Nutrition + Health

by Sarah

I hope your week is going swimmingly. Mine is going pretty well, I can’t complain. The semester is in full swing and with that comes expected and unexpected responsibilities. Nothing this girl can’t handle. ;)

I wanted to share with you some of my latest favorite additions to my book collection and one that I hope to add very, very soon. I call it a collection rather than a library because, well, the books are littered throughout my apartment, in my parents home, or in storage. I long for the day when me and all of my belongings are in the same space! It will come soon enough…whew!

I’m going to focus on 3 books— Gwyneth Paltrow’s “It’s All Good“, Daphne Oz’s “Relish“, and Cameron Diaz’s “The Body Book“. I don’t have Cameron’s but after reading the rave reviews I’m going to have to check it out! Before you judge me or them, hear me out.

All three women have something in common aside from their glamorous looks and celebrity status, they eat well, very well, in fact.  All three women are committed to a healthy lifestyle of balance including maintaining healthy minds and bodies through proper nutrition and exercise. It’s simple, right? Well, kinda. Each of them also claim that they ate poorly, didn’t take care of themselves, and felt unbalanced prior to finding themselves through healthy nutrition. What’s the take away? It’s never too late to treat your body right!

Daphne Oz’s book is a lifestyle book which also includes healthy recipes that include real ingredients. She provides beauty, health, exercise, and relationship advice. In the diet and health sections, she tells readers that she omitted processed foods, watched her portion sizes, and started incorporating exercise into her daily regimen. Daphne believes one should live a full life which includes an occasional indulgence whether that be a cocktail, chocolate, cake, or a delectable pastry. I certainly like that idea. This girl has a sweet tooth!

Daphne Oz's Relish

Diaz takes a little different approach in her book. She talks about how foods interact with your body, why nutrients from the foods we eat are important, and how they enable your body to work in the ways it should. She connects all the pieces together while engaging and encouraging her readers to think intuitively and pragmatically about their bodies as a moving system.

The Body Book

I love Paltrow’s book, I’ve made several of her recipes and what I’ve made so far I’ve been impressed with. My post on the Cranberry and Fig Crumble was inspired by her book, the link is here. She uses whole ingredients to create flavorful and nutritious meals. Paltrow and her family have evolved as eaters by accident. She found that her body was insensitive to certain food groups which led her to test the rest of her family. Her family has sensitivities or intolerances to gluten, lactose, and chicken eggs. Well, that limits one’s diet, doesn’t it? So, she got creative. The creation of the book [ the recipe and ingredient testing] allowed her to experiment with different flavors, create a baseline for her diet so that she could have her cake and eat it too, while maintaining an excellent bill of health.

Photo by Raphael Brion | Eater

Photo by Raphael Brion | Eater

If you’re looking for health-based nutrition and lifestyle books, these are some of my favorites. All three of them eat similar foods that I do, but they certainly inspire me to go outside of my comfort zone and try new things also. People always ask what I’m eating, how I always eat “healthy”, and make time to cook. If you plan accordingly it’s easy to adapt. I seek out healthy recipes, so the not-so-healthy options don’t have much of a chance in my kitchen.

I try my best to eat a balanced diet, I aim to eat an 80/20 diet. Sometimes I’m really good at it while others I’m not, last night is a perfect example. I ate a red velvet cake loaded with frosting for my nephew’s birthday. While eating cake isn’t a daily occurrence for me or even a common one, I’m not going to beat myself up over it. I’m only human.

If you’re looking for basic information on nutrition and health, check any one of these books out. Their advice is helpful and their pictures are lovely! If you want to dive even further into health and nutrition, check out WebMDHarvard School of Public Health, or Nutrition.gov.

Has anyone read these books? What do you think?

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