Books you must read for more health and happiness

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One of the greatest joys in life are books and the opportunity to absorb information, lessons and beauty from them. Call me old-fashioned, but I love the feel of real paper in my hands, and just cannot take to using an electronic device to read with.

I always have a large pile of books on the go. My bedside table is covered with them – about 12 at last count – in various stages of completion. They are in my cupboards, beside my couch, in my office. And I cannot leave a bookstore empty handed. Nor a library, but at least that’s cheaper!

I wanted to share with you my absolute recommendations for better health and happiness for busy mums. There are many books I could say are great, but these are I think must-haves for women today.


For your health

First cab off the rank is Rushing Woman’s Syndrome by Dr Libby Weaver. This is an absolute must read for every woman of this day and age who is busy. It’s easy to read but spells out quite clearly how your busy life – the rushing around bit – sabotages your health, hormones and body. If you live a very busy life and you only have cash for one book right now, make it this one.

The other one for overall health is the hefty Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon. I personally don’t agree with all of the dietary advice in there, but it’s close. It is chock-full of information, all easy to understand, and is a little like a text book in size and feel, but is is like a bible for your kitchen. So many recipes, many of them basics and quite traditional, it’s like having a Grandmother on your book shelf.


For cooking

Whilst I have a cupboard full of cookbooks, and I could sing the praises or merits of many, I’m only going to mention one author.

The best ones I’ve come across in the past year are any by Lee Holmes because of the way she makes healthy eating easy. Her first book, Supercharged Food is a great starter, and then move on to Eat Yourself Beautiful, which is a little more advanced but still dead easy to use. They’re not complicated and are very achievable for busy women, even if you’re starting out on the healthy eating journey.

Her Supercharged Food for Kids e-book also has some great ideas for kids (my Miss 10 makes Lee’s chocolate almond bickies all the time). (NOTE: this link is an aff link).

Lee’s new book, Eat Clean, Green and Vegetarian, is now out but I’ve not yet seen it so can’t comment. I’m sure it will be great though, based on her track record.

I’ve also written about Lee’s Heal Your Guy e-book here.


For your mind

Pick yourself up a copy of Miracles Now by Gabby Bernstein and keep it by your bed. Flick to a page each morning – the message will no doubt be useful to you in some way. Gabby writes in a fabulously modern way and there’s a very good reason she has the following that she does. Simple explanations for sometimes intense or complicated problems.

Brene Brown would have to be one of the most quoted women of our time. But her insights in The Gifts of Imperfection speak directly to the supermum in all of us. The fear of being seen, stepping up, being differenet or simply just being yourself, is behind the strive to be a good mother, wife, woman etc. Brene’s book helps you find the courage to embrace yourself.

It was sometime ago that I read Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project, but it was a book that had a profound affect on me so it has to be on this list. I actually interviewed Gretchen as well – her story of feeling a kind of malaise when her life seemed ‘perfect’ with a good marriage, two great kids, and a career, really struck a chord with me at the time.

Her journey to find, see and enjoy happiness in her life as it was, to simplify and seek perspective, is well worth the read. The book has since spun off into a sequel (Happier at Home, which I didn’t love as much) and a world-wide community of people, largely women, who create their own Happiness Projects. It seems there are many of us searching for something similar.


For your business or career

I read both of these books over the Christmas break, and they will become mainstays now, particularly Playing Big by Tara Mohr. Incredibly inspiring and brilliant, Tara writes about women in the corporate world, how they are still not heard or seen, and why this is. Most importantly, she details how to overcome this – how to step up and play big at what you do. I resonated so much with Tara’s message – an absolute must read if you’re a career or business woman.

Daring & Disruptive by Lisa Messenger, the founder of The Collective magazine, details Lisa’s background and choices she made to be where she is now, and speaks to those women who would dare to make a difference and do things differently, particularly as an entrepreneur. Well worth a look if you have a dream of your own, particularly in business, and need a shot of inspiration.


Do you have some more books to add to the list? I’m always on the look out for new books, so please add your recommendations below.


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