Fresh Batch of Book Reviews #7

Friends, I’m keeping it short and sweet today, because I’m busy writing my next book, The Fruitful Life: Addressing Common Sins and Growing in Faith.  I hope you’ll join me tomorrow when I begin my sneak peeks into The Fruitful Life before it launches on March 5.  Today, I hope you enjoy these two reviews on Energy Reset and 40-Day Lent Vocabulary Word Devotional.

Energy Reset by Michelle Brown

This book challenged me, held me accountable, and inspired me to make several changes. It hooked me with its scary descriptions of the consequences for some of my choices, such as eating unclean food and using unhealthy beauty products and cleaning chemicals. I read it straight through and decided on some swaps, though I’m not going to commit to going all-in. Living totally clean is not an affordable option for me right now, so I’ll just make a few key changes. Here are the changes I’m making after reading this book:

1. Cutting way back on dairy, grains, and sugar. I have lots of control over my breakfast, lunch, and snack choices, and I will modify those choices to exclude those three groups as much as possible. However, I plan to eat normal suppers with my family, which may include those groups. I’m OK with one meal per day that’s not 100% healthy. I will eat eggs for breakfast and veggie soup or salad for lunch, and apples with nut butter for snacks. I plan to do this for the next two months to assess the change in my energy level.

2. Using more olive/coconut oil and less canola/vegetable oil. I didn’t know much about the dangers of using seed-based oils until I read this book. I will make a swap with olive oil for savory dishes and coconut oil for sweeter dishes.

3. Taking a closer look at fragrance-based products. I usually make clean choices for my household products, but I’m not so sure about my beauty products. I will study the labels and try to evaluate whether to keep using a product or make a swap.

4. Stop drinking diet soda. I rarely enjoy any kind of soda, but a Coke Zero is my favorite afternoon pick-me-up. I think a wiser choice will be unsweetened tea, which I already like. Who knows what those artificial chemicals are doing to my gut.  Every once in a blue moon, I’m OK with indulging in a full-sugar soda.  But I’m trying to cut out soda as much as possible and switch to tea, because it’s full of antioxidants.

I have always been a low-energy, slow-paced person. I don’t think that will change dramatically even with the changes I plan to make. But this book is helping me see how my everyday choices are likely taking a toll on my endocrine system. This book has been the kick-in-the-pants I needed to get back on track with healthy eating habits.


40-Day Lent Vocabulary Word Devotional by Alan Balmer

I liked this book for the same reason I enjoyed Alan’s 100 Day Vocabulary Word Devotional; it combines my love for vocabulary words and for Bible study. Alan is gifted at writing with a strong command of Bible knowledge while remaining humble and relatable. Each day has thought-provoking questions to stimulate self-examination. The chapters are brief yet rich and engaging, perfect for a busy person’s schedule. This is an excellent devotional for the reflective Lenten season.

I hope you’ll join me for my next book, The Fruitful Life.  Come back tomorrow for more information!

Please vote 17 on this link: Click HERE! so I can make my publishing dream come true. God set me free from my fear of abandonment, and I want the world to know!

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  • Sarah, it is amazing how seemingly small changes in our diet can make a huge difference. I have eliminated all starches, white sugar, and flour from my diet for about 4 weeks now in an attempt to be migraine free. After the first three days of making the change, I have not touched an aspirin. I am excited to see if it continues 🙂 This will be huge for me!

    • Sarah

      Joanne, thanks for sharing your story. That gives me a lot of hope! I want to see how similar changes to my diet will revolutionize how my body works. Here’s to better health for both of us!

  • Thanks for this encouragement in eating more healthfully. I’ve started a food diary for this week of school vacation when (theoretically) I’ll have some time to be more intentional.
    Also, wanted you to know that I (finally) opened Newness of Life, and am enjoying the study so much. It’s been a long time since I pondered Ecclesiastes, and you make it so practical. I’ll be featuring it on the blog in March, so will mention in my review that you’ve got a new study as well.

    • Sarah

      Michele, I’m so thankful you’re enjoying Newness of Life. Can’t wait to see your review, because you write reviews with so much thoughtfulness. Thank you very much! And, I love the food diary idea. I’ve tried it in the past, and I want to start it again when I take on this healthy challenge for Lent.

  • Good for you for making healthy changes. Most people don’t start doing so until they are having major health problems. It’s a journey for sure, and takes some getting used to, but more than likely you’ll love the new energy. Many years ago my hormone imbalances forced me to make drastic changes. It works!

    • Sarah

      Kelly, I can’t wait to see the changes! I plan to start this challenge on Ash Wednesday. Glad to know changes worked well for you!

  • Thanks for sharing your review of this book, Sarah. The changes you’re making are very similar to the ones I’m trying to make in my diet and life too. Hopefully we will see progress. Also, I voted for you and hope that you win the contest, my friend! Looking forward to getting to know you better at She Speaks!

    • Sarah

      Beth, I’m so glad we are meeting up at She Speaks too! THANKS for your vote also!

  • Brandi Raae

    Coconut oil is so wonderful – I use it all of the time. Reading about all things healthy used to be a hobby of mine. Trying to eat healthy with teens in the house can be challenging at times, though. I definitely need to cut back on sugar; trying to do that and also eat 30-40 grams of fiber per day right now per my naturopath’s instructions. Getting older stinks sometimes. 😉 I want to be able to eat like I did when I was a teenager. Anyway, thanks for the reviews – I’d love for you to link your post up with the Literacy Musing Mondays link-up! Blessings.

    • Sarah

      Hi Brandi…I would love to linkup! Can you send me the link? BTW I haven’t used coconut oil much, but I’m going to make the switch. Thanks for your healthy tips!

  • I really need to read that first book. I eat horribly. I’m an emotional eater. I have lots of weight to lose.

    • Sarah

      Barbie, I understand. I have dealt with emotional eating for many years. In fact I’m writing about that in the chapter on self-control in my next book. If you are interested in the book, let me know! I am building my launch team now and would love to have you join. Blessings to you!