Recommended Reading

Many of the improvements that I’ve made to my health, fitness, perspective, and life in general are a result of the knowledge I gained from reading books. The following are some of the books and other resources that have left a lasting impression on me and have proven to be valuable in my quest for knowledge and advancement.

Please keep in mind that my recommendation of these books doesn’t mean that I agree with everything that each author has to say. Some books contain pearls of wisdom that are mixed with outdated information or strange opinions. Using your own judgment in such cases is part of the learning process.

General Health

How to Eat Move and Be Healthy by Paul Chek provides an excellent overview of what a healthy lifestyle is all about. It goes into depth on nutrition, digestion, stress, rest, and exercise from a natural perspective and provides detailed information on how to implement each of these aspects into your life. This is one of the very first books that got me started on the right path towards better health.
 
The Primal Blueprint by Mark Sisson also provides an excellent overview of a healthy lifestyle and is based on the healthy habits of our prehistoric ancestors that modern technology has caused us to lose sight of. Like How to Eat Move and Be Healthy, The Primal Blueprint also includes great information in regard to exercise as well as easy to follow implementation suggestions.
 
Adrenal Fatigue: The 21st Century Stress Syndrome by James L. Wilson ND, DC is about the poor state of health that many of us are unknowingly suffering from as a result of poor lifestyle habits, particularly excessive stress, insufficient rest, and poor nutrition. This book helps the average person identify if they might be suffering from Adrenal Fatigue and explains how to recover from it through healthy lifestyle habits, nutritional supplements, and help from natural health practitioners.
 
Your Body’s Many Cries for Water by F. Batmanghelidj MD is a shocking discussion of how dehydration can cause many of the serious illnesses and disorders that are so common today. If you’re not genuinely motivated to drink more water after reading this book, then you may never be.
 
Lights Out: Sleep, Sugar, and Survival by by T.S. Wiley provides a thorough and science based explanation of how the advent of artificial light has had a tremendously negative impact on our health. We depend on a circadian rhythm that evolved based on the rising and setting of the sun and this book poses a strong argument for why our eating and sleeping habits should more closely resemble how they were before the invention of the light bulb.
 
Detoxify or Die by Sherry A. Rogers MD describes the alarming amount of dangerous synthetic chemicals that we’re exposed to on a regular basis and the significant health consequences that they can have. The book also provides information on how to support your body’s ability to detoxify these chemicals, and when possible, how to avoid them completely.
 
The Cholesterol Myths: Exposing the Fallacy That Saturated Fat and Cholesterol Cause Heart Disease by Uffe Ravnskov MD, PhD is an absolutely excellent resource that delves into the many studies done on heart disease and reveals how badly we’ve been misled. Some of the more important topics include how saturated fat doesn’t cause elevated cholesterol, how blood levels of cholesterol doesn’t cause heart disease, and how popular cholesterol lowering medications can be extremely dangerous and completely ineffective.
 
$29 Billion Reasons to Lie About Cholesterol: Making Profit by Turning Healthy People into Patients by Justin Smith is partially based on The Cholesterol Myths, discusses many of the factors that contribute to heart disease, and explains the drug industry’s incentive for turning healthy people into patients and customers by giving them lifelong prescriptions of cholesterol lowering medication.
 
The Body Electric: Electromagnetism and the Foundation of Life by Robert O. Becker MD is an excellent recap of the author’s lifetime of fascinating work and research on regeneration and proving that electrical current does indeed exist in the body, is critical to life, and controls much of our function. The message of the book is bittersweet with an explanation of the amazing potential of regeneration and energy medicine while also describing how this potential is limited by modern dogma and how politics has corrupted the scientific community and put us at danger in regard to the extreme amount of electromagnetic pollution we are exposed to on a daily basis.
 
Cross Currents: The Perils of Electropollution, the Promise of Electromedicine by Robert O. Becker MD is an extension of his previous book, The Body Electric, and focuses on the health risks of electromagnetic radiation, how to minimize your risk, and the interesting implications of electromagnetism in energy medicine.
 
