Books, Books, Books

in Book Club!

Ah, hello.  Happy Monday.  How’s it going for you?  It’s been crazy and busy in my world but really good, too.  And truthfully, that is all I can ask for on a Monday!


Today is a clinic work day, but we had a break for lunch.  It’s always nice to run home for lunch!  I made the same sandwich that the Husband whipped us yesterday – this combination is SO tasty.  Grilled tempeh, mayo, cucumbers on a hamburger bun.


With orange juice, which gave me epic heartburn.


And Lunch #2 was hummus, chips, and carrots.  Mmm.  Tasty but did not relieve said heartburn.


Books, Books, Books


I love to read, and one of the best perks of being a book-lovin’ blogger is that authors and publishers sometimes offer to send me review copies of books.  I’ve been accumulating a stash of review copies that I really loved (and thought you may enjoy, too) so I could share my thoughts with you all – here you go!


Skinny Bitch Book of Vegan Swaps by Kim Barnouin

SKinnyBitchBookofVegan Swaps

Oh, Skinny Bitch.  SB and I have a long and storied history.  You see, it was the original Skinny Bitch book that made me go vegetarian in the first place.  While I love the thrust of the original book, I don’t love the attitude (and yes, I hate the title – but its just a brand).  Fortunately, this new book seems to be mostly snark and guilt-free.  Skinny Bitch Book of Vegan Swaps (more of a flip-through v. read-straight-through book) opens with a list of vegan-friendly restaurants by city, which is handy for a frequent traveler.  There’s also descriptions on how to eat vegan at common chain restaurants, like Subway and Au Bon Pain.  There’s also a short list of recipes to try at home. But what I liked the most was the short “Decoding the Label” chapter, which helps you understand which ingredients are actually animal by-products (like albumin – from eggs, oleic acid – from sheep or cows, or pepsin – from a pig).  Actually, I would’ve liked this section to be longer and include even more info.  The rest of the book is filled with “Swap This, For That” recommendations for processed foods (think vegan alternatives to cream cheese, pastas, salad dressings).  It’s packed – and I do mean packed – with recommendations for every single type of food imaginable, which I think would be really helpful for a new vegan or just someone who was trying to make healthier choices at the grocery store. 


The Pioneer Woman Cooks:  Food from My Frontier by Ree Drummond


Back in 2010, I waited for over 4.5 hours to meet Ree Drummond, the blogger behind The Pioneer Woman. I then proceeded to go completely fan girl on her and embarrass myself.  (I would actually meet her again three months later on one of the best days of my life.)  My fawning was incredibly juvenile, but I’ve always loved her blog and photography.  She is really nice in person.


I was pretty pumped to get a copy of her second hardcover book, Food from My Frontier, just because Ree’s cookbooks are so pretty to look at (and much be so expensive to print).  This cookbook does not disappoint – great, colorful photos (including step-by-step recipe instructions) and yummy recipes (filled with meat and butter – but, come on, it’s the Pioneer Woman).  There does seem to be less personal anecdotes and stories in this cookbook than the first one, but I still enjoyed flipping through.  Recipes I am dying to make:  Eggs Florentine, the Best Grilled Cheese Ever, Fancy Mac and Cheese (with some modifications to make gluten-free and vegetarian), Crash Hot Potatoes, and every single thing in the dessert chapters. All in all, I think this would be an amazing gift for a foodie (or for yourself, of course).


Vegan Pregnancy Survival Guide by Sayward Rebhal


Another vegan book!  I actually have not read a lot of pregnancy books (more delivery/parenting) because they make me feel guilty and paranoid as all hell. But I really, really loved the Vegan Pregnancy Survival Guide.  Even though I’m not a vegan, there was a ton of really great information relating to diet and lifestyle that I could apply to my own experiences.  I also enjoyed the tone of the book a lot – it felt like a friend talking to you, not down to you.  Packed with info on being vegan before, during, and after pregnancy, the book covers topics like diet, handling strangers’ questions about veganism (especially liked this part), breastfeeding, and more. As a side note, I also enjoyed the size of this book – it’s very small (pocket-sized) so I could easily stash it in my bag and read when I was running errands.


