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.
Now of course my favorite TED talks, blogs, and podcasts are an important part of my health research library, so I’ll share some of those resources with you too!
First, these are my favorite health books that have had the biggest impact on my outlook and family’s health:
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:
- Meat on the Bone
- Organ Meats
- Fermented/Sprouted Foods
- 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 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!”
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!
Everyday Paleo Italian Cuisine by Sarah Fragoso. If you liked Everyday Paleo, you’ll love this Italian version. It’s part travel book (complete with beautiful photos and stories), part cookbook. We love the grain-free pizza and other authentic recipes!
The Primal Blueprint by Mark Sisson. A practical, actionable guide to making a smooth transition into the Paleo diet. At over 60 years old, Mark (from Mark’s Daily Apple) is proof of how eating healthy can keep you looking young!
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!
Your Personal Paleo Code by Chris Kresser. A long but easy read that delves into the science of the Paleo diet, and helps readers figure out how to adapt it to their own individual needs. Full review here!
The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Eating Paleo by Neely Quinn and Jason Glaspey. This is a comprehensive guide explaining why some modern foods are not healthy. Plus there are some great recipes in here, like salmon cakes with mango and cilantro salsa.
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…
Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans by Michelle Tam. This is not your average cookbook! It’s hugely entertaining with lots of narration by comic characters, and best of all, my kids have loved every recipe.
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!