Lose Weight With The Help of These 8 Christian Books

Christian books to read to help you loose weight

Loosing weight can be challenging. One day you finally got it down- you exercised, eat 3 healthy meals, and didn’t snack too much. Then the next day you fall off the bandwagon and eat a slice of pie and maybe a few other sweets. We all have been there. I have been there! What’s important is that we move forward and continue to try to live a healthier lifestyle. And know that it’s ok to treat yourself once in a while. ;)

It’s important to have God along with you when you decide to loose weight or live a healthier lifestyle. Having him there along the way will help you tremendously. He will help you navigate through your fears, doubts, and worries.

And books can be helpful too. There are so many fitness/health related books out there, that it’s so hard to know which one’s to choose! And it’s hard finding one’s that focus specifically on God.

Therefore, here are 8 Christian Books to read to help you live a healthier lifestyle!:

Healthy By Design by Cathy Morenzie

If God truly cares, then why does food feel like an unending battle that you're fighting alone? You want to believe the next diet will be different but it feels like you're never really going to keep the weight off. Truth is, God deeply cares about every aspect of your being and has created you to be healthy by design. Somewhere along the line you've gotten off-track, without knowing it, so what you know should be easy; feels impossible. This 21 day daily devotional teaches you essential spiritual truths about your weight loss journey in simple, easy to digest, daily readings and exercises. This is not a how-to book, but instead shows you the patterns that have kept you in bondage, and the biblical truths that will set you free. Shifting your perspective and focus so weight loss comes naturally from a place of self-love and Godly devotion instead of endless diets and will-power that lead to despair and self-loathing. Stop fighting the battle, let God be your guide.

Freedom From Emotional Eating by Barb Raveling

Do you eat when you’re bored? Or when you're worried or stressed out? Is it something you do for fun or to avoid doing something else? If so . . . the truth will set you free!

In this Bible study, you’ll get hands-on experience with taking off the lies that make you overeat and putting on the truth that will set you free from the control of food. Through daily Bible studies and practical renewing-of-the-mind tools such as truth journaling and Scripture prayers, you’ll develop a habit of going to God rather than food for help with life.

Think & Eat Yourself Smart by Dr. Caroline Leaf

Science is beginning to understand that our thinking has a deep and complicated relationship with our eating. Our thoughts before, during, and after eating profoundly impact our food choices, our digestive health, our brain health, and more. Yet most of us give very little thought to our food beyond taste and basic nutritional content.

In this revolutionary book, Dr. Caroline Leaf packs an incredible amount of information that will change readers' eating and thinking habits for the better. Rather than getting caught up in whether we should go raw or vegan, gluten-free or paleo, Leaf shows readers that every individual is unique, has unique nutritional needs, and has the power to impact their own health through the right thinking. There's no one perfect solution. Rather, she shows us how to change the way we think about food and put ourselves on the path towards health. 

The Daniel Plan by Rick Warren

Here’s the secret sauce: The Daniel Plan is designed to be done in a supportive community relying on God’s instruction for living.

When it comes to getting healthy, two are always better than one. Our research has revealed that people getting healthy together lose twice as much weight as those who do it alone. God never meant for you to go through life alone and that includes the journey to health.

Unlike the thousands of other books on the market, this book is not about a new diet, guilt-driven gym sessions, or shame-driven fasts. The Daniel Plan shows you how the powerful combination of faith, fitness, food, focus, and friends will change your health forever, transforming you in the most head-turning way imaginably―from the inside out.

God Cures by Damon Davis

The numbers are staggering. More than a billion people live with chronic pain. Yet the perfect human body was created to repair and heal itself. Why are so many millions of people living well beneath healthy? Why does homeostasis seem so far from our experience?

Damon Davis believes there is a way to connect all the dots for a life of wholeness and balance that reaps the benefits of God’s natural path of the interplay of spirit, soul, and body. Davis offers an in-depth profile of his life and health history and explains how sickness is often an accumulation of emotional, physical, mental, and spiritual wounds that take their toll over months and years. Readers take hold of the knowledge, tools, and motivation to leverage God’s curing design.

Let Food Be Your Medicine by Don Colbert

Most of us think God is not concerned with what we eat, but the Bible actually offers great insight and instruction about the effects of food on our bodies. Dr. Colbert introduces a revolutionary sugar detox method, combined with an anti-inflammatory form of the modified Mediterranean diet that resolves a broad spectrum of diseases, including diabetes, heart disease, dementia, cancer, and osteoarthritis. Just imagine -- understanding how food alone can produce mental clarity, balanced weight, and longevity. Includes meal plans.