Get a Bangin’ Body by Charless LaSalle


And last, but not least, Get a Bangin’ Body.  I was REALLY pumped to check out this book because the cover says it’s the “ultimate body weight workout for men and women.” Um, awesome. We all know how much I hate lifting weights but love push-ups.  So this seemed like a strength routine that I could actually stick to – I’m going to start applying it to my life ASAP (well, what I can, being six months preggers and all).  The emphasis of this book is definitely exercise over diet, which I don’t necessarily agree with, but the 90-day workout seems awesome.  The workout is divided into three phases, and while newbies tackle all three, intermediates only do the last two, and advanceds do the last one.  The workouts for each phase are clear and easy to follow, and since it’s all body weight-based, you can do them right in  your living room – no gadgets required.  What I liked the most about this book is that there are HUGE, detailed photographs describing each move.  I’m definitely a visual learner so this will help me a lot. While the moves themselves aren’t revolutionary (think push-ups, calf raises), I’m the type of person who ‘knows’ all these things but never can remember them when I’m actually doing strength exercises. 


What are you reading right now?  Got a book review to share?



  • Sana March 12, 2012, 3:58 pm

    The first time I experienced heart burn, I was convinced I was having a heart attack at the age of 22….

  • Nena March 12, 2012, 4:04 pm

    I have to do a book review for school and chose “Play Like A Man, Win Like A Woman” By Gail Evans.

    Loved it!!!! It was very motivating. Especially, for the person trying to figure out where they fit in the job/career world. Reminds you, you can still succeed in business while being true to yourself. Definitely recommend(sp)!

  • Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat March 12, 2012, 4:06 pm

    Great picks! Right now I’m reading “It Must Have Been Something I Ate” by Peggy Katsopoulis and it is FANTASTIC! If you want to know about the connection between your food and metabolism, looks, energy, muffin top, sex drive etc, it’s the book for you! 🙂

  • Cm @ Lazy Healthy March 12, 2012, 4:09 pm

    If the Bangin’ Body book is “for men and women,” I think they should include a woman on the cover too!

  • Lindsay March 12, 2012, 4:11 pm

    That glass of orange juice is making me crave one so bad.

  • eemusings March 12, 2012, 4:15 pm

    Just finished a Tale of Two Cities and a feminist collection of essays on Gilmore Girls!

    I sometimes get review copies of books through work, which is pretty sweet – most recently Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, which meant I didn’t have to get on the waiting list at the library 😀 Loved it.

    • Sam March 12, 2012, 4:26 pm

      Um, a feminist collection of essays on Gilmore Girls?! That sounds amazing!! Title? Publisher? More info please!

    • Christine @ BookishlyB March 12, 2012, 4:29 pm

      I second that! Definitely interested.

  • Jen @ Whittle My Middle March 12, 2012, 4:22 pm

    Looks like a great lunch (x2). I am so with you on the title of the SB books. I have always hesitated to buy them because of it, but there are lots of great reviews about it, so maybe one day I’ll read it.

    I’m currently reading Game of Thrones and loving it!

  • Sam March 12, 2012, 4:25 pm

    Ugh, I just cannot stand the “Skinny Bitch” books, and it makes me sad that they continue to get so much press. So many bad messages in the title alone, let alone the first chapter. Plus I felt like the first one was a Cliff’s Notes guide to Amy’s frozen meals. There are SO MANY other amazing books about food and diet out there, I feel like this one is a waste of good shelf space. (Sorry for the rant, this is just a major peeve of mine.)

  • Christine @ BookishlyB March 12, 2012, 4:28 pm

    I’m reading Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer- it’s changing my life. We gave up meat for lent and may make it permanent. No matter what I’m definitely thinking about where our food comes from more.

    My whole blog is book related 🙂

  • Sarah March 12, 2012, 4:35 pm

    Thanks for reviewing the Vegan Swaps book. I would have never ever considered reading it because of the bitchiness of the first one (pun sort of intended), but after your review I’m going to check it out!

  • Eliza March 12, 2012, 4:36 pm

    I really have to disagree that skinny bitch is “just” a brand. I think that given your new role as an educator and spokesperson about the negative impact of media on women’s self esteem you should think more critically about this book and what it represents. The book, the title, all of it, is truly hateful toward women.

  • Caitlin @ Chasing a Mile March 12, 2012, 4:53 pm

    I love The Pioneer Woman! The Crash Hot Potatoes are awesome. It’s been a while since I made, thanks for reminding me about them!

  • Stephanie @ Legally Blinde March 12, 2012, 5:00 pm

    That’s AWESOME that you met Ree – I love her! I’m glad to hear she’s nice in person; she comes across as really nice on her blog and show, so it would be so disappointing if she were different in person. I’m excited to check out her new cookbook. Based on the cover, I never would have thought to pick up “Get a Bangin’ Body” but that’s awesome that the exercises are all body-weight moves. What a great idea.

