If there were one nutrition book I would recommend every family have in their household it would have to be Nutrition for Life. Originally published in 2005, the book has since been updated and re-released in 2007, and is still relevant today. This book covers nutritional needs from infancy to old age and everything in between, which makes it the perfect at-home reference for families.

The problem I have with most nutrition books is that they are either:
  • too simple, 
  • too complex
  • too specific 
  • full of junk information. 
The authors of Nutrition for Life have found the perfect blend of readability and useful information. One of the best things about this book is the wide range of topics it covers. This book is your one-stop-shop for everything you need or want to know about your family’s nutrition, and could replace all other nutrition books in your library. Even as a dietitian, I find myself referring to it often.

The authors cover everything including the basics of a healthy lifestyle, what different nutrients are and why we need them, and how to use food as preventative and therapeutic medicine for a number of conditions. They also provide extensive information on popular topics such as supplements, how diet can affect disease, food preparation and cooking, controlling your weight, and nutritional needs at every stage of the lifespan. 

One of the best features of the book is the “Diet Directory” section which unbiasedly assesses popular diets and answers important questions such as “is the diet easy to maintain?”, “is eating out possible?”, and “is the plan family-friendly?”. Nutrition for Life also includes a nutrient reference guide complete with the Calorie, fat, carbohydrate, protein and fibre content for many foods.

Last but not least, you can trust the sources. Nutrition for Life is written by Lisa Hark, a dietitian with her Ph.D. who has appeared on NBC’s Today Show, CNN and a ton of other networks. Darwin Deen is a medical doctor who has been studying nutrition for over 30 years.

This book covers so much information that you’re not likely to read it cover to cover (although you could), but rather refer to it whenever a nutrition question pops into your head. Sure, you could get all your nutritional information from the internet but sometimes it’s nice to have all your answers in one place, from a source you know and trust. If you frequently find yourself searching for answers to your nutrition questions online, you may save time and money with this book.

You can purchase it at:
  1. AbesBooks.com
  2. Amazon.com
With all of the information floating around out there about health, nutrition, fitness and a healthy pregnancy, it can become difficult to determine (or remember) what is best for you and your little one while you are expecting. 

Fortunately, Deirdre Dolan and Alexandra Zissu, two ladies who have been there before, have compiled a thorough resource for moms to be. Going a step beyond traditional “eat this during this trimester” advice Dolan and Zissu detail everything that can affect your unborn child’s health, from why organic matters to the coffee you drink to what you store your leftovers in. Even your hair dye and fingernail polish are topics of conversation. If it matters to the health of your fetus, they’re talking about it. 

One of the most helpful and unique things about this book is the essays and personal accounts provided throughout it, that link advice to practical application, and make soon-to-be moms and dads feel like they have an ally in those who have faced what they are going through before.

Of course, if you’re the type of person who finds themselves worrying to a point that is more hurtful than helpful, this book might not be for you. It would be pretty much impossible to stick to every guideline that this book provides, so if you can’t read without worrying, either stick to the chapters that you can implement or find a less comprehensive guide. 

Dolan and Zissu provide multiple delicious, gourmet recipes, including this one for pickled okra, that Caribbean folklore rumors helps a slow-moving baby come on:

Pickled Okra
From Peter Hoffman, chef of Savoy Restaurant in New York City
  • 1 pound small okra pods (cut off any darkened stems but leave whole)
  • 3 cloves garlic, halved
  • 1 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 cup rice vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoons mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon dill seeds
  1. Pack three 1-pint canning jars with the okra vertical and alternating stems and tips. 
  2. Put a halved garlic clove in each jar as well. 
  3. In a nonreactive metal pot, bring the liquids to a boil. Add the salt and spices. 
  4. Allow to steep for 20 minutes.
  5. Fill the jars with the liquid to within 1 inch of the rims. 
  6. Wipe the rims and put on the lids. 
  7. Put the glass jars on a rack in a deep kettle and cover with hot water by 2 inches.
  8. Bring to a boil, cover, and boil for 10 minutes. 
  9. Remove the jars from the bath and leave to cool. 
  10. Let the pickles mellow for 2 weeks minimum before tasting. Best at 1 month.