Seven Sundays by Alec Penix

So many of the books within the diet and fitness space focus on vanity or superficial reasons for striving for personal health and wellbeing. Is it any wonder then that a motivation that’s so surface-level has such a slim chance of working long-term? But Alec Penix believes that all things are possible if you use faith as your bedrock.
Seven Sundays is a six-week program that shows you how easy it is to undergo your own total transformation. The book is organized as a day-by-day journey in the same manner as a daily devotional. Over the course of each week, you will work on the “6 Pillars of Purpose” that build up this strength. You will also enjoy “Faith-Full” foods and explore a new spiritual theme each week. Ultimately, you’ll undertake a meaningful journey that will finally connect your body and spirit.

Reshaping It All by Candace Cameron Bure

Bure’s healthy lifestyle has been featured in US Weekly and People magazines as well as national talk shows including The View and NBC’s Today. In Reshaping It All, she continues the story, inspiring women to embrace a healthier lifestyle by moving faith to the forefront, making wise choices, and finding their worth in the eyes of God. Candace shares a candid account of her struggle with food and ultimately her healthy outlook on weight despite the toothpick-thin expectations of Hollywood.

More than a testimony, here is a motivational tool that will put readers on the right track and keep them there. In addition to practical advice, Candace offers a biblical perspective on appetite and self control that provides encouragement to women, guiding them toward freedom.

Have you ever gone through weight loss? If so, how did you loose the weight? Share in the comments and inspire others!

the caffeinated bibliophile
" />

Book Review: With This Pledge by Tamera Alexander

with this pledge tamera alexander book review

Synopsis:

History takes on vivid life in the stunning first full-length installment of Tamera Alexander's new series, The Carnton Novels.

On the night of November 30, 1864, a brutal battle in Franklin, Tennessee, all but decimates the Confederacy and nearly kills Captain Roland Ward Jones. A decorated Mississippi sharpshooter, Jones has a vision on the battlefield and, despite the severity of his wounds, believes his life will be spared. But a life without his leg, he can't abide. He compels Elizabeth "Lizzie" Clouston—governess to the McGavock family at the Carnton mansion—to intervene should the surgeon decide to amputate. True to her word, Lizzie speaks on his behalf and saves not only the captain's leg but also his life.

When a fourteen-year-old soldier dies in Lizzie's arms that night, the boy's final words, whispered with urgency, demand that Lizzie deliver them to their intended recipient. But all she has is the boy's first name. And, as she soon discovers, there's no record of him ever having enlisted. How can she set out alone across a land so divided by war and hatred to honor her pledge? Even more, does she dare accept Captain Jones's offer to accompany her? As he coalesces at Carnton, romance has blossomed between him and Lizzie—a woman already betrothed to a man she does not love.

From the pages of history and the personal accounts of those who endured the Battle of Franklin, Tamera Alexander weaves the real-life love letters between Captain Roland Ward Jones and Elizabeth Clouston into a story of unlikely romance first kindled amid the shadows of war.

  • Genre: Christian Historical Fiction

  • Published: 2/8/2019

  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson

  • Pages: 448

  • Goodreads Rating: 4.48

with this pledge tamera alexander book review
I lie awake thinking of you, meditating on you through the night, Because you are my helper, I sing for joy in the shadow of your wings, I cling to you; your strong right hand holds me securely.
— Psalm 63:6-8

Why I Chose This Book

Tamera first came out with the Christmas novella - Christmas as Carnton in 2017 and it was one of the first few books I reviewed here on the blog (you can read my review —-> HERE). That book took place after the Civil War, and this book takes place during the Civil War so I was excited to re meet some of the characters - The McGavock’s.

First Initial Thoughts

Elizabeth Clouston is the governess of the household for the McGavock’s children. In the beginning it starts off with a beautiful day of teaching but then all of a sudden Elizabeth starts seeing officers walking in the field ready to battle. The opening part of the book reminded me of the opening battle scene of Saving Private Ryan. Yes, Tamera went into that much detail in the horrors of battle.

The Battle mentioned in this book is Battle of Franklin. And it did actually occur near their plantation. It was one of the worst battles in the Civil War with over 6 thousand killed on the confederate side, and over 2 thousand dead on the Union side. What I couldn’t believe is that many of these kinds of battles took place so close to people’s plantations/homes! And often, the owners were forced to use their home as a “hospital” for the wounded because there really was no where else to put them. And worst of all these horrid conditions were exposed to the children of the household. I couldn’t imagine!

