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Dr. Susan Mathison, Areavoices.com, Published July 11 2012

Mathison: Check out these books on living a healthier life

I have a guilty love affair with books. Stacks by my bedside table, racks in my office, shelves in the conference room are bursting at the seams.

And I must admit that not all are read cover to cover. But there they are, ready to answer my questions about medical topics, parenting, beauty, art, style, design, personal development, leadership, philanthropy and more.

I use the Internet as well, but somehow a book with physical presence that has been carefully researched, crafted and edited speaks to me in more credible terms. Since information comes at all of us like a fire hose of words and ideas, I thought I would share a few favorite authors and books on health.

  1. “YOU The Owner’s Manual: An Insider’s Guide to the Body that Will Make You Healthier and Younger” by Dr. Michael Roizen and Dr. Mehmet Oz

    I really like this book, and it reminds me of a time when Dr. Oz did not have to live up to TV hype. It gives simple explanations of the body and how to help it function optimally for you. Dr. Roizen is a cardiologist from Cleveland Clinic. He has a website called RealAge.com. You can type in your lifestyle habits and it gives you your “Real Age” number.

  2. “Allergic Girl: Adventures in Living Well with Food

    Allergies” by Sloane Miller

    The author is a social worker who has multiple food allergies. She writes from her own experience with great empathy for others who struggle with this.

  3. “Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back to Health” by Dr. William Davis

    My brother-in-law, Rob Holmes, is a gastroenterologist in North Carolina and recommended this book. He sees many patients with celiac disease in his office. But there are many people who may be wheat sensitive, though they don’t meet the criteria for celiac. This book explains why wheat sensitivity is becoming more common.

  4. “The Blue Zones” by Dan Buettner

    This author traveled the world to explore places where people live the longest and healthiest lives. He uncovers how they do it through the food they eat and their perspectives on life.

  5. “Our Bodies, Ourselves” by Boston Women’s Health Book Collective and Judy Norsigian

    A classic text updated in late 2011 gets rave reviews for helping women understand their bodies.

  6. “Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat” by Dr. Michelle May

    Dr. May spoke in May in Fargo at Mikey Hoeven’s Women’s Wellness Expo. She encourages us to be present during our day, especially our meals. SheSays columnist Chris Linnares has been on staff at May’s wellness retreats.

  7. “Intuitive Eating: A Revolutionary Program That Works” by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch

    Another great resource for mindful eating, this wise approach gets us back to listening to our bodies and responding appropriately.

  8. “Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain” by Dr. John J. Ratey

    This book shows you the many ways that exercise is good for the brain. It reveals how exercise keeps the brain “young” by protecting neurons and helps you solve problems and think more effectively.

  9. “Eat Clean Diet” by Tosca Reno

    One of several books by her, this cookbook and eating plan is gorgeous and full of delicious clean eating snacks and meals. Buy a cooler and always be prepared for healthy eating.

  10. “Ultrametabolism: The Simple Plan for Automatic Weight Loss and The Blood Sugar Solution” by Dr. Mark Hyman

    He is the former medical director of Canyon Ranch and a functional medicine doctor. He looks at body systems for the underlying causes for illness and promotes healthy eating, movement and stress management, along with supplements if needed.

  11. “Power Sleep: The Revolutionary Program That Prepares Your Mind for Peak Performance” by Dr. James Maas

    Great research on the importance of sleep and practical solutions for improving your zzz’s.

  12. “Drop Dead Healthy: One Man’s Quest for Bodily Perfection” by A.J. Jacobs

    From the best-selling author of “The Year of Living Biblically” and “The Know-It-All” comes the entertaining story of one person’s quest to become the healthiest man in the world.

    He describes his middle-aged body best described as “a python that swallowed a goat.” He consulted experts – sleep consultants and sex clinicians, nutritionists and dermatologists. He tried all the diets: raw foods, veganism, high protein, calorie restriction, extreme chewing and more. He bought gadgets and helmets, earphones and juicers. He was poked and prodded and pinched. He counted, measured and recorded.

    The story of his transformation is not only funny, it helps you reflect on the body’s many mysteries and the ultimate pursuit of health: a well-lived life.

Dr. Susan Mathison founded Catalyst Medical Center in Fargo and created PositivelyBeautiful.com.