New Year’s Resolutions – So Far So Good

January 3, 2018

The life of a librarian is a seasonal affair. Spring means books about gardening, planting, and planning vacations. Summer means lots of books for kids out of school. In fall the cookbooks start flying off the shelves (to say nothing of the knitting titles). And winter? Well, that depends on what time of year you’re talking. If you mean November and December then the books are festive and jolly. But around the time January 1st rears it’s ugly head, there’s only one book I can count on to fly off of the shelves.

Say hello to fitness, wellness, and healthy eating!

Yes, you’ve downed more pies, cakes, chocolates, nuts, and what have you than a bear preparing for hibernation. But who cares? It’s January, baby. Time to break out those New Year’s resolutions. And, if you’re like me, you’re already downloading fitness apps and reconsidering your daily intake of calories.

In light of your newfound strength, how about some new books to bolster you along the way? Here are some of the latest fitness and healthy eating titles, sure to cure what ails you (if, “what ails you” is a l’il bit of extra tummy).

A science-backed guide to fitness provides information on how to adopt a healthy lifestyle, covering everything from stretching and workout routines to proper equipment, dietary supplements, and post-workout protein shakes. Publishers Weekly called it, “an important read for exercise hopefuls and aficionados alike”.
Jessamyn Stanley, a yogi who breaks all the stereotypes, has built a life as an internationally recognized yoga teacher and award-winning Instagram star by combining a deep understanding for yoga with a willingness to share her personal struggles in a way that touches everyone who comes to know her.
An obesity and neuroscience researcher explores how food choices are often influenced by brain circuits that control survival instincts and draws on cutting-edge neuroscience to offer guidelines for eating well and maintaining a healthy weight.
Meet your new fitness instructor . . . Walt Whitman! No lie. In the fall of 1858, a thirteen-part essay series appeared in the New York Atlas, under the title Manly Health and Training. This nearly 47,000-word journalistic effort, written by Walt Whitman under his pen name “Mose Velsor,” was lost for more than 150 years, buried in just a handful of library archives, until its recent unexpected discovery. Now we can consult it and darned if the guy doesn’t have some pretty good advice.
In this book you’ll find 140 delicious power bowl recipes created to deliver specific nutrients that provide fourteen different health benefits, including bowls for: Pre- and Post-Workout Weight Loss Cleanses and Detox Better Immunity A Healthy Heart Reduced Inflammation Better Digestion Anti-Aging And More! With detailed nutrition information and a gorgeous photo for every recipe.

How Cycling Can Save the World by Peter Walker

A terrific international review of  cities becoming more cycling friendly; this book may have changed my life. There were several key insights for me:
1) Requiring helmets significantly reduces usage of bikes; people are robbed of the terrific health benefits of biking if usage is reduced; and helmet may or may not help most folks avoid injury, so that the best solution overall for the community is to encourage but not require a helmet.
2) “Livability’ means people having a more one on one relationship with their city; a synonym would be “walkable” or “bike-able.” Biking creates a statistically measurable difference in your relationship with your hometown: relationships with retailers and city services; greater involvement in the life of your city; knowing more neighbors; more support  for local charities and institutions.
SO, for the last 4 days of work, I have cycled to work 4 times, all of them without a helmet on the trip going in to work, but wearing one on the trip home. (Hair etc.) It’s a start! I feel like I have a whole new way to describe why I love where I live and, though very late to the game, I am ready to be militant in pushing for more support on the roads for bikes because it not only is better for me — it is better for the local economy! mm


An Interview with 'The Ghost in My Brain' author Clark Elliott

November 1, 2016

clark-elliottOn the rainy evening of September 27, 1999, Dr. Clark Elliott was en route to DePaul University to deliver a lecture when his car was rear ended at a Morton Grove stoplight.  Shaken but seemingly uninjured, Elliott continued on to DePaul’s campus unaware he’d suffered a concussion that would dramatically alter his life.  In his remarkable new memoir The Ghost in My Brain: How a Concussion Stole My Life and How the New Science of Brain Plasticity Helped Me Get It BackElliott details the harrowing effects of his concussion along with his remarkable recovery almost 10 years later with the help of two cutting-edge Chicago doctors.  This Monday, November 7th you can hear Dr. Elliott discuss The Ghost in My Brain when he visits EPL’s 1st Floor Community Meeting Room at 7 p.m.  In anticipation of his visit, we recently spoke with him via email about the debilitating concussion symptoms he fought to overcome, brain plasticity, the groundbreaking work of Drs. Donalee Markus and Deboray Zelinsky, and the reasons he wrote his book.

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