Farin Schlussel works in the marketing department at Gotham Books and Avery, where she has encountered map thieves, scientists, strong librarians, delicious recipes, and lots of dog and cat photos. When she’s not hanging out at her local library, where everyone greets her like Norm from Cheers, she enjoys seeing Broadway shows, watching British TV, drinking copious amounts of coffee, and catering to the whims of her mischievous cocker spaniel.
My favorite thing about The Coconut Oil Miracle is that it takes this “it” ingredient beyond the kitchen. For example, did you know that coconut oil also makes a great insect repellent, sunburn treatment, and diaper cream? Or that it promotes healthy skin and hair? Yes, there is so much more to coconut oil than Zico Water.
How do I love thee, Budget Bytes? Let me count the ways… Actually, there are too many to count, but to narrow it down: every recipe I’ve made, be it from the book or the blog, has been super easy and absolutely delicious, and, yes, inexpensive. However, my favorite thing about the book is not the extra money in my pocket; thanks to Beth’s nutritionist background, all the dishes contain fresh ingredients, so I feel good about what I make, even if I do sometimes eat it straight out of the pot. Budget Bytes is a staple in my kitchen and should definitely be one in yours!
I’m a born and bred New Yorker with a gold medal in power walking, so it’s pretty difficult for me to slow down. Luckily, there’s hip hop mogul and master entrepreneur Russell Simmons, who, with the nickname Uncle Rush, is crafted from the same mold, but who found stillness and success through meditation. His new (and New York Times bestselling) book shows how meditation can lead to success and outlines different methods of meditation so you can find the one that’s right for you. I’m a big fan of chair meditation, which can be done pretty much anywhere.
Let’s be honest, we all want to exercise a little more willpower in some area of our lives. In The Willpower Instinct, Kelly McGonigal gives the reader all the tools to achieve that goal and also shows why willpower is important. I particularly like that Kelly doesn’t advise going cold turkey when giving up a habit, but to take it in small steps instead. I also like that she tells it like it is; when she spoke at the Random House Open House in November, she very bluntly stated that just saying you want to change is not enough, you have to really mean it and take action. (On a completely unrelated note, not only is Kelly smart, she’s also a theatre nut like me, which raises her level of cool exponentially.)
Every time I think about this book, I break out in a huge grin. I love the idea of women empowering other women by leaving post-it notes emblazoned with words of encouragement like YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL in the places that tend to affect our self-esteem the most – bathroom mirrors, gym lockers, etc. Body image is so skewed in our society, and the messages in this book are so inspiring.
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