List of Best Health and Fitness Books

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OK so this post has been long awaited.  I have received quite a few requests for how I do my health research and which books and resources are my favorite.

First of all, lets talk about the different resources we all have access to.  I will do a part II to this post to just provide you all of my favorite websites.  There are many websites that provide reliable academic content that I gravitate towards.  The one thing you want to keep in mind when looking at your sources of information is if there is a bias at all.  Don’t allow yourself to get caught up in the firestorm of media hype, look for solid unbiased facts.

The resource we will be talking about in this post is books. I have provided links to where you can purchase these books online but I find myself often finding fantastic books at my local library (which I highly recommend because the library is AWESOME) and you can also find them at your local bookstore.

FITNESS BOOKS

The Women’s Health Big Book of Exercises– This book is great, I used it a lot when I was first getting started with my fitness routines.  The pictures descriptions are very clear.  I loved using this book to piece together my own workouts tailored to my individual goals and needs.

Yoga Mat Companion – This is actually a series of books.  They are a little on the pricey side, but if you are looking for an amazing yoga book or series of books than this is the book for you.  I went through quite a few yoga books before I found this one and quite frankly I was by and large unimpressed.  This book has great illustrations and gives you multiple options and modifications to assist you with getting your postures with correct form.

You Are Your Own Gym: The Bible of Bodyweight Exercises– This book was a pleasant surprise. Mark Lauren does a great job providing creative bodyweight exercises to add to your arsenal.  I love to use this book as a reference when creating workouts on the road especially.
The Pilates Body: The Ultimate At-Home Guide to Strengthening, Lengthening, and Toning Your Body–Without Machines– The title says it all. A great reference book for pilates moves, no equipment necessary.

HEALTH/NUTRITION

Veganomicon: The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook– Fantastic book full of yummy, easy, recipes.  They do have quite a few recipes that include soy products which I steer clear of but I just substitute and modify those recipes to my own liking.

Vegan’s Daily Companion: 365 Days of Inspiration for Cooking, Eating, and Living Compassionately– A delightful little book filled to the brim with information about different foods, daily inspirations, positive thoughts, and recipes.  I LOVE this book.

Your Best Investment: Secrets to a Healthy Body and Mind– First of all, this is not a strictly vegan book (which is good because I know that all of you aren’t vegan and thats perfectly alright).  The nutrition promoted follows the guidelines of Eat food. Mostly plants. Not too much. The first half of the book provides fantastic academic information relating to food and some of the health challenges that we face as a society today.

The Science of Skinny: Start Understanding Your Body’s Chemistry–and Stop Dieting Forever– I don’t agree with 100% of what is in the book but generally her philosophy aligns with my own.  It is a great step by step guide to get you started.  This book is especially great if you are still looking for more direction on how to get started on your journey.

There are quite a few other books I can recommend in multiple categories and I will add to the list as I get the time to.  I hope this list gets you started.  Let me know if this is helpful for you and if you would like more!

xoxo

Healthy Plum Compote Oatmeal Recipe

First off, for those of you who do not follow me on instagram, you should! My username is ‘electricfitness’ and I post daily inspiration to keep you going and motivated to be your best self.  Here is a recent before/after picture that I posted that I would like to share.  The weight loss that you see here is a mere side effect of a healthy and happy lifestyle change that everyone can make.  If I could do it, ANYONE can.

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One question that I get quite a bit when people are contemplating making their own lifestyle change is “do you ever cheat?” or “don’t you crave bad foods once in a while?” The answer is no and yes.  No I don’t cheat and yes I crave a sweet treat once in a while.  Does this mean that I don’t listen to my body and give it that sweet treat when I am craving one? Absolutely not!! But you can have a sweet treat that is an approved part of your nutrition plan without “cheating”.  Part of making a lifestyle change vs. being on a diet means that when you have cut something out of your nutritional arsenal it is no longer part of what you choose to consume and you now have new creative choices for that sweet treat that are equally as tasty (or better if you ask me) and make you feel GREAT.

This recipe is one of those sweet comfort foods that I will make once in a while when I am craving a treat. It is one of my absolute favorites and I hope you like it too!

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Healthy Plum Compote Oatmeal Recipe

What you will need:

  • 1 lb of plums washed, pitted, quartered
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 Tbs raw sugar or honey
  • 1/2 Tbs cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup of water

For the oatmeal:

  • 1/2 cup oats (old fashioned or steel cut) cooked per manufacturers directions.
  • Toppings: 1/4 cup coconut or almond milk, 1 tsp cinnamon, sprinkling of coconut flakes, even a sliced banana if you are feeling frisky, why not?

*The plum compote portion of this recipe makes about 6 servings.  I like to use what I need and freeze the rest, this stuff is seriously delicious.

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Place the water, lemon, sugar or honey, and cinnamon into a medium saucepan on medium heat.  Bring to a boil. Add the plums and reduce heat to a simmer.  Cook for 20 minutes stirring occasionally. Set aside to cool.

Make oats according to manufacturers directions. Top with coconut or almond milk, 1/4-1/2 cup of plum compote (depending on how much of a sweet treat you want!) and cinnamon/coconut flakes.  Everyone likes their oatmeal differently so sweeten to your own taste (for me the plums make this plenty sweet). ENJOY!

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