Books I've Really Read

These are some books I've enjoyed. You might enjoy them too. If you click on one of these links and then buy anything at all through Amazon, I'll earn a small commission and you'll be helping to support my blogging efforts. 

recommendations

When I was an 18-year old ecological design nerd I was hella into McDonough and Braungart. They were my heros. Then I got all jaded with society and Al Gore-type environmentalism and figured we were never going to invent any good technologies, and went to live in the woods. I was right, in a way, compact florescent light bulbs are NOT a good idea. They are full of mercury, put off an unhealthy light spectrum, and produce huge electromagnetic fields and tons of dirty electricity in comparison to incandescent bulbs. 

The follow-up to ecological design classic Cradle to Cradle, this book takes things a step further by emphasizing design that not only doesn't do bad, but does good. I would propose this kind of thinking as an alternative to full-on rewilding, a nature/tech hybrid for a healthy future. 


If I were actually going to utilize a "celebrity" doctor, I would choose one that practices functional medicine and out of all the functional medicine doctors I am aware of, I would go to Dr. Amy Myers, because I think she is not only sharp and knows her stuff but is a trustworthy human being. 

I always like it when a person is open to changing their mind. Dr. Myers was training in conventional medicine and a believer in all the standard practices (much like Dr. Wahls below) when she was diagnosed with Grave's disease. This led her on a journey into diet, supplementation, detox, and more natural methods of healing. 

I primarily use her book for her supplement plan and recommendations. I so struggle when it comes to choosing brands and doses and which supplements to take, but if Amy says it works, I'm a believer.  All of these autoimmune books I list are potentially helpful for CFS, Fibro, MCS, Lyme, and other chronic health conditions that may or may not have an autoimmune component.


This is a very similar diet to what I eat for my Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. I know a lot of my readers are normal folks and not from the alternative, green-lifestyle Paleosphere that the other half of my friends come from, so they may not be familiar with dietary approaches to disease. 

If you or a friend or loved one has an autoimmune disease like Hashimoto's hypothyroidism, Grave's disease, Celiac, Crohn's, Lupus or MS, etc. You may want to look into a paleo autoimmune diet. 

There are other books that have more of the scientific background, but this is the best one for when you are ready to cook. It is a pretty, high-quality recipe book in the foodie tradition but it really isn't too "foodie". The ingredients are relatively normal. 


Dr. Wahls is da bomb. What more can I say? Well, I can start by saying that Dr. Wahls's approach to eating strikes me as incredibly healthy because even though it isn't vegetarian there is a huge emphasis on fruits and vegetables: 9 cups a day. It is possibly the most nutrient dense diet I've ever seen, and there are three versions to suit your needs: light, medium, and hardcore. 

Even though she is a scientist, the book is written in an extremely approachable, practical way. The Wahls protocol is a little bit different than the Paleo Autoimmune protocols because you are allowed to eat nightshades and nuts and seeds on it, and it is ketogenic/high fat-based.

This book includes some science, some personal experience, a lot of dietary guidelines, and some specific recipes. The emphasis is on food, not supplementation.


This book was written by my friend Becky during the time we both lived in Portland, Oregon and I'm in it quite a bit. I used to be a huge plant geek. I mentored Becky when she was beginning to learn about edible and medicinal wild plants. We taught urban foraging walks together for a while including something called plant spirit medicine which is an intuitive approach to working with plants. 

For awhile I felt bad that I wasn't the one writing a book, and that I didn't really enjoy teaching about plants as much as I thought I should, but now I'm over it. 

This is a memoir with some facts about plants but it is not a field guide. If you are familiar with Portlandia, and foraging and dumpster diving and picking up roadkill and such you probably won't be impressed. I'd recommend it more to those who aren't very familiar with plants or foraging but are intrigued by the concept.  

 


On this site I write about sensitivity from a hybrid of a psychological perspective, a spiritual perspective, and a physical perspective. Elaine Aron is best resource for psychological information. 

A must read for the sensitive person, Elaine practically single-highhandedly created the HSP field in psychology (a testament to what an aligned sensitive person can achieve). She was unsatisfied with sensitivity being equated with shyness and introversion (extroverts can be sensitive too) as well as for the bad rap it got in general. As a highly sensitive person herself, she set out to research other sensitives and validate the special gifts such people bring to the world. 

Elaine tries really hard to boost your self-esteem about your sensitivity. She doesn't always succeed and sometimes make things seem really hard for sensitive people. For me it took the addition of a spiritual perspective to get me excited about sensitivity, but this is an excellent place to start. 

 


This is one of my favorite books about humans and nature. It completely turns the idea that humans are inherently at odds with nature on its head and states that because we have co-evolved, nature relies on us doing some human activities to maintain a healthy balance.  

Dagget grew frustrated with the "leave-it-alone" ideals of environmentalists when he realized they were not only hindering progress at protecting lands due to lack of willingness to compromise, but that there has never been a time in human history when we actually left the land alone.

In hunter-gatherer days practices like burning were common. Nowadays proper agriculture practices can be used to keep invasive species in check, control forest-fires and and restore degraded landscapes. It's kind of a weird book. No one really knows about it because it is published by a charitable trust and the writing style is a bit proselytizing but it is chock full of pretty pictures and examples. I love it. 


James Swan is the head honcho when it comes to academics who have made a study of sacred places and the effect of place on human consciousness. His studies focus mainly on Native North American sites, outdoor places. He recounts his own experiences and the experiences of the dozens of others who have approached him with their own tales to tell of unusual healings and happenings related to location, often finding out the legends surrounding that locale after the fact. 

Qualifying and quantifying the benefits of sacred places may help us to bridge the gap between Native American interests and corporate interests. Sacred places may not be arbitrarily designated, but the result of specific features that cannot be easily replicated elsewhere, geomagnetic anomalies, for example,

The anthology edited by Swan, The Power of Place: Sacred Ground in Natural & Human Environments is another must-read text on the subject.