Captain Roland Jones is a young man who recently lost his wife and child due to influenza. He almost looses his right leg and looses part of his hand due to a cannonball. His other leg was also injured, therefore he is immobile. He then begins to have a relationship with Elizabeth while she takes care of him.

Elizabeth is engaged to Towny, a man she knew from her childhood and is her best friend. But he is just that - her best friend. She doesn’t feel romantic feelings towards him but she tries to convince herself that she will begin to love him overtime. She feels desperate to marry because she is 27 years old and wants to have children. If you remember, at that age during that era, 27 was starting to be too old to have children.

Setting

Whew, Tamera did not shy away from the obscenities of war. The aftermath - she described it in such horrid detail, the injuries, the smell, the pleas and crying out in pain. Even though it was quite hard to read, I appreciated that Tamera did this. It makes us realize the horrible result of war and what it does to the families of the victims. Tamera really brought the reader into the world of Carnton, and what it felt like living at that time.

War, at the best, is terrible, and this war of ours, in its magnitude and in its duration, is one of the most terrible.
— Abraham Lincoln

Final Thoughts

What I found quite impressive about this book is that Tamera did extensive historical research on this novel. All the characters, letters, the battle itself, were real. Yes, all the people in this book were real people! You can check out more about her research process, view some pictures of the characters, and read her Q&A —> HERE.

I really liked the relationship between Roland and Elizabeth. I absolutely adored their conversations together and I felt that they fit so well together. Despite their differing views on slavery. I think without Roland, Elizabeth wouldn’t have started to second think her engagement to Towny. To not settle and lean on God to know on what to do. I also liked that she didn’t make Roland a Union soldier, I think that would have been to cliche.

Elizabeth, I really enjoyed seeing her development throughout the novel. In the beginning though I have to say, she was so brave in taking care of the wounded and assisting Dr. Phillips in the surgeries. I couldn’t imagine, never doing any kind of medical work, assist in surgeries, but not only any surgery - but amputations. I give her big round of a plause!

I think the main message of this book is to know that bad things happen but what you do after that is important. We don’t know why God lets bad things happen but we have to trust in him that all things happen for a reason and he has a plan for us. I also believe Tamera wanted to shine a light on the affects of war and what it does to one person.

Would I Recommend?

Most definitely! However, this book can be very graphic in terms of war. if you are quite sensitive (or have PTSD due to being in war) to not necessarily the act of battle, but it’s aftermath, then you might want to pass.


You can purchase the book —- > HERE

the caffeinated bibliophile

Note: I was sent an ARC copy of this book from the publisher to review. All opinions are my own.

" />

Book Review: The Bride of Ivy Green by Julie Klassen

the bride of ivy green julie klassen book review

Synopsis:

Much has happened in idyllic Ivy Hill in recent months, and while several villagers have found new love and purpose, questions remain--and a few dearly held dreams have yet to be fulfilled.

Jane Bell is torn. Gabriel Locke is back and has made his intentions clear. But Jane is reluctant to give up her inn and destine another man to a childless marriage. Then someone she never expected to see again returns to Ivy Hill. . . .

Mercy Grove has lost her school and is resigned to life as a spinster, especially as the man she admires seems out of reach. Should she uproot herself from Ivy Cottage to become a governess for a former pupil? Her decision will change more lives than her own.

A secretive new dressmaker arrives in the village, but the ladies soon suspect she isn't who she claims to be. Will they oust the imposter, or help rescue her from a dangerous predicament?

In the meantime, everyone expects Miss Brockwell to marry a titled gentleman, even though her heart is drawn to another. While the people of Ivy Hill anticipate one wedding, an unexpected bride may surprise them all.

  • Genre: Christian Historical Fiction/Romance

  • Publisher: Bethany House Publishers

  • Published: 12/4/18

  • Pages: 400

  • Goodreads Rating: 4.23 Stars

the bride of ivy green by julie klassen
Mercy reminded herself that God did not promise ease and happiness in this life. But He did promise peace and joy, and she was determined to hold on to both, somehow.
— Mercy

Why I Chose This Book

I was so happy to hear that the third book in the Tales From Ivy Hill series came out in December of last year. When I received it in the mail from the publisher- I was even more excited to review it here on the blog. If you remember from previous review, I absolutely adored the second book in the series!

First Initial Thoughts

This book picks up right after the second book in the series. So, I recommend that you read this whole series in order.

