Reading is a wonderful evening activity, particularly winter evenings when daylight ends early. I retire to my bed before any of the others (I come out later to tuck children in). An afghan, cup of tea, possibly a cat, and my current pile of reads accompany me there.
Liver Rescue by Anthony William
There’s a lot of talk today about gut health and even brain health, but the liver is not an organ we typically pay attention to, and this liver neglect is one of the author’s main concerns. He isn’t a fan of too high-protein or high-fat diets that limit the intake of fruits and vegetables, precisely because these are the foods that nourish the liver. He is a fan of apples, root vegetables, and foods like broccoli, cauliflower, and brussels sprouts. This book has been so interesting to me I’m hoping to read the other books in its series.
Back to the Table by Art Smith
The family table is a place where bodies are nourished, spirits are revived, and souls are charmed in the presence of kin. The author, a private family chef, shares stories of childhood memories of food and tables intermixed with pages of beautiful, delicious, and hearty-looking recipes (I haven’t tried or tasted any yet). One thing he says is that he doesn’t care what people say about carbohydrates, he serves fresh bread at every meal (Oprah hired him, so maybe he’s right). I’ve had this thought before myself, how amazingly wonderful and delicious lunch and supper would be everyday if there was fresh bread with variations on butter/honey-butter/olive oil for spreading or dipping.
The Wisdom of Menopause by Christiane Northrup, M.D.
A few months ago my sister introduced me to the MyFLO app. It’s an app you can use to track not only the days of your menstrual cycle, but also any symptoms that come along with it. The symptom tracker offers suggestions on what hormonal issues might be along with specific steps to address them. The app also gives insight into each of the four phases of the menstrual cycle–the menstrual, follicular, ovulation, and luteal phases–including what foods and exercise routines are best for the particular phase you are in, along with emotional, mental, and relationship factors to consider. The app’s creator, Alissa Vitti, wrote a book called Woman Code which contains an introduction by Christiane Northrup, which is what drew me to this menopause book. Both authors believe in the importance of women listening to and learning from their bodies. I’m appreciating the perspective and life-experiences of women from mid-life and beyond.
The Healing Art of Essential Oils
For the longest time I pretty much ignored essential oils. I always said I didn’t have the brain space needed to look into them at the moment. They basically seemed like quackery to me and I didn’t really see how small bottles of oil could be all that helpful. My mind was changed after a personal healing from flat-warts. After twenty years of watching painless skin-lesions slowly spread across my right forearm, I wanted to see if there was anything that could be done to get rid of them. A dermatologist years before had confidently diagnosed the lesions as flat-warts and given me a small tube of sample cream. Because I was breastfeeding at the time, I was hesitant to use the cream and never did. Several years later I googled “home remedies for flat-warts” and oregano oil was named in an article. I had oregano oil at home in a home-care kit I’d recently purchased from homeschool co-op mom. It took about six weeks of morning and evening applications, as well as several instances of burning my skin (oregano is considered a “hot” oil) before using a carrier oil, but the warts completely cleared.
Being Mortal:Medicine and What Matters in the End by Atul Gawande
A surgeon writes about his lack of preparation in dealing with death in a modern world. As a physician he was trained to keep people alive. The author wrestles, however, with his own limitations in being able to save people, and also with the reality that not all patients are on on the path of being saved. He specifically examines past and present care and considerations of the elderly population. After working in various long-term care facilities, I have a special place in my heart for the elderly. This book strikes a chord of longing in my heart for the community and shared life of intergenerational living.
The Healing Power of Mindfulness by Jon Kabat-Zin
Since my New Year’s word is “mindful”, I saw this book displayed in Barnes and Noble and was convinced it was meant to be bought with my Christmas money. This is the kind of book where you read a chapter, take a break, and then return for another round.
Inside Picture Books by Ellen Handler Spitz
These are the treasures I find at Goodwill. This book examines various classic children’s books and draws out the lessons and themes in the story and illustrations. “Adult participation–physical, emotional, and intellectual–is vital in the cultural lives of young people. It matters for both learning and for pleasure, which go hand in hand.”