In the US and some other nations, bread and wheat products have been cast in the role of villain due to gluten intolerance and related illnesses. In the UK alone, in 2017, there were a reported 10% of the population suffering from some form of intolerance. Such a percentage would translate into tens of millions in the US.
Is bread really the culprit or is there something else going on?
As a disclaimer, let it be stated up-front that there are certainly many people who suffer from conditions such as Celiac Disease who have a very real, hereditary response to gluten which is very serious. Many of the rest of us, however, who are not in that category, may have a situation brought on by a completely different set of circumstances.
Regardless of exact statistics, intolerance to gluten is clearly a “thing”, particularly in the US. Many theories are out there as to the cause, including industrial bread manufacturing methods, suspect ingredients such as emulsifiers used in baking and pesticides on wheat farms. Some have even reported that when intolerant individuals travel to Europe, symptoms disappear, although they eat bread and other gluten containing foods.
An entirely different culture producing a drastically different result: German baking tradition
While American Style bread is also available in Germany, it is rare and not commonly sold in Bakeries but rather only in SuperMarkets. They call it “Toast-Bread” as it’s primary advantage is being square and machine cut, therefore a better fit for a common toaster than the various shapes and sizes of slices cut from what they consider “normal” loaves.
What is considered normal bread is, for example, never sold more than eight hours after baking (except at “day old” scavenger prices). The number of real bakeries, ones that take very seriously the task of making “the daily bread”, per capita is large compared to any US city. This can be dug up in statistics, but is easier to realize by just walking down any street in a German city. Literally every other shop is a small bakery with a dozen different types of bread baked that same morning.
Bakers up at 4am all across every town and city
Another factor is the wide range of fresh ingredients included. A short list of the types of bread and various ingredients is vast, and varies from region to region. Six hundred main bread types are well known and this does not include many specialty breads and rolls.
In addition to wheat, bread is often made with rye, barley, potato, oat, spelt, soy and other lesser known grains. Added seeds, nuts and fruit often include one or more of the following (partial list):
- sunflower seeds
- pumpkin seeds
- poppy seeds
- fled seeds
- sesame seeds
- oat flakes
- whole gain groats
In Germany, at any common bakery on the street, most, if not all of the items described above would be available on any given day. No need to go to a special, overpriced “organic” or “gourmet” bakery in some high end neighborhood. Just any average bakery will do.
Oddly, these same ingredients are often touted in online health advice articles – implying that there are health benefits to adding these “special” ingredients to one’s diet, all while other countries have had them as daily menu items for centuries if not thousands of years.
Taking all of the above into account, it should come as little surprise that, in the US, obscure health issues due to the lack or misuse of heretofore standard food items would be on the rise. In the case of gluten intolerance, it rises to practically epidemic proportions. Fixing this for any individual, short of taking residence outside the US, would require extra efforts and involve a possible increase in the cost of nourishment. However, considering the alternatives (suffering with a condition without a cure), it might be well worth it.
Feeling the Stress? For Thousands of Years Yoga Techniques have been giving Relief
Unlike what they say about missing sleep, stress can build up over weeks, months even years. True to the “silent killer” moniker it can eventually kill you. After basically the entire world has been in an extra stressful situation due to covid and the economic fallout from the preventative measures taken to stop it, we all need to begin finding ways, not only to reduce the current stress levels, which are likely high, but to work off the effects of the accumulated stress that has been building for at least a year.
And that is not accounting for the “normal” stresses we all face individually in our own worlds, lives and due to our own unique problems.
Enter the practice and lifestyle benefits of yoga. Estimates of the origins of Yoga peg the beginnings at at least five thousand years and believe the practice could have been developed as long ago as ten thousand. The study of yoga goes beyond just the familiar “pretzel poses” and encompasses a way of life and philosophy that is universal.