You can purchase the book at:
  1. AbesBooks.com
  2. Amazon.com

Author W. Allan Walker, M.D., Professor of Pediatrics and Director of the Division of Nutrition at Harvard Medical School, has compiled this book, making it the official Harvard Medical School Guide to Healthy Eating for Kids. As you might imagine, this expertise creates a book that is full of information and tips that even the parent who is well-versed in child nutrition might not know.

Walker begins his book by explaining why our children’s nutrition is so important, especially in the wake of the obesity and chronic disease epidemics that are plaguing the Western world. Focusing on children aged two through eight, Walker adopts a nutritional strategy based on the USDA food guide pyramid, leaning heavily on fruits, vegetables and whole grains. 

He advocates using this pyramid as an alternative to what are currently the top three food groups for children: milk, bread and sweets.

Walker instructs parents on appropriate physical activity time for their children and gives detailed instructions about how to choose better sources of carbohydrates, fats and proteins than children are currently eating and explaining why each of these groups (in the right quantities) is so important. 

Answering a long-debated question in the medical profession, Walker delves into the world of vitamins, minerals and supplements, instructing parents that vitamins in pill form should be taken only as a form of insurance. Healthy, whole foods should always be the first source of healthy vitamins and minerals in a child’s diet.

All-in-all, Walker creates a book for parents who are simply looking for a happy medium in feeding their children well. He doesn’t go as far as to advocate organic food or “greener” options for parents, which might be easier to take for parents who are trying to slowly make changes toward a healthier life.

One of the biggest advantages to this book is that Walker provides a recipe and meal-planning resource for parents to make sure all of their children’s nutritional bases are covered each and every day. Here are a few of the easy swaps Walker suggests:

Instead of frozen….Try…

French FriesBaked potato “fries”: Slice potatoes or sweet potatoes, place on pan sprayed with oil, sprinkle with olive oil and bake.

PizzaMini pizza: Use half of a medium whole-grain pita, bagel or English muffin, add tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese, and bake.

TV Dinners: Ready-made broiled chicken with fresh, frozen, or canned vegetables. Or, when you have the time, make a double portion of a dish and freeze for later use.

You can purchase the book at: 
  1. AbesBooks.com
  2. Amazon.com
Tosca Reno, author of the National Bestselling book The Eat-Clean Diet, takes her healthy nutrition advice one step further, advising parents of strategies to bring healthy nutrition to their children. 

Reno advocates, for children and parents alike, not dieting, but embracing a healthy lifestyle where whole foods take center stage. In her words, clean eating “is all about making smarter food choices, eating more often and stimulating the most effective fat-burning mechanism you already possess, your metabolism.”

To do this, she recommends eating six small meals each day, every two to three hours, drinking lots of water, and focusing on a mix of fruits, veggies, whole grains, lean protein and healthy fats. Reno advocates saying goodbye to refined foods, preservatives, white flour and sugar, artificial sugars and calorie-dense foods with little nutritional value. 

Reno is realistic about how difficult it can be to wean your kids off of the Happy Meals and sugary snacks they are used to and focuses her book on helping parents make these changes slowly and effectively. She even shows how to get kids on board with healthy eating, turning meal and meal-preparation time into family fun.

Instead of just telling you what to do and throwing you out there own your own, Reno offers a colorful, easy-to-read, step-by-step guide on how to make this transition, from changing the way you grocery shop to making over the staples in your pantry to eating out. She even gives advice on teaching your children to navigate the school cafeteria.

Perhaps, best of all, Reno includes a section of delicious, healthy, clean-eating recipes for many of children’s favorite foods. Overall, this book should be a staple for anyone who is trying to change their family’s lifestyle — or for the person who is already living a healthy lifestyle to mix it up a bit. Reno advocates living well and eating what you love, as long as you clean it up a bit first.