The book starts off with Mercy after her school closed down. When her school closed down I really felt for her. She was just so lost on what to do afterward. it was her life purpose! Her brother and sister in law move in to her home. Her new sister in law, Helena, ugh she was a rude woman! She was a stuck up B&**! who demanded and complained about everything. She also had Mercy move upstairs to the attic so that she could make room for her family. I have no idea what her brother saw in Helena. But I guess that is what that time period was like - marriage was often arranged.

James Drake adopted Alice from the previous book. He sets up his home in Jane’s old home. Alice is a previous pupil of Mercy. Mercy absolutely adored Alice. Alice is such a sweet child - I really loved her sweet and charming character. James needs a governess for Alice and Mercy signs up despite what her family thinks.

Rachel and Sir Timothy are settling in after their honeymoon in Scotland. At home Rachel is trying to get along with her new mother in law. Her mother in law, I wouldn’t say is rude or mean but she can be demanding and forward about things. Her new sister in law Justina is a young lady who is set up to marry Sir Cyril. She is not happy about it. Rachel tries to play matchmaker - which I found quite adorable. But her mother in law is not too happy about it.

Jane is finally getting her happily ever after in the beginning. Her and Gabriel are so sweet together and I love them together. I was so happy to see her finally get the life she deserved! But then someone from her past comes into the picture - and can she move on with that person in the picture?

A new character comes into the picture in this book. A new seamstress, Victorine, comes into town bringing high fashions. Many in the town swear they have seen her before, but can’t recall where. Who is she? And why did she decide Ivy Hill of all places?

Setting

I love Ivy Hill. It is just the ideal place I could see myself living in. The old country village, the English countryside, riding horses, friendly people - yep sign me up! Julie just brings England to life during this time period in such a beautiful and idyllic kind of way.

Final Thoughts

I was so happy to read the conclusion to this series. Klassen has a true talent with attending to every detail. With that being said, this book took a little while to pick up. And be forewarned, like the previous books, there is a lot of conversation and not so much “action”. It kind of reminded me of Downton Abbey - if it was a series of books instead of a TV series.

I really enjoyed the mystery of the new comer to the town, Victorine. I chuckled when all the ladies in the town would go into her shop to “look around” when they were really trying to find answers. While some other readers thought it wasn’t needed to have a new character so late in the series, I kind of liked it. It kept the series fresh. And I won’t give anything away, but it helped answer some impending questions from the previous books.

I really liked Justina’s story line. I admired Rachel for sticking up for her when she needed it. Rachel was so sweet to be there for Justina, when she didn’t have the courage to stick up for herself. I really wanted more page time with her though.

Mercy and James - I was praying and hoping that they would end up together. I won’t spoil anything but I though they were so sweet together - and not to mention she would become the mother of Alice. And Alice just adored her!

Overall, I throughly enjoyed the third book in the series. I found that not every character got a “Happily ever after” but I liked that. It seemed relatable in a way. I think the message here is that, things don’t always go as planned. And it can be frustrating! But we have to lean into God and trust him. Trust that he has a plan for us despite the heartache and frustrations we are feeling.

Would I Recommend?

Yes. Fans of Pride & Prejudice and Downton Abbey will absolutely adore this series. Also, if your a fan of the English countryside - you will absolutely love this!



You can purchase the book —-> HERE
Read my review on the second book —> HERE

Have you read this series? If so, share your thoughts in the comments!

the caffeinated bibliophile

Note: I was sent a copy of this book to review from the publisher. All opinions are my own.

" />

Book Photography Tips

Book Photography Tips

Photographing books can be both equally fun and challenging at the same time. Photographing books often involve photographing indoors, which requires understanding light and your camera settings. Photographing in natural light is going to be very different from photographing indoors.

For the first year I primarily used my iPhone to take my Instagram and blog pictures and sometimes my Canon 60D. I have also used stock photography (which I always disclose on my Instagram post). Besides this blog I also am a photographer. I primarily do church and street photography - you can see my portfolio —> HERE. With that being said, I did upgrade my camera equipment and am now exclusively using the Canon EOS R Mirrorless Camera; with some stock photography thrown in.

While, I don’t recommend throwing tons of money on new equipment (I did because, well I am a photographer) and you really don’t need a high end DSLR to take great book photos. I will get to that shortly.

Today I am going to provide tips on how to photograph books indoors with your DSLR so that you will get the sharpest photos! These tips are going to be more on the technical side rather than the creative side. I leave the creative side up to you.

Let There Be Light!

Light is your best friend! I would recommend photographing your book(s) during the golden hour next to a window with plenty of light. What’s the golden hour? The golden hour is one hour before sunset and on hour after sunrise. However, you don’t always have to strictly follow this rule when photographing indoors. Pay attention to the room that you will be photographing in. When is the light the best - and without shadows? During this time of year in my room it is about 3 PM. You don’t want any shadows from trees, blinds, etc.

