Reading is my favorite way to relax. Not that I have the extra time to actually sit down and devour a book very often, but I like to start a lot of them, and on our recent mini-vacation I was able to finish up a few…
Here are the latest great reads from my book pile:
- Isn't it interesting how kombucha isn't just for hippies anymore, and how it's gaining popularity even in mainstream circles? It's at our local grocery store now! I've been back and forth and all over the place on the issue of kombucha. There's no doubt that it's a good-for-you fermented beverage, but in the beginning I made it more complicated than it is. First I listened to a lady named Betsy who had strong opinions on how it should be made; I learned later that she only had part of it right. Then I decided I didn't like making kombucha anymore, mostly because it always tasted too vinegary to me, so I switched to kefir soda and loved the flavor after a second ferment. When I had some bottles burst in my fridge, TWICE, the fun-factor left that pretty quickly. (I need to get different bottles like these so I can “burp” them.) THEN I tried a local brand of kombucha and became a FREAK about it — I realized I love this stuff! It's expensive though, so I'm seriously considering going back to making it again, and just adding in a second ferment to improve the flavor. 🙂 That's where this new book came into the picture, it's by my friends, Alex and Hannah from Kombucha Kamp — they sent me The Big Book of Kombucha. Not only does it take you through each step to make it, it's loaded with interesting pictures from all different stages, there are many ideas for health-building ways to use it besides for drinking, and my favorite part was the beginning where Hannah and Alex tell about their own health journey and how kombucha came into the picture. There are all the recipes you would expect (and then some – so many great ideas for flavoring, pages and pages worth) and also a few you wouldn't expect, like recipes for how to eat your extra scobies! I couldn't even begin to tell you all that is packed into this comprehensive encyclopedia on what many consider to be a very healthy part of their diet. You'll learn about the health benefits of drinking kombucha (including the top 5 ways it relieves stress), and how it is a “gateway food” that can move you away from junk food and toward real food. “No matter what dietary guidelines you follow — raw, vegetarian, vegan, Paleo, real food, kosher, even the standard American diet (SAD) — kombucha can be a healthy addition. Anyone can add kombucha to their diet at any time and receive a benefit. This makes it a perfect starting point for those who want more healthy bacteria and yeast in his or her body.” Click here to get a copy of the Big Book of Kombucha, and you'll definitely be referring back to it often. (p.s. It's already a best seller on Amazon, fun huh?!)
- This book, Fasting as a Family, was surprisingly SO interesting, and I say that only because we don't fast in the same way as Melissa's family does for Lent, and we don't have any health issues that necessitate special diets. It was just neat to read how in the world she pulls off their strict fast (basically eating vegan for a chunk of the year) in her family of 13. If she can do it, anyone can! If you have any reason that a strict diet is necessary in your family, and especially if you have kids, this book will be a godsend for you.
- We're not a grain-free family, but still enjoy all kinds of different meals around here, so when Carol sent me her new book, Ditch the Wheat, I loved flipping through all the gluten-free recipes for new ideas, and it'll be especially nice for when we have company over with food allergies — that can be a challenge. First I plan to try these vegetable crackers:
And these onion fries:
- Midwife for Souls — I loved this book about a Hospice Nurse and her experiences with the dying and their families. Ironically, I laughed out loud in a couple parts. It wasn't the “downer” you might expect, instead it was beautiful and inspiring, and even healing in a way for me. Reading about families saying goodbye to their loved ones helped me mourn and maybe inch closer to acceptance over the fact that we didn't have that time with Mom. (Her passing was sudden — better for her, more difficult for us.) Something else noteworthy about this book: those who don't believe in God or eternal life will surely be moved to reconsider that way of thinking after a few of the stories. (Especially the one about a dying 4 year old child who verbalized the glimpse of eternity he was seeing right before he passed…) The author shares a profound truth she learned over the years: “Did you know that a heart can get stronger in all the broken places? I used to think it took a strong heart to do difficult things. Now I know that doing difficult things is how you get one.“
What are YOU reading these days?
More stuff you might love:
- Can it be for REAL? That's the post where I announce my book was finally DONE! 🙂
- Bye Bye Teflon Skillet… HELLOnew stainless steel electric frying pan! All about why I looooove my favorite pan!
- The Dirty Life – About Falling in Love and the Love of Farming
- Here are my top picks for kitchen gadgets! And another post with more favorite kitchen gadgets. These will help you get more done, shorten your time in the kitchen, and generally make things easier!
- Have you read An Aria for Nick? It's written by my favorite Christian author and friend, Hallee Bridgeman. I don’t know how she keeps cranking out all those amazing stories that are loaded with details and twists and turns that keep me guessing, but they’re SO nice for a relaxing Sunday afternoon. (I can’t put them down once I begin, so I wait until I have a relatively free day before I open it.) I’ve already read Book 1 in this series — it’s my favorite way to spend a quiet day!
- Still a must-have for your kitchen: Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats by Sally Fallon – this cookbook is so much more than recipes! But yes, there are many very helpful recipes, especially if some of you grew up in homes where you weren’t taught traditional methods of cooking. Mine looks well-worn after only a few years of owning it.
- YOUR Favorite Cookbooks – PART 1
- YOUR Favorite Cookbooks-PART 2