You can purchase the book at: 

Here is one of my favorite recipes from Reno’s book:

Healthy Mac and Cheese, Believe It!
Yield: 9 cups
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes

2 T olive oil
2 T whole wheat flour
¾ cup cooked, mashed sweet potato or regular potato
¾ cup low fat milk (heated until just warm)
1 cup yogurt cheese
2 T parmesan cheese
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
¾ pound whole-grain noodles

  1. Cook macaroni noodles according to instructions on package. Drain and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, heat olive oil over medium heat in a medium skillet. Add flour. Using a wire whisk, make a paste (called a roux). Don’t let the roux burn. Add the warm milk gradually, whisking all the while until you see the sauce begin to thicken. Add the mashed sweet or regular potato. Keep stirring.
  3. Now add the grated parmesan cheese, yogurt cheese, sea salt and pepper. Your sauce should look smooth. When that mixture is nicely heated through, add the drained, cooked noodles. Stir to coat the noodles. Serve piping hot.

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If you are looking for a super book about superfoods, this one definitely hits the mark. Author Lucy Burney begins her book by explaining to parents how their children’s immune systems work and how things such as allergies, autoimmune disorders and vaccinations affect this delicate balance.

Instead of just telling you what is going on, though, Burney goes several steps further by detailing which specific foods are great for building your children’s developing immune systems and providing age-appropriate recipes for children aged 0-18. (Note: The recipes are just as yummy for Mom and Dad!)

From kale to blackcurrant to millet, Burney teaches parents about the value of individual foods within each food group and — thankfully — shares with parents how they can utilize these ingredients by making meals that their kids will actually eat!

After giving Moms and Dads the ultimate primer in how to make sure their children’s immune systems are in fighting shape, Burney takes a look at seventeen health problems that can make your children sick and identifies foods to help combat them. Again, she holds your hand every step of the way, providing delicious recipes to make getting the foods actually into your child a little bit easier.

Chicken pox, for example, call for blackberry smoothies and chicken noodle soup (Trust me, this isn’t Campbell’s!), while sore throats are kept at bay with blackcurrant and strawberry ice pops and garlic and honey syrup.

All-in-all, Burney takes some of the guesswork out of parenting by telling you what to do and how to do it. It definitely shows that she’s a mother of three herself!
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What Is It?

This lifestyle program for busy moms is a comprehensive guide to what’s arguably the most widespread, challenging and frustrating issue faced by moms today: how to get their pre-baby body back. For almost all mothers the changes their bodies incur during pregnancy coupled with the countless responsibilities that motherhood bring spell trouble for regaining their pre-pregnancy figure.

There is no shortage of fitness, diet and fat loss products on the market today. You can find a veritable library of conflicting arguments almost anywhere you choose to seek information on the subject of fitness for women, whether it’s online, at your local library, through contact with personal trainers, or through the (less reputable but nevertheless very common) ranks of wannabe experts: aka, those frustrating people with no qualifications and no practical experience but are self professed experts because they ready the last issue of Shape magazine.

What Sets This Product Apart?

After months of frustration spent trawling through the mass of conflicting information on fitness and fat loss, it was with interest that I stumbled across “Fit Yummy Mummy”, by Holly Rigsby. As the title suggests, this product is specifically for moms wanting to get fit.  Literally all aspects of losing fat and getting fit are covered – and the best part is that it is written specifically for busy moms.  The material is presented in a manner both chatty and educational – it’s kind of like having a friendly conversation with a close friend that happens to be a fitness expert (with the added benefit of being able to refresh your understanding of the matter at any given time, simply by scrolling back to the relevant section!)

The tone of the book presents a welcome contrast to the other fitness products so freely available elsewhere on the Net: it’s friendly, understanding of the unique situations moms face, informative, and above all, commonsensical. No unrealistic recommendations, 2 hour workouts, or zero-carb diets here: it doesn’t take long to see that this lady knows what she’s talking about when it comes to mom’s lifestyles (and did I mention she’s a mom too?)

What’s Actually Included?

There’s a quick section on getting started and goal setting along with some morale-boosting advice on how to stay on track throughout the program, and then it’s straight into an action plan to get you started on the path to burning baby fat and getting your body back.