Electromagnetic Fields: A Consumer’s Guide to the Issues and How to Protect Ourselves by B. Blake Levitt is an extremely thorough resource on electromagnetic radiation including an in depth explanation of the various forms and sources of it, the health risks, the politics surrounding it, and what can be done to minimize exposure.
 
The Biology of Belief: Unleashing the Power of Consciousness, Matter, & Miracles by Bruce H. Lipton PhD provides an excellent scientific explanation of the importance of cell membranes and how their interactions control the expression of genes. Most importantly, it explains why we have the power to control our genes and that we’re not the victims of genetics that many of us believe ourselves to be. As the title suggests, the book also discusses the reality of your thoughts having a physical effect on the expression of your genes, and in turn, your health.
 
Molecules of Emotion: The Science Behind Mind-Body Medicine by Candace B. Pert PhD is a fascinating recap of the author’s research related to the discovery of the opiate receptor and how our thoughts can have chemical and physical effects that affect our moods and health. Like The Body Electric, this book provides an excellent description of how political and corrupt the scientific community has become and how it has lost focus of objectively seeking the truth for the good of mankind.
 
Sauna Therapy for Detoxification and Healing by Lawrence Wilson MD discusses the many healthy benefits of infrared sauna therapy, particularly in regard to chronic health issues, and explains why saunas that use heat lamps are superior to those using heating elements. In addition to all of the great health information included, the book also provides plans for how to inexpensively build your own sauna.
 
Why Stomach Acid is Good For You: Natural Relief from Heartburn, Indigestion, Reflux and GERD by Jonathan V. Wright MD addresses the flawed perspective of heartburn being a result of excess stomach acid. The book provides a detailed discussion of the various causes of heartburn, why conventional treatments merely hide symptoms while worsening overall health, and information on nutritional supplements, lifestyle habits, and testing that will help to result heartburn properly and naturally.
 
The Fungus Link by Doug Kaufmann is an alarming explanation of how the typical modern diet is a significant cause of fungal overgrowth in the intestines and how it can contribute to many of today’s most common and serious health problems.

Nutrition and Cooking

You Are What You Eat by Paul Chek is an audio set and is one of the most informative resources on the benefits of organic produce and pasture raised meat. It also discusses the many downfalls of the typical modern diet and exposes the corruption and the dangerous, unhealthy, and inexcusable practices of industrial farming and food manufacturing.
 
Nutrition and Physical Degeneration by Weston A. Price is one of the most important books on nutrition that I’ve read. It documents Dr. Price’s amazing research on many primitive cultures and provides proof of the significant degeneration that is occurs when these healthy and robust people transition to modern processed foods.
 
Food, Inc. is a powerful documentary that exposes the truth about the food industry. It goes into depth about the deceptive nature of agricultural companies, their influence on the government, and the problems that this presents to our health and the sustainability of the planet.
 
The Metabolic Typing Diet: Customize Your Diet to Your Own Unique Body Chemistry by William Wolcott is a holistic nutritional philosophy that emphasizes the value of diet in regard to preventing and resolving disease through the promotion of optimal health. A major part of this philosophy is a system that helps to identify the ideal foods and proportions for a person to eat based on their genetic and functional individuality.
 
The Mood Cure: The 4-Step Program to Take Charge of Your Emotions – Today by Julia Ross MA is an excellent resource that explains the significant impact that nutrition has on our moods. It guides you through a self assessment to help you determine how your moods need to be balanced, and based on this, provides food and supplement recommendations.
 
Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats by Sally Fallon is another excellent resource that provides a thorough explanation of many of the basics about nutrition and provides a large number of recipes that are based on traditional foods.
 
The Garden of Eating by Rachel Albert-Matesz and Don Matesz provides a through conceptual discussion of why we should follow the dietary habits of our prehistoric ancestors, explains a variety of shopping and cooking tips, and includes many recipes that are based on natural whole foods. This book is a great choice for people who wish to avoid grains and dairy.
 
