Posts tagged ‘books’

March 9, 2013

Feed Your Mind

green apple and books

Hi, there! It’s Brooke. As you know, wellness comes in many forms. When we think of health, we usually jump straight to the physical (regular exercise, good nutrition, and abundant sleep). But total wellness involves a balance of all aspects of our lives—physical, emotional, social, spiritual, intellectual, and vocational. By balance, I mean the correct combination of each of these things that results in an authentic life. You know how good it feels when you’re firing on all these cylinders? I recall these groovy times, and I try to return to them again and again, like a homing pigeon. One of my very favorite ways to find my center is to retreat to a quiet place and break out a book. My love of reading fulfills almost every form of wellness, and I’m betting that it does for many of you. For me, reading fills me up when I am low. It fires my creative spirit and feeds my hungry brain. Reading helps me find myself, to discover clues to who I really am. I usually have about 4 books going at a time, which could signal an active, curious mind or ongoing mental illness. But it’s just how I roll! I’d love to share several of my current favorites with you, and if you have any fabulous books to recommend, please share! FYI: Links to each of these books are at the bottom.

Power Eating Cover

1. Power Eating (3rd edition) by Susan Kleiner: I discovered this book several years ago when I was just beginning to learn about clean eating and strength training. It absolutely blew my mind! It taught me that food is much more than just something you eat or share with loved ones—it’s fuel for the strong, powerful machine that is your body. And for a skinny gal like me aspiring to pack on beautiful muscles and curves, finding this treasure was indeed a giddy experience. Even better, Dr. Kleiner includes a whole section on sports nutrition for vegetarian athletes. I actually felt like my lifestyle was understood and respected rather than just shoved behind the typical information on how to be a healthy carnivore. Like a baby duckling that imprints on the first creature she sees, I base my love of sports nutrition and the science of bodybuilding on this book, and I will be forever grateful to Susan Kleiner for inspiring me and changing my world.

Crazy Sexy diet

2. Crazy Sexy Diet: Eat Your Veggies, Ignite Your Spark, and Live Like You Mean It! by Kris Carr: This book came out almost 2 years ago, and I’d been flirting with it on and off for a while now. I admit, the title intrigued me—who doesn’t want to be crazy sexy?!? I’d pick it up in the bookstore, page through it, think about it, and then set it down again. Recently, I picked it up again and this time it really spoke to me. It had always been the same packet of awesomeness, but now I was ready to hear its message. Ten years ago, Kris Carr was a 31-year-old actress who discovered after months of feeling bad that no, she did not a have a typical hangover, but a rare, incurable liver cancer! So, she took this devastating news and became her own health advocate, learning everything she could about healing her life, body, and soul. She directed and starred in Crazy Sexy Cancer, a documentary of how she searched for a cure but instead found a resplendent life. Ten years later, she has created a global wellness revolution that advocates health and healing through a vegetarian, low-glycemic lifestyle; compassionate, mindful eating (involving lots of green juices and smoothies); and care of the soul through journaling, meditation, and prayer. But what I love the most is Kris Carr’s spirit and passion to inspire people by positivity, joy, humor, and power. This book virtually pulses with it. Just look at the title! I’m thrilled to be a new member of her tribe.

Expecting adam

3. Expecting Adam by Martha Beck: Now, this book is very special. How many of you have ever finished a book, and then immediately started it over again? That’s exactly what happened to me here, and I’m not even kidding. I’m actually on Read #3 now! Martha Beck is a celebrated therapist, life coach, best-selling author, and one of my very favorite “she-roes.” I absolutely adore her humor and eloquence and honesty. This magical, mystical book launched Martha’s career as a passionate advocate of healing the world, one person at a time. More than 20 years ago, Martha and her husband were extremely intelligent, high-achieving, hard-driving perfectionists pursuing their PhD’s after surviving both their undergraduate and master’s programs—all at Harvard. Human frailty and lives guided by passion and spirit were not well received by the logic-driven intellegencia, and that was just fine by the Becks. Then they found out that their second baby was going to have Down syndrome, and their expectations for the “perfect” family were turned upside down. And what blessing that became. This book is a beautifully written, intimate walk through Martha’s life during this time as she discovers that we are surrounded by angels seen and unseen every day; that a powerful, loving force connects us all and has a sharp sense of humor; and that you don’t have to be perfect to be loved. I highly recommend all of her books, especially if you are a seeker and a healer.

My year with eleanor

4. My Year With Eleanor by Noelle Hancock: This one is a charmer, and dare I admit it again, another book I finished and immediately began again. I couldn’t help myself. After an unexpected downsizing, Noelle Hancock (a Texas girl like myself who I’m convinced I’d be friends with if we ever met!) takes the opportunity of a jobless year to live her Year of Fear. Inspired by her personal heroine, Eleanor Roosevelt, and her famous quote “Do one thing every day that scares you,” Noelle faces down the many things that give her pause, cause concern, or scare her witless. Her account is hysterical, genuine, poignant, and delightful as she weaves Eleanor’s own story throughout her own adventures. Could you do one thing every day that frightens you? Yikes! I still don’t have a good answer for this, but I truly loved going along for the ride.

Power Eating: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/power-eating-3rd-edition-susan-kleiner/1101445870?ean=9780736066983

Crazy Sexy Diet: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/crazy-sexy-diet-kris-carr/1100038563?ean=9780762777938

Expecting Adam: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/expecting-adam-martha-beck/1103141176?ean=9780307719645

My Year With Eleanor: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/my-year-with-eleanor-noelle-hancock/1100567891?ean=9780061875014

I hope these lovely books inspire you as they did me, and I’d love to hear about your favorites. Have a great weekend!

