways, and long term dehydration can turn into disease. It seems so simple to just add water to improve your overall wellbeing and health!

Happier: Learn the Secrets to Daily Joy and Lasting Fulfillment       Tal Ben-Shahar

Summary:  Can You Learn to Be Happy? YES . . . according to the teacher of Harvard University’s most popular and life-changing course. One out of every five Harvard students has lined up to hear Tal Ben-Shahar’s insightful and inspiring lectures on that ever-elusive state: HAPPINESS.

HOW? Grounded in the revolutionary “positive psychology” movement, Ben-Shahar ingeniously combines scientific studies, scholarly research, self-help advice, and spiritual enlightenment. He weaves them together into a set of principles that you can apply to your daily life. Once you open your heart and mind to Happier ’s thoughts, you will feel more fulfilled, more connected . . . and, yes, HAPPIER.

If you’re a “rat racer,” who lives in the hope of being happy in the future, and yet is unable to enjoy the here-and-now . . .

If you’re a “hedonist,” who finds some pleasure in the good things in life–good wine, good food, good company–and yet is unable to enjoy lasting fulfillment . . .

If you’re a “nihilist,” who’s completely given up on finding happiness . . .you can learn to be happier!

Thousands of Harvard University students have discovered that you can become happier. They learned the secret to lasting fulfillment from acclaimed teacher Tal Ben-Shahar’s class on positive psychology–a branch of psychology that combines the latest scientific research with good old common sense. Now you can join his class and learn how positive psychology can make you happier right now–no lottery windfall, job promotion, or new love required.

Think of Happier as your own personal workbook. As you read each chapter’s illuminating discussion on happiness and incorporate its simple exercises into your daily routine, you will see every aspect of your life with new eyes and a new sense of purpose.

When you learn how to live for today and for tomorrow at the same time, you learn how to balance your immediate personal needs with long-term goals and enjoy life as you never have before.

Takeaway:  These same principles apply to our health and wellness. We can learn to balance pleasure in food and fitness today, knowing that we are also building for our future well-being.

The Dorito Effect: The Surprising New Truth About Food and Flavor          Mark Schatzker

Summary:  A lively and important argument from an award-winning journalist proving that the key to reversing America’s health crisis lies in the overlooked link between nutrition and flavor.

In The Dorito Effect, Mark Schatzker shows us how our approach to the nation’s number one public health crisis has gotten it wrong. The epidemics of obesity, heart disease, and diabetes are not tied to the overabundance of fat or carbs or any other specific nutrient. Instead, we have been led astray by the growing divide between flavor—the tastes we crave—and the underlying nutrition.

Since the late 1940s, we have been slowly leeching flavor out of the food we grow. Those perfectly round, red tomatoes that grace our supermarket aisles today are mostly water, and the big breasted chickens on our dinner plates grow three times faster than they used to, leaving them dry and tasteless. Simultaneously, we have taken great leaps forward in technology, allowing us to produce in the lab the very flavors that are being lost on the farm. Thanks to this largely invisible epidemic, seemingly healthy food is becoming more like junk food: highly craveable but nutritionally empty. We have unknowingly interfered with an ancient chemical language—flavor—that evolved to guide our nutrition, not destroy it.

With in-depth historical and scientific research, The Dorito Effect casts the food crisis in a fascinating new light, weaving an enthralling tale of how we got to this point and where we are headed. We’ve been telling ourselves that our addiction to flavor is the problem, but it is actually the solution. We are on the cusp of a new revolution in agriculture that will allow us to eat healthier and live longer by enjoying flavor the way nature intended.

Takeaway:    Explores how nutrition is related to flavor -> the flavor of real food. The evolution of food has led us to bland, which has led to chemically flavored food. More real food flavor = more nutrition.

Mindless Eating:  Why We Eat More Than We Think            Brian Wansink, Ph.D.

Summary:  This book will literally change the way you think about your next meal. Food psychologist Brian Wansink revolutionizes our awareness of how much, what, and why we’re eating—often without realizing it. His findings will astound you.

• Can the size of your plate really influence your appetite?
• Why do you eat more when you dine with friends?
• What “hidden persuaders” are used by restaurants and supermarkets to get us to  overeat?
• How does music or the color of the room influence how much—and how fast—we eat?
• How can we “mindlessly” lose—instead of gain—up to twenty pounds in the coming year?

Starting today, you can make more mindful, enjoyable, and healthy choices at the dinner table, in the supermarket, at the office—wherever you satisfy your appetite.