Dangerous Grains: Why Gluten Cereal Grains May Be Hazardous To Your Health by James Braly MD and Ron Hoggan MA gives an excellent explanation of why we’re not evolved to eat grains and how it causes significant health problems for many people. The book focuses primarily on gluten sensitivity and celiac disease, shows how these problems are much more common than most people realize, and gives a through explanation of how they’re caused by poor gluten digestion. Also discussed are the many serious diseases and conditions that can result from gluten sensitivity and celiac disease.
 
Nutrition and Your Mind by George Watson PhD is a revolutionary book from the 1970s that desribes the undeniable link between nutrition and emotions. Dr. Watson’s research has been a sigificant factor in the development of Metabolic Typing.
 
Sweet Deception: Why Splenda, NutraSweet, and the FDA May Be Hazardous to Your Health by Dr. Joseph Mercola is an excellent resource on artificial sweeteners, especially aspartame and Splenda, that explains their risks and the political corruption involved in getting them approved. The book also provides recommendations and explanations for a variety of natural sweeteners.
 
Fat Head by Tom Naughton is a documentary that addresses the myth of saturated fat causing obesity and heart disease. Tom Naughton exposes the flaws of these myths, and also the Super Size Me documentary, by putting himself on a fast food only diet with limited carbohydrates. His weight loss and lowered cholesterol at the end of his experiment indicate a much different reality than what we’ve been led to believe. The documentary also addresses cholesterol and heart disease in more detail.
 
Food Matters is a documentary that emphasizes the importance of food as medicine, or more appropriately, the foundation of our health. It explains how food is often the answer to preventing and even reversing disease and how the drug industry has influenced conventional medicine to overlook and intentionally shun this perspective.
 
Pottenger’s Cats: A Study in Nutrition by Francis M. Pottenger, Jr. MD describes the interesting research done by the author on the effects of cats being fed cooked meat and pasteurized milk versus raw meat and raw milk. The cooked and pasteurized group had structural and reproductive issues that worsened each generation and weren’t able to reproduce at all by the third generation. The book poses some thought provoking questions about many of the overcooked and highly processed foods that we eat today.

Fitness and Physical Health

The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook: Your Self-Treatment Guide for Pain Relief by Clair Davies NCTMB has been an invaluable resource for me that explains how muscle knots can cause dysfunction, pain, and injury in nearby joints. The book provides an extremely detailed system of locating the trigger point based on the location of pain and explains how to resolve it through the use of self massage techniques.
 
Movement that Matters by Paul Chek explains the importance of exercising in a way that trains the movements that we use in every day life.
 
Insider’s Tell-All Handbook on Weight-Training Technique: Illustrated Step-by-step Guide to Perfecting Your Exercise Form for Injury-free Maximum Gains by Stuart McRobert is an excellent resource that explains proper weightlifting technique in great detail for a wide variety of exercises.
 
The Golf Biomechanic’s Manual: Whole in One Golf Conditioning by Paul Chek, although intended for golfers, explains how any sports enthusiast can implement a well rounded training program to keep their body free of injury and promote peak performance.
 
Core Performance: The Revolutionary Workout Program to Transform Your Body & Your Life by Mark Verstegen explains all aspects of a well rounded fitness program aimed at preventing injury and improving performance. What’s great about this book is that although it’s based on athletic conditioning, it also is very well suited for people who aren’t athletes. After all, we should all have a strong and injury resistant body whether we play a sport or not.
 
Functional Training for Sports by Michael Boyle is a great resource for athletes who would like to learn the principles of a well rounded athletic conditioning program with additional emphasis on injury prevention and performance.
 