The Supportive Nutrition Plan is next – this is particularly helpful! Every conceivable nutrition issue is covered, from how often you should eat to what you should keep in your pantry. And on top of that, it includes a ‘Create a Menu Planner’ to guide you in creating every meal to support your success.

Next, the Fit Yummy Mummy fat loss workouts are covered, but not without easy to follow explanations of the why’s and the how’s for every part of the workout program.   The workout plan even offers four different formats that you can plug into your lifestyle, something not found in any of the cookie cutter fat loss programs on the market.  My favorite part of the workout section is that regardless of your exercise (or lack of exercise) background, there is a workout designed specifically for you.  And no matter what you fitness level is, none of the workout programs require more than 90 minutes a week.

Finally, there’s a section called the Busy Mom’s Fat Loss Companion crammed with easy to use tools and resources like a goal setting sheet, fitness journal, exercise descriptions and even a ready made grocery list. The author has figured out every excuse and obstacle busy moms have and addressed them all.

Checkout one of her workout videos below:

Just Because It’s Detailed Doesn’t Mean It’s Confusing

Sound overwhelming? It’s actually very user-friendly. Not only is this e-book packed with sound practical advice and the whole thing is laid out in a very logical and easy-to-understand format, but it comes with a Quick Start Guide to make sure you start acting (and seeing results) fast.  The tone of Fit Yummy Mummy is light and it proceeds in a logical manner from step to step, with plenty of photos and descriptions to ensure that you are doing everything right.


In my opinion, one of the best parts: a follow up e-mail coaching series from the author  that keeps you on track, gives you daily fitness tips and even healthy recipes.  While most moms have the best of intentions, staying on track is tough.  This follow up e-mail coaching series is the perfect solution.
The Verdict

Regaining their pre-pregnancy body is a daunting task for most moms, but the author’s personal experience and hands on work with over 250 moms is pretty reassuring; and she certainly knows how to break it down for even the most exercise illiterate. In addition to the main features detailed above, there are plenty of valuable extras included to make getting your pre-baby body back as easy as possible: checklists, do’s and don’ts, printable workout sheets, even ready to follow meal plans!

All in all, two thumbs up from me: when the information on hand is as detailed, easy to absorb, and - above all – reliable as Fit Yummy Mummy, you really can’t go wrong.

You can purchase it here: Fit Yummy Mummy   -  http://www.fityummymummy.com
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With over seven million copies sold, Prescription for Nutritional Healing is one of the most read texts on nutritional health. Written by a medical doctor and a certified nutritional consultant, this comprehensive guide to nutritional, herbal, and complementary therapies discusses natural healing programs for some 300 health conditions. Arranged in alphabetical order, it's a useful ready-reference tool, although it could have benefited from a good bibliography.

This is an excellent book in that it contains, in one place, an enormous amount of information about supplements and their use in treating various medical conditions. It also goes through all of the vitamins and minerals, amino acids, digestive enzymes, herbs, etc., explaining their function. 

It has been expanded to reflect the latest research on drug-free remedies in the field of nutrition: as such it provides an excellent assessment and review of herbal tinctures and diets. From high blood pressure remedies to handling infections, this is packed with practical advice. 
Prescription for Nutritional Healing is divided into 3 parts it is an easy reference. 
  • Part I discusses the basic principles of health and nutrition. This section lists and explains the various kinds of nutrients and food supplements. 
  • Part II, by far the biggest section of the book, provides the reader with an A-Z listing of many common disorders (such as backache or diabetes) and what you can do about them from a nutritional point of view. 
  • Part III is devoted to traditional therapies and conventional treatments that can be used along with a nutritional support. Here you'll find info on treatments such as chiropractic, massage therapy, color therapy, and so on. 

I have to say, I was pretty impressed with the amount of info contained in this book and I can definitely recommend it to anyone who is looking for a good nutritional reference book to put on their shelf when questions arise. Additionally, is also might give readers ideas of other types of therapies they could try for various medical problems.

You can buy Prescription for Nutritional Healing at Amazon.