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Did you do anything special to celebrate the Summer solstice?  Many friends celebrated at the Cleveland Museum of Art‘s annual Summer Solstice Party, an event not to miss!  That said, we missed it this year!  We have gone every year previous but this year we ended up going camping instead.  We had a blast but we also had one to many s’mores and I am anxious to get myself on track again.

One of the ways I find the motivation to get on track is by reading books and blogs on healthy living, exercise or food (healthy food, of course).

mrsharper.com, health and fitness books, i quit sugar by sarah wilson, body book by cameron diaz, born to run by christopher mcdougall, wheat belly by william davis

I gained 20 lbs 2 years ago.  I lost about 8 lbs of it last summer while training for my half-marathon but gained 6 of it back this past Winter.  I am not looking for a diet. I am not looking for a quick fix.  I am not anxious to jump on any band wagon.  I am however, eager to change my relationship to food and my understanding of how my body responds to it and make doing right by my body and health a top priority.

I am not looking to be restrictive. In fact, with the approach I’m taking,  I am going to be adding far more foods to my diet than I will be eliminating.  I’ll be making some swaps and the biggest thing I am going to focus on eliminating is and will be: added sugars, refined sugars, processed foods and some dairy and some meat (note I say “some”).

I won’t be doing the Paleo diet (although of all eating lifestyle variations, I’d say the plan I’m creating for myself has the most in common with the paleo concepts), I won’t be a vegan and I certainly won’t be doing any fad diets that encourage you to quit all of anything (carbs, fat, etc.).  It seems to me that all the fad diets of the 80’s and 90’s hindered much more than they helped.  Our bodies NEED sugar (it’s good for brain function and energy) and they NEED fat (good fats) and they NEED protein. It’s the balance of these carbs, fats and proteins that I’m working on and my ability to quickly recognize the foods that deliver these to me in a balanced way.

I have a life-long sugar addiction. I am a classic text book case sugar addict. Last summer I did a 30-day sugar awareness program and 5-day sugar detox (through LifeLessBullshit ). I am going to detox again and then afterwards only invite back in natural sugars for the most part.  There will be exceptions, I won’t ever be militant about anything, but I recall not only how amazing I felt last year when I eliminated then cut back on sugar, I also recall how much better my skin looked and also my waistline.   I also recall how easy it was.

My journey towards improved health and fitness and understanding how my body works and what it really needs will likely never be complete but I am more aware than ever before and it gives me the confidence to start taking action.

I’ve read quite a few books on this topic in the last 18 months or so, but these 4 are stand-outs to me:

1. I Quit Sugar by Sarah Wilson ah. this book is great!  it’s a super quick read, read it in a day.  I am planning to dive into some of the recipes this week ( I just read it last week), but they all seem incredible to me!  Sugar is my primary issue so this book really resonated with me.

2. Body Book by Cameron Diaz A quick, easy read this book is no misnomer.  We cover all aspects of our female bodies and what amazing machines they are.  I think her approach to the way she treats her body and respects her body is incredible and there were many amazing tips to guide my own journey.

3. Born To Run by Christopher McDougall I’m actually currently reading this book having just started it the other day.  I’ve had it on my iPad for a year and am SO GLAD I’ve finally opened it.  It had been highly recommended and I quickly can understand why.  I have never been a runner before last summer. I have always wanted to be and am so amazed that I really truly am a runner now. I can confidently refer to myself as such. It’s a tribe I’m proud to be a part of and one of (if not THE) healthiest decisions I’ve ever made for myself.

4. Wheat Belly by William Davis – oh my gosh. this book.  It made a really compelling case against wheat. Unfortunately the science and facts backing up his case are a little gray to me now, being too far in my rearview mirror.  I think may have to pick it up to re-read it and it would be worth my time to do so.

What health and/or fitness books are you reading?  Also, Pinterest is so amazing for health and fitness tips and recipes and exercises!  I’ve been pinning like mad so be sure to check my board out there too!  Pinterst.com/danielledeboe or click here.

Thanks for reading and if you liked this post, please share or pin it.  Thank you!