NonFiction Review: Younger Next Year

Younger Next Year by Chris Crowley

Younger Next Year: Live Strong, Fit, Sexy, and Smart—Until You’re 80 and Beyond
by Chris Crowley, Henry S. Lodge, Allan J. Hamilton MD (Contributor)

1.5 out of 5 stars

This book gives advice on exercise, nutrition, and staying healthy beyond 50.

This is definitely a “guy” book, written by guys, for guys. It’s crass and in your face and trying to be super macho. I only wish that the descriptions on the back, or in the title, or anywhere on the internet had made that clear. There should be a big sign on this book saying, “No Girls Allowed.” I finally searched around and found a different book by the same authors called “Younger Next Year for Women.” Guess I should have picked that one up, but I won’t bother with it now.

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Non Fiction Review: 101 Amazing Uses for Aloe Vera

101 Amazing Uses for Aloe Vera by Susan Branson

101 Amazing Uses for Aloe Vera
by Susan Branson
4 out of 5 stars

This book lists dozens of uses for aloe vera for health remedies, mental wellness, beauty products, acne cream, cleaning products, and even bug spray. The sections include Health, Wellness, Beauty, Plants, and Home.
There are recipes and advice for using aloe gel, aloe water, the latex in aloe plants, and even a powdered aloe. It can be applied topically or taken internally for different uses.

I am very impressed with all the different things aloe can do! I had no idea it was so versatile and effective. The uses include things like getting rid of warts, dandruff, earaches, eczema, and cold sores. It helps to lower symptoms of the flu, shingles, arthritis, ulcers, and may even help to control diabetes. It can be used in hair conditioner, aftershave, hand sanitizer, deodorant, and eye lotion to repair the skin. And the aloe plant can be used for mosquito control, household cleaners, as an air purifier, and even to get rid of termites.

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Non-Fiction Book Review: Everyday Stress Relief

Everyday Stress Relief by Ruth C. White PhD MPH MSW
Everyday Stress Relief: Essential Techniques to Boost Emotional Resiliency and Improve Your Health
by Ruth C. White PhD MPH MSW

4 out of 5 stars


This book provides practical suggestions for dealing with stress in a positive and healthy way. It includes commonly stressful scenarios and how to cope when dealing with each one. Some of the scenarios include, death of a loved one, losing a job, starting college, retiring, buying a home, parenting a difficult child, getting dinner on the table, commuting to work, feeling lonely, or being in a car accident.

Each section begins with a description of the struggles of the scenario and the possible emotions that may arise. Then there is a stress-relieving exercise to try such as meditation, physical exercise, journaling, or reframing your thoughts in a more positive light.

I love that this book focuses on gratitude, resilience, and gentleness. The writing is very encouraging, and gives excellent advice for navigating the strong emotions that can come up during stressful times. Continue reading

Book Review: Self-Care Check-In

Self-Care Check-In by GG Renee Hill
Self-Care Check-In: A Guided Journal to Build Healthy Habits and Devote Time to You
by GG Renee Hill

5 out of 5 stars

This book gives you some journal prompts and activities to do that help to promote self-care and happiness. I really love how the prompts guide you through difficult questions, to find what will bring you the most balanced life and a sense of well-being. How to set self-care boundaries, how to say no to others, how to be confident with spending your money, how to trust your own instincts, and many more issues are explored in a calm and caring way.

This book encourages self-acceptance, slowing down to reflect, making positive changes with baby steps, and designing a life that is full of wellness and joy!
Each page has three sections: Reflect, Focus, and Do. There are one or two sentences about an issue you can Reflect on, then a prompt to Focus on what you really need and what would make that issue better, and finally an activity to Do that will help you to realize your self-care goals. Continue reading

Cookbook Review: The 21-Day Intermittent Fasting Weight Loss Plan

21-Day Intermittent Fasting Weight Loss Plan by Andy DeSantis RD MPH
21-Day Intermittent Fasting Weight Loss Plan: Recipes, Meal Plans, and Exercises for a Healthier You
by Andy DeSantis RD MPH, Michelle Anderson

4 out of 5 stars

The book begins with an introduction section with general advice and information on fasting, its health benefits, and how to plan fasting for your body type and nutrition needs. There are some physical exercises you can do to lose weight with illustrations that show how to do the exercise.