Takeaway:  Eliminate 100-200 calories a day (mindless margin) by simply knowing what our environment is telling us about eating:  container size, placement – desk, restaurant, parties, snacks, meals, labels, distractions.  Use food tradeoffs, food policies to reengineer.  Power of three-doable changes to make a habit using checklists.

The FastDiet:  Lose Weight, Stay Healthy, and Live Longer with the Simple Secret of Intermittent Fasting            Dr. Michael Mosley and Mimi Spencer

Summary:  Is it possible to eat normally, five days a week, and become slimmer and healthier as a result? 
Simple answer: yes. You just limit your calorie intake for two nonconsecutive days each week—500 calories for women, 600 for men. You’ll lose weight quickly and effortlessly with the FastDiet.

Scientific trials of intermittent fasters have shown that it will not only help the pounds fly off, but also reduce your risk of a range of diseases from diabetes to cardiovascular disease and even cancer. “The scientific evidence is strong that intermittent fasting can improve health,” says Dr. Mark Mattson, Chief of the Laboratory of Neurosciences, National Institute on Aging, and Professor of Neuroscience, Johns Hopkins University.

This book brings together the results of new, groundbreaking research to create a dietary program that can be incorporated into your busy daily life.

Far from being just another fad, the FastDiet is a radical new way of thinking about food, a lifestyle choice that could transform your health. This is your indispensable guide to simple and effective weight loss, without fuss or the need to endlessly deprive yourself.

Takeaway:  While I don’t support dieting or restricting, it is interesting to note that science has shown the health benefits of fasting – improved blood sugar levels, lowered cholesterol, anti-aging effects in the brain, lowered insulin-like growth factor hormone.  By emptying your “tank” twice a week, you are allowing your body to go into repair mode rather than constant growth mode (a high level of IGF-1 is a risk factor for cancer) and to use fat stores for fuel which helps to eliminate visceral fat in the abdominal area (which is a risk factor for diabetes).

Wheat Belly:  Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back to Health       William Davis, MD

Summary:  Every day, over 200 million Americans consume food products made of wheat. As a result, over 100 million of them experience some form of adverse health effect, ranging from minor rashes and high blood sugar to the unattractive stomach bulges that preventive cardiologist William Davis calls “wheat bellies.” According to Davis, that excess fat has nothing to do with gluttony, sloth, or too much butter: It’s due to the whole grain wraps we eat for lunch.

After witnessing over 2,000 patients regain their health after giving up wheat, Davis reached the
disturbing conclusion that wheat is the single largest contributor to the nationwide obesity epidemic—and its elimination is key to dramatic weight loss and optimal health. In Wheat Belly, Davis exposes the harmful effects of what is actually a product of genetic tinkering and agribusiness being sold to the American public as “wheat”—and provides readers with a user-friendly, step-by-step plan to navigate a new, wheat-free lifestyle.

Informed by cutting-edge science and nutrition, along with case studies from men and women who
have experienced life-changing transformations in their health after waving goodbye to wheat, Wheat
 is an illuminating look at what is truly making Americans sick and an action plan to clear our plates of this seemingly benign ingredient.

Takeaway:  It seems our American diet has shift to a diet heavy on grains and processed food, which can cause a myriad of health problems. There are lots of science-y explanations (which I appreciate, but you may not) about how the body manages wheat and the effects on the body. I think it’s important to recognize that elimination of the consumption of wheat may improve how you feel. Removing wheat from the diet may not be for everyone. But perhaps a reduction in the amount of wheat products consumed would have a profound effect on health and weight.

Eat to Live: The Amazing Nutrient-Rich Program for Fast and Sustained Weight Loss      Joel Fuhrman, MD

Summary: Hailed a “medical breakthrough” by Dr. Mehmet Oz, EAT TO LIVE offers a highly effective, scientifically proven way to lose weight quickly. The key to Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s revolutionary six-week plan is simple: health = nutrients / calories. When the ratio of nutrients to calories in the food you eat is high, you lose weight. The more nutrient-dense food you eat, the less you crave fat, sweets, and high-caloric foods.

The Eat To Live 2011 revised edition includes updated scientific research supporting Dr. Fuhrman’s revolutionary six-week plan and a brand new chapter highlighting Dr. Fuhrman’s discovery of toxic hunger and the role of food addiction in weight issues.  This new chapter provides novel and important insights into weight gain. It explains how and why eating the wrong foods causes toxic hunger and the desire to over consume calories; whereas a diet of high micronutrient quality causes true hunger which decreases the sensations leading to food cravings and overeating behaviors.  It instructs readers on how to leave behind the discomfort of toxic hunger, cravings, and addictions to unhealthy foods.

