Top 10 wellness books to gift this year

Books are among my favourite things in the whole world. They are also one of my top gifts to give and receive.

There’s nothing better than cracking the spine of a new book over the holidays and settling in for a good read.

If you’re thinking of giving the gift of health this season, you might find inspiration in my top 10 (actually 11) favourite wellness-related books:

1. Women Food and God: An Unexpected Path to Almost Everything by Geneen Roth

I recommend this book in every one of my programs and to almost every client. Roth’s book is a classic, must-read for anyone struggling with food. She suggests that the way you eat is inseparable from your core beliefs about being alive. While God is in the title, this is not a religious book, but more spiritual in nature as she connects food to our deepest values.

2. Intuitive Eating by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch

Another go-to read on creating harmonious relationships with food. This book goes beyond dieting to connect you intuitively with what your body needs. While we differ on views about carbohydrates, I find the 10 principles of intuitive eating presented in the book to be essential ingredients in making peace with food, ending the diet roller coaster and rediscovering the pleasure of eating.

3. Perfect Health Diet: Regain Health and Lose Weight by Eating the Way You Were Meant to Eat by Paul Jaminet, Shou-Ching Jaminet

While I don’t love the title of “perfect” – what  is “perfect” heath anyway? the Jaminets have written a scientifically backed formula for optimal health. Based on five years of research and personal experience in curing their own chronic illnesses, this book provides an in-depth overview of the latest in nutrition science. Also includes 55 recipes and meal planning ideas.

4. The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living by Jeff Volek, Stephen Phinney

From two New York Times best selling authors, this book is the expert guide on low carbohydrate living. Great for health care professionals and those looking for the nutrition science behind carbohydrate restriction. Includes meals plans for seven days of low carbohydrate living.

5. Better than Before, Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives by Gretchen Rubin

On my nightstand right now. I’m fascinated to learn all I can about how we make lasting health and wellness change. This book is packed with practical tips, techniques, and personal stories. Rubin identifies four tendencies that influence how we form habits and provides a wealth of insight into how these tendencies impact how we change and form habits.

6. When Things Fall Apart, Heart Advice for Difficult Times by Pema Chodron

We all experience tough times. When I do, I reach for Pema Chodrons book of Buddhist wisdom for insight, courage, strength and compassion. Instead of trying to move away from pain and suffering, Chodron suggests we move toward it, embrace it, and relax into it. This is one book you’ll come back to time and time again.

7. The Untethered Soul and The Surrender Experiment by Michael A. Singer

These two books should come together as a package. I received them as a birthday gift from my husband this year and instantly devoured them. I recommend reading The Surender Experiment first which is Michael Singer’s own life and spiritual experience with surrendering to life’s offerings. The Untethered Soul is a compilation of his teachings on finding inner peace, freedom and a more meaningful existence. Brilliant work.

8. Against All Grain: Delectable Paleo Recipes to Eat Well & Feel Great by Danielle Walker

I don’t currently own this cookbook, but I’ve made many of Danielle’s recipes from her blog and website and love her easy, practical, delicious grain-free offerings.

9. The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook by Mickey Prescott

We received this cookbook as a gift and have found it to be a great resource for ideas and suggestions for managing chronic illness. Beautifully photographed with delicious recipes this is much more than a cookbook but a valuable guide for allergy-free, clean eating and healing.

10. The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet by Nina Teicholz

This book is currently on my wish list. Investigative journalist Nina Teicholz documents how everything we’ve been told about dietary fats is wrong. Her findings are based on a nine-year investigation into the low fat craze. She reveals how science misinterpreted the data and that low fats diets may themselves be the problem.

Happy healthy holiday reading!

Over to you – what are your favourite health and wellness books you’d add to this list?

This post first appeared here in the Halifax Citizen on Dec 15, 2015


  1. Angie on December 16, 2015 at 3:42 am

    There are a few books on this list I’ll check out! Thanks for sharing. One of my favourite books (related to food) is Joyous Health by Joy McCarthy. She has great tips and yummy (healthy) recipes.

    • Michelle on December 16, 2015 at 3:11 pm

      Great thanks for this Angie. I’ll check out Joy’s book!

  2. Nancy on November 17, 2016 at 8:46 pm

    Best book I have ever read in a long time concerning healthy eating…”Discover the power of food” by Janet Jacks this book also has the naturopathic doctors opinion included in the book. Published by Romarah inc. 2014 Janet teaches a life skills course in Hamilton Ontario.

    • Michelle on December 1, 2016 at 12:21 pm

      I haven’t heard of it. Will check it out. Thanks

  3. Heather Johnston on November 28, 2016 at 9:52 pm

    Fantastic! “The Untethered Soul” will soon be waiting for me at the library.

    Thank you!

    • Michelle on December 1, 2016 at 12:20 pm

      It’s a good one!

  4. Kay on December 20, 2016 at 7:20 pm

    I think Tom O’Bryan’s book The Autoimmune Fix. I truly believe this book could help people get to the root causes of their health problems and rule out problems they do not have. Check it out!

    • Michelle on December 20, 2016 at 7:37 pm

      Awesome Kay. Great addition. Thanks I will check it out!

  5. Judy Lutley on June 13, 2017 at 12:26 pm

    Hi Michelle you have listed some very intersting books my kinda read. One of them I happen to receive in the mail as an unexpected gift from my son who had read the book asked if I had heard of the untethered soul he said it was a great book. I had said I would check it out at Library it was on my door step in couple of days. This book is a keeper and I am sure I will read it more then once. Highly recommend it.

    • Michelle on June 15, 2017 at 1:56 pm

      Awesome Judy thanks for letting me know. The Untethered Soul is such a great reminder of how to let go of the things that keep us stuck. He also wrote The Surrender Experiment which was all about his life and how he surrendered to what the universe presented him. A truly remarkable story.

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