Books I loved sticking my nose in this year: Part III

 Rounding up the books I’m enjoying the most this year! I know, I know, it’s only September, but just the thought of making lists like these in December – which appears to be kind of mandatory for bloggers – makes me feel exhausted. I’m getting off to a head-start.

First, I rounded up 3 awesome true-story books about journeys and adventures.
Part I here
Then we moved on to the fiction books I found particularly original and exciting.
Part II here

This week, let’s look at… 

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…the ones that taught me to eat like a champ

In defense of food, Michael Pollan 1 //  In Defense of Food: An eater’s manifesto by Michael Pollan

Mandatory for anyone slightly interested in health, nutrition, and the catastrophe that is SAD (Standard American Diet). Pollan’s mantra goes a little something like this:

“Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” 

Should be simple enough, right?

But it’s NOT in today’s society, because so much of what’s on the shelves in supermarkets have been processed and fiddled with in laboratories to the point where it’s not even food anymore. It’s just an experiment of refining food to the unrecognizable and playing around with ‘nutritional’ lego bricks. The most interest part of the book for me was reading about the age of “nutritionism”: how everything basically went awry as soon as scientists where able to break down food into molecules vitamins, minerals, omega-this and fiber-that. Cue the inevitable…. politics got involved. There’s money to be made here, folks.

I don’t respond well to people pointing fingers and saying, “the reason your health isn’t optimal is because you’re not eating well enough. make better choices” – you being any one of us in modern Western society.

What I love, however, are these guys like Pollan who educate us in how we got f***ed, basically, by the Big Guys: The meat industry. The dairy industry. The GMO companies. And the politicians trying to protect their interests.

When someone says, “we know you’re trying your hardest, and it’s actually not your fault that you’re not eating nourishing enough food! and the choices you make from here on out DO matter! let’s educate ourselves on the subject and make a difference where we can”….. that’s when I listen 😉

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Nourishing wisdom, marc david2 // Nourishing Wisdom: A mind-body Approach to Nutrition and Well-being by Marc David 

Marc David is the guy who founded the Institute for the Psychology of Eating, and he has an immense amount of knowledge in nutrition and  nutritional psychology.

In this book he argues is that there really is no such thing as “good food” or “bad food”. In order to have a healthy relationship with food – and good health, of course – we need to get our heads out of the science behind nutrition and try to be more grounded in a mind-body approach to eating. Yes, yes and yes!

Total game-changer for me. I loved this book so much that I actually wrote a post about back in May which you can check out here.

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Clean, Alejandro Junger

3 // Clean by Alejandro Junger, M.D. 

This is one of the last books I read, and I only just finished it last week.

It’s a nutritional detox program, developed by Dr. Junger that is meant to restore the body’s natural ability to heal itself. It’s a very revealing book with lots of “inconvenient truths” about how our bodies are constantly bombarded with toxins through our food, our homes, our environment.

The thing is that our bodies are this incredible machines that have ability to get rid of all these toxins, but all the toxins we consume constantly in the 21st century blocks this ability. I like the metaphor with the band-aid: one of the basic things Mom teaches us when we’re kids is that if we scratch our knees, put a band-aid and don’t pick on it. The wound will heal by itself as long as you get out of the way. It’s basically no different when it comes to our illnesses.

Haven’t finished it yet, but it’s for sure one of the most interesting (and scary…!) reads of mine this year!

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 4// BONUS! The documentaries… 

 Some of these I’ve seen before, but they’ve all been revisited this year. Must-sees for those of you interested in health and diet.

Hungry For Change – true story: this was the  straw that broke the camel’s back. I watched this in March and started green-juicing the next day. Haven’t looked back since.

Food Inc. – Oldie, but goodie. A little bit more controversy-y and focuses a lot on the politics involved in farming and the big animal-based food industries in the US.

Forks over knives – argues the case of vegetarianism and benefits of getting protein from plant foods vs. animal foods, and that all the ‘Western diseases’ are linked to animal foods; heart disease, diabetes etc. One of the most memorable points made is that we could put an end to hunger today if we took all the grains used to feed cattle and give it to starving world citizens instead. Yup. And cattle is supposed to eat grass anyway, so we’re only messing with nature feeding them all these grains.

Food matters – from the people behind Hungry for Change.

Fat, sick, and nearly dead – a documentary film following an Australian guy who goes on a month long juice cleanse to save his life, and travels through the US to gain awareness about it. Funny, uplifting, inspiring, and will teach you a lot.

May I be Frank? – the guys working at Café Gratitude in San Francisco take on a project: sick, depressed and overweight Frank who wants to fall in love one more time before he dies. And you guessed it… he has to change his diet and lifestyle and learn to love himself first. Awww… this movie is hilarious and very touching at the same time.

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I hope you’re feeling inspired to learn a little bit more about nutrition and diet!  

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