The Friday Five: Must Read Health & Wellness Books

Happy Friday!

If you missed the DELICIOUS salad recipe I posted yesterday (and an update on Jaxon’s peanut challenge), go check it out! This is an awesome dish to make for a July 4th BBQ this weekend.

We aren’t doing too much for the 4th. I am teaching on Saturday and Monday morning as per usual …. and we plan to have a small party Monday night with family and possibly a few close friends (I stocked up on rosé already!)

It has been a wacky week …. I have been trying to get back into my groove after our little shore trip, then we had Jaxon’s peanut challenge which kind of drained me emotionally.

Everything is all good, I am grateful to have gotten back on my yoga mat to ground me (I’ve been spending more time in the gym lately) … and plan to get to yoga early this morning, then a meditation class after I drop Ella off at camp.

In honor of the holiday weekend, I thought about doing another recipe roundup for The Friday Five like I did for Memorial Day.


Then I got a little side-tracked, and since I posted that salad yesterday (and that roundup for Memorial Day already), I thought it would be fun to post five of my top favorite wellness books to add to your summer reading list instead!

These are great for the beach!


  1. In Defense of Food

Michael Pollan has played a critical part in my health journey.

I had mentioned before on this blog how I struggled with disordered eating for many years. I was an in-patient at The Renfrew Center in high school, and went on to be an intensive outpatient and had many years of therapy following that.

When I came into the health industry in 2003, I was recovered (in a sense), but still believed in calorie counting and low-fat diets, and ate so many “fake” diet foods.

I remember being scared of real foods because I couldn’t get an accurate calorie count … I ate most things from packages thinking I was being healthier doing so! Anything with a health claim on the front, and a low-fat, low-calorie count on the back had me. It didn’t matter that I couldn’t recognize most of the ingredients. Hell, I even ate Smart Balance margarine (Ick!) How crazy is that?!

I decided to read An Omnivore’s Dilemma in 2007. I had already started to back off the packaging, and leaning towards more of a whole foods diet … but still had healing to do.

Watching Food Inc. and reading Michael Pollan’s books was the ultimate turning point in my mindset … and my healing.

I started really consciously choosing where my food came from, how I looked at packaged food (and trying to eat way less from a package), and it opened up my eyes to food politics and where a lot of the USDA’s recommendations are coming from.

I started to really want to NOURISH my body, as well as take better care of the environment by voting with my dollars when I choose the food that goes on my plate.

If you haven’t read In Defense of Food yet, I would say it is a MUST to add to your home library. It is a quick read, and oh so interesting … and it WILL change the way you look at food!


2. Movement Matters


Katy Bowman is pretty damn brilliant. I listen to her Podcasts and have been wanting to read all of her books (but have not found the time). My friends Kristin and Eileen recommend I start with Alignment Matters and Move Your DNA, but I actually got this one first. I have been taking my time getting through it so I can really digest the information …. and from what I hear, it is the same with her other books as well!

Movement Matters focuses on how healthy living generates a necessary link between personal wellness and the well-being of the whole environment.

Many of the issues we experience today has a lot do do with our lifestyle, how we move, and the connection between movement and eating and lifestyle.

For instance, we used to have to move to eat .. now it is easy to order a pizza from the sofa and mindlessly watch TV.

We are a culture of convenience and Katy offers some thought-provoking work about using convenience as a way to outsource movements, and why it is harming our health.

It is all a matter of perspective!


She does all of this in a very informative, and non-judgmental way. I love her writing, and love listening to her podcasts. She totally rocks and you definitely need to check out her stuff!


3. Untethered Soul

I mentioned this book in my first Friday Five since my re-launch, and thought it (and the next book) was worth talking about again.

Untethered Soul is about spiritual growth, but much of its wisdom is backed up by clinical science.

The goal of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy is to increase psychological flexibility—the ability to contact the present moment more fully as a conscious human being, and to change or persist in behavior when doing so serves valued ends.

Learn to detach yourself from your thoughts, and become more present, more calm, more peaceful by  let go of painful thoughts and memories that keep us from achieving happiness and self-realization in the present.


4. The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck



“The desire for a more positive experience is itself a negative experience.” -Mark Manson

Please read this book if you haven’t already!

I would say it is the most important for overall health and wellness! No lie!

Mark Manson tells it like it is. I just love how he keeps it real, and I am telling you, in the world we live in today where social media is making us miserable (for one), this book helps you to become better at dealing with adversity.

Another perspective shifter!

Let go of the stuff that doesn’t matter to create space for the things that you should really care about!

5. The Unhealthy Truth


I am kind of obsessed with Robyn O’Brien. She is known as the “Erin Brockovich of food” and if you haven’t watched her TED X talk yet …. go do it now!

It is important to keep an eye on Robyn’s work, especially after the recent news demonizing coconut oil. It is so easy to listen to government recommendations, but once you are exposed to the truth about where those recommendations are coming from, it changes everything.

Robyn quit her job to take on Big Food after her youngest daughter had a severe allergic reaction to eggs. She then started investigating our food system, and why allergies (cancer, and other disease) have become so prevalent in the US.

I have been watching her work for many years, and it made me love her even more after Jaxon was diagnosed with his food allergies.

The Unhealthy Truth uncovers the relationship between Big Food and Big Money that has ensured that the United States is one of the only developed countries in the world to allow hidden toxins in our food—toxins that can be blamed for the alarming recent increases in allergies, ADHD, cancer, and asthma among our children.

If you are ready to make changes there is an action plan for weaning your family off dangerous chemicals one step at a time.

This is a MUST-READ for ALL!



Happy reading, everyone!

Have a wonderful July 4th Holiday weekend! I am not sure I will have a blog post up again before then … either way, we will chat soon 🙂



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  • Reply Wendy

    Michael Pollen has a documentary on Netflix about real food. It’s on my list to watch!

    June 30, 2017 at 1:48 pm
    • Reply

      Yes it is so good!

      July 1, 2017 at 7:25 pm

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