I love sharing things I’ve enjoyed, but can never find enough people to tell! So here are some random lists of movies, books, food, fitness stuff, etc. that I highly recommend. These unbiased lists will continue to grow (as I remember things I love and find new ones!), so feel free to reference back to it whenever you are looking for some inspiration. For more favorites, see the lists from my friends, Katie and Lori.
Books & Cookbooks (cookbooks and books that I actually use and reference!)
- Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living (yes, it’s my book, and I still love the recipes!)
- 1,000 Vegan Recipes
- Eat, Drink & Be Vegan: Everyday Vegan Recipes Worth Celebrating
- Enjoy Life’s Cookies for Everyone: 150 Delicious Gluten-Free Treats that are Safe for Most Anyone with Food Allergies, Intolerances, and Sensitivities
- In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto
- Sweet Freedom: Desserts You’ll Love without Wheat, Eggs, Dairy or Refined Sugar
- The 30 Minute Vegan: Over 175 quick, delicious, and healthy recipes for everyday cooking
- The Art of Simple Food: Notes, Lessons, and Recipes from a Delicious Revolution
- The Garden Of Eating: A Produce-dominated Diet & Cookbook
- The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook
- The Whole Foods Allergy Cookbook: Two Hundred Gourmet & Homestyle Recipes for the Food Allergic Family
- The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook: Whole Foods Recipes for Personal and Planetary Health
- Martha Stewart Space Saver Spice Rack – I never thought I would buy a “fancy” spice rack, but this one makes cooking so much easier and the spices it came with were even fresh!
- Misto Olive Oil Sprayer – Use it weekly, such a time and money saver and no need to buy those yucky store-bought sprays
- Spice Grinder – The brand I use most was discontinued, but really, any will do (just go for the highest power!)
- Hamilton Beach Blender – I got it for half that price, and the thing just keeps on going. Three cheers for cheapy glass jar blenders
- Analon Baking Sheet – Trying so hard to keep this gem away from my husband’s chicken wings! Works beautifully and easy clean-up
Well-Loved Foods in My Kitchen (aside from fruits, veggies, bulk foods, etc.)
- Nutiva Coconut Oil – Can’t beat the price and quality. Coconut oil has amazing versatility too, since it is a solid at room temperature
- San-J Shoyu, Reduced Sodium Tamari, and/or Wheat-Free Tamari – This company uses non-GMO soy
- Earth Balance Soy-Free – I rarely bake with it (just oils), but do like it for finishing sauces and simply spreading on toast or rice
- So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut Milk Beverage – Love this for its richness and versatility for sweet and savory
- Santa Cruz Organic Peanut Butter – Okay, this isn’t always in my kitchen because it is pricey (TJ’s PB fills in the gaps), but this is the best PB I have ever had, and I splurge when it’s on sale
- Trader Joe’s Organic Brown Sugar – Simply the best!
- Coombs Organic Maple Syrup – Amazon just keeps stocking me with this lovely thick maple for a good price
- Bob’s Red Mill Spelt Flour – It isn’t just a health-thing; spelt has a nice nutty taste that we like better than wheat
- Let’s Do Organic Coconut – Some don’t like it because it is unsweetened, and a very fine shred, but I think it works wonderfully in baking and no-baking
- Good Earth Tea – Right now I’m into the White Tea with Vanilla (also has lemongrass, yum!) and the Sweet & Spicy Original Caffeine Free
- Yogi Ginger Tea – I always have this tea on hand. Yes, I drink loads of tea
- Organic 365 Canned Coconut Milk – Some of those Whole Foods products really are a good value
Movies – Love List (would definitely watch again … and again …)
- Fight Club – Totally deranged, but utterly addictive
- Bourne Movies (all three, thus far) – Matt Damon was born for this high action role
- The Blind Side – Sandra Bullock’s best, ladies and men can agree on this one
- Whip It – Roller Derby! Drew Barrymore mixes the serious and the fun just right in her directing debut
- The Town – Good plot, excellent acting, thanks Ben Affleck for a top notch action flick
- The Natural – I watched this a gazillion times as a kid
- Walk the Line – Heart-wrenching at times, but a well acted story of Johnny Cash
- How the Grinch Stole Christmas – Classic
- Harry Potter (all movies) – Yes, I’m a big Harry Potter fan
- Iron Man – The first one was definitely the best, fantastic Robert Downey Jr. comeback
- Oceans 11, 12, and 13 – Love the twisting plot throughout each one and the all-star cast of thieves is well choreographed
- Fried Green Tomatoes – Warm, fuzzy, and slightly warped movie – best for chicks
- Charlie Wilson’s War – Excellent documentary-style political movie
- Moulin Rouge! – This musical-style movie is fast and fun to follow (sad in parts though), and made Ewan McGregor and Nicole Kidman two of my favorite actors.
- The A Team – Saw this in the theaters, way more fun than I was expecting. Great characters.
- Donnie Darko – Another twisted film that left me thinking for days. Who knew I liked “cult” films?
- Avatar – Very long movie, but the cinematography is sensational, and the story is lovely, if not a touch cheesy in parts
Movies – Like List (definitely worth watching)
- Inception – Excellent script, unreal cinematography, and a great supporting cast. Be prepared for a long one though, this movie clocks in at 2.5 mind-bending hours.
- Easy A – Mindless teenage-oriented entertainment that somehow hit the mark. Emma Stone plays her part well.
- About a Boy – Part chick flick, but enough humorousbachelor-guy stuff that my husband gave it a thumbs up too
- Iron Man 2 – Still good, but not as strong as the first
- The Social Network – Could tell the Facebook story was sensationalized in this movie, but it was still a fun one to watch
- American Beauty – Strange, but good. Definitely not for kids.
- Say Anything – A John Cusack classic that is too sweet to get old
- It’s Complicated – Kind of a chick-flick, but my husband still enjoyed it
- 3:10 to Yuma – Good action movie that is more Russell Crowe than Western
- Milk – Wow, powerfully played: Sean Penn as Harvey Milk
- Forrest Gump – Husband hates this one, but come on, it’s just too much fun!
- The Hurt Locker – Intense and gripping war story that lets us know how current these issues really are
- Slumdog Millionaire – Full of surprises and hard to classify this award winner
- A Beautiful Mind – A well-acted ride through the mind of a schizophrenic Nobel Prize winner
- Zombieland – Don’t ask me why this insanely silly movie was so darn entertaining
- P.S. I Love You – 100% sappy. What can I say, I’m a girl.
- Good Will Hunting – Strong story, memorable scenes, and amazing acting in this rather sad tale
Fitness Fav’s (what helps me burn off those desserts!)
- P90X – Amazing. Simply amazing. Want results? Skip Insanity, go with the X. I’ve done the program twice and still use the videos.
- Speedo Yoga Mat – My husband found a deal on this one years ago and it has held up great. I even use it as a fitness mat since the floor in our workout room doesn’t have any padding.
- Pull-up Bar – Never in a million years did I think I would be doing pull-ups and chin-ups – yep, P90X
- Asics Gel Kayano – My husband loves that I only like expensive running shoes (insert sarcasm), especially since I’m not a runner. I do walk a ton though and love them as all-around fitness shoes
What have I missed? Feel free to share your favorites in the comments!