The New Health Books I Love Right Now.

Jessamyn Stanley plus-size yoga teacher

The bookshelves at NYNHB towers are currently heaving with some brilliant new health books – most of them deserve a post to themselves, but time doesn’t really allow it – so, instead I’m going to do a mini round up of my faves. So, here goes.

Everybody Yoga by Jessamyn Stanley

Jessamyn is a plus-sized yoga sensation (that’s her above) and her book explains why yoga can suit anyone now matter what shape, size, age or level of bendiness you might be. I was lucky enough to interview her recently for a page I write at a website here in Australia called The Carousel and she was funny, clever and really passionate about what she’s trying to do. In fact, I came off the call wanting to be her mate (although I think she’s way too cool to hang out with me!). The book is a mix of her personal story of how she found and started to love yoga – and tips and tricks that ensure it really is something everybody can enjoy.Warning – it’s sweary so if that’s going to ruin your zen-like vibe you might want to steer clear – personally I swear when I do yoga so reading her is a bit like being in my head!

My fave tip: She explains the importance of different yoga props like blocks, and bolsters or straps and why they can come in handy. My favourite line is on why to use a yoga strap where she states. ‘Because you shouldn’t have to mentally torture yourself to reach one of your own limbs.’ Good point, well made.

Louise Parker Lean for Life. The Cookbook

I’ve interviewed Louise a few times for different publications and I love how to down to earth she is. She’s all about making eating in a way that controls your weight something simple and easy to do naturally. My favourite part of is the idea that she refers to the whole process of staying healthy and maintaining weight as a dance – so long as you follow the right steps most of the time, it won’t matter if you nip off out of the circle to do your own thing now and again. I also love the fact that she once told me ‘I won’t out eat of a Tupperware and so I don’t expect my clients to either.’ I’m probably alone in the world of health bloggers in that there’s nothing more likely to put me off food that the idea of deciding what I’m going to eat all week on a Sunday and spending the entire day cooking it…mind you that’s probably why they also have abs and I don’t!

My fave tip: While all the recipes in the book make me want to cook, it’s her quick tips on things like ‘how to whip up the perfect salad’ or ‘how to build a soup’ I like best. They are laid out in simple emoji-style steps that allow you to create meals that suit your own tastes so for example, her rules for making a salad are…

Go Big, Go Green: Use leaves, lots of them

Love Flavour & Texture: Mix up cooked and raw veg, play with textures, experiment

Where’s the Protein? Again, vary hot and cold and don’t forget about things like pulses, legumes, eggs, and soy proteins when considering what to put on top.

Dress to Impress: Dressing is how you take a ‘diet’ salad to a delicious one (she has a foolproof method for making one of these too)

Flavour, Garnish and Texture: Really show off by adding a few seeds, toasted nuts, fresh herbs, chilli or citrus fruit to give things some crunch, spice, colour and zing

Fast Your Way to Wellness by Lee Holmes

Lee is my favourite wellness guru so far in Sydney. She’s passionate but still has a sense of humour about the whole thing. Her new health book came about as she started to reach the big 5-0 and found, as you do at that age (trust me, I’m living proof) that it gets harder and harder to lose weight. So, she checked to the whole fasting thing and found that cutting calories twice a week worked for her. However, she was a bit disappointed by the meal suggestions on offer to fasters. As she said at her book launch ‘a lot of them were British and they’d rely on things like low-fat yogurts and ready-meals to get to their 500 calories a day’ – erm, guilty as charged. That’s pretty much what I did when I tried fasting a few days a week – no wonder it didn’t work on me! Lee wanted to health up your limited number of calories and so created a recipe book of suitable fast day meals from real, healthy food. And oh my goodness they look amazing – I am obsessed with Baked Eggs right now -the best thing about Australian brunch is baked eggs or Shakshuka as they are known. For those of you who haven’t tried them, they are eggs, surrounded by a rich tomatoey sauce sometimes with beans and chorizo. I crave it madly most days – and she’s got a recipe for it. Consider me sold on the book from that point. Oh, and if makes me look as good as her, that’s a huge bonus!

My fave tip: She’s put a lot of thought into how to survive fast days and has heaps of advice for this. Admittedly one of them is ‘untangle your power cables’ which would send me running to the nearest chocolate bar in frustration – but I like her ideas on how to satisfy cravings on fast days. She suggests…

If you’re craving fat: That you have one teaspoon of oil on your food (for 40 calories). Personally, I’d suggest sucking on a teaspoon of coconut oil.

If you’re craving carbs: Have a small sweet potato as part of your meal – just 68 calories

If you’re craving sugar: Don’t resort to anything with sweeteners – have a small portion of fruit instead

If you’re craving food in general: Store a small calorie measured portion of veggies in the fridge and pull one out if you need to nibble.

Quit Alcohol (for a Month) by erm… me!

Oh and there’s just one more new health book I need to mention. Mine! Yes, as well as moving countries in the last year, I also wrote another book. Now don’t be like most of my friends and laugh when you find out what it’s on – I hasten to add I have done this more than once! The book is called ‘Quit Alcohol (for a month) – and it’s basically a guide to surviving ideas like Dry January, Ocsober, Dry July etc. It’s not out until August, but you can pre-order at now at amazon if you like (just click the pic below and you’ll go to the page). The exact contents are under wraps until closer to publication, but when I can tell you more I will -and I’ll give you my top five tips from it too.

So, that’s it, my fave new health books out right now. So, what’s yours – and what’s your favourite tip from it?

Image of Jessamyn by Christine Hewitt

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If you’d like to buy any of the books above, simply click the pictures below to be taken to their pages on amazon
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