4 Books I Return To (Plus 2 Runners-Up)

I’ve spent over 20 years reading books about health and habits, both for interest and as a naturopathic doctor. I love to read and I love learning about health, so when I find a book that is both an enjoyable read and super useful, I want to share it! Out of all the books I’ve read, there are just a few that continue to stand out and to which I always return. Here are my favourite health books.

1. Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin

If you are looking to read just one “self-help” book to change your habits (which shape your health), this is it! This is my favourite book on how to improve your life through changing behaviours AND understanding yourself.

In this book, author Gretchen Rubin originates the Four Tendencies framework. This is one of my favourite tools both for myself and for working with others and there is a follow-up book about just this topic (see below, it also made my list!).

This book is also full of strategies and tactics large and small for habit change in any area of life. I love this book because it does NOT take a “one size fits all” approach, but rather emphasizes the importance of knowing yourself and making choices that work for you; a “choose your own adventure” kind of approach that values you rather than focuses on what you are doing “wrong.”

Read more about my favourite parts of this book in my article Master Your Habits, Achieve Your Dreams.

2. Live Right 4 Your Type by Dr. Peter D’Adamo, ND

Cover of Live Right for Your Type by Dr. Peter J. D'Adamo

This is not Dr. D’Adamo’s first book about blood type but it is my personal favourite. Building upon Eat Right 4 Your Type (his first book), this health book delves deeper into blood type via secretor status to refine diet recommendations and explore lifestyle strategies and disease prevention.

Get the best price on the hardcover from ABO Essentials (Canadian distributor for Dr. D’Adamo’s products) or of course it is available on Amazon in hardcover or e-book.

If you want to learn more, check out all my articles on Blood Type Diet here. If you’re already into the Blood Type Diet and want to take it further, check out my articles on the GenoType Diet and SWAMI GenoType here.

3. Meditation As Medicine by Dharma Singh Khalsa, MD

Cover of Meditation as Medicine by Dharma Singh Khalsa, MD

I’m sure there are so many wonderful books about meditation out there, this one just happens to be the one that I read! I can’t even remember WHEN I read it (it was nearly 20 years ago I think), but it connected me to the importance and healing potential of meditation and started me down a path of daily meditation that has improved my health immeasurably.

In 2013 I challenged myself to meditate for 100 days in a row. You can read about my challenge plus all my articles about meditation here.

This health book provides an introduction to meditation, its benefits, the different elements of meditation, the chakra system, plus a wide range of meditations for various health concerns.

4. The Four Tendencies by Gretchen Rubin

Cover of The Four Tendencies by Gretchen Rubin

Gretchen Rubin has the incredible honour of writing two out of my four favourite health books!

This is a follow-up to Gretchen Rubin’s book Better Than Before that focuses solely on a deeper dive into the Four Tendencies framework. This framework is a way to better understand how we (and others!) respond to both internal and external expectations.

To learn more, check out my article about The Four Tendencies, plus articles focusing on each tendency:

Runners Up

There are two more books I’m currently reading that are highly likely to become favourite health books and join this list, so I wanted to share them with you!

1. Good Inside by Dr. Becky Kennedy

Cover of Good Inside by Dr. Becky Kennedy

Dr. Becky Kennedy is a psychologist whose parenting philosophy has not only improved my experience as a parent but also how I view and treat MYSELF and now informs my relationships with anyone in my life and how I work with patients. So even if you are not a parent, you may find value in applying the Good Inside approach to yourself.

This book is an easy-to-read handbook for raising emotionally healthy children and improving your own experience as a parent. It includes immediately applicable strategies and tactics to deal with issues such as tantrums, sibling relationships, separation anxiety, sleep, fears, and much more.

I also highly recommend checking out Dr. Becky’s Ted Talk on Repair, the single most important parenting (but really any relationship) strategy.

2. Outlive by Peter Attia, MD

Cover of Outlive by Peter Attia, MD

Do you ever feel confused about what habits ACTUALLY make a difference to your long-term health? I’ve built a career working with patients to improve their health and I still sometimes feel overwhelmed by all the studies, articles, claims, and recommendations. I’m always looking for “keystone habits”, those behaviours that provide the most “bang for your buck” and actually affect the outcomes we all care about – length of life AND quality of life.

Even though it is not pleasant to think about, we will all die of something. And before we die, we will likely be ill and/or disabled. The question isn’t WHETHER this will happen but HOW, WHEN, HOW LONG, and HOW MUCH? These things are not set in stone, they are changeable.

This book is a thorough review of what we know about both lifespan and healthspan (which, simplified, is “the period of life when we are free from disability or disease”), plus strategies and tactics to live longer and better.

Do you have favourite health books?

Check out a video about this article here:

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