Sharing the books I read in April and if I’d recommend adding them to your list!
Hi friends! Happy Monday! How was the weekend? I hope you had an amazing one! We went to Phoenix for a dance competition, and got to spend lots of time with family, which was lovely. We had an awesome brunch for Mother’s Day at Hacienda del Sol, I napped with Maisey, and we capped off the evening with Indian food, wine, and watching Little Women with the crew.
For today’s post, I’m sharing a recap of the books I read in April. I’m still holding strong at my goal of 3 books per month, and absolutely loved last month’s selection. I’d love to hear what you’re currently reading and if you have recs for any fun, summer reads! Also a little note here that I’m still so so happy with my Book of the Month subscription. I find authors and selections I wouldn’t normally try, and it’s been an amazing encouragement to make time for reading. You can try it out for $5 with my link here!
Here are the books from April!
April book recap
In Five Years
I remember Julie recommending In Five Years, so when I saw it at Target before our Disney trip, I figured it would be good travel reading. I BLASTED through this thing within a couple of days. The plot drew me in right away, and I felt like I couldn’t read fast enough to find out what happens. 10/10 would recommend for a summer book!
Here’s the synopsis from Amazon:
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Dannie Kohan lives her life by the numbers.
She is nothing like her lifelong best friend—the wild, whimsical, believes-in-fate Bella. Her meticulous planning seems to have paid off after she nails the most important job interview of her career and accepts her boyfriend’s marriage proposal in one fell swoop, falling asleep completely content.
But when she awakens, she’s suddenly in a different apartment, with a different ring on her finger, and beside a very different man. Dannie spends one hour exactly five years in the future before she wakes again in her own home on the brink of midnight—but it is one hour she cannot shake. In Five Years is an unforgettable love story, but it is not the one you’re expecting.
Deep Nutrition was highly recommended by Mia and a few other RDs and health professionals on IG, so I knew I wanted to read it. It was a long one (400+ pages) and I didn’t want it to end. I feel like it was incredibly well-constructed, with lots of citations and data to back up the author’s claims, and it was one of those books that completely changed my viewpoint of a few different nutritional foundations. (Even ones I thought to be true! I definitely recommend reading this one with an open mind!)
We are living in the first generation to have a shorter life expectancy than their parents. What has changed? The addition of so many toxins in our environment and foods has led to a cascade of detrimental health effects, including increased rates of cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. The author demonstrates how a return back to our ancestors’ style of eating is one of the easiest things we can do to promote health, vitality, and healing. She explains the harmful effects of refined sugar, inflammatory seed oils, and how to eat what she calls The Human Diet, based on nutritional foundations that have been used all over the world for centuries.
The only part of this book that I didn’t love was the initial section on how our grandparents’ diet affects our beauty and face symmetry. It just felt a little superficial to me – and a little frustrating, since we obviously can’t control the lifestyles of those who were born before us – and wasn’t really why I wanted to read this book. All in all, I’d give it a 9/10. I wish she included more recipes!
Here’s the synopsis from Amazon:
A self-published phenomenon examining the habits that kept our ancestors disease-free – now with a prescriptive plan for the Human Diet to help us all live long, vital, healthy lives.
Physician and biochemist Cate Shanahan, MD, examined diets around the world known to help people live longer, healthier lives – diets like the Mediterranean, Okinawa, and Blue Zone – and identified the four common nutritional habits, developed over millennia, that unfailingly produce strong, healthy, intelligent children and active, vital elders generation after generation. These four nutritional strategies – fresh food, fermented and sprouted foods, meat cooked on the bone, and organ meats – form the basis of what Dr. Cate calls the Human Diet.
Rooted in her experience as an elite athlete who used traditional foods to cure her own debilitating injuries, and combining her research with the latest discoveries in the field of epigenetics, Dr. Cate shows how all calories are not created equal; food is information that directs our cellular growth. Our family history does not determine our destiny: What you eat and how you live can alter your DNA in ways that affect your health and the health of your future children.
Deep Nutrition offers a prescriptive plan for how anyone can begin eating the Human Diet to:
Eliminate cravings and the need to snack
Boost fertility and have healthier children
Sharpen cognition and memory
Eliminate allergies and disease
Build stronger bones and joints
Get younger, smoother skin
Deep Nutrition cuts through today’s culture of conflicting nutritional ideologies, showing how the habits of our ancestors can help us lead longer, healthier, more vital lives.