What if it’s raining or overcast out? You can still photograph probably around midday when it’s brightest- only if your camera can handle a higher ISO and slower shutter speed. I will get to that shortly.

Understand Your Camera Settings

I can’t stress this enough. Understand your camera and it’s settings. Watch a few Youtube tutorials, read your manual, etc. Understand how to set different settings, switch modes - it will save you a lot of time and grief when taking photographs.

Best Mode For Shooting Indoors

I would recommend shooting in AV (Canon) or A for other brands. AV means Aperture Priority. You select the aperture of your photo and the camera automatically sets the shutter speed for you. You will also select the ISO. You can also set the ISO to auto - which I recommend if you are a beginner. Your camera will auto select the right ISO based on the light given.

Aperture basically means the depth of field. Has anyone ever taken a photo of you and you have that nice blurry background? That is Aperture. The lower the number the more blurry - F 2.8 for example is a great setting for portraits. F8 + is generally good for landscapes, architecture, etc. So if we apply that to book photography we don’t really want a blurry background because - well we are trying to take a picture of the entire scene. We want everything in focus. I generally take my photos in F6 or 7.

Shutter speed basically determines the sharpness of your photo. Sports photographers that capture people riding a bike want to have a slow shutter speed so it can capture the person in action without blurriness. If your shutter speed is too fast your photo will start to get blurry and we don’t want that! So that is why I suggest using the Aperture priority mode - as your camera will adjust that for you.

ISO is basically the light. When photographing indoors you will need to kick up your ISO just a tad. Unless it’s miserable outside. The lower the ISO the less light is going into the camera. For example, on a sunny day outside you probably only need to have it set 100-200 ISO. But for those evening photos you will probably need to have your ISO set at 1000+.

Now that example is for outdoor photography - so I will provide some examples of indoor photos for you:

This photo was taken a little late in the day when the light was getting dark. As you can see from the harsh shadows. Here I kicked my ISO up to about 1000 with F6 aperture. Again, I was shooting in AV so the camera set the shutter speed for me.

I would not recommend going above 1200 ISO because your photos will start to look a little grainy.

Here as you can see this photo was taken around 3 PM in really good light. It was sunny that day and I had plenty of light coming through the window. Again I had my setting at F5 and ISO of only around 400.

So the general rule of thumb- is to really pay attention to your weather forecast to know when to take photos indoors. You generally want to photograph when it’s sunny or partly cloudy out. And that might mean having to take a ton of photos at once -because well, the weather doesn’t always corporate with us. Plan ahead!

If you are in a pinch and need to take a photo when it’s getting later in the day, take tips from the above photo with Angela Hunt’s book.

Best Basic Camera and Lens For Photographing Books

You really don’t need an expensive camera - especially if you are a beginner.

I would recommend these good entry level models:

  • Canon EOS Rebel T6i

  • Nikon D3500

  • Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II

All these cameras are about $500. So not too bad for a DSLR (considering how some sell for over 2k). And sometimes you can find a good deal with a used model. I would only recommend buying used on Amazon though - as they are pretty strict with the quality aspect.

For lens - I always recommend a 50mm as a good all around lens. I am not too familiar with Nikon and other brands as I only use Canon. But for Canon I recommend the EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens. I use this lens for my street photography and it’s been a great investment - and it’s only $125!

I do use other lens sometimes. As a photographer I have a total of 4 lens but I would say you generally only need one. Especially if only doing book photography or general photography.

Do I Need a Soft Box or Other Equipment?

Honestly, not really. I don’t use any other equipment than my own camera. I remember watching a tutorial one day on Youtube (I honestly can’t remember the name of the person/channel) but I got the best advice there - he basically stated learn your camera and the light. As a beginner start minimal - you don’t need all that fancy equipment. Learn to use your camera. When you are proficient with using your camera - then maybe look into buying a soft box, reflectors, etc.

I only would suggest purchasing a reflector if you are taking product or food photography- as you don’t want any shadows. But honestly, in book photography, I think the photo looks more natural when you have a little shadow. However, that is my style, and you need to find yours. ;)

I hope this was helpful! I know learning to take photos with a DSLR at first can be challenging (I have been there) but practice will help so much! ;)

Do you need help with editing as well? Let me know in the comments! I use lightroom/photoshop to edit my photos - so I could do a tutorial on that. I don’t really use any photo editing apps to edit my pictures, unfortunately.

the caffeinated bibliophile
" />