According to the “Yoga Sutras of Patanjali” (wikipedia: Sutra in Indian literary traditions refers to an aphorism or a collection of aphorisms in the form of a manual or, more broadly, a condensed manual or text. Sutras are a genre of ancient and medieval Indian texts found in Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism.) there are eight “limbs” to the path of yoga:
1. yama (moral restraints) – how we relate to others
2. niyama (observances) – how we relate to ourselves
3. āsana (posture) – how we relate to our body
4. prāṇāyāma (breath extension) – how we relate to our breath or spirit
5. pratyāhāra (sensory withdrawal) – how we relate to our sense organs
6. dhāraṇā (concentration) – how we relate to our mind
7. dhyāna (meditation) – moving beyond the mind
8. samādhi (meditative absorption) – deep realization and inner union
(quoted from http://ashtanga-yoga-victoria.com/what-are-the-eight-8-limbs-of-yoga/)
As can be seen from the list above there are many levels of thought and action that can all coalesce to form a bulwark against stress and to improve the enjoyment of life as a whole. Wherever you begin and at whatever level your journey brings you to, any interaction with these thoughts, actions and choices can enhance your life in some way.
Even the simplest meditation or reflection on our breathing and its connection to our inner spirit can cause an instantaneous reduction in stress and psychic pain. Below we’ve put together a variety of books that could represent a first step toward discovering how yoga, in whatever level or aspect your choose to explore, can reduce stress and help you take a huge step on the road to recovery.
Descriptions are courtesy of bookshop.org and the individual publishers:
Yoga: A Manual for Life
A stand alone practice companion and beautiful coffee table book, Yoga: A Manual for Lifeis for anyone interested in yoga, mindful movement and meditation, and exploring how these practices fit within the modern world.
As well as an extensive guide to poses, this book features a number of picture-led sequences with specific targets in mind: to combat stress and fatigue, to ground, to uplift, to inspire creativity and to sleep better.
These sequences are underpinned with essays on yoga’s relationship with different aspects of life, such as yoga and discipline, yoga and self-care, and yoga and difficulty.
Peppered throughout the book are mindful life hacks–simple ways to take yoga’s message of radical self-care off the mat and into daily life. Click here to see “Yoga: a Manual for Life” also available on Amazon.
Restorative Yoga: Relax. Restore. Re-Energize.
Are you seeking balance, healing, and a calmer mind? Unlike active styles of yoga that focus on stretching and movement, restorative yoga emphasizes mindful rest by using props to support your body in complete comfort and relaxation–no flexibility required!
Whether you already practice yoga or are just getting started, Restorative Yoga is your step-by-step guide to deepening the connection between your body and mind. Click here to see “Restorative Yoga” also available on Amazon.
Yoga: Relaxation, Postures, Daily Routines
Yoga is a popular physical, mental, and spiritual discipline that originated in ancient India.
Various traditions of yoga can be found in Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism, and in recent years Western culture has embraced yoga’s power of simplicity, stillness and mental poise.
This accessible new book focuses on a series of exercises, body motions and self-disciplines that offer the benefits of yoga to everyone.
Restore and Rebalance: Yoga for Deep Relaxation
Restorative yoga offers the body a chance to rest deeply and revitalize. Whether you are feeling weak, fatigued, stressed from daily activities, or simply need to slow down and tune into your body, this wonderfully adaptive practice is essential for well being.
Many of the practices are simple and accessible for people of all ages and in all states of health, using props that are readily available–like pillows and chairs. These deeply relaxing poses help you. Click here to see “Restore and Rebalance” also available on Amazon.
Yin Yoga: Stretch the Mindful Way
Yin yoga offer remedies to the stresses of your busy yang life. Each restorative pose targets your deeper fascia and connective tissues, helping you experience increased flexibility and improved joint health.
Yin yoga also focuses on deep breathing and longer hold times, allowing you the time and space to clear your mind and enhance your mental acuity.
These meditative poses will help you attain a renewed sense of mindfulness and physical well-being, making them the perfect complement to an active yang lifestyle and helping bring you back into balance. Click here to see “Yin Yoga” also available on Amazon.
