So begins The Happy Life, the latest book by Australasia’s favourite nutritionist Lola Berry, and, that is exactly what it is about. Happiness is something that so many of us want, or would like a bit more of. This is a wellness guide, a collection of all the things that have helped Berry to become happier in her own life.
One thing Berry gets right every time is presentation, perfectly aligning the book’s appearance with its theme, and making it utterly inviting. The layout is colourful, quirky, fresh and wonderfully girlie, with inspirational quotes dotted throughout. Just flicking through the book – before even reading a word – I feel a little lighter inside. It’s clear that Berry has included images of things that make her feel happy, enabling the reader to connect with Lola the person.
What makes this book so different from her previous cookbooks is that this one is more personal. Berry speaks candidly about her own path to happiness, revealing a lot about her past, such as her years of yo-yo dieting and her battle to find self-love. This honesty makes it easier for women to relate to Berry’s story, in turn generating a stronger feeling that they, too, can make a happy life. It gives real women more courage knowing that the people they look up to also have imperfections and days when they struggle to stay on track.
There is a lot of useful life advice in The Happy Life. In the “Mind” part of the book you can find tips for coping with emotional eating, being more resilient, boosting confidence and eating more mindfully. The “Body” section explores sleep, exercise and yoga, and includes some yoga poses and sequences to try at home. Berry also offers thoughts on detoxing your environment, with recipes for beauty treatments and cleaning products. “Soul” looks to meditation and mindfulness and other things that fuel us, like being kind and spending time with animals.
No Lola Berry book would be complete without some delicious, nutritious, wholefood recipes, and the inclusions in this book are truly all about happy eating. From dessert-like brekkie recipes (think Apple Pie Oats, Carrot Cake Pancakes and Quinoa Chocolate Risotto) to colourful, scrumptious savouries, to mouth-watering sweets and, of course, an array of smoothies and juices, the challenge with this book is what to make first. All of the recipes are wonderfully good for you, and they come packed with a lot of educational and informative tidbits along the way, helping you to personalise your food to make you even happier.
This is a book that you could read from cover to cover, or you may like to pick a page at random for a little bit of inspiration. It is a book that encourages you to put yourself first, stop judging yourself and to not worry about what others think. This is a book that wants you to live a happier, fuller life as nobody but your wonderful self. The Happy Life will make a wonderful gift – for someone you know, or for yourself. Enjoy!