Maximum Strength: Get Your Strongest Body in 16 Weeks with the Ultimate Weight-Training Program by Eric Cressey MS, CSCS provides a great explanation of why you should lift weights for strength rather than muscle size and why a pre workout mobility routine is key to success. The book also provides a sample strength program to follow, a self assessment routine to gauge your progress, and pictures and descriptions of all of the exercises included in the program.
 
Bulletproof Knees by Mike Robertson is an excellent resource for anyone that would like to eliminate or prevent knee pain. It explains how ankle and hip mobility are crucial to healthy knees and provides a progression of programs based on the current condition of your knees that emphasize mobility, self massage, static stretching, strength training, and plyometrics.
 
Sport Stretch by Michael J. Alter is a great resource for static stretching that explains it’s benefits, provides descriptions and pictures of a large number of stretches, and includes specific stretching routines for a wide variety of different sports.
 
Spinal Stabilization: The New Science of Back Pain by Rick Jemmett BSc(PT) is based on the important discovery that there’s much more to spinal stability than strong abdominal and lower back muscles. This book explains how stability is provided by small muscles attached directly to the spine which can become inactive, and in turn, lead to injury. Exercises are provided to isolate, activate, and strengthen these muscles and keep your spine stable and healthy.
 
The Wharton’s Stretch Book by Jim and Phil Warton is a great resource about a unique and interesting form of stretching called active isolated stretching. The book includes a sample stretching routine along with a self assessment routine and pictures and descriptions of each stretch.

Purpose and Perspective

Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl is a recap of the author’s experience in several Nazi concentration camps and is a profound testament to the importance of having meaning in life and the fact that we can find meaning from even the most torturous scenario.
 
7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey provides a structured approach for developing the mentality that will help you align you daily actions and decisions with your values and goals. Although I think this book is mostly intended for business people, I think it’s very appropriate for anyone who wants to get the most out of life.
 
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand is a very influential and somewhat controversial book that uses a fictional story to emphasize the importance of selfishness. This book has made many people realize that society as a whole benefits when people live according to their personal needs and interests, and that it suffers when they live for the sake of others.
 
Career Renegade: How to Make a Great Living Doing What You Love by Jonathan Fields is a very inspiring book that explains why we should pursue a career that we truly love and how to make it possible when it seems like it can’t be done.
 
The 4 Hour Work Week: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich by Timothy Ferriss provides an alternative view on today’s perspective on careers and retirement. If you want to live more and work less, this book will help to open your mind and give you some ideas on how to make it happen.
 
Please Understand Me II: Temperament, Character, Intelligence by David Keirsey is a great resource that will allow you to profile your personality and learn a little more about yourself. Personally, I think this is an important part of discovering your values and being clear on what you want from life.

Would you like to share your opinion about any of these books? If so, leave a comment below!

11 Responses

  1. Love your book list! My husband and I are book addicts. It has done us well. Only problem is we’re running out of space for all the favorite books we can’t part with. Recently I read a book by Andy Andrews called THE NOTICER. It’s a definate classic to read, re-read, and pass on to friends and family. Even though I read it about a month ago, I still use thoughts and stories from it to share with patients and friends almost daily.

  2. Hey Vin,

    You should also add Crush It! by Gary Vanerychuk, it was a great read that gets you pumped to take on the world.

    • Vin says:

      Hi Jason,

      I didn’t know Gary had written a book. I’ve seen videos of him and can see he’s a pretty intense guy. Maybe too intense, but I’m a fan of anyone who can support themselves by pursuing their passion. I look forward to reading the book.

  3. Hey Vin, Yeah he’s intense but the guy has an amazing story and he has some great tips to help grow your business. Enjoy!

  4. sandra says:

    Hi Vin,
    Thanks for this website and all the wonderful resources that you give. I have just read “Eat to Live” by Dr. Joel Fuhrman, and am currently on the eating regimen that he recommends. I have fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue ( among other things) and I was wondering if there is a period of increased symptoms that occur (headaches, muscle and joint pain) as your body detoxifies from the sugar, wheat, gluten, dairy and animal products.
    Thanks for your support!