Sleep Recovery: The Five Step Yoga Solution to Restore Your Rest
Insomnia is reaching epidemic proportions: more than half of us will suffer from a sleep problem during our lifetimes.
In this practical, compassionate guide, renowned yoga teacher and sleep specialist Lisa Sanfilippo shows how to sweep out sleep saboteurs and rest wreckers, putting in place sustainable strategies that will boost your energy during the day, and help you access a good night’s rest.
As we began this article above sleep was mentioned and, in contrast to our initial statements, recovery is also possible and yoga is one way that improvement, that so many of us desperately seek, is available. We hope you enjoyed this selection of books to help combat stress and ask that you please visit us again and also our sister sites Cherrybooks and InforMinx.
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New Years Challenge: How to Find Your Triumph of Meaning
For a lot of us, the New Year kicks off by creating resolutions of things we hope to change
In the past, I have unconsciously set myself up for failure whenever forming resolutions. The unrealistic rhetoric of “New Year, New Me”, got me thinking that the way I was setting my resolutions, was almost automatically leading me down the same path, one that would be extremely short lived and make me feel bad that I couldn’t “change” and ultimately fail.
This year instead of trying to give myself over-reaching and vague goals like “lose weight”, or “try a diet plan” or “join a gym” ( which is a precarious decision right now anyways) I decided to do it differently.
Again, for me, in the many years I’ve pledged in the past, to aim for these types of resolutions, I’ve have almost always petered out. The focus and effort only lasted for a very short period, sometimes less than a month.
Setting up these absurdly, overly ambitious and wholly unrealistic goals, it’s no wonder that almost no kind of transformation or shift in my behavior ever actually happened.
With all the craziness of 2020, and the continuing rocky start in 2021, I wanted to do something a little different. Instead of a resolution or straight-up decision to change, I decided to instead focus on creating healthy and positive intentions and goals.
How to narrow focus, yet open up to the idea of what success actually looks like
After the pandemic and all the stressors that came alongside it (physical, emotional, financial) putting another unnecessary stressor, such as desperately wanting to get down to my high school weight seemed wrong.
I consider myself a generally healthy person that “sometimes” works out, though with covid-19, the workouts have been more sporadic and inconsistent. This year, I wanted to make healthy goals, in the form of a realistic resolution, while also holding myself accountable in ways I could actually attain.
I wanted my resolution to encompass something physical while also trying to get better with my followthrough ( I’m very much a “phase” person).
I decided I wanted to have run 1,000 miles by the end 2021.
Having a specific number, like 1,000, I would be able to better breakdown and track myself and monitor my progress. I also by thinking number itself as a concrete thought, or writing it out to solidify the idea, can help to engender a stronger commitment.
Looking at that number, 1,000, I knew it was a high number, but when broken down, I knew it could easily be achieved. I just did some simple math. There are 365 days in a year if you divide that by my goal of 1000 miles that’s only a little bit less than 3 miles a day (2.73).
While 3 miles is not a lot for a “runner”, it certainly is do-able for me and would not take more than an hour a day. On days where I have full energy, I am able to run a mile in about 10 minutes, although sometimes I’m not in the mood to run and I walk which then takes double that. Still either method would count toward the distance goal and is definitely possible to achieve.
It’s both the challenge to improve and the satisfaction of meeting a goal of my very own that drives me forward
With this concept in mind, the design of my resolution, and how to reach it, gives a little more flexibility. If I don’t feel good for example or have a crazy busy day, and take a day off, there might be “make-up-days” where I’m going to run 6 miles. I think having more than 2 off days (meaning I would have to be responsible for 9 miles) would put me on check not to get too far behind.
I think it’s important to be gentle with yourself when putting forth energy into something new and positive for yourself. There are always and understandably going to be “fails” and bumps that get in the way. Yet if you are able to not get down on yourself, these fails can be opportunities to learn about yourself and even turn into internal motivators to keep going.