This book provides meal plans for 21 days, and 75 recipes to help readers lose weight and easily cook delicious meals. There is a list of pantry essentials to help you put together your grocery shopping list. One chapter has tips for creating a long-term routine, what to do about snacks, how to establish dietary patterns so that your body knows when to be hungry. Continue reading

Cookbook Review: Healthy Vegan, Happy Body

Healthy Vegan, Happy Body by Tess Challis
Healthy Vegan, Happy Body: The Complete Plant-Based Cookbook for a Well-Nourished Life
by Tess Challis

4 out of 5 stars


This book begins with advice on being vegan and the benefits for your health.
There are some good instructions about including vitamins and supplements in your vegetable diet, as well as answering questions about getting enough protein.

There is a chapter with advice on how to prep, items to stock in your pantry, and equipment that is needed in the kitchen. The recipes are divided by Smoothies, Juices, and Shakes; Breakfast, Snacks and Sides, Salads, Soups and Stews, Handhelds, Noodles and Rice, Special Occasion Showstoppers, Desserts, and Staples. Continue reading

Non-Fiction Review: Aromatherapy and Essential Oils for Healing

Aromatherapy and Essential Oils for Healing by Amber Robinson
Aromatherapy and Essential Oils for Healing: 120 Remedies to Restore Mind, Body, and Spirit
by Amber Robinson

5 out of 5 stars


This book begins with information about aromatherapy and common essential oils and how to use them safely. The remedies and recipes are divided into sections for Emotional Healing, Physical Healing, and Beauty and Wellness.

I like how it goes in-depth about how essential oils work and how they can promote healing in various areas if used properly. There is also a lot of good advice about how to choose a reliable brand of essential oils, and what different terminology means, and how to properly dilute the oils to be safe for use. There are lists of common essential oils, carrier oils, and hydrosols, and suggested substitutions and uses for each one. There is a wealth of information about each essential oil, including their healing properties, and precautions for safe use. Continue reading

Non Fiction Review: Weight Training for Women

Weight Training for Women by Brittany Noelle
Weight Training for Women: Exercises and Workout Programs for Building Strength with Free Weights
by Brittany Noelle

4 out of 5 stars

This book gives excellent advice for beginners about how to plan a weight training program for yourself. It talks about the benefits of weight training, how to stay safe and avoid injuries, how to set fitness goals for yourself, and the importance of warm-up and cool-down exercises. There is some advice about nutrition, how to incorporate cardio into your fitness plan, and how to track your progress.
There is an entire chapter just about the equipment and proper gym etiquette. You can also set up a gym at home with the guidelines in this book.
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Non Fiction Review: Essential Pranayama

Essential Pranayama by Jerry Givens
Essential Pranayama: Breathing Techniques for Balance, Healing, and Peace
by Jerry Givens

4 out of 5 stars


This book goes in-depth about the energy centers of the body and how the breath can move and create energy, soothing and refreshing the body. There are instructions for different types of breathing rhythms, and different postures for sitting or lying down as you meditate and breathe. I love how many details and explanations there are about different aspects of the breathe and lungs.

There are breathing exercises to try, with clear instructions and a list of benefits. There are exercises for an energizing breath, or for a calming breath. Some of my favorites are included like Alternate Nostril Breathing, Buzzing Bee Breath, and Ocean (Ujayi) Breath. There are breathing techniques for mental clarity, stress relief, and for better sleep through calming and cooling breathing. Continue reading

Non Fiction Review: Cultivating Calm: An Anxiety Journal

Cultivating Calm by Brandi Matz MSW LCSW (Author)
Cultivating Calm: An Anxiety Journal
by Brandi Matz 

3 out of 5 stars


This book is divided into two sections: one with journal prompts and space to write, and one with meditations to try. Each page begins with an inspirational quote, and a short paragraph describing a situation or theme for you to journal or meditate about.

The themes include things like financial stress, being alone, being late, getting rid of clutter, taking an exam, family relationships, crowded spaces, conflict with others, housework, social media stress, fear of driving, fear of dying, and fear of public speaking, among many others.
Each of these are addressed, acknowledged, and then the reader is guided into a more productive and calm attitude, along with tips for dealing with each situation and handling anxiety in a healthy way. Continue reading