My Favorite Health Books

Deep Nutrition- A must read book on diet and health

I’ve always enjoyed reading and when I started on my family’s health journey many years ago, I poured through as many health books as I could get my hands on in order to try and find answers to the questions I had. Over the years I’ve read hundreds of books in the health and wellness space, some really good ones, some pretty boring, and others full of terrible advice.

These are my favorite health books that have had the biggest impact on my outlook and family’s health:

Deep Nutrition

A great resource that details how pre-conception and pregnancy diet can have a dramatic impact on a child’s future and how to optimize these factors. Dr. Cate Shanahan delves in to the subject of epigenetics and talks about the four core foods and how they impact health:

“The “Four Pillars of World Cuisine” as Deep Nutrition explains them, are four dietary principles found in traditional and primitive cultures that manage to achieve this advanced level of health. These four nutritional commonalities occur in populations (past and present) around the world who have much better health than modern society. From the legendary Hunzas to the modern Japanese, Shanahan shows that while the specifics of their diets varied, they all had these four things in common. They consumed:

  1. Meat on the Bone
  2. Organ Meats
  3. Fermented/Sprouted Foods
  4. Fresh, Uncooked Ingredients (very specific ones!)

Gut and Psychology Syndrome

“The protocol in Gut and Psychology Syndrome is basically an intensive nutritional program to heal the gut lining. It focuses on soothing and healing the gut lining with foods like bone broth and beneficial fats while boosting beneficial gut bacteria with probiotics and fermented foods.

Depending on the severity of the patient, one either begins with or works up to the Introduction Diet, which is the strictest part of the protocol, focused on intensive healing. There are then stages as the person begins to introduce other foods. The most difficult factor of the GAPS diet is that in order to be effective, especially in the beginning, one must be 100% compliant. This means a lot of preparing foods at home, as practically any foods prepared by someone not familiar with the protocol will have things that can aggravate the gut.

The website, GapsDiet.com, outlines some of the protocol, but the book is a much more comprehensive source of information.”

Cure Tooth Decay

I’ve talked a lot about oral health from the inside out and the body’s ability to regenerate a tooth. This book, Cure Tooth Decay, was the one that started it all for us and that let to my husband and I both reversing cavities. As I explained in a past post:

“Ramiel Nagel researched the information that later became the book Cure Tooth Decay when his daughter suffered from severe tooth decay at less than 2 years old. Much of the information he found was from the works of Dr. Price who studied the oral health of many people around the world.

Nagel found and tested the idea that tooth decay could be reversed and later shared this information in his book. It details a system of specific supplementation and nutrition focused on providing the body with a high concentration of minerals and nutrients that allow it to heal teeth.

As a mom, this book was especially helpful as Nagel addresses the specific protocol that is helpful for children and talks about how oral health for a child begins in the womb and the various steps an expectant mother can take to give her child’s oral health a boost in utero.

He details a specific dietary protocol (much like the one I recommend here) with limited or no grains, sugars, beans, and limited nuts while the teeth are healing. He recommends foods like coconut oil (check), grass-fed meats and pastured dairy (check), and lots of vegetables (check).”

Practical Paleo

Practical Paleo is a helpful resource, especially for those new to Paleo or those with autoimmune problems. Diane created this very involved resource guide that is full of information:

“Practical Paleo is a wealth of information and has specific dietary suggestions for various conditions including:

  • Digestive Issues
  • Thyroid problems
  • Autoimmune problems
  • Neurological health
  • Blood Sugar Balance
  • Heart health
  • Cancer Recovery
  • Fat Loss
  • MS, Fm or CFS”

How to Raise a Healthy Child in Spite of Your Doctor

An old book but a good one. This book is written by a doctor and gives age-old advice for parents on how to raise a healthy child without sweating the small stuff, and how to know when something isn’t the small stuff….