My hope in that I can achieve my goal. I’m optimistic because I’ve purposely made the resolution (intention, goal, etc) based on something that I already do (exercise). Instead of trying to achieve something that is not even in my wheel-house, like win first place in a triathlon.
Why? Because I think it’s important to find reasons to be proud of yourself. Last year was really rough, yet many of us have survived, so while this year is starting out rough for many, I feel that, for me, a resolution focusing on something under my personal control is a way to start 2021 to be better. In short it’s privately optimistic beginning that hopefully leads to a much better outcome as the new year unfolds.
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Wanna get Really Healthy instead of just a six-pack? These Fitness and Diet Regimes are the Key”
So many unexpected life changes, now maybe a pivot to a new definition of health is needed
It’s no secret that 2020 was off the charts in challenges, to put it mildly. If you are like many that typically gear up to buy their annual memberships to gyms come January, you may be rethinking the decision. This year, as you already know, gyms, along with many other establishments were subject to many sporadic closures, and now an almost total lockdown and the worst of the pandemic (hopefully) hits through the end of the year.
One bright spot: as a result of the restrictions, many of us were forced to find new and creative ways in order to get our fitness on.
As we turn to a new year, it’s likely that a new perspective toward health, fitness and diet has become paramount, and demands a re-thinking of what our real goals should be coming off a terribly difficult year and searching for a better 2021.
Beauty and the beast are worthy goals, 2 B sure, but health and true strength are forever
Striving for that ripped, skinny, almost photoshopped physic, counting calories with restrictive diets may no longer be the end-all be-all and automatic go-to that it once appeared to be. Perhaps adding a renewed focus on health and resilience is a more appropriate path going forward.
Exercising and eating for strength, working towards performance and promoting restoration, prevention and optimal nutrition appear to be the best new trends for health and wellness.
We have curated a list of realistic and smart-wellness centered books to jumpstart or continue on a path towards a better 2021.
Feel-Good Fitness: Fun Workout Challenges to Inspire Your Fitness Streak
Feel-Good Fitness from pro runner Alysia Montaño offers a year of fun and fresh fitness challenges that will build your strength and endurance. Alysia’s fitness challenges will make you smile while you sweat because Alysia’s not your typical fitness trainer. She’s a mom of two who knows real workouts don’t require a pricey gym membership.
With Alysia’s practical workout program, you can get fit in 30-60 minutes a day while tackling achievable fitness challenges. Each challenge takes on a different goal over 3-4 weeks, which means you’ll achieve new fitness with every new program and never get bored–all while building confidence. Click here to see “Feel-Good Fitness” and help Independent bookstores. Also available on Amazon.
Stretching to Stay Young: Simple Workouts to Keep You Flexible, Energized, and Pain Free
Increase your flexibility, strengthen your body, and stretch your youth. Our bodies were designed for movement, but as we age, our joints and muscles become tighter. Stretching is a gentle, simple activity that anyone can do to alleviate aches and pains, as well as improve range of motion and flexibility.
This book guides you step-by-step through each stretch, arming you with the confidence you need to progress into deeper levels of stretching for enhanced flexibility, reduced pain, decreased stiffness, and better quality of life for years to come. No matter your age or level of activity, this guide will help you ease into the wonders of stretching, to reduce stiffness and feel your best. Click here to see “Stretching to Stay Young” and help independent bookstores. Also available on Amazon.
The One-Minute Workout: Science Shows a Way to Get Fit That’s Smarter, Faster, Shorter
Finally, the solution to the #1 reason we don’t exercise: time. Everyone has one minute. A decade ago, Martin Gibala was a young researcher in the field of exercise physiology–with little time to exercise. That critical point in his career launched a passion for high-intensity interval training (HIIT), allowing him to stay in shape with just a few minutes of hard effort. It also prompted Gibala to conduct experiments that helped launch the exploding science of ultralow-volume exercise.
