Archive | (BOOKS) Books I’ve read that I like that I may also be giving away for free. RSS feed for this section

Motivating Monday: Evan Moss

26 Sep

Evan Moss has a best-selling book, “My Seizure Dog” and has raised over $42,000.

He’s 7.

Yes, 7.

Evan suffers from frequent epileptic seizures and because his seizures mostly occur at night, they often go undetected by his parents, which can cause irreversible brain damage. To monitor his seizures and ensure Evan’s safety, he will require a service dog to detect oncoming seizures. The only problem is service dogs aren’t cheap. They cost about $13,000. I don’t know about you, but I don’t have $13,000 lying around.

To raise money for his seizure dog, Evan decided to forgo the lemonade stand and go straight to the big leagues. He wrote, illustrated, and published a book!


Evan’s parents hoped to sell 150 books at $10 apiece to help raise money, but popularity for his book has spiraled out of control and he raised the full $13,000 in just two days! At one point, Evan’s book ranked 125th in sales among the millions of books sold on

Extra money raised will go to other kids in need of seizure dogs, and Evan plans to write “My Seizure Dog 2” after he get’s his canine companion next summer.

Check out this video on Evan from the CBS Early Show:

Visit Evan’s blog and purchase “My Seizure Dog” here! 


Random Rec Wednesday: Michael Pollan’s Food Rules

14 Sep

Michael Pollan is a NY Times best-selling author and in my opinion, total nutrition badass. He even graced the 2010 TIME 100- TIME Magazine’s annual list of the world’s most 100 influential people. So he’s a legitimate badass.

He has written several books on food and nutrition including Food Rules, which if you don’t own, you need to. It will change the way you eat and make you think about what you are really putting into your body as “food.”

The book is divided into three sections based on Pollan’s mantra:

“Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”

Simple, right? In fact, Pollan recommends adopting even one rule from each of the book’s sections to dramatically improve the way you eat.

Why this book is awesome:

1. It’s SIMPLE.

It’s not filled with a bunch of boring foodie fluff. Just simple, practical advice with straightforward rules.

 2. It’s easy to use.

It’s an easy to use guide to eating better. With one rule per page and a concise explanation.

 3. It’s super short.

Seriously. You can easily read this fun-sized book in an hour. It is so compact, you might even overlook it on the bookshelf. Although not technically pocket-sized, it is definitely clutch-sized, which means you can take it anywhere with you!

 4. It’s witty.

This isn’t your average (ahem boring) book preaching nutrition to you. Pollan’s rules are comical, yet practical. Some of my faves:

“Don’t eat anything your great grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food.”

“Don’t buy food where you buy your gasoline.”

“Avoid food products containing ingredients a third-grader cannot pronounce.”

“If it came from a plant, eat it; if it was made in a plant, don’t.”

“It’s not food if it arrived through the window of your car.”

Get Michael Pollan’s Food Rules at any bookstore, or click here:

For more info, check out or read this article from the NY Times.

How to Eat Healthy in College! Our Interview with Daphne Oz, author of Dorm Room Diet. Read on to win a free copy of her book!

21 Jan

We were so impressed with all the easy- to- understand and relatable information in this book that we we had to share it with the WORLD!

We recently had the pleasure of interviewing author Daphne Oz (daughter of Dr. Oz), about her dorm-room-self. Her responses are below.

1. What inspired you to write Dorm Room Diet?

People find it difficult to understand how I could have been so overweight growing up, given that I was part of a medical family with access to all the information I would have needed to get my health on track. What I realized as part of the process of finally recovering my health while in college is that, oftentimes, the emotional component can be even more important than the physical information.

As my dad always likes to say: “People don’t change their behavior based on what they know, they change based on what they feel.”

That was certainly true for me. It took recognizing that college marked the beginning of my adult life–and, more importantly, that I wanted my adult self to have optimum health so I could accomplish anything–to spark the change that would lead me towards a permanent, healthy lifestyle and make it possible for me to put the information I had had my whole life to good use. I wrote the Dorm Room Diet to share the tips and tricks I had developed throughout this process so that my peers looking for a friendly, accessible voice to guide them on their journeys to health would have a one-stop manual.

2. What’s your favorite healthy meal?

I’m a huge fan of vegetarian chili–it has lots of protein in the bean and legume varieties (I add lentils to mine!), some complex carbs if you put it over brown rice, and that great spicy, tomato sauce flavor. Perfect for fall days!

