Wednesday, September 3, 2014

What I'm Reading

I have had quite the eclectic collection of books on my nightstand lately. Titles on yoga with kids, yoga for adults, Yoga Sparks, cookbooks, cookbooks, and more cookbooks (you can read about my favorites here), a few children's lit selections, some Brain Candy, and a few health books (because I'm a researching nerd). Among those, Sarah Wilson's I Quit Sugar is a must-read. The book's layout is absolutely beautiful and really appeals to the reader; it's by far the best healthy/dieting/cookbook I've crossed visually. After reading through, I realized I pretty much follow this mantra daily already. My only downfall: FRUIT. I eat 3-4 pieces of fruit almost everyday, but I always choose sugarless yogurt, granola, nut butter, etc. I can eat just one sugary treat or piece and move on quite easily (or as Wilson calls it "lapsing"). This is definitely the book to read if you can't go a day without eating some sweet dessert, always put sugar in your coffee or tea, or load up on breads and pastas. It's pretty much a less-restricted "paleo" lifestyle. You take eight weeks to recalibrate your body, and then slowly add some sugar back in to your diet to see how your body reacts. I fast sugar often throughout the year, and it's amazing how quickly you lose a taste for the sweet stuff. Since I started my own occasional sugar fast five years ago, I can barely tolerate sweet treats. (Ice cream is always a "yes" though! ---> unless it's DQ. Yuck!)

Because I already limit my sugar intake and always use healthier sugar replacements, I mainly picked up this book for more recipe ideas and tips to eliminate "hidden" sugars, like those found in condiments, pastas, breads, and supposedly "health" foods. Plus, I heard great things about the book, and it didn't disappoint! I really, really loved Sarah's attitude, tone, and honesty. I'm
excited to try the included recipes, which she keeps quite simple and easy. I will own this soon. Another favorite health book I will be adding to my collection in the near future is The Yoga Body Diet. This is the perfect book for yoga beginners, or anyone a fan of yoga interested in integrating the practice in all facets of their life. This book breaks down the three different doshas (or lifestyles/personalities/characteristics), explaining how to apply each one to your every day life through power poses, sequences, ingredients, and recipes. It's really convenient how the book gives one recipe, but breaks it down into the three different doshas' needs. Everyone is different, and I like how the author reiterates this. This is not something to follow to the tee; it's a helpful guideline, and quite forgiving.

I am a KAPHA to the tee, lol, and when I'm getting my particular dosha requirements I'm at my best. When I'm not, my focus, diet, health, practice, and sleep suffer. And I can easily see that now, and better yet, understand why. The Yoga Body Diet is a great addition to any yoga fan's shelf, and reads quickly and can be easily referenced. I heard it's available in eBook format, and I think that would be great, but I prefer to grab the actual book and easily find my kapha sections, to see the routines and pose index. And, since we're (err, I am) talking about recent health reads, I have to mention
The Coconut Oil Miracle. If you aren't on the bandwagon of this miracle oil yet, I suggest you hop a ride quickly. If you aren't obsessed and using it on everything and in everything, I suggest you fix that ASAP. While I'm on board with using this miracle oil already, and I'm aware of its awesome benefits completely, this book is better suited for those who are skeptical and/or really want to know the science behind the benefits of coconut oil. If you have the slightest interest or are using it already, I highly recommend checking out this book. I.cannot.say.enough.about.coconut.oil. LOVE.

Okay, now onto a few fiction titles I stayed up way too late finishing. The first would be my beloved Outlander. Written in My Own Heart's Blood, the eighth installment, hit the shelves this past June (and you can bet I'd been on hold for that sucker since last December. Yeah, buddy). Y'all know my relationship with this fantastical historical fiction series. (It finally went to TV, but of course, I don't have cable or STARZ, so I have to wait until Netflix or Amazon picks it up. I'm throwing a huge adult tantrum right now.) Y'all are quite familiar with how I spent the last two years devouring reading all seven books, and now I could finally settle into the latest. Sadly, I read it all too quickly, and all too soon it was over. The ending left me saying, "What?!" and then "Huh? Hmmmmm...."

I did really enjoy this installment. There were times when I wanted certain scenes to just hurry up so I could get to the scene I was waiting for, but then once I got to it I appreciated the other scenes and characters. BUT, there's a lot more I wanted to know, and the leaving me hanging with multiple opened story lines....darn it, GABALDON!

And I can't forget my book club! Again, each member chose their own book to read for summer, and my choice was originally The Goldfinch (you can read my thoughts on that here), but halfway through I switched to Rainbow Rowell's YA title, Fangirl. I was in desperate need of something to get me out of my fictional rut, and it did just that. (Outlander didn't count. It was an obvious out-of-rut given.) Although it took me awhile to get into because of the whole fan-fiction topic thing, I really did enjoy this novel. I definitely found it relatable, and it is the perfect recommendation for teens in the "books that won't make you blush" category.

My most recent audio book endeavor was a title recommended to me by a friend. She happened to pick it up at her library, gave it a listening to, and mentioned it to me one day on the phone when I asked what books she was reading (I'm a book lover, and a...umm librarian, so I'm always asking). She mentioned The Next Thing on My List ages ago, and I finally got around to requesting it from my local library. Although the audio was decent, I'm sure I would have enjoyed it more had I read it, actually. The main character, June, is involved in a car crash that kills her passenger, a woman she barely knew and had just met at a Weight Watchers meeting. She finds the deceased's purse, and in it a list of 20 things she wished to accomplish by her next birthday. So June sets off to finish the list. I found the story to be quite predictable, but I would recommend it to someone looking for something light and fluffy to add to their beach-reads.

Read anything this summer worth mentioning?

With Love and God Bless,

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