Three Things Thursday: Book Edition

Books Books Books!!! I'm so excited to share what I've been reading with you all.

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Now these books are not your kick back on a Sunday afternoon looking to escape reality type stories. We are growing our minds here people. It's time to get our learn on.


First up, it's Snack Girl to the Rescue! (value $17.99)

snack girl

I've been following Lisa (aka Snack Girl) online (Twitter) for a few years so I was excited to check out her book.

In addition to dishing out 100 recipes (all under 400 calories), she shares her wisdom about weight loss, emotional eating, exercise, every day temptations, healthy cooking, as well as food marketing. Lisa, who is a mom of two, offers a friendly, witty and encouraging tone to her advice.

As a proponent of healthy living over "dieting," I agree with many of the points that Lisa brings up throughout Part 1 - Encouragement and Guidance - of the book.

When discussing creating a workout routine, she suggests:

Begin to see exercise as a gift to yourself rather than a burden

AMEN SISTER!! I love it and something I tell my Weight Watchers members often.

Speaking of Weight Watchers, Lisa offers the nutrition facts on all of her recipes, which made it easy for me to calculate the Points Plus Values. I made sure to calculate and write them on the recipes as soon as I received the book.

You can find the 100 recipes in Part 2 - Recipes (catchy I know) - of the book, which includes the philosophy behind her recipes, the recipes themselves, and a handy pantry list.

Instead of just giving you the facts for the recipes, Lisa shares a personal story or anecdote with each. For example, on her Beef and Veggie Cottage Pie (pg 178 - 5PPV per serving), she writes:

The original recipe was created to use up the leftover roast meat and potatoes from the night before. My version uses ground beer because most of us aren't eating beef roasts very often.

The recipe section is broken up into Breakfast, Mains, Sides, Snacks and Desserts. Oh be sure to check out the No-Bake Brownie Balls (2 PPV each) on page 253 and bring some by if you stop at my house anytime soon. ;)

So if you are looking for a relatable, realistic and entertaining recipe book, check out Snack Girl to the Rescue!


The best book on the list is one I have been holding on to since April and kept meaning to share, but those darn races were in my way. ;)

I give you The Runner's World Big Book of Running for Beginners!! (value $21.99)

runn w

The book is co authored by some heavy hitters in the running community: Bart Yasso, Jen Van Allen, and Amby Burfoot. Ummm exactly amazing.

Now when I started running I didn't know anything and didn't really know where to go for help. I really wish there was a book like this around in 2005. It even features five training plans to help you start exercising, start running, run nonstop, run faster, and run longer.

Additionally you can find inspirational stories from people who used running as a tool to lose weight, stop smoking, overcome illness and heartache, and manage chronic pain. Who doesn't love a motivational story?

There are three main parts to the book: Getting Started; Nutrition and Weight Loss; and Staying Healthy and Managing Injuries. These three authors pretty much run the gamut to cover any potential questions you may have.

In the Keys to Success (pg 56) within Chapter 2 (Become A Runner In Five Easy Steps) they stress being flexible. Now not physically, while I am sure that can help, but rather with the training plans.

Don't feel like you have to do these workouts on the days specified here. Do the workouts on whatever day gives you enough time to do the workout and clean up without feeling rushed.

Seems pretty basic, right? Well when I started out I thought I was an EPIC failure if I didn't follow the training plans to the letter. I've learned through the years that the plan is there for you to be tweaked as you/life needs it.

In addition to the mounds of information in my now overly highlighted copy, they even have a Guide To Common Running Terms. Thank you! So often people would be rattling off about fartleks, VO2 max and stride length and I would have ZERO idea what they heck they were talking about. Now you can find all those answers in once place.

I have recommended this book to countless newbie runners and even some folks like myself who think they know what is going on. Hey, I admit that I do not know a lot about running and will take all opportunities to learn and improve.

Pick up this book and you too can learn to "act like a runner even when you're not exercising!"


There is NO hiding it here on the blog that I am scared of my bike and not a fan of riding it outdoors that much. ;) I am working on it folks so when offered the chance to check out a couple cycling books I jumped pedaled at the chance.

The Big Book of Cycling for Beginners by Tori Bortman (value $21.99) and the Essential Road Bike Maintenance Handbook by Todd Downs (value $14.99).

BBOC Cover

The Big Book of Cycling for Beginners is breaking it down for us in topics like:

• Selecting a bicycle that best fits you and your needs • How to appropriately outfit yourself with gear and equipment • Basic riding and etiquette skills, including how to navigate traffic • The anatomy of a bicycle and its various components • Body tune up for greater endurance, strength, and speed • Training and Nutrition • Maintaining your bike, how to perform routine repairs

The 10-Part book really takes you from deciding what type of biker you are planning to be - Recreational Rider, Fitness Cyclist or Racing Cyclist - to tuning your own ride - what you can control and what the experts at the bike shop should handle.

I personally spent most of my time in Part 7 - Well, How Do You Do? Road Etiquette - as I haven't spent a ton of time on the open streets with my bike Roxie. Like did you know there are not only hand signals for signaling and stopping, but potholes, narrowing roads and parked cars? Yeah I definitely didn't. Now I know the arm signals as well as the "shout-out" for each. These are especially important when riding in a group.

I also took my highlighter out for most of Part 10 - Tuning Your Ride - as I have so much to learn about bike maintenance. There are so many parts that need attention on one lovely bike: chains, wheels, frames, etc.

But, if the Big Book of Cycling doesn't offer enough on Bike Maintenance, there is the Essential Road Bike Maintenance Handbook.

Maintenance Cover

Readers will find a comprehensive guide to bike repair and simple solutions to common problems riders regularly face. With step-by-step instructions and links to various how-to videos via, this handy guide will save money and aggravation by distilling core bike-maintenance fundamentals.

This book is so helpful that I've been known to shove it into the back bag under my bike seat just in case. You never know when something can go wrong. Am I right?

So for my fellow newbies, I plead you to pick up the Big Book of Cycling for Beginners - you won't be disappointed.


Have you read or used any of the books I mentioned?