Despite having unlimited access to health information and wellness content all across the web via articles and social media, nothing has fueled my inspiration for creating healthy foods, honing my beauty routine, and fostering my wellness like my favorite books. Perhaps it’s my English background, but I love reading about a topic in an extended medium, cover to cover. The use value of diving into books is obvious to most—good books, from memoirs to lifestyle guides, offer in-depth coverage of their subject matter. But for me, books are more than useful tools; they are an end in themselves, and the act of sitting down with one can be meditative. In short, reading books is a wellness practice all of its own.
In the process of making room for a baby and moving homes, I did a good deal of decluttering, which involved thinking seriously about all of the books I’d collected over the years. Only my favorites made the cut (i.e., weren’t passed along to friends or donated). I realized that my dearest books (at least when it comes to the ones pertaining to wellness and self-care) combined helpful information with compelling aesthetics, the latter of which can be a make-or-break factor in feeling inspired about trying new things or making changes in your life. Another interesting feature these books have in common is an emphasis on the good—what we should be inviting into our lives—versus all of the harmful z, y, and z we should be avoiding. It simply makes for a more peaceful reading experience.
Here’s what I’m reading (again and again).
Best Wellness Guides to Add to Your Shelf
By Jessica Flint and Anna Kavaliunas
Anyone who has fallen in love with matcha could just as easily fall in love with this book. With an overview of matcha history (past and present) and contemporary matcha culture (including its social and meditative qualities), this guide can up your status from matcha latte lover to matcha connoisseur. Well, almost. You’ll learn to distinguish high-quality matcha from the stuff you’ll never want to drink again. Plus, it features several creative matcha recipes—from mixed drinks to matcha chia seed pancakes. Perhaps my favorite part, however, is the detailed guide to creating basic matcha drinks (hot and cold), so you can be your own matcharista.
By by Danielle Duboise and Whitney Tingle
(from the creators of Sakara)
This is a new addition to my collection (it was just released this month!), and I was hesitant to invest in this book at first because I have plenty of cookbooks featuring whole-food, plant-based recipes, but I was compelled by the gorgeous photography and my curiosity for Sakara (the authors’ meal delivery service beloved by models like Lily Aldridge). Being ever the DIY enthusiast, I wanted to bring the glam-healthy Sakara vibe into my own kitchen. The recipes do not disappoint—they’re interesting, healthy (of course), and accessible (chances are, you will have heard of 99% of the ingredients—score!) What I especially like about the writing style in this books is that it’s friendly and inviting, so I don’t feel like I’m a fly on the wall of an exclusive high-end wellness community; I’m actually part of the gang.
This visually stunning book is organized by season, and each seasonal section contains several self-care rituals (from salt baths to closet reorganization to breathwork) that match the spirit and demands of the seasons. Also, the sections include seasonal plant-based recipes that are largely doable—even if they look next level. The work as a whole inspires me to slow down, listen to what my body needs in the season, and be present for the sensuality of food and self-care.
By Sali Hughes
I would argue that this book is a joy to read for beauty newbies and seasoned beauty nerds alike. Sali is one of the foremost authorities on beauty trends, cult products, and makeup application. Despite being full of helpful tips, the book feels less like reading a guide and more like getting advice from one of the cool girls. Also, Sali’s personal stories may just inspire you to think about the empowering role that particular products or practices play in your life–and why lipstick is always more than lipstick.
What are your favorite wellness reads?
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