Recommended Reading

Recommended Reading

for Mind, Body and Spiritual Health

Here is a collection of books that supports me to support you. The description given is my perspective. I hope that it helps you to know which book is right for you. You might want to choose a book with an emphasis on mind, body or spirit. But of course it’s all related.

The Hunger Fix
The Three-Stage Detox and Recovery Plan for Overeating and Food Addiction
– Pam Peeke, MD, MPH, FACP

Anyone who experiences uncontrolled eating can benefit from this great book. The Hunger Fix helps the reader understand the latest neuroscience regarding the search for pleasure and the urge to overeat.

Dr. Peeke teaches the reader how to replace the false fix of food with healthy fixes – think happiness producing goals – incorporating a three-stage plan using mind, mouth and muscle.

The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain
– John J. Ratey, MD

If there has ever been a convincing case made for physical activity, John Ratey makes it in “Spark.” We’ve always known exercise is good for our body, but Ratey explains the benefits and impact on our brain in terms of anxiety, depression, learning, stress, ADHD, aging and even addiction. Lots of fascinating research and case studies will change the way you think about aerobic exercise.

In Defense of Food
An Eater’s Manifesto
– Michael Pollan

Pollan explains the history and the trouble we’re in with food being replaced by nutrients and common sense by confusion. Apparently, the more we worry about nutrition, the less healthy we seem to become. Very interesting. His advice is simple. Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.

The End of Overeating
Taking Control of the Insatiable North American Appetite
– David A. Kessler, MD

The title of this book is perhaps misleading. It’s really about how the food industry designs food with carefully calculated layers of fat, sugar and salt to make us want MORE. Our bodies and minds are impacted when we partake.

While I don’t agree with all the strategies to end overeating contained in this book, there is some fascinating research that will have you rethink eating processed food. And restaurant food, in many cases, is processed food.

Women, Food and God
An Unexpected Path to Almost Everything
– Geneen Roth

Roth writes with humor and compassion about her clients and her own personal journey with eating disorders and compulsive eating. She teaches the necessity to accept and trust your body. Suffering about weight and body issues can be solved by examining your relationship with food. What’s on your plate is the mirror of your life and the doorway to freedom. An important book.

Why Weight?
A Guide to Ending Compulsive Eating
– Geneen Roth

This is a workbook to help you break free from emotional eating. There are practical guidelines as well as great opportunity for reflection and healing. I recommend any of the books written by Geneen Roth if you struggle with compulsive eating of any kind.

Am I Hungry?
What to do When Diets Don’t Work
– Michelle May M.D.

This is a simple approach to dealing with over-eating, starting with asking yourself those three important words, “Am I hungry?” Your response takes you to other important questions, the goal being to become an intuitive eater.

May teaches nutrition basics, as well as components of fitness, complete with illustrations.

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

Food psychologist and marketing expert, Dr. Brian Wansink, shows us in countless studies how food containers and visual cues impact and determine how much we eat more than physical hunger does. This book is loaded with fascinating and practical research.

The Four-Day Win
End Your Diet War and Achieve Thinner Peace
– Martha Beck, PhD

Martha Beck is a brilliant writer with a wicked sense of humor. This book provides a “get lean from the brain outward” plan for weight loss built on the Transtheoretical Model for Change: Pre-contemplation, Contemplation, Preparation, Action and Maintenance. This book outlines a very detailed plan of “ridiculously easy goals” working from stage to stage, building success four days at a time.

The Women’s Health Big Book of Exercises
– Adam Campbell

This is an expansive, encyclopedia-like reference for exercises, divided into muscle groups. It’s complete with hundreds of photos and instructions. Some exercises require gym equipment, but there are many that you can easily do at home. No excuse for boredom – this book could keep you busy for a very long time.

Cooking With Foods That Fight Cancer
– Richard Beliveau, Ph.D., & Denis Gingras, Ph.D.

In addition to being an amazing reference on diet and cancer, this is a beautifully illustrated book with fabulous recipes. The benefits of: herbs and spices, the garlic family, cruciferous vegetables, probiotics, flaxseed, seaweed, soy, tomatoes, berries, citrus fruits, green tea, red wine, dark chocolate and mushrooms are all explored. And of course the recipes feature the same ingredients.

Body Intelligence
Lose Weight, Keep it Off, and Feel Great about your Body Without Dieting!
– Edward Abramson, Ph.D.

