Just in time for last-minute holiday gifts for friends and family of all ages—or for making good on those New Years resolutions—award-winning author Lisa Maxbauer Price shares her thoughts on three books that informed and inspired her.
Glow15: A Science-Based Plan To Lose Weight, Revitalize Your Skin and Invigorate Your Life by Naomi Whittel
The New Year is a time for fresh starts and deep insights, like the ones this self-help book delivers. It is a great gift for longevity-conscious loved ones because it offers a clear roadmap for “bio hacking” our health and turning back the clock on our own aging. This book really opened my eyes to the concept of “autophagy”—the process that removes toxin and repairs damage from the body’s cells. Whittel explains that aging isn’t just from natural wear and tear over time. Environmental toxins also collect in our cells, speeding the signs of aging. And while we’ve known we can prevent some damage with antioxidants, it is less understood how to repair existing damage. Here, Whittel says, “Autophagy begins where antioxidants leave off.”
Whittel goes on to outline lifestyle habits and optimal food choices (like macadamia chocolate bark, bergamot tea, coconut oil and collagen) that can help us age in reverse. And Whittel seems to be proof that the approach works. As a busy mother of 4 in her mid 40s, she has an unbelievably healthy glow, despite a childhood tainted by autoimmune disease and toxic heavy metal exposure. Bottom line: When you give a book about health to a loved one, the message is, “You’re important to me—I want you to be around a long time.” What a beautiful sentiment!
First, We Make the Beast Beautiful: A New Journey Through Anxiety by Sarah Wilson
This is the wellness book I have raved about to friends the most this year. It is part memoir, part research deep-dive from New York Times bestseller Sarah Wilson, author of I Quit Sugar.
Above all, the book is hopeful, providing a banquet of DIY tips for better navigating life for anyone dealing with conditions like bipolar, anxiety or insomnia, or simply those of us dreading decisions or feeling the Monday malaise. In researching this rich topic, Wilson consulted everyone from the Dalai Lama to Brené Brown and uncovered surprising benefits found in meditating, handwriting, walking in nature, looking at childhood photos, eating chocolate and flipping coins. The easy, natural approaches presented in the book allowed Wilson to feel in control of her life after decades of pain and struggle. In the end, she learned to honor her anxious mind—as the Chinese proverb that inspired her book title suggests—and view it not as a weakness, but a super power. “Anxiety can become the very thing that pushes us to become our best person,” she discovered. “I don’t sit here healed. I sit here simply knowing I’m on a better journey. And this is enough. This is everything!”
This beautiful blue book is the one I wish I could hand deliver to everyone in our increasingly busy and stressful world. It sits front and center on a bookshelf in my own living room.
Vegetables in Underwear by Jared Chapman
I adore this silly picture book. It was first introduced to me when I visited a community library as a guest author and was asked to read it to the audience. I fell in love at first read. This book is filled with illustrations of colorful veggie characters, all wearing—you guessed it—underpants. There’s the potato in his too-snug blue briefs, and the turnip in some wild tiger-striped undies. The book playfully introduces a variety of vegetables to young children, while slyly encouraging potty training (since the best veggies don’t need diapers). Kids learn that just like getting dressed, eating healthy vegetables should be part of every day.