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Episode 162: Kat's Library... These 11 Books Will Change Your Life

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If you've been listening to this podcast/reading this blog for a while and you like the way I think about food, healing, mindset, and life in general, I have a secret for you...

I wasn't born thinking this way.

I know, shocking. I had to learn, and practice, and stumble, and relearn, and unlearn, again and again and again.

And my greatest teachers have been the books that line my shelves (or let's be real, my audible library). 

These authors have been my guides, helping me work through crushing self-doubt, a hard core all-or-nothing mindset, limiting beliefs, dysfunctional relationships, people-pleasing, trauma, and so much more. 

I hope they help you the same way they helped me, let's get into it...

My Favorite Books:

You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero

This was my lightbulb moment. It's a funny, light-hearted introduction into personal development and mindset work that comes from sarcastic, witty, self-help sceptic, Jen Sincero. 

If you struggle with limiting beliefs holding you back, start here. 

"So often we pretend we've made a decision, when what we've really done is signed up to try until get gets too uncomfortable."

Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin

This is the bible of habit change in my book. Because not only does it answer questions about how to create and break habits for good. It does it through the lens that different personality types need to approach habit-change differently. 

“We can use decision making to choose the habits we want to form, we can use willpower to get the habit started; then—and this is the best part—we can allow the extraordinary power of habit to take over. We take our hands off the wheel of decision, our foot off the gas of willpower, and rely on the cruise control of habits. ”

The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel van der Kolk, MD

Every. single. person. needs to read this book. It explains how past traumas (and we all have them, even if they aren't capital T traumas) impact the way our brain and body work on a cellular level.

If you feel stuck in your life, this is your way out. 

ps It is very dense and very long. If you want the cliff notes, check out episodes 112, 113, and 114 of the podcast. 

“After trauma the world is experienced with a different nervous system. The survivor’s energy now becomes focused on suppressing inner chaos, at the expense of spontaneous involvement in their lives. These attempts to maintain control over unbearable physiological reactions can result in a whole range of physical symptoms, including fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, and other autoimmune diseases. This explains why it is critical for trauma treatment to engage the entire organism, body, mind, and brain.”

Spontaneous Healing by Dr. Andrew Weil

In this fascinating book, Dr. Weil examines case studies from around the world of people 'miraculously' healing life threatening ailments. And instead of chalking it up to luck, he digs into the biology of how we can tap into our own healing system to create our own miracles.

“I am uneasy about the suppressive nature of conventional medicine. If you look at the names of the most popular categories of drugs in use today, you will find that most of them begin with the prefix “anti.” We use antispasmodics and antihypertensives, antianxiety agents and antidepressants, antihistamines, antiarrhythmics, antitussives, antipyretics, and anti-inflammatories, as well as beta blockers and H2-receptor antagonists. This is truly antimedicine—medicine that is, in essence, counteractive and suppressive."

The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor

Inspired by one of the most popular Ted Talks of all time, this book completely disproves our cultural belief that success = happiness. And instead, through one of the largest studies on happiness ever conducted, shows us how rewiring our brains for positivity and optimism is the key to mental, emotional, physical, financial, and relational success. 

“Constantly scanning the world for the negative comes with a great cost. It undercuts our creativity, raises our stress levels, and lowers our motivation and ability to accomplish goals.”

Food Rules by Michael Pollan

If you feel overwhelmed by all the conflicting diet advice out there, this is the book for you. Much like what we do on this podcast, Pollan's book brings much needed simplicity to the nutrition industry, honing in on the enduring world-wide wisdom around food. This is a back-to-basics nutrition guide at its finest. 

"If it came from a plant, eat it; if it was made in a plant, don't."

The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown

In my experience, so much of our suffering, particularly when it comes to food, comes from the all-or-nothing mindset that says, "If I can't do it perfectly, I shouldn't bother trying." This book is a breath of fresh air, releasing you from the need to be perfect and allowing you to embrace a more balanced, peaceful way of life. 

“Perfectionism is a self destructive and addictive belief system that fuels this primary thought: If I look perfect, and do everything perfectly, I can avoid or minimize the painful feelings of shame, judgment, and blame.”

Breaking Up with Sugar by Molly Carmel

While I don't appreciate Carmel's advice to give up all forms of sugar forever and ever, her wisdom on how sugar affects the body, where sugar cravings come from, and her strategies for overcoming cravings are well worth the read. This is a 'take what's helpful, leave what isn't helpful' kind of book. 

"If it looks, tastes, and sweetens like sugar, it's triggering the very same effect as the real deal."

Next on my reading list...

Blue Zones by Dan Buettner

While I haven't read the book itself, I do have the cookbook and I love the premise of looking at the nutrition, fitness, and lifestyle habits of the people who live the longest and emulating them.

"Drink without getting drunk, love without suffering jealousy, eat without overindulging, never argue, and once in a while, with great discretion, misbehave."

How to Do the Work by Nicole Lepera

I've been a long time follower of Nicole Lepera. I save her instagram posts, I listen to her on podcasts, and she is doing some incredible work in bringing mental wellness to the masses. In this book she offers readers effective tools and strategies to break free from destructive behaviors and patterns, and reclaim their lives. 

If you're looking for a book that's going to help you work through the traumas and troubles that have held you back, this is the book for you. 

"If you want to have breakthroughs in your life, you have to break up your patterns."

Woman Unleashed by Dr. Sonya Jensen ND

I listened to Sonya Jensen on Jillian Michael's podcast and fell in love with her message that menopause and hormones in general are not meant to be painful. We have been fed the belief that suffering is the norm when it doesn't have to be. 

In this book she shares a holistic view of hormones, helping us to decode our hormonal story and gain freedom from our hormonal symptoms. I can't wait to dive into this book.

"The brain gets stuck in routines, when we bring in variation the brain can develop new pathways."

Now I know from experience, reading books can be absolutely life-changing, but it can also be overwhelming trying to implement the changes on your own when life, stress, and old habits are always there to trip you up.

So if you want support, accountability, and someone to help you navigate the struggles of change, click here to book a free consultation with me so we can chat about ways we can work together!


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