Written by Virginia Eaton —
Inside Class, The Body Pastiche we have a library and encourage people to borrow any book that strikes their fancy.
It may sound strange to have a library in a health and fitness business but my job as a health coach and owner is to empower people to make the changes that will lead to a enlightenment. Well, if not enlightenment, perhaps a better understanding of how to take care of you own body and mind rather than relying completely on others (who don’t have to live in your skin).
Before opening my business, I read a lot of books! I read two and three books at once and I finished almost every one of them. I don’t have nearly as much time to read as I once did but I do remember the books that made the greatest impact on my life, my view of health and the idea of eating well.
I am sharing with you that list and if you have other books that have inspired or changed the way that you think about food, exercise or health, please comment.
Robert Lustig : Fat Chance (non-fiction)
Dr. Lustig is able t o explain the chemical reactions in your body better than any professor I’ve experienced and makes an excellent case for why sugar causes chaos in the human body. If you want to understand what all the fuss is about with ‘added sugar’, this is the place to go!
Marion Nestle: Food Politics (non-fiction)
A huge book with probably way more information on how our government comes up with their recommendations around food. Be aware, if you don’t want to know how sausage is made, you probably don’t want to know the shenanigans involved in creating the USDA food guidelines.
Michael Pollan: Omnivore’s Dilemma (non-fiction)
This book was instrumental in setting me upon my path of looking at how food has changed over the years. Micheal Pollan is responsible for the recommendation of “Eat (real) food, not too much, mostly plants” and “don’t eat anything your great grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food”. (I may be paraphrasing; my copies of Omnivore’s Dilemma have all been loaned out!)
Barbara Kingsolver: Animal Vegetable Miracle (non-fiction)
The author who has written many novels, shares her family’s experience with eating only locally grown food for an entire year—entertaining and eye opening.
Julia Child: My Life is France
The ubiquity of home remodel shows on television is astounding. It’s hard to imagine that many of us created lovely meals in very basic kitchens. When you read this memoir, Julia Child describes 1940s European kitchens, which were small, cramped spaces, and very modestly equipped. In spite of her anti-HGTV accommodations, her foray into French cooking was so successful that she changed the way American women (and some men I would imagine) cook for their families and friends. And her love affair with Paul Child will stand forever in my mind as one of the best love stories ever.
Laura Esquivel: Like Water for Chocolate (fiction)
This allegory describes the sensual side of food. Wonderful story, don’t want to add too much, you must explore it yourself!
Fannie Flagg: Fried Green Tomatoes at The Whistle stop Café (fiction)
They made a movie out of this book, which is one of the few movies that fairly and entertainingly depicts this book. The reason it is on a list of books that influenced my relationship with food—since reading this book years ago, I have never eaten ribs without thinking of Fried Green Tomatoes.
Ruth Ozeki: My Year of Eating Meats (fiction)
This is an excellent book but contains powerful imagery around how an animal becomes meat. More than one person has become vegan after reading this book.
Five Quarters of the Orange (fiction)
Another story of how food is intimately connected to our personal and social relationships. Beautifully written, and one of the very few books that I have read twice.
I have had clients and friends donate books to the Class Library and I am very grateful! If you have read a book that left a lasting impression on how you understand your place in this world, please share so others might be so enlightened!