Often people ask me questions like, "What's the best thing for me to eat?" or "I'm new to working out what should I do?" Although these questions seem rather straightforward, the answers are actually quite complex. Sometimes - if I get the sense the inquiring mind is really interested in learning more - I will recommend a book that provides a much more thorough answer than I can give in a quick conversation. In this post, I share some of the most common questions I receive and the corresponding books I would recommend if you REALLY want a good answer. I can always give a quick 30-60 second answer that provides basic advice, but a book will TEACH what you really need to know - the "why" behind the answer.
I want to work out and get healthy on my own ... where should I start?
A book I often recommend is "Core Performance" by Mark Verstegen. Mark is a famous Strength and Conditioning Coach that has worked with numerous professional athletes. It's a great book that gives you outlines for workouts as well as great descriptions of the exercises. You might think that a Strength and Conditioning Coach's book would just be page after page of exercise, but it's not. Mark also includes dynamic stretches to help you move, nutrition advice, and even gives you guidance for what to buy at the grocery store.
I want to cook healthier but I have no cooking skills ... What should I do?
I highly recommend that you download or purchase "The Shredded Chef". This book has a few pages of nutritional advice, but mostly consists of recipe after recipe of healthy meals. This book is ideal for those with limited cooking skills because I'd say at least 75% of the recipes involve 5 or less ingredients. My favorite recipe from this book is "Mexican Meatloaf." If you want to live a healthy lifestyle, you have to learn at least basic cooking skills and this book is a great place to start.
How can I learn more about the science and philosophy behind your workouts?
If you are looking for more than just an outline of workouts, then Mike Boyle's books are where you need to look. "New Functional Training for Sports" is his most recent book. Coach Boyle's credentials are impressive; however, Mike's most valuable asset leading to the wisdom delivered in his books is his 30 years of experience training athletes.
What should I eat?
This is the #1 question I receive. You can have a trainer tell you what to eat for a few weeks. You can even find some books that will tell you what to eat for 30, 60 or 90+ days, but none of those things will TEACH you how to eat. I'm on my 5th copy of "Eat. Lift. Thrive." - it just seems to disappear every time I loan it out!
The author, Sohee Lee, is a personal trainer with a degree in Psychology. Studying the psychology of eating helps us understand our behaviors and how we can change them in the future. She also addresses many unhealthy attitudes about eating in the "Instagram era" that we currently live in.
I need a good laugh ...
My last book recommendation has nothing to do with exercise; but, similar to exercise, you will feel better once you are done with it! My all-time favorite book from any genre is "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy". Here is my favorite quote from the book:
"For instance, on the planet Earth, man had always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much—the wheel, New York, wars and so on—whilst all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time. But conversely, the dolphins had always believed that they were far more intelligent than man—for precisely the same reasons."
While these books can answer a lot of questions, I'd love to offer you guidance specific to you, your health history and your circumstances. Please contact me to set up an appointment!