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book reviews



Summer Reading List: Yummy Beach Reads with Recipe Pairings

To say I’m an avid reader is an understatement. If I’m caught up in a story, I tend to shirk important things like laundry and a reasonable adult bedtime. My husband may have to wear an Old Navy T-shirt to work because his company Polos are waiting in the hamper, but at least I’ll find out how the latest Gillian Flynn novel ended. Or maybe I won’t. That Gillian Flynn, she’s an enigma.

Some people prefer to read in the winter, but I think summer is the perfect time to inhale books because there are so many places you can go. Take your novel, Kindle, NOok or other word-devouring device and hit the beach, prop yourself up at the pool, plant your behind under a shady tree at the park, swing in a hammock, or take over the kids’ treehouse. In fact, the only thing more enjoyable than reading in the summer is eating! So, let’s do both, shall we?

Listed below are five must-read summer novels and their five must-eat food companions! Still hungry for more? Our list continues with more fresh titles and bites at Yahoo! Shine.

AGirlsGuideToLove

Girls’ Guide to Love and Supper Clubs

With the last name Sugarman and a passion for cooking, you’d think the career path for Hannah would be destined. Unfortunately, she’s too busy trying to please her affluent boyfriend and academic parents so she works at a Washington think-tank. Oh yeah, and she’s miserable. After her relationship fizzles she makes a bold move and starts a popular underground supper club. Unfortunately, the club is run out of her landlord’s house and he doesn’t know about it. This could be a problem.

Pair With This Recipe: Caprese Grilled Cheese

This is not white bread and American cheese, this is grown up fare with flair! All the ingredients that make a robust Italian favorite including Roma tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, and fresh basil are reworked to create a sophisticated sandwich. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar after grilling to capture the full Caprese experience.
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Yoga to the Rescue Books Provide Light-Hearted Relief for the Modern Woman

I am often asked by women in need of a little stress relief if I can recommend a book that will help them incorporate yoga into their crazy and hectic lives. I realize how many yoga books on the market are not speaking to the modern woman (one who is pulled in so many different directions without a chance to catch her breath), but instead seem to be appealing to a population that is seeking to completely abandon the to-do list in favor of adopting a pure and perfect lifestyle.

Just recently, I discovered two fun, light-hearted books that explain how to enjoy the benefits of yoga without having to give up everything in hopes of someday being flawless.

yoga to rescue

Amy Luwis of RescueGirl and the author of these wonderful books explains how you can make yoga fit perfectly into your perhaps not-so-perfect lifestyle.

Clever illustrations don each page, including tips from adorable dogs, birds, cats, and other “little helpers” making this book such a wonderful joy to read. Health advice ranges from dieting to detoxing and is presented in a clear manner by Luwis, who is not only passionate about yoga, but also well informed about the proper way to do a pose and why yoga is of great benefit.
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Denise Austin’s Side Effect: Skinny Redefines What Skinny Means

When it comes to fitness and wellness, there’s not much Denise Austin hasn’t done in her more than 30-year career. Last night, we were thrilled to be part of a rare first – a Twitter chat. While one of the country’s most renowned and beloved fitness experts is active on the social media channel, she’d yet to get up close and personal with her followers like she did in a chat hosted by DietsInReview.

We were thrilled to lead that conversation and introduce thousands of people to Denise and her new book, Side Effect: Skinny. “My goal is to redefine what skinny means — strong, fit, healthy, and energetic! A trimmer, healthier you!,” tweeted Denise about the direction of her book.

The idea behind Side Effect: Skinny is to help you create habits that can lead to lasting health, fitness, and even weight loss, and during the chat we discussed the key components of that plan. Calorie confusion, increasing metabolism, eating “skinny foods,” and overnight fasting were all answered by Denise during the one-hour chat.



The Four-Star Diet is Not a Book for People Who are Attracted to Fad Diets

I would never guess by her images on Google that Laura Wellington used to struggle with her weight. But she uses diet-talk to describe her former mindset when she says, “I’m just in my self-destructive mode, but I can always go back on a diet.” Eventually, Laura does change her perspective in many small ways that add up to a critical mass when she becomes fundamentally changed. Exactly how she did it is not the point. Laura is simply writing about the lessons she learned for living a meaningful life along the way.

Somehow, Laura, a young widow, mother of four, owner of a TV show and brand, turned it all around. In trying to explain how she did it, she was inspired by a presentation, A Leadership Primer, on victory in business and life made by General Colin Powell. She applied Powell’s twenty principles for business to a weight-controlled life, and she sprinkled her new book, The Four Star Diet, with personal anecdotes and advice from inspirational leaders like Gandhi and Einstein. The book has only 136 pages and you don’t have to read it in order.

Laura Wellington believes that weight control is about taking personal responsibility for choices in less than optimum circumstances.  As a result, she asks you to “reflect daily,” “look below the surface,” and “live fearlessly!” When General Powell asserts, “Endeavors succeed and fail because of the people involved,” Laura interprets it as, “Birds of a feather flock together,” and then explains how positive role models provide invaluable visual lessons, while toxic people in your life must change or perish. She takes no prisoners, in the best possible way.
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Find the Right Diet for Your Personality in “Who Are You Meant To Be”

Every year, more new diets pop up claiming to be revolutionary and suitable for everyone. And every year, millions try them out, hoping that they’ll finally find the solution to losing weight.

Dr. Anne Dranitsaris, PhD and Heather Dranitsaris-Hilliard believe that this model is not how weight loss should be approached. In their new book, Who Are You Meant to Be?, released January 1, 2013, they outline how an individual’s personality affects their behavior and, in turn, their dieting styles.

“We’re looking at [dieting] through a different lens than most. What is it that’s driving our behaviors? Why do we people behave like we do around food?” said Dranitsaris-Hilliard.

The mother-and-daughter team’s book is not a diet guide, but it may be applied toward eating styles as part of an integrated look at human behavior. Through their research, they have identified eight different “striving styles” and find most individuals fall under one of these.
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