  • Jen March 12, 2012, 5:03 pm

    I’m reading The Sickness Unto Death by Soren Kierkegaard. It’s about despair and faith from a Christian existentialist view. I love Kierkegaard’s work; I’m writing my Masters thesis on seduction narratives and I have a chapter on the Seducer’s Diary from Either/Or.

  • Kinley @ Better Off Barefoot March 12, 2012, 5:13 pm

    Oh Heartburn is my ever present nemesis… but I actually get it from cucumbers so maybe it was that combined with the OJ? So weird you got it so bad!

    • CaitlinHTP March 13, 2012, 11:31 am

      I feel like it’s really acidic things that trigger it? Miserable.

  • Katie @ Peace Love & Oats March 12, 2012, 5:17 pm

    I’m sorry about your heartburn! Haha I’m currently reading the Maze Runner series. It was recommended to me since I liked the hunger games so much. It’s pretty good! I’m almost done with the last book.

  • Courtney Leigh March 12, 2012, 5:24 pm

    Strength training is so my weakness. I love it in theory, but not in actuality. My brother, the only person I know in real life who looks close to the dudes on the cover of that book, says I’m just not doing it right. I say he got all the muscle genes in the family.

    I just finished “Female Chauvinist Pigs: Women and the Rise of Raunch Culture” by Ariel Levy and really connected with it. Highly recommended. I’m about to start on “The Beauty Myth” thanks to you. I read parts in college (women’s studies minor) but never the whole thing.

  • Laura @ She Eats Well March 12, 2012, 5:26 pm

    Ha. I am reading or about to read the 3rd Hunger Games book. Team Peeta all the way, though. I just saw The Pioneer Woman’s cooking show for the first time on TV. Was interesting and I would be interested in that cookbook too, I think. Thanks for the review!

  • Colleen March 12, 2012, 5:27 pm

    You lost me after I saw the men on book 4. Dang! Those are some nice looking men;) Any ways. I have about five books – a mix if fun and educational- I am trying to read. So little time though.

    • CaitlinHTP March 13, 2012, 11:31 am

      there are color pics of said men on the inside 🙂

  • Hillary March 12, 2012, 5:38 pm

    I’m on the fourth book in the Game of Thrones series. Consider me very, very addicted!

  • Annette @ EnjoyYourHealthyLife March 12, 2012, 5:52 pm

    I WANT to read that last book–looks awesome. Totally going to check it out soon!

    I just read “Fire” it is in a series with “Graceling” —love that series!

  • Army Amy* March 12, 2012, 6:13 pm

    I’m about to finish Farenheit 451. It’s an old book, but I had never read it, so I thought I’d give it a go. Ray Bradbury is so creative, but man, he is long winded! I’m looking forward to reading something light after I finish it.*

  • Cindy March 12, 2012, 6:53 pm

    Love the book reviews! Where’s the woman on the cover of Bangin’ Body? Not your fault. 😉 I’m just about to start Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, which has been in my library since it published, and has sat unread, if you can believe it. I’m going to be double-booking with The Bread Baker’s Apprentice. Oh, I’m also in the process of looking over the just-published Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook for an upcoming post. Phew!

  • Alyse March 12, 2012, 6:56 pm

    If you get icky heartburn again try some apple cider vinegar (a tablespoon or so) mixed up with a little water and chug it. Gets rid of it and is babyHTP safe!

    My mom had wicked heartburn when pregnant with my brother and of course she wasn’t able to take anything. Too bad she didn’t know about the vinegar.

    I actually giggled at the cover of the last book. Muscle men. aaaaaaaaaaahh. I feel the testosterone through my computer monitor.

  • J. March 12, 2012, 7:22 pm

    You ought to read The Pioneer woman’s story in “From High Heels to Tractor Wheels”…it was a different pick for me, and I actually enjoyed it.

    Currently reading The Descendants …and it is EXCELLENT. I doubt I’ll get opportunity to see the movie, but the book is great great.

    I’ve read lots lately, don’t get me started or I’ll be here all day.

  • Cindy March 12, 2012, 7:22 pm

    Does that bodyworkout require a gym? Or can it be done at home (I have no gym).

    • CaitlinHTP March 13, 2012, 11:32 am

      Nope it’s all body weight based.

  • Alyssa @ Fit and Fun in Third March 12, 2012, 7:40 pm

    Thanks for the suggestions! I’m reading Silver Girl by Elin Hilderbrand… so good… Can’t put it down!

