There are a lot of great books and other resources available today for those of us who are searching for a different way of living, one that is filled with more balance, peace, health, and wholeness. All of the resources listed here have been instrumental in shaping the path my journey has taken.

It is of course not all inclusive, as no one library really could be. However, it is full of the books and websites I depend upon most for inspiration, non-bias fact and experience based information, as well as recipes and guidance. The range is deep and wide: from cooking, to nutrition, to yoga, to children's resources, to pregnancy, to meditation. My hope is to touch on mind, body, and soul.

I have organized them in a less intimidating manner, starting with "First Step" and working up to more in depth information. I highly recommend not rushing from one category to the next but take your time in each, allowing the information to soak in and new habits to form. A little tip: your local library may have access to a few or all of the resources listed here! Or check out to find a used or new copy and support literacy efforts around the globe.

My hope is that these sources bless you in the many ways they have me.

Hi there! I'm guessing you have been recently motivated to seek out better health for either you, your family, someone else you care about, a social justice issue, a combination of all of these, or any other number of ways that people begin any new challenge in their life. You know you want to change but just aren't sure where to start. You may be looking for as much information as you can get your hands on as the passion for a new life style is fresh and exciting. On the other hand, you may feel completely out of your league, overwhelmed, and are desperate for a few simple steps to begin. Let's step out together.

I think it so important to begin with having an understanding of food: where it comes from and how we got to aisles of packages full of modified ingredients. It's equally important to fall in love with the act of eating. These books cover it all. 

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle / Barbara Kingsolver
Bread and Wine / Shauna Niequist
In Defense of Food / Michael Pollan
Cooked / Michael Pollan

Here you'll find simple recipes that don't get super caught up in the "nutrition" of it all. When you're starting off I like to use Michael Pollan's mantra, "Eat food. Not to much. Mostly plants." These cookbooks will guide you.

Clean Food / Terry Walters
Clean Start / Terry Walters
Giada's Feel Good Food / Giada de Laurentiis
It's All Good / Gwyneth Paltrow
Simply in Season / Mary Beth Lind and Cathleen Hockman-Wert

If you're not into reading, there are a couple documentaries listed here that will tell you what you need to know. The Environmental Working Group has made information on what's in our food, the things we put on our body and in our homes really accessible. Local Harvest will guide you through finding local food by connecting you with farmer's and markets near you. 100 Days of Real Food is a fantastic resource for kids snacks, especially school lunches. Thrive Market and Vitacost are online grocery stores focused on getting people [you!] healthy food for less cost.

100 Days of Real Food
EWG Shopper's Guide to Food
Food Inc. Documentary
In Defense of Food Documentary
Cooked Documentary [on Netflix]
Local Harvest
Skin Deep: Cosmetic Safety Database
Thrive Market

Okay, you've mastered a few things. Maybe you have switched all of your meats and dairy to local, organic, and pastured raised. You are familiar with the "Dirty Dozen" and "Clean Fifteen" and have adjusted your grocery shopping accordingly. You've detoxed your cupboards and are working on cleaning house and nourishing your body. Refined, pre-packaged foods are a thing of the past [or at least getting there] and whole foods a new term you've embraced. Things are feeling a little more comfortable and routine. Familiar. You've recently gotten the itch to do more, learn more, walk farther.

Some of books listed below delve into how our eating and actions impact the world around us. The 3-Season Diet begins to dive deeper into eating seasonally [changing our diets to align with the four seasons] and gives an introduction to eating Ayurvedically [ancient tradition of eating foods specific to our unique being]. The Wisdom of the Enneagram dives into who we are and why we act, react, and make the choices we do.   

Eat, Drink, and Be Healthy / Walter Willet
Healthy Eating, Healthy World / J. Morris Hicks
Serve God, Save the Planet / J. Matthew Sleeth
The 3-Season Diet / John Douillard
The China Study / T. Colin Campbell
The Wisdom of the Enneagram / Don Richard Riso and Russ Hudson

These cookbooks range from Ayurvedic, an intro to herbal medicine and preparation, superfoods, as well as recipes that may have ingredients you're not familiar with. Have fun!

