There is no doubt that our culture as a whole is moving towards consciousness. Along with making better decisions for the environment we are making better choices for our health. But for many this can be an overwhelming undertaking. With so much misinformation circulating about fad diets and exercise trends, where does one begin? The following books (in no particular order) provide honest to goodness advice on wellness along with helpful pointers for getting started.
1. You: An Owner’s Manual by Mehmet C. Oz M.D. and Michael F. Roizen M.D.
Together with a few prime spots on the Oprah Winfrey Show, this book made Dr. Oz a household name. And for good reason. In this updated and expanded book, Oz and Roizen break down the human body into digestible chapters, giving the reader an inside look at how our parts, organs, and systems work. Even more importantly, they provide details on how to keep them working and healthy. The book concludes with insightful chapters about diet and exercise.
2. Crazy Sexy Diet by Kris Carr
Kris Carr charmed audiences with her TLC documentary, Crazy Sexy Cancer, which captures her journey as a thirty-one-year-old actress living in New York City who’s been recently diagnosed with an incurable cancer. Stunned, she promptly uproots her bad habits and goes in search of health and wellness. This book is the culmination of the years of study, investigation, and experimentation that rock her world in the years to follow. Aside from being scientifically and spiritually sound advice, Carr’s book is a sassy, smart, and inspirational read that will have you toasting life with a glass of green juice in hand.
3. Forks Over Knives by Gene Stone, Dr. T. Colin Campbell and Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn Jr.
The documentary of the same name shook things up for many Americans audiences in 2011 when it examined hard evidence that most degenerative diseases can be controlled and, in some cases, reversed by building our diets around plant-based foods and rejecting animal-based and processed foods. Published the same year, this book gives readers a handy tool kit for applying the lessons of the documentary to real life. Chapters on reading nutrition labels and transitioning are particularly helpful for the wellness newbie.
This provocative title became a #1 New York Times bestseller when desperate women everywhere grabbed the book hoping to tap into a new and trendy weight loss solution. What they got was a smack down of raw truth: an honest look at what the average American diet is doing to our bodies, our beauty, and our health. Not convinced that a quarter pounder with cheese is all that bad for you? Perhaps, chapter four (The Dead, Rotting, Decomposing Flesh Diet) will change your mind.
5. Natural Health, Natural Medicine by Andrew Weil, M.D.
Dr. Weil has dabbled in the beauty industry, been an innovator of healthful dining experiences and still rocks the world of wellness with his many informative books on health. If you are looking to become an alternative healer, you can start by looking into massage therapy school or nutrition classes to build your knowledge base. This particular book is a great place to start when beginning the journey of building a more conscious lifestyle. Not only does Dr. Weil outline the components of a disease-fighting diet, but he includes a guide for choosing the right vitamins and supplements and a Treasury of Home Remedies for Common Ailments.
Jazmine Green is an associate editor for LA YOGA Magazine, a publication focused on encouraging health living. She lives and writes in Los Angeles, California, and takes massage therapy classes to continue her health education.
Photo Credit: Oleg Klementiev (CC BY 2.0)