~ Brooke

January 11, 2013

So Many Books, So Little Space. . .

Love books part 2

Hi, there. It’s Brooke here. How many of you like to read? No, not just the latest Twitter feed or Yahoo entertainment news (don’t get me wrong—I like to know how fast Anne Hathaway’s pixie cut is growing out just as much as the next person), but really read? I’ve always adored reading, from my earliest memories of my dad reading to me at bedtime to present day, when I have at least 3 audio books in my car at all times. You know how naked you feel when you go somewhere without your purse or phone? I feel agitated and anxious unless I have reading material stashed close by, wherever I go. This would explain the many piles of books and magazines that follow in my wake. I know this book clutter is a problem, and I’m confident a psychologist would be able to dig out some juicy analysis of my inner failings from observing my daily interactions with these piles, but I do not care. Actually I do care, but that’s between the psychologist and me. Having my beloved books nearby comforts me and makes me feel secure that if the moment arrives in which an answer is needed, I can go directly to the most helpful resource and resolve the crisis—I mean, question.

Book room quote

I’ve tried to figure out why I have such trouble with accumulating and holding on to things. You may be like this too, but for me to do something uncomfortable, possibly painful, definitely not creative or fun, I have to know the reason why I should. I found this to be true even when dieting down for a fitness competition. Maybe it’s so I can Jedi mind-trick myself into accomplishing the troublesome task, but regardless, it’s how I’m wired. Several clues to why are as follows:

I crave Input, which is apparently a natural-born strength according to Marcus Buckingham and Donald Clifton, authors of Now, Discover Your Strengths. This is a fascinating book popular in corporate management circles and among people seeking to understand themselves and others. I highly recommend it if you’re the sort who wants to maximize your potential and understand what makes people tick (http://www.amazon.com/Discover-Your-Strengths-Marcus-Buckingham/dp/0743201140/ref=pd_bxgy_b_text_y). To crave input means that you are intellectually curious and tend to collect things—not necessarily physical objects, but information such as found in books, quotes, random ideas, and lots of facts. You gather this information, stimulating your mind and storing it away, never knowing when it might be important at a later date. As you can imagine, this could swiftly lead to logistical problems for you and the people in your life if any of these “treasures” take up physical space. My husband has told me on several occasions that I have too many books and that I need to get rid of some of them. While I do consider this an offensive statement and an affront to me personally, I kinda agree. I once read an article about organizing the house—wait, I’m sure it’s around here somewhere—and it gave me the following advice: Freeing up your physical space from its clutter (books and other things) creates “psychic” space, or room for your spirit to expand and for new opportunities to come into your life. This sentence sounds just fantastical enough (and not too pragmatic, a.k.a. boring) for me to get my head around.

psychology

Also, as an INFP according to the Myers-Briggs Personality Test, I’ve learned that I am a strong “P,” which stands for “Perceiving.” In the context of the Myers-Briggs test, Judging and Perceiving are the two ways people deal with their external world. When one is a “Judging” type, one tends to be gifted at closure, organization, and planning. This also means that these folks tend to make a decision and then move forward effectively. These are skills that I’m working on improving—they don’t come as naturally to me. When you are primarily a Perceiving type, you tend to be flexible, open, and relaxed with the world. You like to observe the world rather than order it and prefer to take in lots of information. A lack of closure is easily tolerated because with new information coming in all the time, one never knows when an important piece will come along and a decision will need to be changed and improved. I can’t explain why this is, but it seems to put words to the reasoning in my head. If you want to really get under your own skin and have a few hours to spare (once you start, you’ll find it hard to stop), go online to any number of sites to take the Myers-Briggs Personality Test or assessments very similar to it. Here’s a nice little intro into the science of Typing and you’ll find some links to free testing and great info as well (http://www.developandgrow.com/lifecoach/blog/free-on-line-myers-briggs-personality-tests/).

I hope you enjoy digging into your psyche and discovering some helpful things. You may just be amazed! Wish me luck as I clear up my psychic space and continue to self-diagnose my neuroses. Have a wonderful weekend!

~Brooke

December 5, 2012

9 Stylish Ways to Wear Statement Leggings

Leggings are one of the easiest ways to update your wardrobe and you don’t have to spend a ton of money to achieve a stylish fresh look.  You can add leggings to tops, sweaters, dresses or a simple white tee and leather jacket for an edgy look.
You can find statement leggings in all kinds of designs, from classic black to leather to printed lace.  Leggings are everywhere in every style. You can choose different textures, sheens, prints and colors.
A couple of style notes to keep in mind when picking out your leggings:
1. If the leggings are really bright or super busy, make sure your top is a neutral and let the leggings be the focal point.
2.  If you have a little bit of thickness through the thighs and hips go for a vertical print or darker color legging that can have an embellishment to draw the eyes up and down.
3. To elongate shorter legs wear a shoe that matches your legging color.
4.  Have fun and buy whatever makes you happy or puts a smile on your face!
See the Romwe Starry Night leggings, I ordered them and can’t wait to wear with my Vera Wang motorcycle boots, picked up at the Maxx for about $69.00
Hope you all have a wonderful week! Yours truly, Kathy Fit Fashionista 🙂