Best Renegade Health Reads of 2012 : Best of Health 2012

Saturday Jan 5 | BY |
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I love to read.

Sometimes it’s my downfall. I’ll have dozens of things to do, but then I’ll get caught up in a great book and nothing gets done.

To explain how my love of books might even be an obsession, I love to collect books to read in the future — the evidence is in the dozens of boxes of books up in the attic at Annmarie’s sister’s home (Sorry Lisa and Ken, we eventually will have enough space for them in our own house!) Some I’ve read, some I haven’t. Many times, I have to stop myself from walking into a book store because I know I have such a compulsion.

Good news is now that I have a Kindle, I feel much better about the environment — since the books I accumulate are only in pixels and don’t directly require trees to be cut down, or extra homes and shelves to be built to house them.

This year, I have to admit though, I read fewer books on health than I have in the past. I went on a business, personal development kick and rode it almost all the way through 2012.

But, I still did read and review some good and useful health books, so I want to highlight them here (I also want to highlight a few others, plus share two that are on my list for 2013)…

2012 Runner Up: Born to Run by Christopher McDougall (Published 2009, but I read it in 2012)

I know this was published a few years earlier, but I didn’t get my hands on it until 2012.

This book is a great story about running (more specifically trail running) — one of my favorite things to do. I’ve run 4 marathons and a handful of half marathons in the last 10 years. My favorites have always been the trail races. The one I enjoyed the most was the Mt. Greylock trail marathon, but it looks like they only do a half these days (here.)

Anyway, this book is compelling, interesting, and instructive. If you’ve always thought you can’t run or that it’s bad for you, you have to at least give this story a fair shake.

The book, which was and still is wildly popular, is also somewhat responsible for the explosion of barefoot running shoes and the chia shortages across the globe.

Great follow up books are Why We Run by Bernd Heinrich and ChiRunning by Danny Dreyer.

On a sad note, Micah True (or Caballo Blanco) one of the runners featured in the book died while running this year.

2012 Top Dog: Crazy Sexy Kitchen by Kris Carr with Chef Chad Sarno

As you know, Annmarie and I love Kris.

Her most recent vegan cook book with the amazing Chad Sarno is an awesome addition to your kitchen library.

Look, most health recipe books are either bland or too complicated (don’t even get me started on raw recipe books!) Kris and Chad have mastered how to make healthy plant based foods easy.

This book, while not necessary a “read” is a fantastic resource for anyone who wants to eat more plants for their health — and waistline.

This book was a New York Times bestseller, so I’m not the only one who thinks it’s pretty great.

Honorable Mention: The Blood Sugar Solution by Dr. Mark Hyman

Dr. Mark Hyman hit the national bestsellers list again with his Blood Sugar Solution book release. I’ve followed Dr. Hyman ever since UltraPrevention which he wrote with Dr. Mark Liponis.

While his books have focused more on mainstream health, Dr. Hyman is one of the leading advocates of Functional Medicine in the U.S. and beyond. He’s bringing tested natural health remedies and protocols to the masses without being nutso about it.

2012 Reads Non-Health Reads: Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

I started this book in 2011, but finished it a few months later in 2012.

It is a monstrous book. In 2011, I quickly read about 25% of it, then put it down. In the spring of 2012, Ann and I spent some more time at a local park and I picked it up again.

While you can argue what type of person you think Steve Jobs was, what you can’t argue is the value of his attention to detail and what it did for Apple and Pixar.

While I was reading the book, I was inspired to review many of the things we do at Renegade Health. It was a harsh wake up call for me and I set out to revamp just about everything — including the website.

We had developed something that we thought was fantastic with all the bells and whistles of a modern, hip website– but after reading the Jobs book, I realized how complicated everything had become.

So I totally scrapped what we had. I decided, as I thought Jobs would, to simplify it to the most basic needs of our readers — you.

So I asked the question, what does someone want to do on the site?

The answers…

They want to find relevant health articles about issues they’re facing.

They want to easily search to find what they’re looking for.

They want to share with friends if they like it.

They want to join the discussion if there’s something to add.

(Yes, you probably want our opinion on things as well, this is a given!)

Based on these answers, we rebuilt everything from the ground up. Now, what you’re seeing now, is the end result — thanks to Jobs, in some weird, disconnected way.

The Steve Jobs book also totally influenced the quality and the ease of use for the Complete Blood Test Blueprint program — which I feel is one of the best stand alone products we’ve ever created.

2012 Non-Health Reads: Happiest Baby on the Block by Dr. Harvey Karp

If you have a newborn, you… must. have. this. book.

Books on my Kindle, but haven’t read yet…

  • When the Body Says No by Gabor Mate
  • Drop Dead Healthy by A.J. Jacobs
  • Your Question of the Day: What health book did you read in 2012 that you loved?

    Live Awesome!

    Kevin Gianni

    Kevin Gianni is a health author, activist and blogger. He started seriously researching personal and preventative natural health therapies in 2002 when he was struck with the reality that cancer ran deep in his family and if he didn’t change the way he was living — he might go down that same path. Since then, he’s written and edited 6 books on the subject of natural health, diet and fitness. During this time, he’s constantly been humbled by what experts claim they know and what actually is true. This has led him to experiment with many diets and protocols — including vegan, raw food, fasting, medical treatments and more — to find out what is myth and what really works in the real world.

    Kevin has also traveled around the world searching for the best protocols, foods, medicines and clinics around and bringing them to the readers of his blog — which is one of the most widely read natural health blogs in the world with hundreds of thousands of visitors a month from over 150 countries around the world.

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