My idea of a holiday is having the time to read the piles of books next to my bed. Usually these are non-fiction books, mainly about health, medicine and food. I know that's not everyone's idea of relaxation but who wants to work with a professional who isn't a little obsessed with the subject?!
I wanted to share with you the books I read when I was away a few weeks ago in case they catch your eye for a little holiday reading when the time comes.
First Bite - Bee Wilson
Bee Wilson as a historian tackles the fascinating history of how we develop our tastes and create the food habits we have. This isn't so much a health book but an enlightening investigation in to how we appear to have forgotten eating is a skill to learn, rather than something that just naturally occurs.
With chapters looking at disordered eating and how able we are to change our eating habits it has a good dose of evidence based analysis. I really enjoyed the chapter on a pet annoyance of mine - "children's foods" - and how our memories of eat and food shape our taste as adults.
A big take away for me was the idea that we don't have to like everything we eat. We are often very concerned whether we or our children like a food or not. It was an interesting idea that we don't have to like everything and perhaps even eat things we don't like.
The Dirt Cure - Maya Shetreat-Klein
Written by a New York based paediatric neuroloigst this book made me delighted to not have to navigate buying food in the US. With the current debate on the EU it gave an interesting angle on the protection we have from EU law on the manufacturing and processing of our foods and animal welfare. Whilst there are many areas which could be improved I was shocked by the state of food in the US.
That aside, this is a really excellent book on supporting children's health with food and offers a practical plan for families to follow. It has shopping lists, ideas for meals and snacks, ingredients to look out for and simple remedies when children are unwell.
There are a great few chapters which put all this in to context and she really explains how supporting a child's health is a continual process, not a one off event with a pill from a box. Her ideas are based on healing the food, healing the gut and healing the brain to heal the child. And I would applaud all of that.
A Mind Of Your Own - Kelly Brogan
I have been a big fan of Kelly Brogan for a while after seeing her speak on the link between gut function and depression. A conventionally trained Psychiatrist, she retrained in integrative functional medicine after she realised the women she was seeing were not getting better with conventional anti depressant medication.
Although this is a book aimed at women, it is no less relevant to men who also experience mood disorders. It has a thorough review of the medical literature on anti depressants at the beginning and she shatters the conventional serotonin hypothesis of depression.
Offering a 30 day action plan to help people with depression she focuses on the interconnected systems of the body - gut health, blood sugar, thyroid function - to reduce the root cause of inflammation.
A really essential read if you have ever been affected by mood issues (and who hasn't?!)