“Mendelsohn gives advice and encouragement to parents for handling most minor illnesses at home, and gives a helpful checklist at the end of each chapter for when an injury or illness requires medical help.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that I agreed with How To Raise A Healthy Child on topics of illness treatment (or non-treatment), strep throat treatment, ear aches, active children, and many other points.

How to Raise a Healthy Child in Spite of Your Doctor even touches on healthy birth (home vs. hospital), vaccination, and how most skin and respiratory problems (asthma, allergies) actually stem from food intolerances!”

Natural Health Books Reading List

 Other Health and Wellness Books

Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight and Find Your Bath Back To Health by William Davis (Dr. Davis is a great guy and even agreed to do an interview with me!)

Everyday Paleo by Sarah Fragoso – This is a great book full of great recipes and fun workouts. Sarah is an inspirational woman and I was also honored to guest post at Everyday Paleo, Sarah’s Blog. Check it out if you haven’t already!

Why We Get Fat and What To Do About It by Gary Taubes – A well researched critique of conventional wisdom on diet and nutrition.

Good Calories, Bad Calories by Gary Taubes- A more in-depth version of “Why We Get Fat.” It was actually written first, and then simplified in “Why We Get Fat” but it is a great read and it will indulge the inner scientist in you 🙂

Lights Out by T.S. Wiley- Though I don’t agree with everything in this book, it cites some good studies about the importance of sleep and is good encouragement to start getting enough!

The Vegetarian Myth by Lierre Keith- A great read, especially for anyone on the fence about vegetarianism.

Perfect Health Diet by Paul Jaminet- Don’t agree with all of his ideas (like safe starches) but he makes some good points.

Protein Power by The Drs. Eades- A great read by a great husband and wife team.

Nutrition and Physical Degeneration by Dr. Weston Price- A little dense at times but I highly recommend this book! He was one of the first to suggest many health ideas that are becoming mainstream today and this book is often referenced within the health community.

The Coconut Oil Miracle by Bruce Fife- As if you needed more reasons to consume coconut oil… if you do, check this book out!

Power to the People by Pavel- A fitness book about kettlebells from the master himself.

The 4 Hour Body by Tim Ferriss- I loved some of the strength protocols in this book and the promotion and way the book were written are as fascinating as the content!

Food and Cookbooks

Paleo Comfort Foods by Julie and Charles Mayfield- Some fun and easy recipes.

Make It Paleo by Bill Stanley and Hayley Mason- More good recipes!

The Gluten Free Almond Flour Cookbook by Elana Amsterdam- The definitive guide to almond flour baking! Not all are low-carb, and I wouldn’t suggest using the agave (use honey or omit) but some great recipes overall.

Primal Blueprint Quick and Easy Meals by Mark Sisson- The quality of the recipes in his original cookbooks but in much less time.

Wild Fermentation by Sandor Ellix Katz – An interesting read and some fun recipes and ideas for natural fermentation.

Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon- A highly comprehensive cookbook of traditional foods. I just ignore the sprouted grains part…

Other Books

A Mother’s Rule of Life by Holly Pierlot- Another book I re-read every few months. I occasionally get asked how I am able to keep up with blog, kids, etc. and this book is a large part of it. It is definitely geared toward at-home moms but is a great encouragement to keeping structure and order in your schedule and life.

The 4 Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss- While motherhood can never be a four hour a week job (and who would want it to!) this book helped me keep business work in its proper place and keep deadlines from taking over family time!

The Thank You Economy by Gary Vaynerchuk- A guy who made his name in the wine industry reminds of the importance of giving back and offering quality product and service.

What are your favorite health and wellness books? Share below!

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Reader Comments

  1. I love a Mother’s Rule of Life! I just added it to my (re)reading list for 2012!

  2. I liked Ani Phyo’s Raw Food Essentials. I’m not or ever will be a 100% raw eater but she has some great recipes that are really pretty easy. Also, I learned how to make kimichi  (spelling?) and my own sauerkraut. 