3. What’s your favorite junk food?

I’m a sucker for pretzels and chocolate chip cookies, and I love banana pudding. Everything in moderation, though!

4. If you could talk to your dorm room self what would you say?

Remember to plan ahead! It’s the only tool you need to succeed. If you can crowd out all the “bad” junk foods with healthy items on hand, you’ll be that much less tempted to go off your healthy eating plan. Set yourself up for success!

5. What’s your motto?

“Substitution where you can, Moderation where you cant.”

What this means is, if you’re happy to have an apple instead of the stale, store-brought brownie you’ve been eyeing, that’s a great way to cut down on sugars and processed carbohydrates. But if you’re out at a friend’s birthday party, don’t skimp on a small piece of birthday cake, or even just a bite, just so you can say you didn’t have any. The whole point of a healthy lifestyle is that there is room for anything, so you never need to feel deprived–which is why healthy lifestyles last permanently while fad diets are only a race against the clock until you “fail” and go on a binge of all the things you haven’t been allowing yourself.

Make room for the experiences you know will help you feel like you’ve been able to share and have fun, but be sure to keep unhealthy eating in check by remembering to “indulge for a good cause” (as in, only eat those foods you know you are really going to enjoy, and make them count!).

6. What do you do when you’re having a bad day?

For so many years, emotional eating was a crutch for me, as it is for so many. It’s hard to give up the comfort foods, and it’s still tempting to drive into a chocolate bar if I’ve had a bad day, or even if I want to celebrate (emotional eating works both ways!).

But what I’ve found is the most helpful is to take a few minutes to write down exactly what is bothering me or making me upset, to talk it out with someone I love or whose opinion I trust, and then, if I’m still feeling down, to go out for a long walk or jog, ideally with someone else. Socializing is the best cure for the blues, because it forces you to feel good when you’re in good company.

7. Does your dad have a cure for Bieber fever?

Ha, I don’t think anyone would take it!

8. You’re the oldest of four. Do your sisters come to you a lot for advice? Do you have any advice for girls?

I’m thrilled to say I do think my two (younger) sisters come to me for advice, for health and other things. I think my main advice for girls would be to keep everything in perspective. Friends change, boyfriends change, schools change…don’t put too much pressure or focus or importance on anything that is likely to change in the next year, if not the next couple weeks or months. Just enjoy every minute as best you can, and be sure to get any toxic people out of your life asap! Especially if you’re trying to create a healthy lifestyle, curating an environment that facilitates healthy, balanced emotional health is just as important as getting your physical health on track.

To recap:

  1. Go buy Dorm Room Diet…like now.
  2. Submit a question to our blog @ and keep your fingers crossed to win a free copy.
  3. Check out more about Dorm Room Diet and Daphne Oz @ Dorm Room Diet

Interview with Josh Shipp, Teen Advice Guru! (He’s kinda like us, but a boy).

22 Nov

If you don’t know Josh Shipp yet, you should.

He is the author of   “The Teen’s Guide to World Domination: Advice on Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Awesomeness.”

He is also an advice columnist at, host of his own TV show and a true inspiration. AND HE’S ENTERTAINING.

I can’t tell you how many people I have shamelessly given advice books to, only to have them say they were boring and they didn’t finish them.

Well excuuuuuuuuse me, Prince William! I thought you knew the Wii controller was sold separately.

(Note to self: Look into making an advice video game)

Anyway, this book is not boring. It is hilarious. We laughed, and even teared up in places. Granted the pollen count is really high this time of the year, and the fall winds are raging.  But let’s just say everyone is getting IDENTICAL CHRISTMAS PRESENTS!! (Cut to: confetti shooting out of a cannon and the ballistic audience at Oprah).

Josh talks about all the Villians holding you back in your quest to world domination and how to deal with them. Some villians include: Ghosts (fears and limitations), Ninjas (Bullies),  Zombies (Negative Neds and Nancies), Robots, Pirates, Puppies and so on. When you read it, you’ll be nodding your head in agreement saying, “OMG I totally know those kind of people! And OMG they ARE holding me back!”

We could not recommend this book more.

We’d love to take up more of your time, but you’ve got a world to dominate and a book to read. And you’re in luck- we are giving away a free copy! Just send a question for our blog to The best question wins! (Flattery helps)

Onto the interview.

1 What made you want to write this book? Or as a smart person might say, what was the catalyst?

Hey Sweetie! I got you a cool book to read...!

I wanted to create a quote “self-help book for teens” that teens would actually like. Not one of those your Mom buys for you and you say “oh yeah sure I’ll read it” and then you eventually end up burning it, E-baying it, or giving it to your worst enemy.