    • Vin says:

      Hi Sandra, I’m glad to hear that you’re finding the site helpful. Thanks for your feedback!

      I have not yet read Eat to Live, but based on what I know about it, my expectations aren’t very high. Here’s a review of it that might interest you.

      There are so many factors that can contribute to fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue symptoms that it’s hard to say. If any of the foods you’re avoiding were contributing to your condition, it’s possible that by having a break from them, your body has more ability to attack the underlying problem which may be provoking symptoms. However, it’s also possible that by avoiding animal foods, your body is being deprived of nutrients that it needs. Something entirely unrelated may be contributing as well. Either way, avoiding sugar, gluten, and dairy is an excellent idea that could very well help you feel better over time. It made a big difference for me, but it also took a while to really see the improvement. I hope it works well for you and I wish you the best of luck with your recovery.

  5. sandra says:

    Well Vin, I read the review and was discouraged and confused. It made me feel like I was at square one again! I did disagree with some of the points as the book does recommend supplements, but agreed that after the initial couple of months adding some of the other food groups are important for lifelong good eating. What I really liked about this book rather than others in this vein was the practical way foods were presented. No calorie counting and keeping a basic “whole food” dogma as a mindset helps me to focus on the essentials. There is just too much disagreement out there and I can’t process it all. As for the chronic health issues, the book in no way claims that it will cure, but I did find it hopeful that I would be helped. Just being proactive is liberating when your life seems so out of control due to health.
    I do so appreciate your website and your interest in the well being of others!
    Thank YOU!

    • Vin says:

      Hi Sandra,

      I can appreciate how frustrating it is to come across conflicting information and it certainly wasn’t my intention to cause that. However, it’s also good to be exposed to opposing opinions, and as a result, to hopefully be inspired to dig deeper and be able to establish your own opinions. As you continue searching for answers, it usually gets easier.

      I completely agree that simply being proactive can be liberating, and as long as you keep looking for answers and finding value, I think that will continue to be the case. Even if I disagree with the premise of Eat to Live, I don’t double that there are still valuable pieces of information to take from it.

  6. Amita says:

    Hello Vin….Namaste! Finding your blog/site was one of the most amazing things that happened! I see a lot of me in you and feel just as passionately about food and nutrition, and esp organic foods. Your research is exceptional and I have so much to learn from you.

    I need some help….How does one respond to being criticized for eating ‘processed organic foods’..for eg… Organic pork sausages, from Waitrose in the UK . How do you define ‘processed’ ?How do you ‘enighten’ people who hold the view that ‘processed’ food cant be good for you , even if organic. Maybe I should suggest that they eat only raw meat?

    Thank you…..Amita

    • Vin says:

      Hi Amita, thank you for your comment and your kind feedback!

      Choosing what to eat is a personal choice. What I think is most important is to encourage people to understand and think about the choices that they make. As long as someone is confident and content with their choice, even if it’s an unhealthy one, they shouldn’t be bothered by criticism and can potentially benefit from it by interpreting it with an open mind to see a different perspective that they may not have previously considered.

      In a general sense, processed food is any food that’s been altered from it’s original and natural state. Because this covers an extremely wide range, you have to somewhat rely on your own judgment. For example, olive oil is generally considered to be healthy, but it’s a processed food based on the pressing process that’s required to produce it. However, it’s not nearly as processed as something like a juice that’s been pasteurized, fortified with synthetic vitamins, and has added sugar and unnatural additives such as flavoring, coloring, and preservatives.

      In regard to the pork sausages, I would base my opinion of them on how they’re prepared and what ingredients are added. Although sausage is technically a processed food, it can be a similar case to olive oil depending on how it’s made. Even with olive oil, some brands are more processed than others and are less desirable. Another consideration is that even if the sausage contained undesirable ingredients and wasn’t made from organic pork, I think it would still be reasonable if you chose to enjoy it in moderation.

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