Seven Life Changing Books

My clients know that I am part-coach, part-scientist, part-spiritualist, and all-nerd

I love nutrition, but I also love the factors that shape behavior, habit, and ritual. When I work with clients, it’s not only to help them lose weight – it’s to help them build a healthier long-term relationship with food and exercise that benefits not only their bodies, but also their minds and spirits.

My perspective has been shaped over the years by several important books, and in case you’re looking to reinvent your food philosophy this fall, I want to provide some titles for you to explore!

These are my top picks that have influenced me over the years, complete with Amazon links (just click on the title):

Eat to Live – Dr. Joel Fuhrman

enlightened scientific approach to healthy eating

This book is overtly (and pretty much exclusively) focused on food and nutrition. If you want concrete and specific takeaways, like recipes and ideas for better cooking, this book is a must. He has a plant-based, micronutrient-rich approach to eating.

Women, Food, and God – Geneen Roth

spiritual, heart-centered exploration of inner world

If you struggle with compulsive overeating, this book (as well as her extensive catalogue of other books) could help you address the inner aspects of self-acceptance and weight loss. While not about nutrition, this book is simply about your relationship with yourself and with food.

Better Than Before – Gretchen Rubin

fascinating, helpful digest on motivation and personality

This is not a book about food, per se, but it is a book about habit change. In a climate in which people are always looking for the next best superfood or silver bullet, this book is a refreshing reminder that real change starts with you, not with a magic fix.

Food Politics – Marion Nestle

hard-hitting sociological examination of American food policy

This book is dense and serious, but is worth the read. It is a detailed and extremely compelling look at what has shaped food culture in the United States over time, and it gave me a new understanding of how we view food through a sociocultural lens. You can’t un-read it, and you’ll never see food recommendations the same way again.

In Defense of Food – Michael Pollan

journalistic, passionate, joyous manifesto on eating well

All of Michael Pollan’s books (as well as his new Netflix series, “Cooked”) are marked by an infectious optimism and zest. He loves food, and avoids nutritional didactics in favor of celebrating the beauty and value of eating simply and enjoying your food.

The Hungry Brain – Stephen J. Guyenet

research-driven, almost-unsettling book on obesity and the brain

If you want to buckle up for a scientific read replete with randomized double-blind studies, this book is for you. It’s another one of those books that you can’t un-read, and it gave me a fresh and balanced perspective on overeating, body chemistry, psychology, and weight loss.

The Power of Habit – Charles Duhigg

fascinating focus on our autopilot behaviors

Again, not exactly a book on food, but certainly a worthwhile exploration of how and why we do what we do. This book, perhaps more than any other, gave me an appreciation for how important it is to change environment instead of trying to change yourself.

Rachel Trotta

I am a Certified Personal Trainer, Fitness Nutrition Specialist, Physique and Bodybuilding Specialist, and Women's Fitness Specialist. I live in New Jersey in the NYC metro area, and I coach clients online all over the world. As a trainer and health writer, my mission is to make healthy living sustainable for the average person. I’m also a wife, mom, nature lover, runner, avid cook, weightlifting aficionado, history nerd, travel addict, and obsessive podcast listener. Get in touch!

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