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Thursday, May 15, 2014

5 Nutrition Books Everyone Should Read

Sometimes a book turns your whole world upside down.  Each one of these books had a similar effect on me, at least in terms of diet.  If you are looking to take control of your health, I feel that these books are the place to start.  As anyone who is living a healthy lifestyle can attest to, you may be flooded with negative thoughts about changing your diet, either from yourself or from others who are skeptical:

     "I could never give up gluten (or dairy/sugar/meat) it's just too hard."
     "You have to die of something!"
     "But where do you get your protein from?"
     "People have been eating this way for ages."
     " I want to enjoy my life, not worry about every little thing I eat."
     " I don't want to live to be 100 anyway!"

These are all statements I've heard countless times.  But I know in my heart, from reading these books as well as other research, that this is the right path for my family.  Do we eat perfectly all the time?  Absolutely not.  I don't let that stop me from trying every day to be as healthy as I can be.  You have to allow yourself wiggle room, life happens, especially life with kids!  We eat meat occasionally, have gluten when we have company for dinner, my kids eat their fair share of sugar, and I will never stop loving cheese!  But to truly reach an optimum level of health that allows for an energized and long life, I am committed to this way of eating. 

I will do everything I can to avoid cancer, Alzheimers, diabetes, heart disease, and other diseases that people are faced with as they age.  As you read these books, you too will realize that they do not have to be a fact of life, and so much of what we've been told to eat for all these years is wrong, and why.  You will understand why I cringe at the "healthy whole wheat" trend, as well as the Greek yogurt and high protein fads.   I want to enjoy my later years, not be in an out of Dr.'s offices for various ailments.  While some of that is of course inevitable, these books will show you that a huge portion of healthy aging is in your hands.  Not only that, I want to enjoy my entire life, and feel my best each and every day.  It's amazing to me when I do allow myself cheat days, or eat "normally" on vacation, how tired, sick, bloated, and unmotivated I feel.  The longer I eat "clean," the more profound the effects are.  Give one or all of these books a try - your health is truly in your hands!

This is the order I suggest reading these books:

1.  The Beauty Detox Solution, by Kimberly Snyder - This is the book that truly sparked a transformation in my diet.  I had been what I considered a healthy eater for years.  Whole grains, low-fat dairy, veggie burgers, etc.  This flipped my diet on it's head.  I immediately grasped the concept of what Kimberly was trying to teach.  It made sense to me.  Eliminating dairy and gluten, food combining, and little to no processed foods.  Still eating Greek yogurt and Agave, believing they are healthy?  Think again!  The main focus on Kimberly's books is digestion, where health begins.  At first it feels restrictive, it will take time to get used to.  But this is the food your body wants.  After you realize that you are what you eat, it is anything but restrictive.  In fact, if you're like me, you find that there aren't enough hours in the day to cram all of these healing foods into your diet!
Tattered from constant use!

2.  The Beauty Detox Foods - This is the sequel to Kimberly Snyder's first book.  It's full of recipes as well as health benefits of each fruit and vegetable.  To a nutrition junkie like me, it's fascinating!

3.  The China Study, by T. Colin Campbell, PhD, and Thomas M. Campbell II, MD - While this is not the same light reading as the first two books, it's nonetheless vital to your quest of optimum health.  The book is the result of "the most comprehensive study of nutrition ever conducted."  The first author was born and raised on a dairy farm and grew up drinking milk, until the study changed his mind, as hard as it was to go against his upbringing.  As a lifelong fan of dairy, I always brushed aside research of dairy being bad for you, until this book.  I could no longer ignore it.  He also explains just how bad animal protein in general is for your health.  Even if you're a die-hard, dairy-lovin', meat-eater, you owe it to yourself to read this book.  As he explains with scientific evidence, many of the diseases we face can be prevented, treated, or managed through a vegan lifestyle. 

4.  Wheat Belly, by Dr. William Davis - I know, you don't want to give up bread and pasta.  You don't have to!  There are plenty of alternatives to explore, including wheat before it was modified, known as Einkorn.  This book explains what went wrong with our wheat crop, and it's not all about gluten.  This issue of the gliadin protein found in wheat is also addressed in this book.  In fact, Dr. Davis considers gliadin "the universal human poison."  I personally have felt the effects of eliminating gluten, with life-changing results.  Should I ever feel the need to become lethargic, bloated, and gassy again, I know where to look!  Beyond those effects are the serious consequences of wheat consumption, as explained. in the book.  Autoimmune diseases, diabetes, heart disease, obesity, gluten intolerance side effects, cataracts, dementia, and wrinkles being just a few.  Don't believe that there's a connection?  Read the book and find out for yourself. 

5.  Eating on the Wild Side, by Jo Robinson - A friend recently recommended this book to me.  After you read the first four, you may find yourself with a new passion, seeking out the healthiest foods you can find.  This goes beyond the grocery store, in listing the varieties of fruits and vegetables that are the healthiest in each category.  Also, it contains storage and cooking techniques to minimize nutrient loss.  I loved this book, and am looking forward to the day that I am able to grow my own garden.  Thanks to this book, I will know exactly what type of broccoli to plant, as well as every other vegetable!  There are other interesting facts in this book, too.  For example, did you know that canned artichoke hearts are "among the most nutritious vegetable in the supermarket?"  Or that eating golden delicious apples are basically a waste of your time, nutritionally speaking?  How about the fact that "tearing romaine lettuce the day before you eat it doubles its antioxidant content?"  If these few facts interest you, be sure to check this book out!

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