By now I’m sure you know me as a naturopathic doctor in Oakville who is passionate about health and wellness. But what you may not know is that I am also a total bookworm. Here is a list of health and wellness books (both new and old) that I have read and recommend to patients on a regular basis. It’s the start of a new year, so if you are currently working your way through your 2017 reading list, you’ll probably want to include some of these.
6 Health & Wellness Books to Add to Your 2017 Summer Reading List
I recommend this wellness book to females going through menopause, women with menstrual irregularity, and anyone with hormonal health concerns. It can also be helpful for people trying to lose weight.
Author Natasha Turner is a naturopathic doctor currently practicing in Toronto. You may recognize her name, as the likes of Marilyn Denis and Dr. Oz often feature her on their shows. The health community knows her as a hormone expert and she has multiple #1 bestselling books.
I don’t just like this book; I LOVE it. If you’re a patient of mine, you’ve probably heard me talk about it. The book starts off with a hormonal profile questionnaire, which you can answer to find out what hormonal imbalances you may be experiencing. She then recommends supplements and foods for each different kind of imbalance. At the end of the books, she also includes an exercise routine, healthy recipes, and a grocery shopping list. Hormonal concerns can be complex, but Dr. Turner makes them a lot easier to understand.
Pretty much anyone could benefit from reading this book. The author is Emeran Mayer, a medical doctor in Los Angeles. He has studied brain-body interactions for over 40 years and the National Institute of Health supports his research. Dr. Mayer is considered a world leader on the subject of brain-gut microbiome interactions and is the codirector of the Digestive Disease Research Center at the University of California L.A.
This book really puts into perspective the importance of gut health. He discusses the effect different emotions can have on digestion (for example, anger can cause the stomach to increase acid production and empty more slowly). The end of the book reveals methods of optimizing your brain-gut health, which is both helpful and practical.
If you or someone in your life is struggling with an eating disorder, this is the book to read. I also believe that a lot of this book’s content can be applied to those with addictions, anxiety, and depression.
The author of this book is Jenni Schaefer, a writer and speaker who experienced an eating disorder first hand before eventually achieving full recovery. She is the chair of the Ambassadors Council of the National Eating Disorders Association. Jenni also recently collaborated with Harvard Medical School to write the book Almost Anorexic.
This book is great at helping you to get inside the head of someone with an eating disorder. The author discusses the importance of treating eating disorders as a relationship rather than a condition. It helps to gain a better understanding of the struggle going on inside the mind of a person with anorexia or bulimia. Jenni includes excerpts and practical exercises from her own therapist, which you can do on your own at home.
Norman Doidge is a medical doctor, psychiatrist, psychoanalyst, and researcher at Columbia University and University of Toronto. He has received Canada’s National Magazine Gold Award four times. The Globe & Mail named The Brain That Changes Itself Best Book of the Year in 2007. Pretty much anyone could read, enjoy, and learn from this book. He talks about research from the frontiers of brain science, but in a way that is accessible to anyone. Dr. Doidge also shares triumphant stories from people whose lives have been transformed by the science of neuroplasticity. I was most fascinated by the case study about a girl born with half a brain who was able to re-wire it to function like a whole, healthy brain. He shares excerpts about patients who were able to overcome learning and emotional disorders, raise their IQs, and rejuvenate their aging brains. Overall, the book was interesting and uplifting with its stories of overcoming brain illnesses and diseases.
If you’re someone with anxiety or if you feel like you’re being held back in life, I would highly recommend this book. Shonda Rhimes is the creator and writer of Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal and executive producer of How to Get Away With Murder. She may be known as the Queen of Thursday night television, but she struggled with anxiety for many years before starting her Year of Yes: a year where she vowed to say “yes” to anything that scared her. Prior to this, she never did interviews or talk shows and was declining event invitations left, right, and centre. Her year of saying yes drastically changed her career life, personal life, and even her health. This book is as inspiring as it is smart and witty, a true joy to read.
Authors Dennis Greenberger and Christine A. Padesky are PhDs and clinical psychologists. They each have made significant contributions to the field of cognitive behavioural therapy. I would recommend this book to anyone with a mental health issue, particularly anxiety or depression (even if it’s only seasonal!).
Although I love using nutrition and botanicals when treating patients for mental health, I believe the best way to help patients is to get them to change the way they think. This book helps to do just that. The best part of this book is how practical it is. It guides you through goal-setting, gratitude journals, and exercises to help with mindfulness, acceptance, and forgiveness. They provide step-by-step plans that are simple and easy to follow but also powerful in helping to overcome depression, anxiety, anger, guilt, and shame. This is a standard go-to book in the field of cognitive-behavioural therapy, for both patients and practitioners. If you would like to consult someone about your mood and mental health, you can always find a therapist online here.
If you have any questions about physical or mental health and wellness, book your appointment today with Dr. Corina Kibsey, N.D.
Image courtesy of: João Silas