This book is a neat little idea that focuses on one self-improvement theme per month. Beautiful, full-colour photography and sections written by various holistic experts make this book a good introduction to living mindfully. It reads almost like a magazine, which plants the seeds of knowledge but lets you research on your own for more information. Some of the ideas I was familiar with and others, like holographic memory resolution, were completely new to me and fascinating to learn about.
With respect to the familiar, my “thing” is obviously food. There were a few recipes throughout the book anddddddd the focus for the month of May was Nutrition! *Judy salivates*. I like the idea of their anti-inflammatory diet, which contains more detailed categories than we see in the Four Basic Food Groups by Health Canada. The anti-inflammatory diet (by Dr. Andrew Weil) separates vegetables into a different category from fruit – and it’s about time someone did! They’re so important that they should be considered separately. He has a section for healthy fats, legumes, etc and also leaves room for the treats.
By far, one of my favourite categories is labelled as “Whole Grains”. While Health Canada has a group for “Grains”, people following them could technically be eating white pasta, white bread, white cereal, white rice, etc and think that they are good. This book informs people to choose healthier grains like steel-cut oats and brown rice. The focus on less-processed grains means that someone following these recommendations will be getting more fibre as well as the vitamins and minerals that are stripped away in the white grains. So, I thought the categories were very well done.
However, in my opinion, I think both Health Canada and Miraval’s food guides have really, really big values for their number of servings needed per day. Mind you, I haven’t actually measured it out, so I could definitely be wrong but the amount of food I estimated that I consume daily compared to these serving sizes: it seems like just a fraction of what I’m “supposed” to need daily. Also…isn’t Dr. Weil overweight?
Anyways, their quinoa salad in radicchio cups from that section looks delicious. I wouldn’t want to eat it though because I find raw radicchio super bitter. That’s just me though, lol. I’ve made salads similar to the one inside of the cups and I can attest that the quinoa stuffing is *awesome*. Recipes approved :D .
With respect to the overall feel of Mindful Living, I like that it touches on so many different topics, their philosophy and I love the images.
However (and this is a fairly big “however”), I found a lot of it seemed like advertisement for the Miraval Resort and Spa. I so badly wanted to skip these parts but didn’t, since I was technically supposed to review the whole book.
Although I appreciate that it is written by the members of their facilities, I was simply bored reading about such-and-such treatments/programs that they offered. At times, I found that it was just a giant brochure. Sounds like it could be a pretty neat (and a beautiful) place to visit, but reading about it and not being about to visit Arizona and their spa, it seemed like a drag for me.
I look forward to having a peek at their next book: Mindful Eating, which should be released around Jan 2014. If, however, it’s anything like this one, I probably won’t care for it. My hunch is that it’ll be more of a cook-book type read (which would be awesome because their meals look fabulous), so I may or may not give it a go.
Check it out yourself, maybe I’m being too harsh?
FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from Hay House Publishing
for this review. The opinion in this review is unbiased and reflects my
honest judgment of the product.