This is a simple, 3-step program about how to eat intelligently, look at your body intelligently and use your body intelligently. It’s thorough and practical and contains lots of tips and assessments. There is also a chapter on raising the body intelligent child.

The Power of Full Engagement
Managing Energy, Not Time, Is the Key to High Performance and Personal Renewal
– Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz

A must have for busy professionals; this book confirms the need for values-based goals and rituals and pursuing life balance, performance and good health.

The Power of Story
Rewrite Your Destiny in Business and in Life
– Jim Loehr

This is a book about capturing the story by which you’ve been living your life, that is often dysfunctional and working against you. Loehr helps you to re-write your story and to live the life you really want with step-by-step instructions that include: facing the truth, establishing accountability and practicing values-based habits and rituals.

Learned Optimism
How to Change your Mind and Your Life
– Martin E.P. Seligman, Ph.D.

Highlighting many studies, this is a scientific look at optimism versus pessimism, determining your style, how to change it and how depression factors in. Dr. Seligman is the authority on this topic, quoted in many other books.

Thin for Life
10 Keys to Success from People Who Have Lost Weight and Kept it Off
– Anne M. Fletcher, M.S., R. D.

Thin for Life provides research and statistics on people who have succeeded at keeping weight off for at least 3 years and how they did it. What becomes abundantly clear is that they all found ways to work for them. You will find internet resources, adjusted recipes and more.

Loving What Is
Four Questions That Can Change Your Life
– Byron Katie

This book features Katie walking clients through a simple, repeatable process of inquiry to end stress and suffering. Clients come to recognize their pain comes not from their circumstances, but from their thoughts that they take as truth. Suffering is truly optional. Fascinating!

Stumbling Toward Enlightenment
– Geri Larkin

This is a deeply personal and funny account of Larkin’s own path from stressed-out executive to Buddhist priest. Larkin gives the reader permission to stumble, doubt, fumble and fail on their spiritual path, as she has and still does.

A Guide to Developing Life’s Most Important Skill
– Matthieu Ricard

Ricard is a well-heeled French scientist who left it all for Buddhism. Thirty-five years later, he makes a solid case for happiness as a worthy pursuit. He writes on Buddhist teachings and the importance of developing our minds, through meditation, in order to be truly happy instead of looking to outer circumstances. Research on the brain during meditation and meditation exercises included.

Wherever You Go There You Are
Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life
– Jon Kabat-Zinn

In beautifully simple language, Dr. Kabat-Zinn truly demonstrates the value of mindfulness in everyday life. Whether you are curious about meditation or are already practicing, this book is both insightful and delightful. Written in very short paragraphs, it’s easy to jump right in.

When the Body Says No
The Cost of Hidden Stress
– Gabor Maté, M.D.

Dr. Maté makes a convincing case for the connection of stress and emotions to disease. In fact he describes the emotional profiles of patients consistent with particular conditions. He demonstrates that suppressed emotions have physical consequences and offers 7 steps to healing.

The Power of Now
A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment
– Eckhart Tolle

Tolle is a brilliant teacher whose writing is the kind you want to read while sitting straight up. You might find yourself re-reading passages. At times Tolle uses a question and answer format that makes it helpful to understand teachings. In short, it’s about living in the present, in the “now.” It’s worth it – the book and the concept.

A New Earth
– Eckhart Tolle

This is a thought-provoking read. It discusses, in detail, the current state of humanity based in ego. “A New Earth” is Tolle’s vision of freedom from ego to awakened consciousness

Mind Over Medicine
The Cost of Hidden Stress
Lissa Rankin, M.D.

Author Lissa Rankin, M.D. learns the hard way, that health is influenced by our environment and to a great extent, our mind, not simply pre-determined by our DNA. With extensive research and personal practice, she makes a case for the importance of taking an active role in healing yourself. Harnessing the power of thoughts and feelings and counteracting the stress response are part of her program of radical self-care.

Energy Medicine
Balancing your Body’s Energies for Optimal Health, Joy, and Vitality
– Donna Eden

A pioneer in the field of energy medicine, Donna Eden has written a virtual encyclopedia detailing our energy systems and how we can impact them. Detailed instructions and illustrations outline the potential for change and healing for a variety of issues that, in most cases, you can apply to yourself. Fascinating!




“The trouble with eating Italian is that 5 or 6 days later, you’re hungry again.”

―George Miller

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