Books to inspire and educate

Here are a handful of books that I've read and that have contributed in one way or another to my health and fitness journey.

The obligatory disclaimer: All links are to my Amazon store. When you buy a book there, it earns me a smidgen per book, and costs you nothing extra. I have personally read and endorse all these books, at least in part.

The reviews that follow are my own honest opinion.

The Sugar Addict's Total Recovery Program

Dr. Kathleen DesMaisons explains exactly how you can free your mind and body from the tyranny of sugar and shake off the exhaustion, mental fogginess, and mood swings that sugar dependence causes.

I appreciate the fact that she developed this program while working with sugar-dependent clients and has seen it work time and time again. I also like that she doesn't propose a quick easy solution, but emphasizes first-things-first. Slow change is more likely to bring permanent change!

The Sugar Addict's Total Recovery Program on Amazon

It Starts With Food

This is the book that explains the "Whole30" elimination diet. (30 days of strict Paleo, followed by testing which food groups might be causing your symptoms.)

My husband and I just completed our first Whole30; he was able to reduce one of his medications* by 75%, without a return of his histamine-related edema, which was his goal! He also lost 11 pounds, which was just a nice side effect. And I had a great improvement in mental clarity -- yay to no more brain fog!

It Starts With Food, on Amazon

*(Note regarding medication: Please read the "Terms of use" note at the bottom of this page.)

The Schwarzbein Principle II

[ridiculously long] subtitle: The "Transition": A Regeneration Program to Prevent and Reverse Accelerated Aging

by Diana Schwarzbein, MD

Written by an endocrinologist (medical doctor specializing in hormones) who wondered why her patients who were faithfully following the diet recommended by the American Heart Association kept getting sicker and sicker; including a high prevalence of them developing Type II Diabetes. What her research revealed completely changed her advice to her patients, and they began to get much healthier. (Told in more detail in her first book, The Schwarzbein Principle.)

If all you read is chapters two through seven, you'll receive an eye- and mind-opening education in how the food you eat affects the delicate balance of hormones in your body, and you'll understand why eating fat doesn't make you fat, how diet speeds up or slows down aging, influences depression, and much more.

This is the first book I read that radically changed my diet, and following the principles I learned here reversed the trajectory of weight gain I had been on for almost 20 years.

The Schwarzbein Principle II, on Amazon

What Makes Olga Run

by Bruce Grierson

Book description:
Olga Kotelko is not your average ninety-four-year-old. She not only looks and acts like a much younger woman, she holds over twenty-three world records in track and field -- all of them achieved since age 77!  
Convinced that this remarkable woman could help unlock some of the mysteries of aging, Author Bruce Grierson set out to uncover what it is that's driving Olga. His book examines the sum of our genes, opportunities, choices, diet and sleep habits, personality traits, and more. What emerges is not only an uplifting personal story but a look at the extent to which we can shape our health and longevity.

Part biography, part science research, part self-examination, I found this book to be an easy, fascinating, inspiring read. If Olga could do it, maybe I could, too!

What Makes Olga Run, on Amazon

Taste for Truth: A 30-day weight loss Bible study

by Barb Raveling

This 30-day Bible study offers 30 days of renewing-of-the-mind help. Through Bible study, evaluation, practical tips, and daily assignments, you’ll learn to throw off the lies that make you eat and put on the truth that will set you free from the control of food.

Solid theology, and practical help! Would be even more powerful if you get a friend or two to go through it with you. Which I hope to do soon!

Taste for Truth, on Amazon

OMG, I Would Die Without Chocolate!

How I quit sugar and didn't kill anyone

by Ellen Parker

This is a fun, light read, only available as a 99 cent Kindle book. It's not a researched, medically-sound diet plan. It's a brief personal essay from one newly-single mom on her experience with cutting sugar (especially fructose) out of her life, the same week she went on vacation with her children and ex-husband! The story is entertaining, and offers a glimpse into what it feels like the first few days you swear off sugar.

Speaking of swearing... As you might surmise from the title, there are some four-letter words; moreso toward the front of the book. I think it's an accurate reflection of where she started. But if you're offended by such language, you might want to skip this one.

OMG, I Would Die Without Chocolate! on Amazon.


Tags: weight loss, health, losing weight, Bible study, inspiration, inspiring story, older, fitness over 50, fitness over 60, fitness over 70, fitness over 80, Olga Kotelko, Barb Raveling, low-carb, diabetes, heart disease, aging, healthy longevity, sugar addiction, quitting sugar, chocolate