Thursday, June 26, 2014

Wellness Feature: highlighting products and books for optimal physical, emotional and intellectual well-being

I'm very excited to bring to you a new feature on LCR. Most of you who read my blog know well enough that I like books that focus on well-being. I suffer from fibromyalgia and I went through post-partum depression. It is through continuous research and educating myself that I have been able to feel better and lead a very active, productive and satisfying life.

In view of this, I want to reserve a special spot on my blog for what I call "wellness" books and products because I like to highlight information that is educational and enlightening. Along with me, I will have Maria Fragapane, a renowned Montreal kinesiologist who specializes in exercise and physical rehabilitation programs for individuals with Parkinson's Disease and for those who survived a stroke and heart attack. Maria will also highlight and review books in this Wellness Feature.

Maria and I both work at the Cummings Centre for the 50+ community that offers its members a myriad of programs and activities where they can keep active of mind, body and spirit. We've attended many lectures from specialists from all over North America about how to maintain a healthy lifestyle and how to age well. We are both keen on sharing our love of wellness with you.

Starting this Thursday and every second Thursday thereafter, look for my Wellness Feature.

For today, I would like to spotlight a few books that I've read and reviewed here that have made a lasting impression on me.

When the Body Says No: The Cost of Hidden Stress by Gabor Maté

When the Body Says No is not just another book about stress, but it's an exploration of how the mind and body are connected in relation to certain chronic diseases, such as ALS, MS, rheumatoid arthritis, breast cancer and others. It's a wake-up call to everyone and especially the medical community about how to recognize this if we are to properly view and treat the person with the illness. Read full review

The Woman Who Changed Her Brain by Barbara Arrowsmith-Young

Part memoir and part educational and resource book, The Woman Who Changed her Brain, is about the story and work of Barbara Arrowsmith-Young, a remarkable woman and Canadian pioneer in the practical application of “neuroplasticity.” Not only was she born with severe learning disabilities that had her struggling with language, spatial awareness, and symbolic thinking, but she overcame them after she came upon the works of famous Russian neuropsychologist Alexander Luria, which inspired her to invent cognitive exercises that changed her brain! Read full review

The Happiness Handbook: A User's Manual for Living Your Extraordinary Life by Jenn Flaa

I loved the simplicity of this book, although it wasn't simplistic. This easy to read, practical book is really a handy workbook. It was just what I needed to really be honest with myself and put down on paper things about myself that I could then share with my husband and he in turn with me. The real reason I loved this book? It is foremost a communication book. It is a tool that adults of any age and gender can use to communicate who they are and what makes them happy. In my line of work, communication is key. In marriage communication is key. In the family dynamic communication is key. Which is why I think this book is great. Read full review

Switch on Your Brain: The Key to Peak Happiness, Thinking, and Health by Dr. Caroline Leaf

Dr. Leaf had devoted her life work, since the 1990s, in helping people see that they can renew their minds in a tangible way by learning to control their thoughts and emotions. She says that by doing this through conscious effort, we can actually change the programming and chemistry of our brain, even in the most challenging neurological situations. In other words, we are not victims of our biology or circumstances. How empowering! How hopeful and enlightening. How totally fascinating! The concept of neuroplasticity was always supported by God as stated in Romans 12:2. I knew this because of my studying the Bible for years now, but having a scientist explain the science behind Biblical principles is so gratifying. Read full review

Organic Beauty with Essential Oil by Rebecca Park Totilo

Organic Beauty is a beautiful book. It has a very detailed table of contents, making it very easy to find info. It has colored photos, colored font titles, and pastel-colored boxes with handy tips and recipe variations interspersed throughout the book. There are tons of recipes that can replace ALL of the products in your bathroom, including toothpaste, mouthwash, body scrubs, lip balms and glosses. I must say, I was impressed. It’s clear that the author has a vast knowledge of essential oils and aromatherapy. Read full review

Ben Behind His Voices: One Family's Journey from the Chaos of Schizophrenia to Hope by Randye Kaye

This book touched me deep inside both as a parent and as a professional. Although non-fiction, it is a highly readable book and almost felt like I was reading a novel. It gripped me from the first page and I was riveted throughout. The pace, the dialogue, the added information boxes, and Randye Kaye's own writing is amazing. She builds a portrait of her son, Ben, from early onset when no one really knows what is going on with him to his diagnosis and subsequent recovery. The flow of the narrative is smooth and I easily had a mental picture of the progression of the illness. I appreciated the fact that although the author is a well known radio personality, she did not stray from the story of Ben and how schizophrenia affects a person, their family and their lives. Read full review

The Momnificent Life: Healthy and Balanced Living for Busy Moms by Lori Radun

Finding balance in one’s life is not easy. Sometimes I feel I’m doing great. But other times I’m so frazzled and overwhelmed I wonder what possessed me to think I could do all I set out to do. Reading The Momnificent Life was like a breath of fresh air, infusing me with positive energy so that I felt motivated and confident I could truly accomplish what I want to do. I was surprised to see how complete this book is with information and valuable advice on practically every topic a mom faces today. Read full review

In two weeks, the Wellness Feature will spotlight The Wheat Belly by William Davis.

Are there any books you've read that promote well-being? Feel free to share any titles or suggestions for the Wellness Feature. I love discovering new books of this genre!

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