Now that he’s the worldwide guru of the science of time-efficient workouts, Gibala’s first book answers the ultimate question: How low can you go? Including the eight best basic interval workouts as well as four microworkouts customized for individual needs and preferences (you may not quite want to go all out every time), The One-Minute Workout solves the number-one reason we don’t exercise: lack of time. Because everyone has one minute. Click here to see “The One Minute Workout” and help independent bookstores. Also available on Amazon.
Training for a Healthy Life: A Daily Food and Fitness Journal
Set Yourself Up for Better Health!Open this fitness journal and start your journey to a healthy new you! This easy-to-use book will help you record your everyday stats in order to solidify healthy eating and exercise habits. Whether your goal is losing weight, exercising more, or changing your self-care routines, this handy journal will keep you on track as you set out on a healthy new path.
Training for a Healthy Life features easy ways to: Record important daily stats. Write down your weight, what you ate, how much you exercised, and how well you took care of yourself every day. Review your progress. Weekly check-ins help you chart your progress and adjust your habits moving forward. Track your goals. Set your goals as you start your journey, record daily goals, and evaluate your success at the end of the book. Click to see “Training for a Healthy Life” and help independent bookstores. Also available on Amazon.
The Fitness Chef: Eat What You Like & Lose Weight for Life – The Infographic Guide to the Only Diet That Works
Discover how to lose weight for good. No gimmicks, no rules, no tough exercise regime. Just a straightforward, proven science-based method. Graeme Tomlinson, a.k.a. The Fitness Chef, has amassed over 600,000 instagram followers thanks to his myth-busting health-and-diet infographics. In this digestible infographic guide, you will discover: how to lose weight and keep it off forever and why you don’t need a complicated new diet, slimming-club rules or a personal trainer.
Empower yourself to make informed food choices and be inspired by Graeme’s 70 easy, lower-calorie versions of popular foods – including curries, fry ups and even fish and chips.ou can still eat your favourite biscuits and enjoy carbs, fats and sugar. After reading this book you will be able to make informed food choices for the rest of your life and succeed at any weight-loss goal. Click to see “Eat What you Like” and help independent bookstores. Also available on Amazon.
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8 Best Health and Wellness Books: Ways to Get Strong and Svelte
There are many new books emerging recently covering health and wellness that align with the goal to make healthier lifestyle choices. Whether looking for alternative health options, proven ways to build good healthy habits, wholesome food recipes, mind and body optimization, or to find the best ways to shed weight, it’s better than ever now to choose a book to get started.
The books below are chosen to represent an eclectic selection on health and wellness featuring the authors’ wide ranging expertise in their respective fields. Clinical herbology, integrative medicine, neuroscience, naturopathy, nutrition, and human behavior are all represented.
Our curated selection contains the best selling and most recommended in the category of health and wellness thus far for 2020:
Millions of people are interested in natural or alternative health–but many of them are missing out on the most important ingredient: Nature itself Wild Remedies inspires readers to rekindle their connection with nature by identifying, tending, and harvesting the plant medicine they find growing around them. Experts Rosalee de la For t and Emily Han explain the benefits of 25 commonly found wild plants, many of which are also easy to grow. Readers will also find a wealth of recipes, remedies, crafts, and activities to bring the healing and transformative powers of these herbs to life. After reading Wild Remedies, readers will view their lawns, parks, community gardens, and other natural spaces in a whole new way. Instead of “weeds,” they will see delicious foods like Dandelion Maple Syrup Cake, Nettle Frittata, and Mallow and Quinoa Patties. They will also begin to revel in nature’s medicine chest as they make remedies like herbal oils, salves, teas, and more.
No matter your goals, Atomic Habits offers a proven framework for improving–every day. James Clear, one of the world’s leading experts on habit formation, reveals practical strategies that will teach you exactly how to form good habits, break bad ones, and master the tiny behaviors that lead to remarkable results. If you’re having trouble changing your habits, the problem isn’t you. The problem is your system. Bad habits repeat themselves again and again not because you don’t want to change, but because you have the wrong system for change. You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems. Here, you’ll get a proven system that can take you to new heights.
