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Books I Like for Wellness Ideas

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Shawna Coronado in late September garden

This season has been a challenge with my diagnosis of spinal osteoarthritis – I changed my diet, started walking daily, and totally reexamined my approach to gardening, cooking, and living. Rebuilding the front lawn vegetable garden (above), for example, to focus on a lower maintenance plan seems like a smart idea for 2016 with diet and exercise a part of that new lifestyle target. While my primary recommendations for healthy change have come from my nutritionist and orthopedic surgeon (definitely consult your doctor before you make major health changes),

immune system recovery book

I have also been reading up on new and creative ideas to maintain wellness in the light of my chronic pain condition. Many of you ask what books I have been reading and getting inspiration from to help me with my transition to healthier living, so I thought I would list a few of my favorites I have covered this season for you below.

Wellness and Anti-Inflammatory Diet –

The Immune System Recovery Plan by Susan Blum is a great medical and nutritional guide recommended by my nutritionist which discusses an anti-inflammatory diet and a 4-step program to treat autoimmune disease. While some of this book missed the mark for me, by-and-large I felt it a great reference book and first step to better understanding how diet combines with nutrition and exercise to help you feel better.

Antiinflammation Diet and Recipe Book

The Anti-inflammation Diet and Recipe Book [second addition] by Jessica K. Black is a good basic guide to a beginning anti-inflammatory diet. My concern about this book is it does not discuss individual flexibility. For example, I’ve found I can eat wheat in pasta or bread/tortilla form about once per day without pain from inflammation (which won’t be true for every person – you may or may not have to exclude wheat entirely) and the book recommends you avoid wheat products such as pasta, tortillas, and bread. I think the secret with the anti-inflammatory diet is #1 – follow a doctor and/or nutritionists care guidelines and #2 – stick with the diet for six weeks before gradually reintroducing certain foods to see which triggers your chronic pain. I love this books guide on fruits and vegetables and agree with the primary guidelines of the book.


Andrew Weil Healthy AgingWellness and Daily Life –

Healthy Aging: A Lifelong Guide to Your Well-Being by Andrew Weil – I like this book a lot. His emphasis on walking and regular daily exercise is an inspiration. Dr. Weil’s suggestions on de-stressing and learning how to better live with stress is important for everyone to learn and definitely helps with chronic pain. I’m not sure I agree 100% with all of his vitamin suggestions as I take a minimum of vitamins, but I do like his strong suggestion of healthy eating. It makes sense and feels right to follow his inspirational ideas.


Wellness and Gardening –

Cancer Survivor's Gardening book

The Cancer Survivor’s Gardening Companion: Cultivating Hope, Healing and Joy in the Ground Beneath Your Feet by Jenny Peterson is an amazing and powerfully inspirational book that focuses on the conceptual idea of gardening as a therapeutic tool which will help you to heal. While the book is titled “a cancer survivor’s guide”, it is really for any person who is interested in healing and health and wants to find it therapeutically in nature. Reading this book brought tears to my eyes – while it is truly a helpful guide for people suffering through the process of cancer therapy, it is also a personal journey story which inspired me tremendously. Excellent photos balance the powerful sentiment. Pre-order the book as it is officially coming out in January 2016 and I was privileged to read it in advance of it’s release.

Lawn Gone by Pam Penick

Lawn Gone!: Low-Maintenance, Sustainable, Attractive Alternatives for Your Yard by Pam Penick is a lovely book which many consider for use as a no-yard solution book, but I consider a creative answer to not having to push a lawn-mower if you have a chronic pain condition. Weeding is still a part of a no grass yard, yet after the initial planting it is essentially a low-maintenance situation which is quite beautiful. Everyone with chronic pain can agree that low-maintenance gardening is definitely the answer in dealing with our landscapes. I liked the book and loved the photography, which gave excellent ideas and examples of living without grass.

All the above books have been great reference books I like for wellness ideas and gave me lots of food for thought this season. Any of these would be excellent in your home library to help you with some new ideas to help with health and chronic pain.

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  1. Thanks for the shout-out, Shawna! I love the lineup of books you chose — anything that can help people enjoy their lives more, and stay healthy and balanced is a good book! Thank you for inspiring all of us to get up and move — I always think, “If Shawna can do it, so can I!”

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