1. Food Rules, Michael Pollan
In this book, Michael Pollan offers readers a list of guidelines for a healthy diet. The list is over sixty items long but the book is in no way arduous. It is written succinctly and with humour. Some of my favourite items on the list are:
- Don’t eat anything that contains ingredients a third-grader couldn’t pronounce
- Only eat things that will eventually rot
- Only eat things that were cooked by humans
And the entire book can be summarised by saying:
“Eat real food. Mostly plants. Not too much.”
This book will restore your faith that you CAN, in fact, navigate the web of food choices that we are faced with today.
2. Renegade Beauty, Nadine Artemis
This book is beautifully written and contains a wealth of information about the interaction of our bodies and our health and beauty practices. There are chapters on the micro-biome of our armpits, how to interact wisely with the sun, the use of different essential oils and much much more.
Paradoxically, despite the book describing so many different natural compounds, I came away with the impression that I actually need LESS oils/lotions/products/tools in my toiletry kit, which was something of a relief!
3. The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up, by Marie Kondo
In this book, Marie Kondo, a professional “de-clutterer” from Japan walks you through a brutal regime of getting rid of things that you no longer need. The key question that you have to ask yourself is:
“Does this thing spark joy?”
I have always been somewhat of a minimalist but this book tore through many of the illusions I had about why I was hanging on to stuff. After reading this I was able to get rid of about half of what I owned at the time.
Although, I have to admit that, contrary to Kondo’s advice, I do have to “re-do” the process every few years, but hey-ho, no one is perfect!
4. The Rock Warrior’s Way, by Arno Ilgner
The book as a whole is focused on mental training for rock climbers, but the first chapter is a powerful, moving introduction to the zen mindset. I would recommend this first chapter to anyone, not just climbers or athletes.
It’s one of those chapters that I have to keep coming back to periodically to remind myself. I come away feeling centered and restored every time.