Archive for Book Reviews

Book Review: In Defense of Food

If you eat fast food regularly or frozen dinners more than once in a while then you might benefit from the information in this book, but I really don’t know many people who aren’t at least vaguely familiar with how they should eat. I think that Mr. Pollan gets it right when he says that it is a matter of priority. Spending more money and time on food to have a greater quality of food and a lesser quantity of food is of interest to me and lots of people that I know (because let’s face it we often associate with people who are interested in the same things we are), but not to the general public.

This book has an interesting discussion of the rise and preeminence of nutritionism in America and the deleterious effects of this philosophy. It also contains an amazing resources section with lots of other places to go for more information on eating well all around. I would add the resource of NourishMD for moms as it is a company devoted to encouraging moms to feed their kids real food. The first seven words (and the entire third section of the book) are the recommendations for eating real food. “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly Plants.” I found this book to be a recap of “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” with the addition of basic holistic eating info.

I did sort of laugh at Michael Pollan’s suggestion that eating real food is a type of rebellion… Those darn hippies.

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Book Review: The Omnivore’s Dilemma

Something that I think about often – about five times a day – is what to eat or what to prepare to eat. I, of course, want it to be healthy and wholesome and tasty and easy. Well, this book is sort of about that. It is really about where our food comes from (or where it could come from) and how it gets to our table. I found it to be a very interesting topic and well researched and written. The author is a journalist, so I expected as much. This is the type of book that will cause you to re-think what you eat and how you spend your food money. If you are happy eating processed corn and aren’t interested in change, then do not bother with this read. I really appreciated all the info on farm industry as well as the history of the organic movement. I learned a lot about mushrooms and grass and more than I wanted to know about corn, chickens and cows in the farm industry.
I think I’ll try to read Michael Pollan’s In Defense of Food next.

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Book Review: Mommy Draw Stars on my Tummy

I had the privilege of reading and reviewing this book for the author who is part of the Holistic Moms Network.

I found this book to be a great resource for infant and child massage. I really know nothing about this topic and enjoy learning in easy and practical ways. Mommy, Draw Stars On My Tummy by Martine Groeneveld provided very basic information and techniques for massage along with fun and easy rhymes, songs and games to accompany them. I really appreciated the detailed instructions and tips. My kids, who love to be tickled, cuddled and massaged despite my skill level, also really enjoyed the stories and songs. It would’ve been nice if it included a few more rhymes and especially the ones that are like X marks the spot… now you’ve got the shiveries. You can pre-order your copy here.


Book Review: She’s Gonna Blow

My good friend, Andie, lent me a book (that I lent out to another friend) that really has changed the way I parent. I knew I had a problem and needed to get some practical help as well as deal with the root issues of my problem. Well, Julie Barnhill’s book came along at the right time and was exactly what I needed to hear and act on.

I love to read, and Julie Barnhill is a very funny gal whose books are quick, easy reads, but that was not the case for this book. This book had its funny parts and is a quick read, but she has stopping points throughout the book with questions to ponder and action points. I usually just read these types of questions and answer in my head since writing answers requires so much effort. However, I knew that I really needed to process these things and to have accountability to make changes, so I wrote down my answers to all of the questions. I was easily able to see where I struggled and what changes I needed to make.

The gist of it is that anger has its place and is a good response when things are not as they should be – injustice and evil – and as long as anger motivates us to act in love and bring about good changes then it is not a problem. For most people I know, myself included, that is not usually the case when I lose my temper. I am angry at my kids for not living up to my expectations or at myself for making poor choices and then am impatient and unkind toward those around me not out of love to make them better, but just because I’m immature and would rather throw a fit. In my angry outbursts with my kids, there are times that the anger is properly motivated, but my outburst is not loving or effective in bringing about the change that is desired. So, the way to change is through prayer and focusing on the truth and love of God, along with some very simple techniques like counting to ten or taking a deep breath before I speak, taking time outs myself when I feel my body heat rising and jaw clenching.

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