Eat, Taste, Heal / Thomas Yarema, Daniel Rhoda, Chef Johnny Brannigan
Indian for Everyone / Anupy Singla
Medicinal Herbs / Rosemary Gladstar
My New Roots / Sarah Britton
Nourishing Traditions / Sally Fallon
Raw Energy / Stephanie Tourles
Superfood Juices / Julie Morris
Superfood Kitchen / Julie Morris
Superfood Smoothies / Julie Morris
Super Natural Every Day / Heidi Swanson

Like the cookbooks listed above, these resources start to tackle specific dietary needs, simplifying your home, will introduce you to foods you may have never heard of, and provide you with a bit of soul food. 

101 Cookbooks
A Couple of Cooks

Here we are! You're on a roll and ready to really get into it. These resources cover a variety of topics including food, yoga, spirituality, eastern and herbal medicine, creativity, gardening, storing your own food, and rest.


Ayurvedic Medicine and Yoga

Ayurveda: A Comprehensive Guide to Traditional Indian Medicine for the West / Frank John Ninivaggi
Ayurveda: The Science of Self-Healing / Dr. Vasant Lad
Eastern Body, Western Mind / Anodea Judith
Living Your Yoga / Judith Lasater
The Tree of Yoga / B.K.S. Iyengar

Food Ethics, Gardening and Storing Food

Bringing it to the Table / Wendell Berry
How to Grow More Vegetables / John Jeavons
Grow Great Grub / Gayla Trail
The Vegetable Gardener's Bible / Edward C. Smith

Herbal Medicine

Nutrition, Energy Medicine, Dietary Needs

Energy Medicine / Donna Eden

Sabbath, Spirituality, Faith and Creativity

A Timbered Choir / Wendell Berry
An Altar in the World / Barbara Brown Taylor
Big Magic / Elizabeth Gilbert
Falling Upward / Richard Rohr
Immortal Diamond / Richard Rohr
Peace is Every Step / Thich Nhat Hahn
Sabbath / Dan B. Allender


Home Cheesemaking / Ricki Carrol
How to Store Your Garden Produce / Piers Warren
Local Flavors / Deborah Madison
The Complete Book of Small-Batch Preserving / Ellie Topp and Margaret Howard
The Art of Simple Food / Alice Waters
Vegetable Literacy / Deborah Madison


Center for Food Safety
Mindfulness Magazine
Mother Earth Living Magazine
Nourished Kitchen
Organic Life
Slow Food USA
Yoga International
Yoga Journal


Some of my favorite books happen to be children's books. Simple messages, beautiful images. Call it a step towards mindfulness. As you share with your children or the children around you the journey you're taking, may you find entering into their world a blessing of it's own. 

All the World / Liz Garton Scanlon
Good Night Yoga / Miriam Gates
How Full is Your Bucket? / Tom Rath and Mary Reckmeyer
I Believe in Me / Connie Bowen
My First Yoga / Abbie Davies
Sunshine and Snowballs / Margaret Wise Brown
What Do You Do With An Idea? / Kobi Yamada

Whether you're pregnant, have children or grandchildren, or interact with kids on a regular basis, here are a few resources to help you take what you've been learning and make it accessible to them. A little secret, it's so much fun!

100 Days of Real Food
Disease-Proof Your Child
Edible Schoolyard Project 
Gardening Lab for Kids / Renata Fossen Brown
Handbook of Nature Study / Anna Botsford Comstock
Healthy Child, Healthy World / Christopher Gavigan
Raising Baby Green / Alan Greene
Renew Mama Yoga Studio
Return to the Garden: Infants and Children
Return to the Garden: Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
Sing Song Yoga
Super Baby Food / Ruth Yaron
Yoga Pretzels / Tara Gluber and Leah Kalish

Along this journey of holistic well-being, I've found I care deeply that all people have access to the basic necessities o life: whole food, clean water, safety, educational opportunity, medical services, and a healthy earth in which to live. There are people who work tirelessly to ensure these things happen and my family and I feel so strongly about supporting their efforts. If walking this journey has moved you to act in a community-like way, check out the work of the organizations listed here. 

Charity Water
Kids Food Basket
International Justice Mission
Plant with Purpose
World Vision

No comments: