Every January, we here at KHACHILIFE like to start a new chapter — one that, following December’s revelry and abundance, allows us to turn our focus inward. The dark winter months can be an introspective time filled with resolutions and lifestyle shifts, and a new year can make for a helpful symbolic period of renewal. This month’s reading list is one dedicated to health and wellness, both of the mind and the body. We’ve curated a list of titles to help you eat well, feel well, and live well. Happy reading — and happy 2019.

Raw: Recipes for a Modern Vegetarian Lifestyle

Solla Eiriksdóttir was a pioneer of the raw movement, promoting its positive health benefits long before the trend had made its way into the mainstream. For the past twenty years, she has been concocting some seriously delicious — and nutritious — eats at her acclaimed restaurant, Gló, in Iceland. The country, and the foodie world, took notice; today the cook owns five successful restaurants, an organic market and organic food brand, and has penned five cookbooks. Raw features seventy-five healthy recipes, organized by five categories: breakfast, snacks, sweet treats, lunches, and mains. Whether you’re new to the raw diet or already an avid believer, this book will make for some seriously delicious eats.

Farmlife: From Farm to Table and New Country Culture

Farmlife is another title with influence from Northern climes; the book is co-edited by Cecilie Dawes of Norway’s Food Studio. Its scope, however, is global, exploring how food is obtained and prepared all over the world. Featuring anecdotes and illustrations to accompany each recipe, this volume delves into the passions of farmers, chefs, beekeepers, florists, food activists, and foragers, from Pennsylvania to the wilderness of Sweden. Farmlife is a colourful celebration of living off the land, paying homage to oft-lost means of survival like canning, cultivating an herb garden, and foraging in the forests for fungi. Hoping to lead a simpler life this year? Scale back with this wonderfully quaint collection.

The Clean Plate

Avid followers of Gwenyth Paltrow and her health and wellness site Goop will delight in this new edition from the actress-turned-guru. The Clean Plate is all about resetting, and so it’s the perfect way to start the new year. True to its title and Paltrow’s mission, the focus of this collection is clean eating — without sacrificing flavour and texture. With recipes for every course, The Clean Plate is also about removing pretension from health-conscious cuisine; its recipes are simple, accessible, and customizable. Turkey Meatball Pho? Cashew Tumeric Iced Lattes? Yes, please. Best of all, this book contains carefully tailored meal plans as well as doctor and nutritionist-approved detoxes and cleanses.

The Garden Chef

A garden is often a staple of the world’s finest restaurants and the private kitchens of our most renowned chefs. The Garden Chef features recipes and stories from thirty-five accomplished chefs, both world-famous and up-and-coming, and presents the reader with exciting ways to make use of the fruits, vegetables, herbs, and spices that come from rooftop gardens and sprawling farms alike. Looking to lead a more plant-based life in 2019? Let this volume be your (visually stunning) guide.

The Essential Edible Pharmacy

Curious about the direct link between diet and health? Written by Sophie Manolas, a widely-respected clinical nutritionist, The Essential Edible Pharmacy profiles more than sixty nutrient-dense foods and their positive impact on the body. The ingredients featured, many straight from Manolas’ private garden, are accompanied by stunning photographs and simple, straightforward recipes that will make healthy eating feel like pure indulgence.

Meditation Is Not What You Think

“Welcome to a master class in mindfulness,” promise the publishers of Meditation is Not What You Think. Written by Jon Kabat-Zinn, whose down-to-earth approach to meditation has made him a fixture of the scene for beginners and skeptics, this volume dismantles the mythology and misconceptions that so often surround the practice. With its cerebral yet accessible approach to awareness and being present — and a focus on how these can be transformative when practiced on the daily — Meditation Is Not What You Think is a crash course in mindfulness that will give your mental health the care it deserves.

How to Change Your Mind

How to Change Your Mind boasts the coveted New York Times hat trick; not only was it a number one bestseller, but it was also named a Times’ “Notable Book” and made its prestigious “10 Best Books of 2018” list. This volume is a visceral exploration of the complex landscape of the mind, all through the lens of psychedelic experiences. Looking to many of his personal experiences as well as his research on drugs like LSD and magic mushrooms, author Michael Pollan examines how these stigmatized drugs are being used to treat those suffering from mental illness, as well as healthy individuals seeking tools to cope with ordinary challenges. A blend of science and personal narrative, this book examines the tangled concept of human consciousness and is a must-read in the face of changing drug laws.

Year of Yes

Few producers and showrunners have achieved the fame or reputation of Shonda Rhimes; her television company, Shondaland, is a staggering empire responsible for some of the most popular shows of the twenty-first century. (Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, and Private Practice are just three long-running shows from Rhimes’ staggering resume.) In Year of Yes, the ultra-talented producer faced a challenge presented by her sister: instead of the introvert’s go-to response of “no” to Hollywood parties and media appearances, Rhimes would force herself to say: “yes!” The result? A transformative year of embracing the unexpected and facing daily challenges head on. This book is an inspiring read for those in search of a new outlook on life.

No Sweat

If you’re the kind of person who vows each and every New Year’s to start a new gym routine, only to find yourself less committed to a rigorous fitness schedule by, say, the third week of January, this may well be the book for you. We’re often convinced that lack of motivation is the problem — but what if, No Sweat argues, the problem is actually with exercise itself? This book looks to years of research on various fitness practices and encourages the reader to avoid hated routines; if it feels like torture, forget it! What remains is a mindful approach that will inspire readers to tackle fitness from the inside out and focus on what they love. Not a bad way to start 2019.


This book is the PERFECT read for those who are sick and tired of the attitude that a healthy lifestyle is all about deprivation. “Retox isn’t about changing who you are or denying life’s pleasures,” explain its publishers. “It’s about tailoring sensible, scientifically-based health practices to the life you already live.” Written by Lauren Imparato, whose yoga studio I.AM.YOU. was New York’s first boutique studio and wellness centre following its opening in 2008, this book is all about balance, celebrating both work and play. Imparato offers an easy approach to yoga for the busy and the non-committal, sharing how simple physical strategies can help combat daily stresses and triggers like low energy, pain, hangovers, and more. Like all of the books above, Retox will make for some happy, healthy reading.