Sharing some of my top health and fitness book recommendations for women in 2023! Please chime in with your faves and top suggestions in the comments section.
Hellooooo friends! Hope your morning is off to a lovely start. I’m getting in a quick Sculpt Society workout and then heading into the day’s to-dos.
When I set my big reading goal a couple of years ago (at least 3 books per month: 1 fiction, 1 nonfiction, and 1 related to health/wellness in some way), it expanded my book horizons and I enjoyed some very powerful reads.
In today’s post, I wanted to share some of my current favorite health and wellness books, and I would love to hear about ones that you’ve loved and would recommend to others, too.
Health and fitness books women should read in 2023
Shawn Stevenson is my #1 favorite podcast host, so I was obviously excited to read this one. It also far surpassed my expectations. As you can probably guess, I’ve read a lot of “diet” and health books in my life. Some have been cringeworthy to the max, while others have inspired me to make positive changes in my personal routine and share new knowledge with clients. This is one of those books! I love that he goes into the science and the WHY behind his recommendations, and shares tips and strategies for fueling for longevity and optimal health. I also appreciate the fact that many times he mentions that diets shouldn’t be one size fits all. It’s up to you to experiment with different strategies and find the methods that resonate best with your unique body.
With his funny one-liners and conversational way of explaining some intense science-y stuff, Shawn shares optimal foods and how they impact our sleep, hormones, longevity, and fat loss. The book also includes a 30-day sample meal plan and recipes. I only wish that the book had more recipes!
I picked up a copy of The Cancer Revolution because I follow Dr. Connealy on Instagram and LOVE her account. She shares so much valuable info, and I think it’s fascinating to be able to follow someone who treats cancer frequently, and successfully. She uses a blend of alternative and traditional therapies, including IV vitamin infusions, oxygen therapy, red light, detox strategies, and sauna, in addition to low-dose chemotherapy. I wanted to read this book because I’m all about empowering myself with extra tools and information, and found so many valuable resources in this book for preventing cancer, treating cancer, potentially helpful supplements and more. 10/10 recommend.
When it comes to cancer, conventional doctors are trained to treat their patients exclusively with surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. These methods are grueling on the whole body – and they don’t treat beyond the tumor or the cancer itself. The focus is on the disease, not the whole person – and because of this, the outcomes in conventional medicine can be bleak.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. Dr. Leigh Erin Connealy has developed a whole-person approach to treating cancer – and these treatments have helped thousands of patients through her Cancer Center for Healing. In The Cancer Revolution, Dr. Connealy shows you how to get to the root causes of cancer and the practical steps you can take to get back on the path to healing — from balancing your body’s chemistry with nutritional supplements, following a healthy food plan, detoxifying your body and home, exercising regularly, getting deep restful sleep every night, practicing stress reduction techniques, and putting together a supportive healing team.
Chemotherapy and radiation have their place in treatment, but in many cases, they are simply not enough, because cancer isn’t caused by one thing, but by many different factors. All of these causes must be addressed, not just the tumor. The Cancer Revolution will equip you to make impactful, achievable lifestyle choices that fight the root of the disease, and that offer hope for recovery and a cancer-free life.
One of my friends recommend this book to me and I can’t recommend it enough. It’s FASCINATING. While there is a lot of science-y mumbo jumbo, the author does a fantastic job of making everything very easy to understand and the tone is conversational.
Here’s the synopsis from Amazon:
A leading expert in epigenetics – how genes switch on and off – provides a revolutionary, holistic, and personalized approach to better health by improving how your genes behave to prevent and reverse common ailments, chronic illnesses, and life-threatening diseases, including cardiovascular disease, autoimmune disorders, anxiety, depression, digestive issues, obesity, cancer, diabetes, and more.
Your genes have a tremendous impact on your health. In this groundbreaking book, Dr. Ben Lynch reveals that while you can’t change the genes you were born with, you can change how they affect you.
