Giving the power of knowledge|Last minute gift ideas

Posted on December 17, 2009


Books. The gift of one is often relegated to tween Harry Potter fans & Baby’s First Reader books – why do we forget about sharing the tomes of words that have the power to actually change our lives? Well, probably, because we never were introduced to ‘that one book’ that changed our lives or ‘that one book’ that opened our eyes to the vast world of authors sharing incredibly information in an easy to “get” format.

That was the case for me anyways, until my college roommate read “The Secret” and told me about it. Up until that time, we only read light beach-read books about new york socialites who try to hold their so-called happy lives together. But then she told me about “The Secret” and I went out & got the book & DVD.

Changed my life.

If you know of a certain book that has impacted you in some way, why wouldn’t that make a great gift for someone else for the holidays? Birthdays? Just probably not anniverasaries…unless you’re married, and then cookware, books, & socks all qualify as gifts for such an occassion.

So if you’re still out looking for gift ideas this holiday season, here’s my top 5 books (well, 4 books & 1 movie) that could change a persons’ life, or at the very least, open their mind up to something new!

Excuses BeGone! – Wayne Dyer

  • Whether you’re a serious excuse-maker & you know it, or simply an excuse-maker who’s excuses are simply justifications for actions or behaviors that you don’t realize – this book shows you how patterns you have now could have been there since your birth & how you can acknowledge that & move forward with it. It’s filled with techniques, exercises & stories to help you “get” your behaviors & modify them to become a happier, more fulfilled, successful you.
  • Buy it for…the person who is trying to change something about themself i.e. their weight, relationships, work habits; for the person who would balk at “fluffy self-help books” & wants to better themself with real science-proven stuff, which this is!; or for the person who you can’t stand to hear make one more excuse 🙂

In Defense of Food – Michael Pollan

  • My #1 read of the year…actually I audio-booked this one, but still…truly an incredible read! Pollan does a phenomenal job bringing real data to the world of diets, food, & our bass-ackwards approach to eating in this country. You’ll learn who is actually controlling our food supply, why that actually matters & what you can do to navigate the grocery store where you think you have tons of choices but actually are extremely limited in your right to choose. Think of this as the ‘thinking man (woman)’s guide to never dieting & still getting trim & fit.”
  • Buy it for…everyone you know. They even have a ‘young readers’ version to help our increasingly fat kids learn better habits now rather than when they’re 35

Food, Inc. – movie

  • My#1 movie of the decade…seriously. This should be required viewing for every American. Whether you care about how your food is treated before it dies(you should), your eyes will be opened & your stomach will flip at the shocking video taken of farming & the testimonials of people (farmers trying to just make a buck & getting stomped on by corp. conglomerates, low-wage families trying to feed their family, workers trying to find a job & getting disfigured in the process) who are caught in this madness.
  • Buy it for…everyone you know & 10 people you don’t; for the person who thinks they eat healthy, for the person who wants to eat healthy, for any person over the age of 5, this is a must-see.

Younger Next Year: Live Strong, Fit, & Sexy until your 80 & Beyond – Chris Crowley & Henry S. Lodge (has versions for both men & women)

  • Funniest book on the human body I’ve read in a long time. A doctor & a writer co-author this book on aging, what happens, why, and how you can manage all this as they “until your 80 & beyond!” I’m nowhere near 80 & I learned valuable insights here…if only my Chem-1 professor had been this interesting in college, I may have done better in that class. No scary science-y stuff here. You’ll get real science brought down to ‘normal’ people levels – all of which is then translated into “what do I do now that I know this?” recommendations.
  • Buy it for…your mom; your dad; your friend who has tried every anti-aging cream, diet, pill known to man-this book will save them a ton of money & heartache from products that don’t work.

Healthier Without Wheat – Stephen Wangen

  • Gluten intolerant? Think you may be? Don’t care to ever be? If you are, or think you are, then this book is for you- outlining symptoms, testing methods, what you can eat, what you shouldn’t eat & why. Don’t care to ever stop eating wheat? Read this for great insight into how to balance the diet & how you may be eating more wheat than you realize & creating an allergy to it.
  • Buy it for…the person in your life who just found out they have a food allergy; the person who has kids who are more than rambunctious (a gluten free diet could help to balance out the kid’s energy).

So there you have it. If you’re still looking for Christmas gifts, pick up a few of these for the people you care about to work their way through in 2010 -and if you are intrigued at all by these titles, be sure to ask to borrow the book when they are done with it…but to be honest, these are all books you will want to have on your personal bookshelf.

Too cool to buy books as gifts? Don’t worry, all the cool kids are doing it now. Besides, you can’t play with a Wii ALL the time!

Posted in: optimal health