Keeping busy on the commute & giveaway

I'm a big fan of reading on the subway. Sometimes it's fiction, other times non-fiction - it all depends on what I have out of the library or have purchased recently. Reading helps to pass the time on the subway like you wouldn't believe! I also love curling up on the couch with a good book just before bed. Here is what I've been reading as of late:

Such a Pretty Fat by Jen Lancaster is actually laugh out loud-on-the-subway-so-much-that-people-stare-at-you kind of funny. A bunch of the gals on the 20's board had read this book and the title made me curious. Jen is brutally honest and 
ridiculously funny.

The book tells her story of her weight loss efforts and how she decided to use her experiences as the basis for a book. It's interesting to see her journey progress as a young woman who is comfortable with the way she looks and feels through her various weight loss attempts (including Atkins, Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers) as well as her journey with a personal trainer named Barbie.

Jen's struggles and triumphs through her weight loss efforts are incredibly candid and I think many of us can relate to her ups and downs. I finished it in a few days because I couldn't put it down! I found myself rooting for Jen, wanting her to succeed and looking forward to her next weight loss adventure. Her experiences with other weight loss programs definitely made me laugh and some of her tales from WW meetings were really funny (like the everyone's corporate cake day solutions). I would have her in my WW meeting any day - I think she would make a great addition at Carrot!

Weight loss can be serious business and often we get caught up in the numbers on the scale and get frustrated at ourselves for our "mistakes". Such a Pretty Little Fat is wonderful because you can empathize with Jen's story but can laugh along the way. A great summer read!

I've noticed that everyone has been reading this book, so when I saw it at a used bookstore a few weeks ago I decided to pick it up.

I adore it.

Eat Pray Love is the story of Liz Gilbert's journey through Italy, India and Indonesia following her divorce as she goes on an incredible journey of self-discovery. I laughed. I cried. It made me want to hop on a plan and go to Europe or India (Sidenote - After I was done romanticizing about being in an Ashram in India I realized that I probably wouldn't do very well there, but Italy is still a possibility!) It's a wonderfully written book and I understand why it has caught the attention of so many women.

I'm nearly done and I'm going to be sad when it's over. I think this is a book that I will pick up again in years to come.

Ready for the giveaway?

One more book review first...
The publishers were kind enough to send me a copy of the 90 Second Fitness Solution to check out. I liked the prospect of sensible workouts and eating real food. 

Pete's philosophy for working out allows you to shorten your workout and maximize the time you spend working out with a few targeted exercises that you can improve at as the weeks go by and start to see great results in your body. 

The first section of the book debunks a bunch of exercise myths including things like "you must work out for 45 minutes or longer to get results". Pete goes on to illustrate his workout program for those working out at home or at the gym. 

The second half of the book focuses on the other aspects of creating a healthier self including simplifying your eating and stress proofing your life. The eating section is where Pete lost me a bit. While I absolutely love some of his rules for eating (eat real food, load up on veggies and legumes), I didn't love his section on the "skinny black dress diet" - the first step being to "go liquid". The Weight Watcher in me just can't believe in drinking only liquids for 24-72 hours just for the sake of fitting into a dress. Step two has you choosing either an avocado or a salad for meals while you're trying to fit into your little black dress. I stopped reading this chapter around this section because I'm really not a fan and it doesn't align with any of my weight loss beliefs at all. 

The remainder of the book talks about supplements and the mind component of losing weight. I like that he's including some info on sustaining motivation and creating balance in your life. The back of the book features some recipes and worksheets for working out. 

Like many books about weight loss and/or exercise, I will take from it what I liked and I'll discard the rest. I plan to start some of Pete's at home workouts and I'll keep you posted on how that goes for me! I may rip out the section on the little black dress diet...

Now for the giveaway!

I've got a copy of the 90 Second Fitness Solution to give away to one reader. I'm curious to know what you think of it (and the workouts!) and see if I was off base with the liquid diet business. 

