Recommended Readings of Awesomeness



I’ve been asked a few times for recommendation of books, blogs and cookbooks. I’ve read a lot of information on nutrition, exercise, psychology and physiology of play, and living life to the fullest. There is so much information out there, but I want to share with you some of my favorite books and blogs for additional reading on living a healthy and happy life.

Nutrition and Lifestyle Books

It Starts With Food by Melissa Hartwig and Dallas Hartwig

This book covers a very strict cleansing diet which normally would go against my principles, but this book is different. It changed my life. It Starts With Food is jam packed with nutrition information. You can read up on the science or you can skip all that and find out what foods are healthy and what foods aren’t. If you’re the type of person who needs a good grounding before you play around with something – like learning scales before playing a piano –  I highly recommend giving the “Whole30” diet a try. If you want to just learn what’s healthy and what isn’t, just give the book a read to establish a good knowledge base.

The Primal Blueprint by Mark Sisson

This book not only covers nutrition, but there’s a lot in there on relaxing about life and taking it easy. Not only does Mark talk about food and how it affects the body, he also goes through the daily life of a modern family and compares it to a typical “primal” lifestyle. The idea behind the book is to stop stressing yourself out about diet and exercise and to start living like our hunter-gatherer ancestors did. This book is one of the most informative books I’ve ever read.

Yes Man by Danny Wallace

There’s absolutely nothing about fitness and health in this book, yet I definitely recommend this one. The idea behind the book is embracing a positive lifestyle. Mr. Wallace was guilty of what a lot of us are: sitting around on the sofa, watching TV, turning down invitations to social events. He was stuck in a rut. It wasn’t until a man on a bus told him to “start saying yes more” that he turned his life around. The book is hilarious and although it’s slightly exaggerated, the story is true. After reading this book, I realized how often I say “no” to things. Saying “yes” has led me to a few adventures I never would have experienced otherwise.


Books About Playing

Play: How it Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul by Dr. Stuart Brown

This is a fantastic base read for playing. If you read any books about playing, this is pretty much the definitive title. It’s longer than the other books I’ve read about playing and it’s more packed with science, but there’s some thought provoking information in those pages. One of my favorite quotes from this book is “The opposite of play is not work. It is depression.” This book gives you a whole new perspective on what it is to play. If you have children or plan to, this definitely is a must read.

Play It Away: A Workaholic’s Cure for Anxiety by Charlie Hoehn

There’s not much more I can explain about this book that isn’t already in the title. If you’re guilty of overworking yourself or if you suffer from anxiety, this book is worth a look. Hoehn suffered from panic attacks, paranoia, and sleepless nights from his overly busy lifestyle until he discovered how to play. This book includes a step by step guide on how to introduce play into your life, especially if you have no idea where to start.

Grown-ups Don’t Skip: Have FUN Be Happy Enjoy Life by Susan Sherbert

Susan Sherbert is great at tying in the missing links from the other two books about play that I mentioned. She actually gets into the mindset of a child and starts from there. Not only are there exercises you can do to start thinking and acting like a kid again, but there are some great ideas for games to play. Sherbert illustrates to us the difference between play and entertainment. Like the other two books, there are sections of this book that cover both non-movement and movement play. She has a blog with even more information on reconnecting with your childhood.



Well Fed and Well Fed 2 by Melissa Joulwan

I live and breathe by these books. I have made just about every recipe in them and there are hundreds. The recipes are easy to make and they leave you with healthy, filling and satisfying meals. My family loves them (even my pickiest son) and they are not hard at all. You don’t have to be a chef. If you basically know your way around a kitchen, this is a fantastic book. I cannot recommend these books enough. Worth. Every. Penny.

Nom Nom Paleo by Michelle Tam

If you love eating healthy and you love comic books, then this is the book for you. It’s huge and it has colorful pages that are set in the style of a comic book. The recipes are loads of fun and super tasty. In my opinion, most of the recipes in this book require slightly more skill and time than those in the Well Fed books, but don’t let that scare you off. If I can successfully pull off these recipes then pretty much anyone can.



Nerd Fitness by Steve Kamb

The epitome of awesome fitness. Steve Kamb combines nerdy pop-culture references with health and fitness. This blog is my inspiration for My Adventure Playground and it has changed my life. Steve has a knack for making boring workouts more fun by turning them into video game and movie references. He even set up an awesome community where you can do roleplaying and fitness challenges at the same time! I’ve met Steve, Staci and most of the team behind Nerd Fitness and they are the greatest group of people I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting. I’ve made some really great friends from there and I would recommend it in a second to anyone who is a nerd and wants to make changes in their lifestyle.

Mark’s Daily Apple by Mark Sisson

If you don’t feel like reading The Primal Blueprint, Mark’s Daily Apple is a great place to learn a lot of the same principles that are illustrated in the book. The blog is updated daily and it includes recipes, exercises, success stories and scientific findings behind the primal/paleo lifestyle.

The Art of Nonconformity by Chris Guillebeau

This blog is not really about health and fitness, but it is about adventure. And it’s about learning how to get up and get moving. How to work with your  inspirations. There are also a lot of tips about traveling and starting your own business that have inspired me. It’s worth a look, especially if you’re the adventurous type but you’re not sure where to start.

A Life Less Bullshit by Nicole Antoinette

Again, this blog isn’t really about health and fitness (although there is a focus on running) but the spirit of this blog is what attracted me. As the title indicates, Antoinette has a no-nonsense attitude about changing your life for the better. She doesn’t deal with excuses and she likes to cut straight to the chase. Her direct language and attitude is oddly inspiring. I think this blog is especially good for people who like things clean and simple. It’s is a good read for anyone who wants to learn how to get up and get moving and change their lives.


Are there any books or blogs that you recommend? If so, please share in the comments below.

Photo Source: Curiosity by Tommy Wong


4 Responses to “Recommended Readings of Awesomeness”

  1. Owen Website

    I would definitely add “Born to Run” to the list of inspiring books. There’s a great section in there about how the Tarahumara of Mexico play a game called Rarajipari which frequently goes for miles and at the same time as being immensely fun, they learn to run very fast over rough terrain.

    • Devyn Website

      No problem at all. I hope you enjoy them. I’d love to hear your thoughts on any of what you read.


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