What We're Reading This June

By , SparkPeople Blogger
Each month, we like to share what we're reading. Here are the healthy and inspiring titles that have piqued our interest this month.

Taking the Leap: Freeing Ourselves from Old Habits and Fears
by Pema Chödrön

They say: In this book Pema Chödrön shows us how to break free of destructive patterns in our lives and experience a new sense of freedom and happiness. Drawing on the Buddhist concept of shenpa, she helps us to see how certain habits of mind tend to “hook” us and get us stuck in states of anger, blame, self-hatred, and addiction. The good news is that once we start to see these patterns, we can begin to change our lives for the better.

The key is learning a new way of facing the inevitable difficulties and insecurities of our daily lives: we must learn how to stay present and open our hearts. “This path entails uncovering three basic human qualities,” explains Pema. “These qualities have always been with us but perhaps have gotten buried and almost forgotten. They are natural intelligence, natural warmth, and natural openness. Everyone, everywhere, all over the globe, has these qualities and can call on them to help themselves and others."

This book gives us the insights and practices we can immediately put to use in our lives to awaken these essential qualities. In her friendly and encouraging style, Pema Chödrön helps us to take a bold leap toward a new way of living—one that will bring about positive transformation for ourselves and for our troubled world.

We say: This book changed my life. I'm not a brave person by nature, and I've been through some tough stuff in the last 12 months. I read this book at precisely the right time. I learned to confront my fears and release them. I recommend it to anyone who is going through a rough time. This book taught me how to avoid feeding negative emotions.  

You Can Trust a Skinny Cook
by Allison Fishman

They say: Co-host of Lifetime's Cook Yourself Thin Allison Fishman shows you how to eat great—and look even better!

In You Can Trust a Skinny Cook, Allison Fishman teaches you how to stay thin and trim without giving up on the good things in life. She shows you how to take control of your health by taking charge in the kitchen with delicious, healthy meals served in the right portions.

We say: I met Allison last month, and she shared a copy of her book with me. I love it. I kept saying, "these are like my recipes!" That is, as a healthy eater, it's rare to find a cookbook that contains so many recipes that are not only good for me and easy but also interesting and inspiring. Allison's no-nonsense style in the kitchen and affable personality make this a must-read for healthy eaters.

Clean Start: Inspiring You to Eat Clean and Live Well with 100 New Clean Food Recipes by Terry Walters

They say: CLEAN START makes it even easier for everyone-from the kitchen novice to the seasoned chef-to eat clean. CLEAN START features 100 exciting new recipes for the foods we all need more of, featuring Terry's signature quick, easy, and delicious preparations. CLEAN START inspires you to take the next step…no matter where you're starting.
We say: Members have been talking about this book--they love it. It's full of healthy recipes that anyone can make.

Start Fresh: Your Child's Jump Start to Lifelong Healthy Eating by Tyler Florence

They say: Chef Tyler Florence believes that everybody deserves to eat delicious, flavorful food prepared with care and the freshest ingredients —and that goes for babies, too.  In Start Fresh, he takes the expertise he has used to create his own line of organic baby food and presents quick, user-friendly recipes for 60 purees packed with simple, easy-to-digest fruits, vegetables, and grains straight from the earth—nothing fake or processed allowed. 

A practical, charming little package from a caring dad and exceptional chef that thousands have come to trust , this book will give parents the tools they need to prepare nutritious food their babies will love to eat—for a truly fresh and healthy start.

We say: Tyler Florence has long been a favorite Food Network chef of mine. This is a great cookbook for anyone who has kids and needs advice teaching them to eat right.
Fitness Fast Track to a Better Body: All-Time Best Workouts to Tone and Trim in 15 Minutes

They say: Fitness magazine's millions of readers know who to turn to for exercise routines that deliver better-body results fast. In this book you'll find the most popular 15-minute workouts of all time from the magazine's Express Fitness section to help you fit exercise into your busy schedule and reach your fitness goals-fifteen minutes at a time.
  • Brings together the top-requested 15-minute workouts from Fitness magazine in one book
  • Includes specialized workouts for trouble zones such as butt, abs, and arms
  • Shares total-body workouts and body-weight-only workouts you can do anywhere along with expert tips on training like the pros
We say: We LOVE Fitness magazine, and this book is no exception. Be sure to read Coach Nicole's review of the book!

The Accidental Creative: How to Be Brilliant at a Moment's Notice by Todd Henry (July 7)
They say: Have better ideas, faster, without the stress and burnout.

It isn't enough to just do your job anymore. In order to thrive in today's marketplace, all of us, regardless of our role, have to be ready to generate brilliant ideas on demand.

Business creativity expert Todd Henry explains how to establish effective practices that unleash your creative potential. Born out of his consultancy and his popular podcast, Henry has created a practical method for discovering your personal creative rhythm. He focuses on five key elements:
  • Focus: Begin with your end goal in mind. 
  • Relationships: Build stimulating relationships and ideas will follow. 
  • Energy: Manage it as your most valuable resource. 
  • Stimuli: Structure the right "inputs" to maximize creative output. 
  • Hours: Focus on effectiveness, not efficiency.
This is a guide for staying inspired and experiencing greater creative productivity than you ever imagined possible.

We say: A co-worker here at SparkPeople knows the author and shared this book with me. It's a must-read for anyone who wants to succeed and exceed expectations in the workplace. (The author will be writing a guest blog for us next month!)

What are you reading? What should we be reading?

See more: books