“Think and Eat Yourself Smart: A Neuroscientific Approach to a Sharper Mind and Healthier Life” by Dr. Caroline Leaf
Dr. Caroline Leaf specializes in studying the mind (neuroscience & neuropsychology). This book talks about how important mindset is to our health and, specifically, our eating.
A lot of this book talks about how most of what we eat, these days, is food-like products, and not actually “food” in the natural sense.
There are chapters about emotions, gluten, sugar, and brain scans. There are also 21 recipes included at the back of the book, to give you a “kick start” in returning to a more natural way of eating.
My favorite takeaway from the book was that, while the common wisdom states that it takes 21 days to form a habit, this is only part of the habit-formation process. It actually takes 63 days to form a habit: the first 21 days is where you start carving new (neural) pathways in your brain, and the following 42 days are needed to cement the new habit.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It requires a medium amount of brain-power, but is well worth the read.
This book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
“Unparalleled: How Christianity’s Uniqueness Makes It Compelling” by Jared C. Wilson
Jared’s book is a light look at apologetics: making the case for why the Christian life, or life with Jesus, is completely unparalleled compared to other religions. He even touches on the differences between Christianity, Judaism, and Islam.
While the book is well-written and includes enough personal experience stories to keep it interesting, I really didn’t feel that this book was for me. It would be better suited to those who have questions about faith, or those who are curious what the differences are between some of the world’s major religions.
I received a complimentary copy of this book for review from Baker Books.
“Good or God?: Why Good Without God Isn’t Enough“ by John Bevere
John Bevere doesn’t mince words. In “Good, or God?“, he shares the hard truth that what we consider to be “good” is often vastly different from what God would say is “good”.
John touches on topics such as God’s best for us, the devil’s strategies, focus, the lordship of Jesus, obedience, desires, our defaults, holiness, and so much more.
Some of John’s theology I disagree with (eg. it seems he believes you can still end up in hell due to your actions, even if you’ve already accepted God’s gift of salvation). However, overall, this book had a lot of excellent points, and very important reminders. I definitely recommend it.
The Daniel Plan: 40 Days to a Healthier Life by Rick Warren
(Including insights from Dr. Daniel Amen, Dr. Mehmet Oz, and Dr. Mark Hyman)
Faith, Food, Fitness, Focus, and Friends are the plan of this book. I loved the majority of what was written here, except for the recommendation to cut out all sugar.
Otherwise, the book talks about how to eat according to your hunger signals (of which I’m a big fan), and about how to put God first in your journey towards health. It then goes on to talk about how to incorporate fitness, renew your focus, and find support for your new, healthy lifestyle.
There are several recipes included in the back of the book, but you can also get The Daniel Plan Cookbook, if you want more.
I enjoyed this book.
Jesus Feminist: An Invitation to Revisit the Bible’s View of Women by Sarah Bessey
Sarah writes in a very down-to-earth way. She even starts out the book by setting the scene: a bonfire on the beach, under the stars. Here, she wants to discuss what it means to be a “Jesus Feminist“.
When people hear the term “feminist”, they automatically think man-bashing, and going braless, and that sort of thing. But that isn’t what Sarah means. For her, a Jesus Feminist is simply one who considers men and women to be equals, even in God’s eyes.
Sarah writes about how it is actually Biblical to view men and women as equal partners — neither one being “lord” over the other. And yes, this view kind of flies in the face of what many Evangelicals have been taught (with the man as the “leader” of the home). I love Sarah’s stance on this, though… and she does a good job of backing up what she says with Scripture.
Somewhat controversial, yes. But, definitely a recommended read.
NOTE: Read more about Egalitarian marriage on Sarah’s site. She has pulled together a bunch of resources for those who want to pursue this further.
F.I.T.: Faith Inspired Transformation by Kim Dolan Leto
Another book that I chose to use for my personal Bible study, as the focus of Kim’s book is to make God the center of your healthy lifestyle journey.
I got a LOT out of this book! It was super-helpful to my thinking in this whole “get healthy” thing I’m pursuing.
You can read more about Kim’s book, and her story, on her website: www.kimdolanleto.com
Battlefield of the Mind: Winning the Battle in Your Mind by Joyce Meyer
I used this book as my personal Bible study, and it was a great read. I have many wrong mindsets and strongholds that need to be dealt with, so that I can be free. This book helped bring to light a lot of these, and how I might start going about dealing with them.
I really enjoyed this book. I also really liked that the 30 chapters are just a couple of pages each, so it works to read just one a day.
Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown
An Essentialist is one who determines what is truly essential in life, eliminates all else, and makes it effortless to pay attention to the essentials.
This book was really great, and I want to own my own copy (I read the library’s copy). It really resonated with me.
To read more about my thoughts on this one, see the post I did at my other site, Life, Unleashed.
Curious Faith: Rediscovering Hope in the God of Possibility by Logan Wolfram
This book details a lot of Logan’s ups and downs throughout life. But, she encourages us to let go of fear, worry, and mediocrity, and to pursue God with a curious faith.
Logan also reminds us to find our identity in God, and to be obedient to the things He calls us to do.
I loved this book! It has really made an impact on my day-to-day, as I’m now finding ways to be more “curious” throughout my life (more open-minded), experimenting and trying different things.
One of my favorite take-aways from the book was Logan’s exercise called “Praying the Opposites” — where you take your negative feelings, look up the opposite in the Bible, and then pray that positive to God. So, for example, if you were feeling discouraged, the opposite would be “hopeful”… so you’d look up verses on Hope. 🙂
I definitely recommend this book. Logan’s got a great, down-to-earth writing style, and there’s lots to relate to here.