health, home

Natural Remedies for Your Home & Health

Author: Laura Ascher
Publisher: Mango
Genre: Home / Health
ISBN: 978-1-64250-548-1
Pages: 188
Price: $19.95

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Many of the household products we buy are filled with dangerous and toxic chemicals. But if you’re looking for alternatives, they aren’t always available or they can be very expensive. It’s helpful to be able to create your own from natural ingredients that you know are safe.

Natural Remedies for Your Home & Health is filled with wonderful recipes for anything you might need at home. This guide included natural kitchen, bathroom, laundry, bedroom, baby & kids, bath & beauty remedies, as well as roller bottle recipes and diffuser blends. Common ingredients such as vinegar, rubbing alcohol, Castile soap, baking soda, and essential oils are used to create safer and better smelling household products.

While the idea of creating nontoxic recipes is terrific, it’s also helpful that many of these turn out to be cheaper than the more toxic varieties. Once you’ve made the initial investment in the common ingredients, you will be able to create whatever you need from them, over and over again. I highly recommend Natural Remedies for Your Home & Health.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

fitness, health

Yin Yoga

Author: Diane R. Paylor
Publisher: Rockridge Press
Genre: Yoga / Fitness
ISBN: 978-1-64611-245-6
Pages: 325
Price: $15.99

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Yin yoga works to stimulate the connective tissues in the body. It’s a slower paced practice, which emphasizes spending a long time in postures and cultivating stillness. Poses are generally held for three to five minutes, but can also be held for as long as twenty minutes.

Since most readers are unfamiliar with yin yoga, Diane R. Paylor explains the practice in some detail. She breaks down these various poses into two categories: Yin asanas, and Yang asanas. Sequences of several of these poses are grouped into Energy rising, Grounding, Body matters, and Seasonal practices. Each pose is featured on a two page spread. On one page, a casual ink and watercolor drawing of the pose is shown. The other page provides a step by step guide to going into and coming out of the pose. Modifications and variations, as well as contraindications are also given.

I was unfamiliar with Yin yoga, and wanted to give this a try. Some of the illustrations were a little hard to decipher, as a complete newbie to yoga, and I might have had an easier time with photographs. The stillness of this practice is soothing, making it a nice way to slow down and meditate at the beginning or end of the day. I highly recommend Yin Yoga for all who are looking to add a yoga practice to their lives.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

Christian, fitness, health

Find Your Weigh (with Bible study)

Author: Shellie Bowdoin
Publisher: Source Publishing
Genre: Weight loss / Christian
ISBN: 978-971-503-442-5 / 978-9715034456
Pages: 251 / 111
Price: $13.99 / $12.99

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Would you like to be free of your weight issues? Do you believe that God can help you succeed? If so, Shellie Bowdoin has given us some pointers on how to let Him, as she encourages us to let go of the diet mentality, once and for all.

We all know diets don’t usually work. We go on a diet, lose the weight we want to lose, and then go off the diet, only to regain the weight. So instead of going on yet another new diet, Shellie gives us some new principles to follow – goals that redefine our process as healthy weight management. She also encourages us to journal what we’re feeling, and even provides special blank pages and some weekly reflection questions, along with her own journal as a model. The Bible study guide is accompanied by free Youtube videos, and throughout the study, Shellie shares Bible wisdom to encourage us in our efforts.

Losing weight can be a struggle, but God wants to help us in our efforts. Find Your Weigh provides encouragement and resources in making the changes we know we need to make.

Reviewer: Alice Berger


Aromatherapy for Self-Care

Author: Sarah Swanberg MS, LAc
Publisher: Rockridge Press
Genre: Health / Aromatherapy
ISBN: 978-1-64611-221-0
Pages: 210
Price: $16.99

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Aromatherapy has been known to have therapeutic effects when used for various ailments. But the average person probably has no idea where to start when presented with a long list of available essential oils. How do you know what combinations would work best? Aromatherapy for Self-Care provides answers.