I was so excited to order Genius Kitchen, because I’ve followed Max Lugavere on Instagram for a while and also love his podcast. TBH, I was curious to see how the recipes would be designed, because I feel like a lot of “health cookbooks” are bland and gross. I end up having to add citrus zest, seasonings, garlic (why do they hate garlic?!), ANYTHING to give it a bit of a flavor profile. This book has been surprising in the best possible way! We’ve had a handful of recipes, and they’ve all be healthy, beautiful, and flavorful. I was blown away! I definitely recommend this one if you’re looking for new meals to add to the rotation. 9/10
(I’d also like to thank this book for helping me discover that the girls LOVE sardines. I bought a huge pack from Costco and they’ve eaten them all haha.)
Max Lugavere’s debut book Genius Foods was groundbreaking, providing much-needed information on brain health that was embraced by thousands, and became an instant New York Times bestseller. His second book, The Genius Life, introduced an easy-to-implement protocol for strengthening your body and mind. This is the follow-up fans have been waiting for: the companion cookbook, filled with over 100 delicious recipes to help you lose weight, feel great, and reach optimum health.
Inspired by traditions from around the globe, the 100-plus recipes and stunning photographs in Genius Kitchen feature an international twist, with bold flavors that favor simplicity and quality of ingredients over complexity and quantity. In addition, Max lists the basic, healthy ingredients and tools that are essential for a well-stocked kitchen and pantry, and offers techniques and best practices for healthy cooking and eating well on a budget.
Max wants everyone to be well and enjoy great food—a legacy imparted on him by the tragic health of his mother. Part cookbook, part wellness guide, Genius Kitchen provides key insights that make healthy eating a breeze. Max explains the importance of whole, fresh foods, how various nutrients work together keep you healthy, and how to get fit without counting calories. Breaking down each meal component, Max explains the art and science of nutrition without the dogma, so that you can feel your best every day without sacrificing your love of eating.
Whether you are a novice cook or seasoned in the kitchen; just beginning the journey to wellness, or health conscious but wanting to up your game, everyone will benefit from the information presented in Genius Kitchen—and enjoy some epic food in the process.
Loving What Is
Loving What Is has already changed my life. It gives you such a beautiful perspective on how to be present, and how our thoughts aren’t always necessarily *true.* I only wish I would have read it sooner, particularly when I was dealing with postpartum depression, and when we were going through some challenging times in our marriage. If you haven’t read this one, I highly recommend the audio version. The book is based on four questions, which the author dubs “The Work.” Asking yourself these four questions, especially when you’re feeling down or overwhelmed, is a helpful way to bring you back to the present moment and what is actually true. 10/10 would recommend.
Out of nowhere, like a breeze in a marketplace crowded with advice, comes Byron Katie and “The Work”. In the midst of a normal life, Katie became increasingly depressed and, over a 10-year period, sank further into rage, despair, and thoughts of suicide. Then, one morning, she woke up in a state of absolute joy, filled with the realization of how her own suffering had ended. The freedom of that realization has never left her, and now, in Loving What Is, you can discover the same freedom through The Work.
The Work is simply four questions that, when applied to a specific problem, enable you to see what is troubling you in an entirely different light. As Katie says, “It’s not the problem that causes our suffering; it’s our thinking about the problem.” Contrary to popular belief, trying to let go of a painful thought never works; instead, once we have done The Work, the thought lets go of us. At that point we can truly love what is, just as it is.
Loving What Is will show you step by step, through clear and vivid examples, exactly how to use this revolutionary process for yourself. You’ll see people do The Work with Katie on a broad range of human problems, from a wife ready to leave her husband because he wants more sex to a Manhattan worker paralyzed by fear of terrorism to a woman suffering over a death in her family. Many people have discovered The Work’s power to solve problems; in addition, they say that through The Work they experience a sense of lasting peace and find the clarity and energy to act, even in situations that had previously seemed impossible.
If you continue to do The Work, you may discover, as many people have, that the questioning flows into every aspect of your life, effortlessly undoing the stressful thoughts that keep you from experiencing peace. Loving What Is offers everything you need to learn and live this remarkable process and to find happiness as what Katie calls “a lover of reality”.
So, tell me friends: what did you read this month? Any recommendations for summer? Please share the love in the comments section!!