4 star reviews, Book reviews, Cookbooks, plant based, Self Care, vegetarian

Clean Enough by Katzie Guy-Hamilton

4/5 stars

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Katzie Guy-Hamilton is both a pasty chef and a health coach and her approach to eating is to eat clean…most of the time.  And to recognize that there are times when you want a treat and that is ok.  She provides recipes for both clean, healthy, wholesome plant-based meals and tasty treats that still honor your body’s need for nutrition.

I have an eating disorder.  It started as anorexia when I was 12 and, like many people with eating disorders it spirals from anorexia to bulimia.  I wish I could say that I am passed it, but I have had to accept that, for me, it will probably be something I will deal with for the rest of my life.  Although in all honesty, it is nothing like what it was when I was a teenager.  The thing that has made the biggest change for me is focusing on nourishing my body, focusing on vitamins and minerals.  That never occurred to me in the 1980s when I was growing up, it was all about calories, not nutrition.  For me, eating a whole food plant based diet has helped tremendously.  I have read of and spoken to a lot of other people who suffer with eating disorders who have found the same thing: whole food, plant based, the less animal products the better and I actually have a theory that there is something in processed foods that triggers binging and for those of us with eating disorders, after binging comes purging.  But I have no proof of that, it’s purely anecdotal.

I love Katzie Guy-Hamilton’s approach because I think it’s realistic.  I think eating whole food, plant based meals is important to get the vitamins, minerals and protein our bodies need.  But I think we all crave sweets once in a while and having some good recipes for fairly healthy sweets is imperative when those cravings hit.

My daughters and I tried the Cinnamon Carrot Lemonade and found it to be super delicious and refreshing!  I was also really excited to have an actual recipe for Gold Milk because I love ordering it in cafès but I had no idea how to make it.  Also, I am excited for a chai latte that uses rooibos instead of black tea since I don’t do much caffeine!

The granola recipe looks amazing–the ingredients are on my grocery list!  And I am buying apple cider for the overnight oats!  I have made overnight oats many times with almond milk, but never thought to add apple cider and I can not wait to try it!!

There are recipes for things like sumac and gigante beans–which I have never heard of and don’t know where to buy, which is kind of a turn off with cookbooks for me.  But I am excited to try both the Gentle Lentils and the Blistered Miso Sweet Potatoes.

The recipes for treats all look amazing!  I have been trying to eat vegan desserts lately and all of the recipes contain eggs and dairy, but I did earmark a couple for my daughters to try and they look delicious!

I would like to thank Netgalley and The Experiment Publishing for my copy in exchange for my honest review.

Book reviews, Health, Holistic Health Care, Self Care

The Bloated Belly Whisperer by Tamara Duker Freeman, MS, RD, CDN

3/5 stars

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My Review:

This book explains the different areas of the abdomen and different kinds of belly bloating and then gives the reader a quiz to take to figure out what kind of belly bloat the reader has.  From there the reader can just read the section or sections pertaining to their type of belly bloat.  There are recipes and ideas for immediate changes to relieve the issue as well as long-term changes in diet to prevent recurrence.

I found the book interesting but the review copy does not contain the quiz and a lot of pages were in gibberish, I assume so that reviewers can’t steal info and if they are really interested, they still have to buy the actual book.  I think this book could be very helpful to someone experiencing bloating and the author does explain when you need to see a doctor because the symptoms require more than just a self-help book.

I requested this book because I have had issues with belly bloat.  I went to a functional medicine doctor who advised me to do an elimination diet, which the author discuss in several sections of the book.  It was determined that I have a sensitivity to corn.  As long as I avoid corn, I am usually fine, but sometimes too much sugar or salt can trigger some bloating for me.  I think knowing your triggers is helpful and there are times when you might decide to just go for it and have that kettle corn, even though you know it will bloat you the next day, it’s not a serious condition.  But it is imperative to find out if your bloating could be signaling something else in your body.

I am giving this book 3 out of 5 stars because there are not a lot of illustrations or photos, and I think in 2018, we are used to more visual presentations with at least little boxes of additional information and photos of recipes; also while I think there is a lot of great information in this book, a lot of the review copy was in gibberish and I don’t feel I was able to get a really good idea of the book.


Book reviews, Holistic Health Care, Self Care

Essential Oils for Mindfulness and Meditation by Heather Dawn Godfrey, PGCE, BSc


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Like many people, I got into essential oils a few years ago and I am still learning about them.  But I have experienced their power.  I have been having a bad day, in a bad mood and diffused Eden’s Garden Sunshine Spice and found that my mood improved and it turned my day around.  I have diffused Thieves or Fighting Five  when I felt a cold coming on and woke up completely fine the next morning.  I have used DiGize from Young Living (I will only ingest Young Living oils) when I had an upset stomach and it went away quickly.  My husband doesn’t like to use medicines, but he has allowed me to rub Thieves and oregano oil on his feet when sick and diffuse eucalyptus and balsam fir and found he felt much better.  So, we have become believers in essential oils.  I have thrown away my Yankee Candles and replaces them with diffusers and we diffuse whatever oils we think we need or that appeal to us.

I attempt to have a meditation practice.  Lately I have not been that great about it, but when I saw this book, I thought it might inspire me to starting practicing meditation again and it did!

I loved the chapter on Mindfulness.  I found it very informative and helpful in understanding what mindfulness is and how it helps us in our daily lives.  I also found the chapter on how our bodies absorb and utilize the essential oils to be fascinating.  I used some of the relaxation techniques.  I did, however, find the chapters on nutrition and food to be out of place in a meditation and mindfulness book.  I would have liked to see more practice techniques, maybe a section on practice techniques and essential oil blends for anxiety, for peace, for calming, for jet lag, etc.  I thought the presentation was too text-heavy and would have been better with more graphics and illustrations.

I found the chart about where essential oils are stored in the plant to be fascinating–this is information that I have not seen in any of the other essential oils books I have looked at or own.

I would like to thank Netgalley and Inner Traditions Healing Arts Press for my copy to review in exchange for my honest opinion.



Book reviews, Health, New Age, Self Care, Yoga

A Little Bit of Mindfulness by Amy Leigh Mercree

3.5/5 stars

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My Review:

This book is short.  I must say that for me, I find short books on these topics more appealing than heavy tomes.  I want to know more, but I really prefer reading fiction, so if I can learn about it quickly, I am in.  But if it’s going to be a long time commitment, I will watch a TED Talk.

This book starts out with an explanation of mindfulness and an exercise to center and focus the reader.  But then there is a lot of information on the history of mindfulness, Hinduism, Buddhism, how yoga became a part of Western culture, oxytocin and nuerotransmitters.  Once you wade through all of that, there are more exercises.  I found the exercise parts useful.  I practiced the Loving Kindness Exercise and found it very empowering.  The last part of the book shows the reader ways to incorporate mindfulness into their everyday life, from eating and drinking to emotions and relationships.  There were different exercises for each section.  I found it helpful and interesting.  There was a lot of good information in this book.

I would like to thank Netgalley and Sterling Ethos for my copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

To purchase this book: Amazon.