When I read the description on the back of the book Nourished: A Search for Health, Happiness, and a Full Night’s Sleep by Becky Johnson and Rachel Randolph, I was intrigued because I knew that I needed a little more nourishing and balanced lifestyle. The authors, a mother and her daughter duo, in their discussions with other ladies have found ten lifestyle stressors that tend to plague women’s lives. These stressors include such things as: chaotic surroundings, schedules, body image, negative self-talk, food, fitness, friendships, marriage, parenting, and having a spiritual ideal that you can’t measure up to.
As I read over this list, I realize that women are stressed out about almost every area of their lives. It shouldn’t be this way, so Johnson and Randolph set out to give some practical advice that will help women to make a few changes and have a more peaceful and nourishing life.
I found that I loved reading Johnson’s words and would have read them all day. She has the tone of a mother or a big sister who is so real, and yet has occasional pearls of wisdom that she tosses off. For example, in the chapter on joyful eating, Johnson begins talking about the atmosphere that you want to create at the table, and how you want it to be a place of fun and memories. In this chapter, she writes:
With this background in mind, I have never understood parents forcing children to eat when they are clearly not hungry or making them sit at a table until they eat something they abhor or sending them to bed hungry to prove a point.
Then, she goes on to say that, unless we want children with food issues, we need to make sure that their experiences with food are mostly positive and warm. I just want to tell you that these two pages where she speaks to this topic have allowed me to shed at least a few years worth of self-condemnation. I have often felt like I’ve failed as a parent for not forcing my children to eat meals they don’t like and for allowing them to even, some nights just eat dessert or to eat dessert before dinner. Hearing Johnson’s words set into the context of food being joy allowed me to make peace with what I’m doing instead of feeling like I’m letting the children run the show.
On one hand I loved Johnson’s writing, but at times Randolph’s writing seemed very young to me, especially as she discussed her child’s clinginess or how she put him in a Mother’s Day Out program two days a week so that she could have then go and rent a little office space to go write at. I understand her need to feel like herself and like someone other than just a mom. I get that she felt nourished by this and imagines her son nourished by this as well. However, I couldn’t help but wonder why she couldn’t find nourishment in her own life without making such a drastic change, especially as that change was one that disconnected her from her very young son. After reading that, I had a very hard time listening to her advice, even though at times, she has very good ideas about ways to nourish your life.
This book has much great advice, many anecdotes that made me smile and touched my heart. It’s an easy and breezy read, and I think that sometimes just taking the time to read a nice relaxing book like this one can be a kind and nourishing act for yourself.
Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book through the Booklook Bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review, and my opinions are my own.