To win: Leave me a comment telling me about the most recent book you read about weight loss, fitness, food or lifestyle (This is also my selfish way of adding new books to my must-read list!)
Tell me what you liked/didn't like about it. You can earn a second entry by posting a link to the giveaway on your blog and then leaving a comment here to let me know.  Please also include your email address so I can notify you if you win!

Contest will close on Thursday at 5:00 pm EST. The giveaway is open to readers in Canada or the United States.  Good luck!


karmagirl said...

Hi Ashley!

The most recent book I've read that's health/lifestyle related is one my ND suggested.

It's called You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay. It's a really great book. It's all about positive affirmations and healing your life through positivity.

Bee said...

Ash, I linked you! :)

Bee said...

Oh! I also just finished reading Jillian Michael's "Making the Cut" that I got for my birthday! I enjoyed it. It's basically a 30 day plan to help you drop 10 pounds. The section that I really liked was about metabolism though. There was a quiz to determine your own metabolism rate and a meal plan deisgned around that. It talked about how different people have different metabolism's and require different foods to make their metabolism burn faster. Quite an interesting read. I loved it.

How many times can you say metabolism in one post? haha. If you were having a give away for that, I'd for sure win! lol

ManoloMandi said...

I read Naturally Thin by Bethenny Frankel (the natural foods chef from Bravo's Real Housewives of NYC). It's basically about the way she learned to become "naturally thin" and do away with dieting forever. I like the overall premise of eating what you want, but that your diet is a bank account and you can't overindulge (but also can't deprive yourself). All of her concepts are total common sense, but something that most of us ignore. The thing that I "didn't like" (I like it, but it's not realistic on a regular basis) is how she says if you go to a restaurant order what you want, but if it's unhealthy only take a couple of bites and then move on to something healthier/at least something new. She suggests sharing with people to get a wide variety, which I LOVE, but I'm pretty adventurous in my food and most of my friends and family are not. Not to mention, I eat pretty healthy and most of them don't, so if I want to share with them it probably will be a WORSE decision than just finishing my own dish! I can see how that concept will work for some, but it's a little too idealistic. Plus, if you want variety by yourself it could easily get very expensive very quickly if you order a bunch of things at once just to taste each.

I don't have many readers yet, but I did also write about this giveaway on my blog.

Thanks for doing this. Fun idea!


my email is

Kari said...

I too just picked up Eat Pray Love and am loving it. I think it must have that "jump on a plane and travel" effect on many because I started thinking the same thoughts. lol. Of course I'm still early into the book but I've heard really great things about it so I can't wait to read more!

KRISTINE said...

Ash - I saw this on the 20's board too and LOVED it. I now have read her other books (Bitter is the New Black and Bright Lights, Big Ass) I'm counting down for her latest book, Pretty in Plaid to arrive as well.

Check out her blog ... which is just as hilarious:

JocelynMarie said...

Hey :) Just wanted to say, that I also enjoy Eat, Pray, Love... and I ordered the first book you talked about..and also another one in the same collection. A book (e-book) rather I have been going through is Tommy Europe's 10 pound shred e-book... full of excersises and nutritional stuff :)

thanks for sharing your reviews!
I already added your blog to my follow list awhile ago :)

Jenny said...

I started Eat Pray Love last week. I've had it on my book shelf for a whiel now and thought it was time to pick it up and read. I am about 1/4 through and loving it.

I haven't read anything else, except for In-Style magazine or Weight watchers magazine.

Kelly said...

I loved Eat, Pray, Love too- great book.
I also just read Jillian Michael's "Making the Cut"- I liked the quiz to find out your metabolism the best. I was not as big of a fan of the nutrition section, but I think it's just me. My stomach doesn't handle a lot of food well so it's hard for me to get recommendations about supposedly healthy things when for me it's just going to make me ridiculously bloated :)