Do you have a few pounds to lose? Would you like to feel more grounded, centered and purposeful? Have you ever gone through emotional rough patches that have caused you to overeat? Do you feel hopeless because you think the only way you’ll ever lose weight is if you spend hours every day in the gym? No, this isn’t the start of an infomercial; it’s a list of reasons why the book enLIGHTened: How I Lost 40 Pounds with a Yoga Mat, Fresh Pineapples, and a Beagle-Pointer might appeal to you.
More than just a weight-loss story, enLIGHTened is the story of author Jessica Berger-Gross’s battle with depression and the resulting yo-yo weight loss and gains. Jessica shares her journey as she focuses on her natural yoga abilities and applies yoga philosophies toward all aspects of her life. While yoga is a main theme, there are life lessons for even the non-bendy throughout the book. While yoga isn’t the cure-all to being overweight, Jessica shares how it made her reach deep within herself to get to the root of her problems and find a solution.
A fun and inspiring read, Jessica makes the world of yoga (and yoga-style eating) accessible to the lay-yogi. I particularly love how interactive the book is. Drawings of yoga poses with detailed descriptions are found in almost every chapter so you can try yoga yourself. As Jessica tells her story of her journey to healthier living and eating—which includes interesting accounts of her time spent in Nepal—she sprinkles recipes throughout the book. These recipes are often from friends—recipes that gave her an “aha!” moment she desperately needed. She even shares how to cut a pineapple (and here I thought I’d been the only one afraid of buying that prickly fruit in its natural state).
Here, some of my favorite lessons from the book.
A Go-To Meal, pg. 69
Having an easy-to-make, healthy and delicious meal as a dinner staple can be the key to starting your journey to weight loss and better health. Jessica’s (or actually her husband’s) veggie chili recipe is SIMPLE to make, and I’ll be trying it as soon as the weather cools down a tad. In the book, Jessica shows us that working a simple go-to meal or two that the family enjoys into the dinner rotation can help you avoid ordering take-out when you’re pressed for time or ideas.
Dogs Know Best, pg. 80
A girl after my own heart, Jessica talks about the lessons she learned from her dog beyond all of that unconditional love and affection. Those long, daily walks are hard to get away from when you have a furry friend, even when you’re super busy. Plus, we can all learn from the doggie tendency to eat when you’re hungry and leave the nuggets in the bowl when you’re just not. See, readers, it’s not just me: Dogs really are full of life lessons! (And Jessica: I feel you on the dog “hotel” bills!)
Everything in Moderation, pg. 138
Is this girl a Fit Bottomed Girl or what? One of the big lessons of the book is, and I quote: “If you eat healthy and low-fat most of the time, you can splurge on the occasional more-indulgent foods.” Woo hoo! While her “splurges” made me roll my eyes a bit—whole-wheat organic pizza and vegan feast night at an Indian restaurant—she does poke fun at herself saying she really “lives on the edge.” And because “moderation” is a key word around here, the point wasn’t lost on me—even if my splurges aren’t always the organic whole-wheat variety.
There are many more anecdotes where these came from, which is why I’m sure you’d love to win a copy! If you’re interested, shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or comment below by July 17 with why you’d like to be enLIGHTened as well. (U.S. residents only, please!) You just may win this book! —Erin
Not feeling lucky? Check out enLIGHTened on Amazon!