When your genes are working properly, you feel energized and healthy. But when your genes are “dirty”, or not functioning optimally, your health suffers. Some genes are “born dirty” – they have certain variations that can cause you problems. Other genes merely “act dirty” in response to your environment, diet, or lifestyle. You can optimize both types of dirty genes by cleaning them up through healthy eating, good sleep, stress relief, environmental detox, and other holistic and natural means.
An experienced researcher in the emerging science of gene abnormalities who has successfully treated thousands of clients, Dr. Lynch offers a simple questionnaire to identify which of the top seven dirty genes could be undermining your health. Then he offers targeted plans – including foods and recipes, supplements, and environmental detox – to clean up your dirty genes, eliminate symptoms, and optimize your physical and mental health.
Many of us have been taught that our genes doom us to the disorders that run in our families. But Dr. Lynch shows that you can rewrite your genetic destiny – once you know how. Dirty Genes provides a practical, personalized protocol to make the most of your genetic inheritance, now and for the rest of your life.
Every single thing I read in this book made sense and after taking the quizzes, I realized which specific genes tend to act “dirty” for me, and how to manage it. I’ve already implemented a lot of his suggestions (continue to focus on sleep, eat a lot more green veggies, more protein, drink clean water, etc) and feel amazing: energized, focused, happy, and present. The huge takeaway: genes don’t have to be your destiny. You can impact which genes express themselves through lifestyle, sleep, and nutrition changes. 10/10 I would recommend this book to everyone.
I’ve heard Dr. Jason Fung speak on a few podcasts and really appreciate his perspective and knowledge, so I was excited to read his book, The Obesity Code. Just a heads up, if you order this, make sure you receive the correct version! I ordered a copy from this page, and received a book that was actually written by a bot based out of another country. I’ll share some of the text on IG stories, but the Pilot refused to let me return it because we were cackling with laughter reading it.
Sooooo once you have the correct version, I highly recommend. He explores the tie between insulin resistance and many of the common health issues we face today as a society, as well as an action plan for how to maintain more stable blood sugar and improve insulin response. He also dives into obesity and why weight loss can be so difficult to maintain, as it diminishes your metabolic baseline. It was a valuable and enjoyable read, but some portions were redundant, so I give it a 9/10.
Everything you believe about how to lose weight is wrong. Weight gain and obesity are driven by hormones – in everyone – and only by understanding the effects of insulin and insulin resistance can we achieve lasting weight loss.
In this highly listenable and provocative book, Dr. Jason Fung sets out an original, robust theory of obesity that provides startling insights into proper nutrition. In addition to his five basic steps – a set of lifelong habits that will improve your health and control your insulin levels – Dr. Fung explains how to use intermittent fasting to break the cycle of insulin resistance and reach a healthy weight – for good.
This book explores the prevalence of insulin sensitivity and how metabolic dysfunction is linked to many common illnesses and health concerns. The author does an incredible job explaining the role of insulin in our body and how various lifestyles and eating patterns can contribute to insulin sensitivity, and also what you can do about it. He gives lots of lifestyle tips, nutrition ideas, and empowers readers to make positive decisions for their metabolic health. 10/10 would recommend.
We are sick. Around the world, we struggle with diseases that were once considered rare. Cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and diabetes affect millions each year; many people are also struggling with hypertension, weight gain, fatty liver, dementia, low testosterone, menstrual irregularities and infertility, and more. We treat the symptoms, not realizing that all of these diseases and disorders have something in common.
Each of them is caused or made worse by a condition known as insulin resistance. And you might have it. Odds are you do – more than half of all adults in the United States are insulin resistant, with most other countries either worse or not far behind.
In Why We Get Sick, internationally renowned scientist and pathophysiology Professor Benjamin Bikman explores why insulin resistance has become so prevalent and why it matters. Unless we recognize it and take steps to reverse the trend, major chronic diseases will be even more widespread. But reversing insulin resistance is possible, and Bikman offers an evidence-based plan to stop and prevent it, with helpful food lists, meal suggestions, easy exercise principles, and more. Full of surprising research and practical advice, Why We Get Sick will help you to take control of your health.
