Book Review #1
Updated: May 15, 2021
I thrive on being a lifelong learner. These are some of the books that have changed my perspective, or helped me on my wellness journey.
Atomic Habits by James Clear
This book offers a step-by-step breakdown of how to turn a bad habit into a good one, with a simple framework that includes: make it obvious; make it attractive; make it easy; and make it satisfying. It demystifies why we fail at changing our habits. My favourite takeaway was that good habits are like compound interest: you only need to change 1% of what you are doing, then build on it. How easy is that?
Into the Magic Shop by James Doty
James Doty grew up poor in a tough household, but his life was changed at 12 years old when he met a woman named Ruth, who taught him how to meditate and visualise. He went on to become a neurosurgeon, and founded the Centre for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education with the Dalai Lama. The best lesson for me was “Don’t take no for an answer” - if you want something, be persistent. It’s a inspirational story about the power of our mind and our ability to control our own future instead of just letting life just happen to us.
The Inflammation Spectrum by Dr Will Cole
Dr Will Cole is a wellness hero of mine. He’s a well known functional medicine practitioner who distills complicated ideas - in this case, inflammation - into a really digestible format. The book describes how inflammation lives on a spectrum, from mild symptoms such as weight gain and fatigue on one end, to full blown hormone imbalance and autoimmune disease on the other - and what we eat either feeds or fights this inflammation. The book includes full elimination protocol and meal plans, and is a must for anyone who wants to understand what foods are optimal for their body.
Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker
Until I read this book, I didn’t understand how important sleep was for our health. Now I know it is the first pillar of our health - above what we eat and how much we exercise. The book makes a strong case for why we need 7 - 9 hours of sleep a night, and explains the different stages of sleep, what happens to our bodies when we don’t sleep, and how things like coffee, alcohol and sleeping pills truly affect us. Don’t let the science-y parts put you off, you are pretty much guaranteed to sleep better after reading it.
The Idiots Guide to Ayurveda by Sahara Rose
I love Ayurveda, but sometimes it can seem complicated and not applicable to modern Western life. This book simplifies the basic principles of this 5000 year old health system and explains how what we eat and how we live influences our mind and body. I recommend it specifically for anyone who wants to find out why salads and smoothies might not be the ‘healthiest’ thing for them.
The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz
This book is based on ancient Toltec wisdom (the Toltecs were a pre-Aztec culture in Mexico) that offers a code of conduct for freeing yourself from self-limiting beliefs. By being impeccable with your word, not taking anything personally, not making assumptions and always doing your best, you will be happier. I come back to these agreements regularly for myself and clients because they are so helpful when trying to show up as your best self every day.