  3. big fan of Wheat Belly and Everyday Paleo. Can’t wait to check out some of the others that you listed. Thanks for all the good info.

  4. Thanks for the book recommendations. As I look back over our reading list last year, most of your list is the same as our list. I am adding A Mother’s Rule of Life and Cure Tooth Decay to my 2012 list as both sound excellent. I would recommend The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman and noticed that it made Sean Croxton’s list as well. I read it before Christmas and my husband is reading it now. Could be one of the best marriage books I’ve read in the 27 years we have been happily married (and I read a lot of marriage and parenting books). Happy, healthy New Year to all and thanks “Wellness Mama” for your awesome blog.

  5. I just finished the Gut and Psychology Syndrome book (great, great!) and I’ve had Nourishing Traditions for a while. I am in the process of implementing the diet for my family.  Gary Taubes book, Good Calorie, Bad Calorie was another good one, and I just finished A Mother’s Rule (& I’m not Catholic, but I loved a lot of her suggestions). I’m going to try the Almond-flour cookbook. That sounds great. The book I just ordered is “Let the Tooth be Known.” I’m having my amalgams out this year and it is a little scary because of my health issues, but I think it is a necessary step to reclaim my energy and health. Another recommendation is “The Ministry of Motherhood” by Sally Clarkson. She just speaks to my heart.

  6. Absolutely love Perfect Health Diet. I have been following the diet for a year and blood sugar and weight have not changed from when I was very low carb. In fact I feel better and have had no flare ups with my MS. Its not a license to pig out on carbs it just doesn’t demonize what he considers low toxin carbs (white rice, potatoes, plantains etc.) for people without severe metabolic problems.

  7. I would add The Paleo Solution by Robb Wolf; Eat Fat, Lose Fat by Mary Enig & Sally Fallon; Real Food: What to Eat and Why by Nina Planck; and Real Food for Mother & Baby by Nina Planck. I really loved Real Food for Mother & Baby. I read it twice in a row! The only part I really disagree with is that she drank during pregnancy stating that she couldn’t find much research either way. I highly discourage drinking during pregnancy as the information I’ve obtained shows that no matter the amount, there is always risk for Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders. 

    Also Grace-Based Parenting by Tim Kimmel; Love & Respect by Emerson Eggerichs; and For Women Only and The Male Factor both by Shaunti Feldhahn are good ones. Katie—I’m looking forward to your list of childbirth and parenting books. I plan to read up on that in 2012.

  8. I was just wondering if you had any ideas for a first time mom-to-be to read? I am going to start reading The surrendered Wife and A Mother’s Rule for life but any other suggestions would be much appreiciated!

  9. Oh my… almost all of the books listed there are “Oh I want to read” but haven’t made the time to!! 2012 – is going to be the year and I’ll start it off now by ordering a couple that have been on my to-read list for too long. Thanks for inspiring me to get into it again! ^^

  10. Slow Death by Ruber Duck. Obsessed.
    The Surrendered Wife wont be making any trips to my Kindle tho..hehe. Love your recipes- such a great go to spot for me to find things im willing to feed my son. thanks! Almond flour cookbook sounds great too! i add nut meal to so much of my cooking

  11. I have another book recommendation for you:  Be Your Own Doctor by Rachel Weaver (Master Herbalist). Lots of great information and recipes for treating common family boo boos and ailments. I know you would love it. 

  12. Sorry if I struck a nerve (judging by the all caps)… not trying to offend, and this book is certainly not about losing oneself or being subservient or spineless. Quite the opposite, it focuses on letting go of the needless worry and simply trusting that one’s husband is capable in a given situation and not having the need to constantly supervise. This was a big struggle for me… he didn’t load the dishwasher “my” way, or interact with the kids the same way I would, so I was constantly trying to supervise or “suggest” other ways to do things and driving us both nuts. In a nutshell, I just trust that he is a wonderful husband and father and expect the best outcome. It is much less stress for me, and I’d say much less for him too 🙂

  13. You might want to fix the typo in “The Surrendered Wife”. I assume you have only one husband, not many:)! Love the booklist-it has been incredibly helpful.