Before diving into the various recipes, Swanberg explains some of the methods used for aromatherapy, and what kinds of tools will be needed. She also shares some of the more reputable companies who produce essential oils, along with pros and cons of using each. Several essential oils are described in detail, and these form the basis of most of the recipes for emotional, mental, and physical well-being. These will used in many ways, including with a diffuser, inhaler, or carrier oil.

Good quality essential oils are expensive, so it would be cost prohibitive to buy all of the recommended oils right away. But it would be possible to dabble in some of these recipes to get a feel for them first, and then continue to explore what feels right to you. Aromatherapy for Self-Care is a wonderful guide to using these essential oils in your own life.

Reviewer: Alice Berger


The Art of Health

Author: Aarti Patel, N.D.
Publisher: D2 Books
Genre: Health
ISBN: 978-0996775908
Pages: 186
Price: $8.03

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Taking care of our own health can be scary and confusing, and it can be hard to know the best options to try when facing a problem. Aarti Patel, N.D., wrote The Art of Health to show us that there can be more than one path to follow, depending on the origins of the issue we’re dealing with.

Lifestyle plays a large part in our overall well-being, and can be a root cause in medical issues. Weight loss or gain, skin conditions, insomnia, mood swings, and other common ailments may have a physiological cause, but they can also be exacerbated by stress and lack of self-care. Patel suggests that each person explore all options when determining how to treat a problem.

As a Naturopathic Doctor, Patel shares several case studies of people who came to her office believing that the only way to deal with their condition was through traditional medical means. But in working with them, she discovers that there are more factors involved that need to be addressed. In all cases, these people made changes that helped them feel better over time.

There are no clear-cut answers to any particular health issues in The Art of Health. Instead, there is encouragement to dig deeper when issues aren’t being resolved using traditional medicine. But at no point does this book recommend to drop your current treatment for a holistic one. These helpful ideas are expected to be used as a supplement.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

cooking, health

The One-Pot Weight Loss Plan

Author: Shelley Rael, MS, RDN
Publisher: Rockridge Press
Genre: Cooking, Diet
ISBN: 978-1-64611-048-3
Pages: 267
Price: $16.99

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The calendar is once again inching toward January 1st, and thoughts of losing weight this year may have crossed your mind. While it may be tempting to jump for one of the “lose weight fast!” plans, they may not be your best option. Instead, Shelley Rael has created some easy to prepare meals that can help you shed the pounds once and for all.

Speed and easy cleanup were the goals in creating healthy meals for your slow cooker, skillet, sheet pan, and more. Prep time is usually less than 20 minutes per dish, and meals are cooked in one pot for a minimum of dishes. Ingredients are all readily available in most supermarkets, and no “fake foods” are included. Along with the recipes, a 28-day plan guides you on your journey to healthy eating.

I did not personally test these recipes, but there are quite a few that sound yummy. Overnight oats, smoothies, and even desserts are featured, along with the standard soups, casseroles, and skillet dishes. If eating this well can lead to weight loss, this book is sure to give you the success you’re looking for. I highly recommend The One-Pot Weight Loss Plan.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

health, self improvement

Removing Your Shame Label

Author: Eddie Capparucci, LPC
Publisher: Black Rose Writing
Genre: Self-help
ISBN: 978-1-68433-010-2
Pages: 155
Price: $15.95

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If you’ve spent any time in church, you may have come to the conclusion that you’re not as good as the people around you, and they couldn’t possibly have sinned the way you’ve sinned. So rather than risk rejection, you choose to keep those sins to yourself, and maybe even walk away. After all, how could they possibly accept you just the way you are? But is that really the truth, or it just your shame talking to you?

Removing Your Shame Label tackles shame from a Christian Biblical perspective. After introducing the Christian Shame Cycle, Eddie Capparucci tackles the shame of impure motives, carrying garbage, staying stuck, being distracted by distractions, contaminated thoughts, loving with conditions, uncontrolled pride, excessive worry, self-loathing, and a hardened heart. In each chapter, he explains the problem and then shows us several ways we can overcome it with God’s help.