This is a book that will let you live longer, reduce your need for medications, and improve your health dramatically. It is a book that will change the way you want to eat. Most importantly, if you follow the Eat To Live™ diet, you will lose weight faster than you ever thought possible.

Takeaway:  This book teaches you how to move away from the Americanized diet of low fiber, low nutrient, over sugared and salted foods. When you learn to fill your body with plant foods rich in nutrients, your eating habits change and your health improves. This reinforces the fact that many of us need to eliminate processed foods from our diet and increase our intake of fruits and vegetables. Fresh fruits and vegetables are the key to health. Here is a tip from the book:  To help you remember the importance of raw vegetables, put a big sign on your refrigerator that says, “The Salad is the Main Dish.”

Fight Fat After Forty: The Revolutionary Three-Pronged Approach That Will Break Your Stress-Fat Cycle and Make You Healthy, Fit, and Trim for Life           Pamela Peeke, MD, MPH

It’s a fact: stress makes you fat. Renowned clinician and scientist Dr. Pamela Peeke goes beyond diet and exercise with a lifestyle program that shows women how to stop being diet “POWs” (“Prisoners Of Weight”) or victims of “Toxic Stress” and how to evolve into physically and mentally stress-resilient individuals. Peeke helps women identify their stress-eating profiles (Are you a stress-overeater? A stress-undereater?) and explains that to remove weight, you have to lift weight. She explains what to eat and, equally as important, when to eat by navigating the afternoon “CortiZone,” the hours of highest vulnerability to stress eating. Learn how to put it all together through the fine art of regrouping.

Women can tailor this accessible program to their individual needs using Peeke’s three behavior templates:
* Stress-resilient nutrition
* Stress-resilient physical activity
* Stress-resilient regrouping

Dr. Peeke’s program is a must for women who want to break the stress-fat cycle that has thickened their after-forty waistlines.

Takeaway:  Women’s hormones change around the age of forty, requiring that we step back, assess ourselves and adjust our lifestyle to cope with the changes. Stress creates an environment of distress for your body and creates a hectic reactive mode to live in. By recognizing what stress does to you and your reaction, you can create a plan to manage it. You can live with stress – and all the bumps in life’s road that tend to throw you off-track, and prevent weight gain by incorporating a plan for healthy eating and both aerobic and strength training exercise into your life. The key is to have an everyday plan and a backup plan! Dr. Peeke gives insight into these areas and how you can do this.

Love Your Body, Love Your Life: 5 Steps to End Negative Body Obsession and Start Living Happily and Confidently      Sarah Maria

Eating disorders. Steroids. Plastic Surgery.
We’ll do anything to look better—and yet we still feel bad about how we look. Self-loathing has reached epidemic proportions. But there is a way to end self-destructive thoughts and behavior. In this book, noted body-image expert Sarah Maria presents her proven five-step plan anyone can use to overcome negative body obsession (NBO). She helps you:
• Commit to change
• Identify and detach from negative thoughts
• Discover who you really are
• Befriend your body
• Find your purpose
• Love your body, love your life
Complete with exercises, case studies, and testimonials, you can learn how to stop obsessing over food and your body and achieve permanent peace with both. You’ll banish NBO forever, and feel healthy, radiant, beautiful, and desirable—every day!

Takeaway: Negative body obsession can affect all parts of your life, including self-worth, confidence, relationships with people and food, and emotional and physical stability. Teach yourself to see and value the beauty you are today. Learn how negative body obsession came to be, how to recognize it, how to manage it, how not to let it run your life by moving beyond it. There are valuable lessons and exercises to help you.

Superfood Super You     Dr. Josh Axe

The statistics are stunning! 34% of Americans are obese and 32% are overweight. 32% of kids are overweight…. And 16% of American children are already obese! We don’t just need to lose weight to look good in a swimsuit, we need to lose weight to live and fulfill our God-given missions. Research shows that obesity doubles your risk of heart failure and triples the risk of breast cancer in women! By eating the right Superfoods, you won’t just lose the weight, but you’ll be changing your life, your legacy, and changing your world. Download Dr. Axe’s Superfood Super You and discover the nutrients that have been scientifically proven to help your body burn fat and lose weight.

Takeaway:  A short e-book available at A suggested list of foods to add to your real food intake with an understanding of why you should be eating them.