Three health and wellness books that changed my life

It’s a pretty big statement to say that a book has changed your life, right? Well, in the case of the three that I’m going to share with you today — I can honestly say that. I’ve made modifications to my routines, habits, philosophies and more and have reaped the benefits from it.

Now, I must first say that there are a world of amazing health and wellness books out there, and I’ve only scratched the surface of reading them, so this list couldn’t possibly be conclusive. But what I’m sharing with you today are three books that I have held onto and plan to go back and read again, and I constantly recommend to others.

Three health and wellness books that changed my life

Three health and wellness books that changed my life by A Lady Goes West

“Woman Code” by Alisa Vitti

Hands down. Ladies, you should to read this one. Even if you don’t think you have any hormonal issues at all, this book is all about understanding and living with your natural cycles. And it’s such an eye-opening read. If you’ve ever wondered if whatever health issues you are facing could be related to your hormones, you may be surprised to find that they do, and this book will help you sort through it.

I read this book after I had already recovered from hypothalamic amenorrhea, but I wish I had read it sooner, because it may have helped me along. The author, Alisa Vitti, suffered from a terrible case of PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome), which she struggled to get help with until she turned to holistic methods and working with her cycle. She took what she learned and opened up a health coaching practice, which has turned into an online community and now a book too. Thus, the Woman Code protocol was born.

Woman Code -- a wellness book that changed my life by A Lady Goes West

“Woman Code: Perfect Your Cycle, Amplify Your Fertility, Supercharge Your Sex Drive and Become a Power Source” by Alisa Vitti

What did I learn in this book? Women are not men. We cannot follow the same health, diet and fitness guidelines that men follow, and everything we do needs to protect our natural hormones.

The things the Woman Code protocol teaches you to do naturally:

  • Stabilize your blood sugar
  • Nurture your adrenal glands
  • Support your organs of elimination
  • Sync with your menstrual cycle
  • Engage your feminine energy (this is where I got a little lost on the fluff, but was still able to appreciate the lessons and product and supplement suggestions)

Reading this book is where I first started to understand how toxic cleaning products and other things in our environment are actually “endocrine disruptors,” which infiltrate our bodies and affect our hormones negatively. And I have since, as you know, switched to some non-toxic clean beauty and body products.

Now, I will admit that I don’t fully follow her protocol, nor do I think that anyone that reads the book needs to, but I think you will likely make some changes to your food, fitness and wellness routines once you understand how you should be following the flow of your flow, if you know what I mean.

As I wrote this description I realized I really want to and need to read this book again. It’s just that good. Sisters, do yourself a favor and read it!

“Sleep Smarter” by Shawn Stevenson

This book is not just about sleep, it’s about overall wellness. But, even if it was just about sleep, it’s worthy of a full book — because sleep is truly EVERYTHING.

Shawn Stevenson is also the host of one of my favorite podcasts, “The Model Health Show,” (you can find my list of the best health, wellness and fitness podcasts here), and “Sleep Smarter” takes so much of the knowledge he shares on his podcast, but goes even deeper into sleep.

I greatly improved my sleep after reading this book and have NEVER felt better than when I started to get truly quality sleep and have a plan in place for the right sleep hygiene. Of course, all of that changed once I had a newborn baby, but I still do my best to stay on track, even if Brady has me up a couple of times (or more) at night still.

Sleep Smarter -- a wellness book that changed my life by A Lady Goes West

“Sleep Smarter: 21 Proven Tips to Sleep Your Way to a Better Body, Better Health and Bigger Success” by Shawn Stevenson

I wrote a whole post about what I learned from reading “Sleep Smarter,” but it’s not just about taking the cliff-notes on this book, it’s about soaking up the whole package by reading it for yourself. Shawn puts some of his fitness, food and overall wellness tips into the book too, combined with personal stories — so you won’t get bored.

When you realize how much sleep affects and impacts every other part of your life, you will definitely want to focus on cleaning up your sleep habits. And it’s not just about sleeping longer, it’s about sleeping better. I’ve increased my magnesium intake, began using the night shift option on my phone, turned down the temperature of my room and sought out sunlight and fresh air first thing in the morning all because of this book, and that’s just the start of it.

Overall, I’m totally due to read this one again. It’s so powerful.

“The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” by Marie Kondo

Now you may be thinking, wait: But this book isn’t about food or fitness or hormones, so how does it fit in? I’ll tell you — our space is so much more than stuff. It’s how we think about life. And mental clarity, understanding what’s important and creating an environment that feels good is 100 percent a wellness ritual.

I read this book because it was trendy, but I ended up getting SO much out of it, and I think I need to go back and read it again — because I feel myself forgetting some of the principles, especially as we get more and more stuff for Brady and the new house.

Yet, this one starts out slow and was definitely boring at first (and is the least enjoyable read of the three presented here today, but still quite worthy).

Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up -- a wellness book that changed my life by A Lady Goes West

“The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing” by Marie Kondo

This book isn’t just about getting and having less things, it’s about understanding that your things need to spark joy, and things that have bad memories or are useless, need to be out the door.

I briefly mentioned by love for this book before, and here’s the overview I shared of the “Konmari Method” of tidying up and how to actually clean your space a while back in a favorites post: 

  • Take it all out: Instead of just picking things out of your closet and drawers that you don’t want, you remove ALL items from all closets and spaces that are of the same category and put them on the floor. Then, you put each item in your hand, feel it and ask yourself if it sparks joy. If it does, keep it. If it doesn’t, thank it for its service and discard it. This method alone, in which you pull everything out before putting things back, is huge. It helped me to eliminate MORE than half of what I owned.
  • Clean by category: You follow the discarding pattern by category (NOT by location), and you go in this order: clothing, books, papers, miscellany, and finally, mementos. You see, you get better at discarding as you move along the process, so by the time you get to mementos, it’s easy to toss things.
  • Thank your stuff: When you are thanking your items for their service, this is the time you think about the good memories that you have from each item. It’s a great time to “say goodbye” to stuff, and it helps you to get closure on that item and perhaps that time in your life. So cool!
  • Organize efficiently: Minimize organizational tools and instead, fold your stuff so that things stand on their end and not flat. And fold more and hang less. Kondo is not about buying tons of containers and bins to store your stuff, because that just creates more clutter and encourages you to keep more stuff. Instead, she thinks you should just fold as much as you can and arrange things from dark to light. I redid all of my drawers by folding things in tight little logs, which has been a game-changer for utilizing space. She talks a lot about how to fold things (you even fold your socks and underwear), and that is probably the most practical application from the book for most people.

And here are some great quotes from the book, which show you why this relates to wellness … 

  • “People cannot change their habits without first changing their way of thinking.”
  • “Effective tidying involves only two essential actions: discarding and deciding where to store things. Of the two, discarding must come first.”
  • “To truly cherish the things that are important to you, you must first discard those that have outlived their purpose.”
  • “As you reduce your belongings through the process of tidying, you will come to a point where you suddenly know how much is just right for you.” 
  • And here’s the best: “By eliminating excess visual information that doesn’t inspire joy, you can make your space much more peaceful and comfortable.” Amen to that!

There you have it! Three life-changing books to put on your reading list.

Three books that changed my life by A Lady Goes West

Quick note on these books and all books in general: Just because you read a book and enjoy it, doesn’t mean you have to follow every single detail or piece of advice that you read. You can choose what is going to work for your life, consider your options, and if nothing else, become much more informed. But remember: You do you, not someone else. 🙂

Truth be told: I haven’t been doing a ton of reading the past few months with little Brady around, but I’ve finally started opening up some non-fiction books at night again and I get like 5 to 10 pages read a night (pathetic, right? Well, still better than nothing!). As I get through more great books, I will share them with you, but as of now, I’ve not come across three that mean as much to me as the ones featured in this post. 

Thanks for stopping by the blog today to see my favorite health and wellness books, my friends! And let me know in the comments what books you’ve really enjoyed!

Questions of the day

What’s the best non-fiction book you’ve ever read?

When do you like to read? 

What are you reading right now?

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13 Comments

  1. Maybe we could do an ALGW book club one month and pick a health and wellness/personal development book to read? Just a thought!

    Happy Monday, friend. Xo

    1. OMG that has been on my list of things to do!!!! But then I wasn’t reading very much, but we totally should! Thanks for the reminder/idea/encouragement! Let’s do it! I’ll circle back soon! 🙂

  2. Love these recommendations, I’ve had The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up on my nightstand and have been meaning to start it, I get so caught up in fiction books though! I really want to read it before the summer though, when I typically do all my tidying up around the house. And haven’t heard of Woman Code, thanks so much for these suggestions!!!

    1. Hi Patricia! Well, fiction can be more fun to read for sure. Also, with the Tidying Up book, remember, it won’t be super thrilling at first hehehe, but stick with it! And yes, I’m sure you like to get all the things done when school is out over the summer! Hope your weekend was great, lady! 🙂

  3. I’m a big reader, give me all the good books :). Fiction and non-fiction, I read a lot of different types of books. I do enjoy The Model Health Show, so I should probably check out his book!

    I’m totally down for a book club as well!

  4. I loved woman code and Marie kondos book. Have you watched her Netflix show? It has me donating so many things right now. Haha.
    I loved the book taking charge of your fertility because it teaches you so much about your cycles.
    I also loved Kelly Brogans book a mind of your own. Completely changed the way I think about mental illnesss, gut health, and wellness in general.
    Dr Paul Thomas vaccine friendly guide is also a favorite of mine for wellness.

    1. Great recs, thanks, Kelli! You know, I haven’t watched the Kondo show, but I want to — I usually think books are better than shows heheh! 🙂

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