The Rain Barrel Effect is written by one of my favorites – Dr. Cabral!- and covers all of the main pillars of health. In this book, he gos over strategies for reducing toxins, correcting deficiencies, and emptying your personal rain barrel. Some of the strategies are a little *out there* (take what works for you and leave the rest) but I learned a lot from reading this book.
Deep Nutrition was highly recommended by Mia and a few other RDs and health professionals on IG, so I knew I wanted to read it. It was a long one (400+ pages) and I didn’t want it to end. I feel like it was incredibly well-constructed, with lots of citations and data to back up the author’s claims. And it was one of those books that completely changed my viewpoint of a few different nutritional foundations. (Even ones I thought to be true! I definitely recommend reading this one with an open mind!)
We are living in the first generation to have a shorter life expectancy than their parents. What has changed? The addition of so many toxins in our environment and foods has led to a cascade of detrimental health effects. Including increased rates of cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. The author demonstrates how a return back to our ancestors’ style of eating is one of the easiest things we can do to promote health, vitality, and healing. She explains the harmful effects of refined sugar, inflammatory seed oils. And how to eat what she calls The Human Diet, based on nutritional foundations that have been used all over the world for centuries.
The only part of this book that I didn’t love was the initial section on how our grandparents’ diet affects our beauty and face symmetry. It just felt a little superficial to me – and a little frustrating, since we obviously can’t control the lifestyles of those who were born before us – and wasn’t really why I wanted to read this book. All in all, I’d give it a 9/10. I wish she included more recipes!
I think that this is an excellent and thorough introduction to hormone balancing and cycle syncing. I’ve always been fascinated by the idea of syncing up our activities, workouts, work to-dos, etc. to align with our cycle. There are times when you feel more outgoing and energetic, and other times when you’re withdrawn and focused. As someone who has been exploring hormone balancing since I went off the Pill about 13 years ago, a lot of this was a helpful review for me. The author gives great ideas on how to structure your diet, workouts, and routine for optimal hormone balance. Link is here! 8/10 would recommend.
This book is at the bottom of the list, but is probably my #1 suggestion! It’s filled with hacks for balancing your blood sugar. And if you’ve ever worn a CGM (I like Nutrisense), you’ll quickly learn that these strategies WORK. I’ve been focusing more on minimizing insulin spikes after I’ve learned more about blood sugar balance and insulin resistance this past year. This book is filled with tangible steps you can take if this is one of your goals. 10/10.
Improve all areas of your health—your sleep, cravings, mood, energy, skin, weight—and even slow down aging with easy, science-based hacks to manage your blood sugar while still eating the foods you love.
Glucose, or blood sugar, is a tiny molecule in our body that has a huge impact on our health. It enters our bloodstream through the starchy or sweet foods we eat. Ninety percent of us suffer from too much glucose in our system—and most of us don’t know it.
The symptoms? Cravings, fatigue, infertility, hormonal issues, acne, wrinkles… And over time, the development of conditions like type 2 diabetes, polycystic ovarian syndrome, cancer, dementia, and heart disease.
Drawing on cutting-edge science and her own pioneering research, biochemist Jessie Inchauspé offers ten simple, surprising hacks to help you balance your glucose levels and reverse your symptoms—without going on a diet or giving up the foods you love. For example:* How eating foods in the right order will make you lose weight effortlessly* What secret ingredient will allow you to eat dessert and still go into fat-burning mode* What small change to your breakfast will unlock energy and cut your cravings
Both entertaining, informative, and packed with the latest scientific data, this book presents a new way to think about better health. Glucose Revolution is chock-full of tips that can drastically and immediately improve your life, whatever your dietary preferences.
So, tell me, friends: what health or fitness-related book are you reading right now?? Any that you’d add to this list? Please feel free to shout it out in the comments!