This month marks one year since I returned to reading. I find I like to alternate between books that discuss fueling the body and books that fuel my soul because I believe that in order to effectively fuel the body, you have to FIRST fuel the soul. Here are some highlights from my year of books:

The Brain Fix by Dr. Ralph Carson

This book is written by one of my favorite RDs who has a knack for translating science into digestible info. In this book he asks, “What’s the matter with your gray matter?” and it inspired me to increase my fruit and veggie intake from 0-2 servings/day to a minimum of 7 most days of the week! Words cannot express how much more energy I have! Also, my gray matter seems to be behaving a little better too.

The Big Leap by Gay Hendrix

This book is for the perfectionists out there who can’t quite “make it” because those nagging, negative, self-sabotaging mind monsters are holding you back. This book was a game changer for me. It gave me permission to be fearless, to try, and to wonder, “what if it does work out? And what if my hard work pays off?”

Present Over Perfect by Shauna Niequist

If you haven’t read this one yet, stop what you are doing now and order it. This book is so grounding for those of us who are busy bodies and struggle to SLOW DOWN. This is chicken soup for my soul, plain and simple.

The Mind-Gut Connection by Emeran Mayer, MD

This is a great read and delves into the complicated and extensive mind-gut connection. This book gives great analogies, helping readers better understand the power of the gut and its influence on our minds. The big take away: our gut bacteria has the potential to sing a “tune” to our brain. This tune, sent via the vagus nerve by way of microbiota metabolites and neurotransmitters, can either boost mood or exacerbate anxiety and depression. So, keep in mind that the fuel you choose is also feeding your little gut bugs, and what you choose to eat decides whether your gut’s tune is your favorite song or one you wish you’d never heard.

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a #@%! By Mark Manson

Wow. As a recovering people pleaser (is that okay?) and someone who cares way too much about things that don’t matter, this book really helped me to focus my energy on things that serve my mission. It literally helps you only give a #@%! where a #@%! Is deserved. 

Health at EVERY Size by Linda Bacon, PhD

This book is a must read. It will challenge you to question the way our country has built up the thin ideal from mainstream media to our medical health care system. Take away: You are so much more than your BMI and trying to get everyone to fit the same body type is ludicrous. #iagree

It’s Not Supposed To Be This Way by Lysa Terkeurst

If anyone has a story to tell and a reason to question her faith, it is this woman. Her book, in which she confronts her struggles head on, is one every Christian who feels life isn’t fair needs to read. She beautifully accepts God’s serenity while holding space for her anger. Her message: it’s ok to wrestle with faith and your feelings of injustice and still be a “Christian”.

Sick Enough by Jennifer L. Gaudiani

Why wasn’t this book written years ago!?!?! If I had a dollar for every person who technically had disordered eating, but wasn’t “sick enough” to do anything about it, I would be on a yacht right now. And honestly, the story is the same for me. I was one of the ones who technically had an eating disorder, but because I wasn’t “too thin” I didn’t think I was sick enough to get help. Dr. Gaudiani uses her ocean of knowledge and her genuine heart to communicate the dangers of dieting, validating that every person who struggles with food is worthy of getting help.

Intuitive Eating by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch

I have read this book 100 times and continue to use it with my clients daily. Does intuitive eating really work? Yes! But… you have to be willing to learn about it in its entirety. If you have wanted to be an intuitive eater, but only rely on eating when you are hungry… there is a little more to this process! Check out this book for the detailed road map and kiss calorie/macro/whatever counting goodbye. You won’t regret it.

Inspired by Rachel Held Evans

This book came to me at a time I so desperately needed it. She is controversial to many Christians, but this book has healed me in ways I didn’t even know needed healing. She validates some doubts and questions about Christianity that I have grappled with since the beginning of my faith, all the while still holding space for my devout love for Jesus. Check this one out… I am so interested in what you all think.

Happy reading… cheers! 

Jess 

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