  • Liz @ Tip Top Shape March 12, 2012, 8:15 pm

    I’m reading Stephen King’s “Misery” right now. Definitely not a new book, but it is so good!!

  • Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin March 12, 2012, 9:52 pm

    Even though I know it’s really controversial, I really want to read Skinny Bitch just to see what it’s all about!

    I’m not reading anything lately though, other than my textbooks. 😛

  • Shari March 12, 2012, 9:58 pm

    I just finished Mockingjay, and … whoa. I feel like The Hunger Games is a series (and Mockingjay especially) that you need to read at least twice in order to fully explore all the implications, but that was so emotionally draining that I cannot put myself through it again!

  • Melissa @TryingtoHeal March 12, 2012, 11:20 pm

    I didn’t like the attitude of the skinny b*tch book either, but it certainly got the point accross!

  • Chelsea March 13, 2012, 12:47 am

    I just finished the 5th Black Dagger Brotherhood book. Like literally closed the book and came to your blog haha 🙂 Let’s just say it’s allll about sex and vampires. What more could you want?!

  • trish March 13, 2012, 2:29 am

    I’ve had my fair share of embarrassing myself in front of an author I loved. I didn’t do it in front of Ree, though, which is kind of shocking. 🙂

    Glad you enjoyed Skinny Bitch!

  • Jeanelle @ Glocal Girl March 13, 2012, 3:46 am

    Totally not health related, but I just finished The Paris Wife… which is a good read combining love, history, literature and drama.

    I read it on the way to Paris so loved it even more!

  • Emily March 13, 2012, 8:03 am

    Well, those guys have banging bodies, so it can’t be all bad. Even if it is just cover eye candy, right?

  • Lindsey March 13, 2012, 8:27 am

    Thanks for the reviews and recommendations! Are you planning to do a review of pregnancy (if any) birthing/parenting books? I would love to hear what books you felt fit in with your lifestyle and would recommend. Maybe in your new Monday FAQ’s?

    • CaitlinHTP March 13, 2012, 11:33 am

      I will definitely do this at some point in the future but here are two I recommend strongly:

      Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth
      Natural Birth the Bradley Way

      • Lindsey March 13, 2012, 12:54 pm

        Thanks! I look forward to your future posts (babyHTP and books!) and hope you’re feeling better soon.

  • Michelle M March 13, 2012, 9:05 am

    I had horrible heartburn during both of my pregnancies. My doctor told me to use almonds to get rid of it. I thought he was crazy, but turns out 5 or 6 almonds would ease or erase my heartburn everytime. Give it a whirl!

  • Megan E. March 13, 2012, 1:12 pm

    I got to hear Sayward Rebhal talk on a vegan parenting panel at Vida Vegan Con – she was so cool, so nice, and really great to listen to. Her blog, Bonzai Aphrodite, is also amazing. If I ever have a (vegan!) baby in the future, I can’t wait to read her little book.

  • Kelly March 13, 2012, 1:14 pm

    I love bodyweight workouts so I’m definitely going to have to check out the sexy guy book….what was it called again. JK

    I’m currently reading the first Hunger Games book. Yes, I’m a bit behind. It’s really good. I’m probably just going to go ahead and buy book 2 & 3 right when I finish.

    I guess I’m one of the few that really liked Skinny Bitch. I don’t get all hung up on the negative implications for women in the title. It’s just a book.

  • Amanda Mae March 13, 2012, 1:15 pm

    This is kind of weird, but I often find that Coconut Milk alleviates heartburn. I drink Silk Pure Coconut, and I suspect it’s because it contains extra calcium, but it pretty much always works.

  • Amber K March 13, 2012, 2:15 pm

    I am totally into youth dystopian novels at the moment. I’m loving Divergent, Uglies, Graceling, The Maze Runner, and of course, The Hunger Games series. So much reading about crazy future societies!

  • JenATX March 13, 2012, 10:05 pm

    do those men scare anyone else?

  • TiffanyS March 13, 2012, 11:34 pm

    I’m totally immersed in the world of The Hunger Games. I’m halfway through Mockingjay. Before this I read The Long Run, and I really enjoyed his story. I hope to start The Dressmaker of Khair Khana soon for my book club.

  • Heather J. @ TLC Book Tours March 16, 2012, 6:40 pm

    Thanks for being a part of the SB tour! Glad you enjoyed this book more than your previous experience with SB.

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