Join us to celebrate World Book Day 2023 with Co-Founder Jeff's favourite books of all time.
World Book Day 2023 📚
Thursday 2nd March is annual World Book Day, a day to focus on and celebrate all things books!
As a huge book fan I incorporate reading into my daily routine and would love to share with you my top picks from throughout the years.
Reading is an invaluable tool to help us learn and equip our minds with the knowledge needed to challenge conventional wisdom.
Books also allow us to build a sense of community with likeminded individuals, as well as helping us to digitally detox and nurture better mental health.
Here are my top recommendations for 9 must read books that are amazing food for thought.
1. Sacred Cow
If you want to understand why Beef is not destroying the planet or your health, this is the book to read.
Of course, there is nuance to that statement but this epic book unpacks all of it.
It shows that no traditional culture eats just plants - and that people who thrive typically eat meat and plants.
It highlights that since the 1970s beef consumption has declined yet sugar, grain and seed oil consumption has risen dramatically. Not so coincidentally, this correlates well with the increase in chronic disease burden within modern society (obesity, diabetes, heart disease etc.)
In short, Sacred Cow is the antidote to the vegan/plant-based narrative that plant-based is the perfect solution - this book will show you that the opposite is likely more accurate.
2. Pure, White & Deadly
This book was first published in 1972 by UK scientist John Yudkin. However, it got little attention and was publicly ridiculed by his USA counterpart Ancel Keys (an advocate of low fat diets and author of the Seven Countries Study).
The findings and theories in the book were suppressed by the sugar industry (Sugar Research Foundation) and this was later revealed in the British Medical Journal here in 2016.
Pure, White & Deadly explains in certain terms how sugar is damaging our bodies; exploring why we eat so much sugar and how we can eat less.
A good review in the BMJ here is well worth a read too.
3. Nutrition and Physical Degeneration - Weston A Price
Where do I start with this one!
If you only ever read one diet related book, this should be it.
The author, Dr Weston Price, was a respected dentist and dental researcher with a novel approach to health exploration. For almost 10 years Dr Price and his wife travelled the world in search of the secret to good health.
Instead of focusing on those afflicted by disease and its causes, he sought to seek out the healthiest individuals - challenging himself to understand how they achieved such good health.
Dr Price's search for the healthiest people took him across 14 different countries and into some of the most remote communities. During this time he observed perfect dental arches, minimal tooth decay, high immunity to certain conditions and overall better health in groups of people who ate their indigenous foods.
Conversely, Dr Price found that when these people were introduced to modernised foods like white flour, white sugar, refined veg oils and canned goods - signs of degeneration became quite evident. This resulted in negative health outcomes such as dental caries, deformed jaws, crooked teeth, arthritis and low immunity.
This epic study in the 1930s demonstrated the importance of whole food nutrition and prioritising animal-based foods - such as dairy, animal meat & fat and organs - along with traditionally prepared vegetables. All of which is documented in this fascinating must read book.
4. Why We Get Fat
This is the very first book I read which questioned the perceived conventional wisdom relating to diet that I believed in my first 21 years on this planet.
In 2012, I was introduced by a Team GB physio to a video on YouTube (repost of the original video) which was an interview with the author of this book.
It demonstrated that fat accumulation is not just about counting calories and that we’re a complex hormonal system.
The book shows that nutritional science is poorly conducted and often manipulated by vested interests - and that dietary food guidelines such as the Eat Well Guide here in the UK and conflicted by the food industry.
Why We Get Fat is the perfect read for anyone looking to explore human nutrition beyond conventional and mainstream 'facts'.
5. The Great Cholesterol Con
This book was pivotal in opening my eyes to the world of statins, medication and the much debated topic of cholesterol.
This groundbreaking book written by GP Malcolm Kendrick exposes the truth behind one of the most commonly believed but factually inaccurate nutrition myths - that cholesterol causes heart disease.
It opened my eyes further to the idea that fat clogs our arteries as being preposterous. Furthermore, solidifying the notion that a high fat diet could be optimal for human health.
It also showed me that what we’re often told by our GP’s and the medical system is not always accurate!
6. The Daily Stoic
From epic reads to daily digests, this is my go-to book which helps to centre and ground me every day.
Stoicism is a school of philosophy which seeks to maximise positivity and reduce negative emotions, to build a strong and resilient character - focusing on virtue above all else.
This might sound complicated or overwhelming, but The Daily Stoic makes this achievable with 366 meditations, each practiced daily to make stoicism a healthy habit for life.
This book is part of my morning routine and I read a page a day. I thoroughly recommend everyone to have a copy.
7. The Primal Blueprint
This book helped me build my ideas around a Paleo and ancestrally aligned diet way back in 2012 - and introduced me to other lifestyle factors that are super important when pursuing optimal health.
The Primal Blueprint helped to highlight the fact that many things are within our control and that our genes are not necessarily our destiny.
This book unashamedly and deservedly turns government food pyramids upside down, instead prioritising animal-based foods and removing grains from the diet altogether to nurture optimal health.
8. The Idea in You
Something which seems amazing to us now is that this book was a catalyst for starting Hunter & Gather.
Amy and I read this whilst travelling Vietnam in January 2017. It is an amazing book designed to help us take our ideas and nurture them into a tangible reality.
The Idea in You introduced us to some concepts such as:
Do it now - Stop weighing up options endlessly
Authentic positive thinking - Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t - you’re probably right
How to be resourceful - When you have little to no funds, how do you make something work? For instance, I built our very first website watching a 6 hour YouTube video! It took 7 days 🙌
Why learning is hard and hurts - There is a journey in making an idea happen and you need to develop multiple skills for this
9. Waterlogged: The Serious Problem of Overhydration in Endurance Sports
Last but not least, this book introduced me to the concept of listening to our thirst mechanism and made me question why would we be the only species on the planet that would need to listen to ‘drinking guidelines’ rather than our inbuilt thirst mechanism.
It also demonstrated that some of the very best athletes in the world pursue ‘tactical dehydration’ during events and thus a loss in body weight when racing in events such as marathons.
It blew my mind how organisations and their guidelines had proliferated information that arguably led to the deaths of endurance athletes, within mass participation endurance events via hyponatremia.
Hyponatremia occurs when people aggressively replace fluids lost during exercise with just water and without electrolytes such as sodium. It is a very real and important consequence of over hydration - which is not shouted about in the media or conventional sports nutrition.
I hope that my favourite reads have inspired you to pick up a book this World Book Day and beyond. Just like ancestral living and many of the core beliefs we live by, books and reading have withstood the test of time to remain a vital source of knowledge and tool for promoting optimal health in the modern world.
All information provided on our website and within our articles is simply information, opinion, anecdotal thoughts and experiences to provide you with the tools to thrive.
It is not intended to treat or diagnose symptoms and is definitely not intended to be misconstrued for medical advice. We always advise you seek the advice of a trained professional when implementing any changes to your lifestyle and dietary habits.
We do however recommend seeking the services of a trained professional who questions the conventional wisdom to enable you to become the best version of yourself.