My husband keeps asking me what books to recommend to patients when they begin to walk the path of a more organic and holistic lifestyle. Well… I sure have read a lot of them. Many resonated with me, some didn’t.
I’ve recently narrowed down my top few books that start you on a gentle road towards an organic lifestyle. None of these are too overwhelming… all of them are full of great ideas that are fun and enjoyable to try. I’ll review each for you and they are all linked to the page on Amazon where you can find pricing info and view the interior of the books, read other reviews, etc…
I hope you find some of these books helpful… I know they are all sitting on a very special spot on my bookshelf for easy reference. I’ll review some other books… parenting books and cookbooks and such… a little further on in the FAQ series. But these books… these are the perfect starter books to kick it all off! xoxo
1. The Weekend Healer, by Jane Alexander. This is probably one of my all time favorite little books, for a sentimental reason. It is just a cute little book that plans out for you *themed* weekend retreats that you can do right in your own home. Very little prep, nothing to buy, just a tiny dabble into a lot of different styles of health… some examples are a Shamanic Weekend, a Detox weekend, an Ayurveda weekend, etc… and it is just a superficial intro into it… but enough for you to figure out if you want to learn more about a particular topic or not.
The reason *I* love it is because it reminds me of when our kids were very young… 0 and 2… 1 and 3… those early years… and Craig and I decided we just didn’t want to ever leave them (okay, mostly I decided that, but I know that Craig is happy we didn’t too) and yet… we really did miss having dates and time together.
This book was our way of reconnecting each weekend… we did almost all of them together… because its the kind of book you can do as a whole family… no babysitter needed… yet it gave us something to do *together* that wasn’t completely focused on the kids (which, without this book, I was entirely and utterly otherwise focused on them… often forgetting my poor hubby was in the room!) So this book was our early form of *dating at home* — an art that we have since perfected.
2. Kitchen Table Wisdom, Stories that Heal, by Rachel Ramen — this book is great for someone who wants an easy to read novel… little stories all written down from a very open-minded, spiritually uplifting physician who suffers with a severe chronic disease (Crohn’s Disease) and she writes about how it felt to be on the *patient* side of things and how that has helped her so much as a physician.
She is so full of compassion and she really helped me give myself *permission* to reach beyond mainstream medicine even if it wasn’t the conventional path… she was a great role model for me to find my own way as a physician… one that involves being home now, where my heartsong is, and I feel certain that my Health eCourses would not exist without me having read this book so many long years ago.
It is more like a collection of short stories then a how-to guide of any kind, but it is lovely and perfect and is a gentle introduction to how there is soooo much more to health or healing then a diagnosis. Stuff we all know, but that she puts into words so beautifully.
3. Living Like Ed, by Ed Begley. This book is much more of a *how-to* book… very enjoyable, chock full of ideas. Very complete as well… a complete make over for your life — from foods and gardening and composting, household items (he discusses paint, carpet brands, flooring, furniture, etc…) vehicle choices, clothing, etc… it’s just a great overview, a great place to start thinking… and it is so complete, that it will surely have something that you haven’t thought of yet in there.
4. A Slice of Organic Life, by S. Goldsmith. This one is more like an idea book then a complete guide. The book above, Living Like Ed, is more complete, with lots of functional details like where to buy the items he recommends. This book, A Slice of Organic Life is more fun… ideas that get you excited and gorgeous pictures.
After getting this book, I was so on fire with it all I wanted to move to a farm and own my own cows. I still would love that, actually, except I don’t really want to move, I love my home too much. This is the kind of book that you can flip through and gets you dreaming.
Not comprehensive, but full of eye candy and ideas. I loved it, because I love dreaming almost as much as doing!
5. MaryJane’s Ideabook, Cookbook, Lifebook… by MaryJane Butters. I love this book. Admittedly, I don’t think any men-folk that read my blog would enjoy this book as much as the women-folk. It is very feminine and froo-froo… but I love it all the more exactly because of that.
Not many are able to capture being feminine and frilly and *enjoying* that… dresses and aprons and pink lipstick… while enjoying the fun of caring for a house and family… all while getting her hands grubby in the dirt of her garden and literally building her own furniture and farm.
She’s the kind of gal that can camp out in the wilderness for a month with a gorgeous long braid of blond hair and still look like she smells good.
This book has me wanting to build my own outhouse, rig up a bathtub to bathe in the middle of the woods in, live out of a yurt, drink water from a stream that I purify in my own homemade water purifier… and wear pearls and an apron and lipstick the whole time!
I love it — I feel like she is a soul sister of mine, although I wouldn’t even deserve to breathe the same air this goddess breathes… But I can deeply identify with loving being a girly woman.. and yet I’m the one who does, literally *all* of the home repair stuff around the house… either I paint it/hang it/build it/repair it/plunge it/what have you… or I hire someone who does.
Because although my my husband is THE only man for me… Let’s face it, I’m the one who we rely on around here to fix the toilet. Although my hubby has a heart of gold, I’ve learned the hard way to just say “no” when he wants to help me paint a room, build an *assembly-required* piece of furniture, light a fire, etc…
This book makes me feel like that is normal… and a good thing. Which you know, it is. I love it that way.
So… it’s not a book for everyone, but if you can find yourself agreeing with any of these sentiments, then I promise you you will LOVE IT.
I also love her book MaryJane’s Outpost… even more, actually. If you wanted to only flip through one of her books, I’d recommend the Outpost one.
She has a great website to check out here, if you want to learn more about her. Lots of great blogs by many talented ladies featured here.
Folks, I know there are a million books out there on organic living… so many it can be totally overwhelming. I’m sure I’m overlooking a bunch and I’d love if you wanted to add any recommendations in the comment section for us all to enjoy! That would be highly appreciated. I’ll expound a bit more on some great cookbooks, some parenting guides, some health books, spiritual books… but for a great general overview to get you excited on your path to an organic life… these are my ultimate favorites.
Let me know if you have read any of these and like them too… if you have any new titles to add… or if you check one of them out and love it like I have! Much love to you all, and I will see you here on Wed for a fun blog post that features a fabbo Etsy shop owner… with a special offer! xoxo