Are you on that familiar rollercoaster too — a December full of excess followed by a January of repentance?
If so, a book purporting to give you a bikini body in 28 days, like the new one from Instagram star and fitness blogger Kayla Itsines The Bikini Body 28-Day Healthy Eating & Lifestyle Guide, mightn’t be the encouragement you need right now.
As we know, diets — New Year ones or otherwise — don’t work, but that doesn’t mean we can’t turn to the pages of the latest and upcoming publications to kickstart those good intentions.
What’s heartening this year is that a raft of new offerings don’t simply promise a leaner you — instead, they go about setting you on the road to eating well, feeling better and living a healthier lifestyle.
Here’s what Feelgood will be reading in 2017:
This Is Not A Diet Book: A User’s Guide to Eating Well by Bee Wilson (Fourth Estate, €9.99)
Author Bee Wilson’s approach to dieting is writ large on the cover of this wonderful anti-dieting book. “This book,” she writes, “can’t give you a six-pack in seven days or the skin of a supermodel. But I can promise that if you make even a few of the adjustments in this book, your eating life will alter for the better in ways that you can sustain.”
Rather than count calories, Wilson offers a range of practical and doable tips — from re-educating your palate to rethinking the lunchtime sandwich — designed to help you change your relationship with food.
Wellbeing Yearbook, Eat Well, Look Well, Live Well by Liz Earle (from lizearlewellbeing.com, £25)
The award-winning author and skincare authority Liz Earle advises us to follow the seasons and eat with greater wellbeing in mind. She also has lots of tips on how to use planted-based remedies to survive winter colds (try garlic, echinacea, pelargonium or eucalyptus) as well as advice on protecting skin from the elements.
To make a skin-reviving face oil, blend 50ml rosehip oil and 10ml avocado oil with one capsule (pierced) of evening primrose or starflower oil. Add two drops of neroli, lavender and/or rose absolute essential oil. Sit back and apply.
The FODMAP Friendly Kitchen Cookbook by Emma Hatcher (Yellow Kite, €28)
Let’s start with a mouthful. FODMAP stands for fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols or, in plain English, carbohydrates that are poorly absorbed by the digestive system.
Research has shown that people who cut down on Fodmap-rich foods (such as onions, garlic, apples, to name a few) report a significant improvement in the symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
Emma Hatcher is one of them and this book, based on her blog ‘She Can’t Eat What?!’, brings together 100 recipes designed to help those living with IBS and other digestive complaints.
Gut Feeling, Delicious low FODMAP recipes to soothe the symptoms of a sensitive stomach by Paula Mee and Lorraine Maher (Gill Books, €19.99).
The FODMAP theme recurs in March with a new book from two Irish dieticians. They acknowledge that eliminating FODMAP ingredients (bread, pasta and dairy, among others) can leave people at a loss as to how to eat well.
They have a developed a range of recipes — for breakfast, lunch and dinner — to allow you to eat good, flavoursome food on a low FODMAP diet.
Younger, Dr Sara Gottfried (Vermillion)
The clue to the content is in the title. It will, says the New York Times bestselling author, turn back the clock 10 years by helping you to outfox those signs of ageing and disease that are caused by lifestyle choices and not your genes.
The author doesn’t make huge claims — she says that by taking certain steps you can appear to have lucky youthful genes whether or not you actually have them.
On the menu, expect to find things like fish-bone broth, turmeric latte, no-bake coconut love bits and collagen-boosting chicken soup. Dr Gottfried writes: “As a woman in a middle-aged body, I have developed this programme to change the course of your ageing body and ultimately grow your health span.”
Worth a go? That’s up to you, but in any case, here’s to a happy and youthful 2017.
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