My Top Five – July

 1.    Luvju Snacks              I love Loving Earth. Ethically sound, sustainable and organic, their products are choc-full of goodness in more ways than one. I’ve wanted to try their Luvju snacks for ages, but for one reason or another never did. Last time I was at the naturopath, I finally grabbed a couple – AFA, goji and chia; and maqui, acai and cacao. Heart-shaped and packed full of superfoods, nuts and dried fruits, they are delicious, nutritious and provide a nice little boost to get you through the day. There are chocolate versions as well, which I’ve yet to try. At $3.50 a pop though, I think I’ll keep them as an occasional treat.

2.    The Walking Dead    I love zombies, in all their gory glory. So when my boyfriend told me about a TV show centred on a zombie apocalypse, I got excited. Then I started watching, and got obsessed. I think what I love most about the show (aside from the zombies, of course) is the way the characters and their relationships with each other are constantly defined and re-defined throughout the course of each season – ultimately, exploring what happens to people in the face of multiple and repeated traumas. It could so easily have been just another kick-butt, zombie-killing affair, but the creators have obviously chosen the more interesting route and taken the time to intersperse the mayhem with some big questions about morality and civilisation, and how these fit (or don’t, as the case may be) in a world where the old rules no longer apply. Watch it. Now.

3.    The Wellness Warrior – Foodie Friday      I discovered The Wellness Warrior a while back now, and it’s an absolute font of knowledge when it comes to all things holistic and healthy. One of the things I look forward to most is Foodie Friday. Each week blogger Jessica Ainscough introduces and interviews some amazingly creative and inspiring cooks and chefs, each offering a unique and mouth-watering recipe. I often find myself falling into a bit of a cooking rut, and Foodie Friday helpsmake me get excited about cooking all over again.

4.    School holidays        I’m just about to go back to study after a two week break, which has been DIVINE. An extra night in the week to practice yoga; Saturday afternoons baking and experimenting with new recipes (raw carrot cake, anyone? It’syummo!); long, lazy Sundays on the couch watching dvds and reading the papers. Just lovely.

5.    Winter sunshine        I’m really not a fan of winter. I feel the cold terribly; I’m always fending off the threat of chilblains; and my skin turns lovely shades of purple and blue. But occasionally you get one of those gorgeous, cloudless, sun filled days, breaking through all the gloom and rain. It helps to remind me that winter’s not going to last forever. And it’s amazing to see the difference a bit of sunshine makes to people’s moods.

 

Book review – Crazy, Sexy Diet – Kris Carr

Let me just preface this post by saying I have NEVER read a diet book in my life. Diets are stupid, naff and boring. No one cares about the two lettuce leaves you eat for lunch everyday.

Happily, I am able to continue this fine tradition because, despite the name,Crazy Sexy Dietis NOT a diet book. Rather, it’s a how-to guide in maiing positive lifestyle choices that promote and support good health and personal well being.

And believe me, Kris Carr should know. On 14 February 2003 (yep, Valentine’s Day), Kris was diagnosed with a rare and untreatable form of cancer called epitheloid hemangioendothlioma (EHE). Luckily for Kris, the cancer was slow moving. But rather than waiting for cancer to make the first move, Kris decided to take charge of her own health and set out to discover whether it was possible to heal herself. Her journey spawned a documentary and two books.Crazy Sexy Dietis her third, and gathers together all the knowledge she has uncovered in one, easy-to-read place.

Covering topics such as pH balance, juicing and smoothies, the hazards of sugar, caffeine and alcohol, and digestive health, as well as addressing the spiritual dimension of health, it offers a holistic approach to achieving a maintaining good health and well being. It does promote a vegetarian or vegan diet, with an emphasis on raw foods, but Kris also makes suggestions for those who aren’t yet prepared to completely make the switch. For those who are super keen, there’s a 21 day cleanse to really kickstart the process. I haven’t tried the cleanse, but there are plenty of testimonials throughout the book that sing its praises. And of course, Kris is a vibrant, glowing testament herself.

A nice additionn to the book is the contributions from a range of doctors, nutritionists and animal welfare activists, amongst others. These complement and expand on Kris’ own research, and offer some insight to the way that narrow Western views of health and medicine are starting to encompass a much more holistic vision.

Kris’ writing style is direct and very much ‘girlfriend to girlfriend’, which I found did wear a bit thin towards the end. But overall, it’s a wonderfully readable introduction to creating a healthy and holistic lifestyle.

What I liked

* Clear and easy to understand – no medical jargon!

* Kris doesn’t preach, nor does she promote an all or nothing approach, but rather a do what you can

* Beautifully designed and inspiring to look at

* No-nonsense, sensible and realistic options and suggestions

What I didn’t like

* The ‘girlfriend to girlfriend’ tone wears thin

* There were a few topics where she seemed to just skin over, with others were presented in greater depth

And, not so much a negative (at least not for me, being a happy vegetarian for the past 12 years) but some readers may find her chapter on meat and dairy a little confronting – both the pictures and some detailed descriptions of farming practices make for some uneasy reading.