I liked the challenge of creating a book that would actually help people but also be entertaining and interesting to read. I think you can talk about serious topics – without taking yourself too seriously.

Which leads to the title.  I believe it’s not WHAT you say – it’s HOW you say it.

Option A. “The 5 pragmatic steps to becoming a successful teen”  <== Makes me wanna throw up in my mouth.

Option B. “The Teen’s Guide to World Domination” <== Alright, I’ll give that a try.

2. How did you come up with the villians and world domination angle because it’s genius. We would love if your terms became common vernacular. For instance, when someone meets a bully they would roll their eyes and say “Ugh, SUCH a pirate.”

Vernacular = 7 Fancy word points. Ummm, I think it’s important to have mile markers in a book.  I’m not delusional, people are busy…there is no way someone is going to memorize all 250 pages of the book.  So I wanted to create something that you could easily reference in your mind when your faced with a difficult situation. The “Seven Villains Keeping You From Awesomeness” does that. Tomorrow: you interact with someone who sucks the life out of you – you know they are a Vampire and you know exactly how to deal with them.

3. What are some of your favorite books?

Since I write non-fiction, I’m a big fan of non-fiction books. Anything that has a unique angle to it, that isn’t what you’d expect.  A few I really like are “Blue Like Jazz”, “Purple Cow“, and “Love is Greater Than Hate”.

4. You’re funny. Who or what makes you laugh?

Thanks. Random situations make me laugh. Seeing people in awkward situations and not rescuing them from it makes me weep with joy.  Let’s say you’re on a double date, your friend says the most awkward thing imaginable. You could rescue them…and change the subject. I prefer to sit in it, look at them lovingly, let out a “huh, interesting” and then ask follow-up questions.

That makes me laugh or maybe I’m just a jerk.

5. Extra credit question: Any advice for the teen girls of the world? I think Title IX requires we include boys too, so answer as you wish.


#1 – You are prettier than you think you are. Yes, you. Stop being so hard on yourself, stop comparing yourself to fake photoshopped images, and rock your own beauty and personality. That is incredibly hot.

#2 – It’s good to have role models, people you look up to. But DO NOT study their end result, study their first steps. When you study the end result- you go “oh their so awesome – no way I could be like them”

When you study their first steps, you realize they were just as freaked out, scared, insecure and unsure of their ability as you are right now.

#3 – When possible, whip your hair back and forth.

Josh Shipp is the host of the TV Show Jump Shipp, author of “The Teen’s Guide to World Domination” and likes talking to strangers in Wal-Mart.  Say hi at

Quite Possibly the Shortest Advice Book Ever

19 Sep

I hate when even a good movie is long.

Me: That movie was sooooooooo long!

Friend: It was about the Crimean War.

Me: I know. It was sooooooooo long! And what was with Brad Pitt’s hair?!

Well Paul Arden’s book, It’s Not How Good You Are, It’s How Good You Want to Be does not have that problem.

Instead, it is awesome. And the title says it all. It’s not how good you are (though let’s not get crazy, being good helps.)

Have you ever met someone that has accomplished a lot or is extremely popular and you expected them to have a golden aura, perfect SAT scores, or at least a pleasant personality? But instead, you realized they are just human (and/or annoying/insane.)

If you haven’t experienced this yet you will. Over and over again. And instead of finding it discouraging, you should find it motivating. I find myself saying all the time, If that idiot can do it, SO CAN I! (Though not out loud, because that is rude.)

Or have you ever come across a simple idea and thought, WHY didn’t I think of that? Or worse, Hey, I thought of that!

Well then this book is for you.

Now I’m not trying to undermine or delegitimize successful people. I’m not a Bitter Betty and I am happy for anyone who becomes successful (as long as they aren’t a huge jerk…). I’m simply saying you are probably able to pull off more than you think.

The author, Paul Arden talks about how often successful people are not necessarily the most talented people. They aren’t necessarily the smartest and they probably didn’t win “Most Likely to Succeed.” They have the biggest, I mean they are the boldest people. As it says on the Barnes and Noble website, the book is  “a pocket bible for the talented and timid to help make the unthinkable and the impossible possible.”

So don’t get down on yourself because you didn’t get straight A’s, weren’t the most popular, or weren’t the best at any particular thing. Those things aren’t a prereq for success. Even the Bill Gates of the world mess up.

This book report is almost as long as the book, so you should probably just read the real thing.