  14. Rosemary Gladstar’s collection.

  15. Have you considered putting all your tips on this site in a book. I would be the first to buy! I want something in print that has all this stuff & my printer sheets are just not a good substitute for a real book. I was most impressed with your recipes for makeup & want a book to keep on my shelf for reference. THERE ARE NONE that I have found from searching. I wish all of the great recipes on your site were all bound in a cover-it-all book! Any suggestions that come close? Thanks!

  16. Doctor Yourself by Andrew Saul PhD and Super Immunity by Joel Fuhrman MD

  17. I just read “Grain Brain” by the doctor that wrote wheat belly and it was a life changer!! It discusses credible studies about the brain and grains and sugar. I’ve tried a gazillion diets, etc. and always cheated.
    This book motivated me to go cold turkey with sugar and grains. Partially because of needing to loose 60 pounds but more because of the effect grains and sugar have on your brain.
    I’ve lost 14 pounds in 5 weeks and have gone 37 days with no sugar. I’m counting days without sugar as abstinence days. IE Hi, I’m Harriet and I’m a sugar addict. I’ve been sober 35 days!! Sounds crazy but I finally have a sober eating plan than works and is really enjoyable. The sugar cravings are minimal and I don’t feel compelled to stop at MacDonalds, Wendy’s, DQ, etc when I’m even slightly hungry, bored, anxious, happy….. I now have food I enjoy at home. I’m saving a fortune by avoiding restaurants.

  18. Do you have any suggestions for a “getting-started-along-this-diet-path” cookbook?
    I am a seasoned cook, but new to sugar-free, grain-free, meat included way of cooking and eating. I really appreciate your information and honesty!

  19. I love your blog! Thank you so much for posting ALL of this wonderful information! I do have a question. It’s awesome to see what books you recommend but I was also wondering what magazines do you read or subscribe to? It would be nice to get encouragement in the mailbox every so often and their are so many magazine choices. What do you recommend?

    • I don’t currently subscriber to any physical magazines, but there’s a couple digital one’s I like. Current favorite is Wellness Magazine, of which I’m a contributor 🙂

      • Lovely! I will def. check it out! Thank you again for all your help! I recently came here and keep coming back for more! =)

  20. The Ph Miracle.

  21. Was “parenting and natural childbirth books” list ever published here? I don’t seem to find it. Thanks!

  22. Hi,

    I would like to know if you will continue to promote the Weston A. Price Foundation and Sally Fallon Morell given that she is recommending NutraPro International cod liver oil whose owner is apparently a registered sex offender?

    I was alarmed to find out that the owner of NutraPro International apparently friended me on Facebook using a fake name. Do you know this man and do you know he was arrested for sexual predatory behavior online? He was stalking a 13-year-old girl which turned out to be an undercover police officer.

    NutraPro is listed in the “Best” category for CLO on the WAPF website. I’ve emailed Sally Fallon Morell to ask her what she knows about the arrest and if she has a statement.

    Perhaps you’d also like to write a post about this to warn your readers? I was alarmed to find out that the owner of the company apparently friended me on Facebook using a fake account. You might want to check your friends list and see if he added you.

    Thank you,
    Ann Marie Michaels

    • This is an older post, and it is on my list to update. I don’t know that I’ve ever actually promoted the Weston A. Price foundation directly and only linked to Nourishing Traditions and Nutrition and Physical Degradation, which I still do consider good books. I know there have been some issues with WAPF lately and honestly haven’t looked into them much. I don’t know anything about NutraPro or their company, and I haven’t tried it or recommended it and have no plans to. I will definitely look into the link you sent though.