Capparucci is a Christian certified addiction counselor who knows the damage shame can do when not properly addressed. He wants to help us see ourselves as God really sees us, and not just as the broken and worthless creatures we often think we are. But the deep concepts presented in this book will need more than one careful read as you learn to put the ideas into practice in your own life. I highly recommend it.

Reviewer: Alice Berger


Eat, Live, Thrive Diet

Authors: Danna Demetre and Robyn Thomson
Publisher: WaterBrook
Genre: Health / Diet
ISBN: 978-0-525-65316-5
Pages: 272
Price: $18.99

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Aging comes along with its share of challenges, which often includes weight gain. But with the proper diet and exercise plan, women don’t have to suffer from a spreading middle. Eat, Live, Thrive Diet provides women some options that will help keep the weight off and give them more energy.

Beginning with the preparation chapters, Demetre and Thomson introduce the concepts they’ve developed for a healthy eating plan. Then the elimination diet program is presented, with three levels from simple to comprehensive. This two-week phase prepares the body for the reintroduction of potential problem foods in a controlled manner. By the end of this program, women will most likely see some weight loss and possibly discover some trigger foods that play havoc with their bodies.

The final section of this book is a series of recipes that follow the plan. But they are so amazingly healthy and tasty that they can easily be added to your normal meal choices once this program had concluded. Using the recipes provided, it would be relatively easy to follow this program, but you might find some of the restricted foods (like coffee) to be a bit difficult to live without.

I can’t comment on the effectiveness of this program since I have no training in this field, but if you believe you may be suffering from a food intolerance, you might find it very helpful. I know you’ll enjoy the delicious recipes!

Reviewer: Alice Berger

fitness, health

Exercises for Perfect Posture

Authors: William Smith,‎ Keith Burns,‎ Christopher Volgraf
Publisher: Hatherleigh Press
Genre: Health & Fitness
ISBN: 978-1-57826-695-1
Pages: 144
Price: $15.00

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In our modern world with desk jobs, lounge chairs, and a minimum of physical activity, it’s easy to develop poor posture. But the right exercise can easily change this. Exercises for Perfect Posture shows us how.

Poor posture can lead to a host of problems, which are detailed in the opening sections. After doing an assessment, the reader will discover the exact types of posture issues he’s having. Exercises to combat these are provided next. Finally, an evaluation of the success of these exercises is provided, along with a place to chart progress.

The exercises can be done at home, but many require a foam roller, stability ball, or resistance band. Although I didn’t test them, they looked to be appropriate for strengthening the muscles that support a correctly aligned body. If you’re looking to improve your posture, Exercises for Perfect Posture would be a great place to start.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

Christian, fitness, health, self improvement, spirituality


Author: Katie Farrell
Publisher: FaithWords
Genre: Christian, Health
ISBN: 978-1-4789-7606-6
Pages: 208
Price: $20.00

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Katie Farrell knows what it’s like to struggle with weight issues. Unhealthy and destructive eating habits plagued her for years, until she discovered how to care for herself in accordance with God’s will. In Nourish, she explains how she was able to make peace with her body and learn to live a healthy lifestyle.

Farrell shares the types of foods she enjoys along with those she tries to avoid. This may not be the same eating plan the reader follows, but can easily be adapted if necessary, since she doesn’t dwell on specifics. Some healthy recipes are provided, and the author’s website has more available. Exercise is also encouraged, but again, no specific plan is promoted. Instead, she encourages the reader to discover for herself exactly how God wants her to care for her body.

God’s word can be trusted to instruct us, and Farrell provides Biblical references she has used in developing her own self-care plan. If you’re looking for a diet and exercise checklist to follow, this is not the book for you. But if you’re looking for a spiritual mentor to lead you to God’s will for your life, Farrel is a wonderful guide. I highly recommend Nourish and the Dashing Dish website.

Reviewer: Alice Berger