Alex Snodgrass of TheDefinedDish.com is the third author in the popular Whole30 Endorsed series. With gluten-free, dairy-free, and grain-free recipes that sound and look way too delicious to be healthy, this is a cookbook people can turn to after completing a Whole30, when they’re looking to reintroduce healthful ingredients like tortillas, yogurt, beans, and legumes. Recipes like Chipotle Chicken Tostadas with Pineapple Salsa or Black Pepper Chicken are easy enough to prepare even after a busy day at work. There are no esoteric ingredients in these recipes, but instead something to suit every taste, each dish clearly marked if it is Whole30 compliant, paleo, gluten-free, dairy-free, and more. Alex includes delicious variations, too, such as using lettuce wraps instead of taco shells, to ensure recipes can work for almost any diet. And for anyone looking to stick to their Whole30 for longer, at least sixty of the recipes are fully compliant.
The bestselling author of WomanCode presents a biohacking program for women, teaching them how to use their natural 28-day cycle to optimize their time, diet, fitness, work, and relationships.
Women have a important biological rhythm they experience every month that affects productivity, weight, sex drive, energy, and mood. It is essential to be aware of and take care of this rhythm, but it has been widely ignored by medical, nutrition and fitness research. So as women, we diet, we deprive, and we cram as much as possible into our day, striving to accomplish impossible to-do lists, and scheduling our lives based on a 24-hour time cycle, ignoring the intuitive time our bodies naturally keep: a monthly cycle with four hormonal phases that offer incredible advantages.
What if the ability to look, feel, and perform at peak capacity wasn’t the stuff of lore but instead was within easy reach? Sure, some of us find ways to hit peak performance in one area or another–there are professional poker players, computer programmers, and race car drivers hunched over card games, keyboards, and steering wheels with optimized minds; UFC and NFL gladiators fighting for glory on television with optimized bodies; and monks and meditators roaming the planet with optimized spirits. But in a perfect world, you would be able to have it all: complete optimization of mind, body, and spirit.In Boundless, the New York Times bestselling author of Beyond Training and health and fitness leader Ben Greenfield offers a first-of-its-kind blueprint for total human optimization.
Mark Sisson–author of the mega-bestseller The Primal Blueprint–unveils his groundbreaking ketogenic diet plan that resets your metabolism in 21 days so you can burn fat forever. Mounting scientific research is confirming that eating a ketogenic diet could represent one of the greatest nutritional breakthroughs of our time–and that it might be the healthiest and most effective weight loss strategy ever. Going “keto” by eating high fat, low-to-moderate protein and low-carb foods enables you to break free from the disastrous effects of carbohydrate dependency by resetting your metabolism and promoting metabolic flexibility–where your body learns to burns fat instead of sugar for energy, even when you go off plan.
After collaborating on two major books featured as PBS specials, Super Brain and Super Genes, Chopra and Tanzi now tackle the issue of lifelong health and heightened immunity.We are the midst of a new revolution.
For over twenty-five years Deepak Chopra, M.D. and Rudolph E. Tanzi, Ph.D. have revolutionized medicine and how we understand our minds and our bodies–Chopra, the leading expert in the field of integrative medicine; Tanzi, the pioneering neuroscientist and discoverer of genes that cause Alzheimer’s Disease. After reaching millions of people around the world through their collaborations on the hugely successful Super Brain and Super Genes books and public television programs, the New York Times bestselling authors now present a groundbreaking, landmark work on the supreme importance of our immune system in relation to our lifelong health.
“This isn’t another gimmicky diet–it’s a powerful eating strategy that will take your extra pounds off quickly, safely, and permanently.” –Mark Hyman, MD, Director, Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Eat Fat Get Thin“The best gift you can give yourself is a slim, beautiful, healthy belly–and in this book, Dr. Kellyann, an expert I trust, tells you exactly how to get it.” –Mehmet Oz, M.D. The New York Times bestselling author of Dr. Kellyann’s Bone Broth Diet reveals her powerful belly-slimming plan that will help you lose up to 10 pounds in 10 days