The Healthy Living Handbook by Laura Harris Smith {Book Review}

I'm all for living a healthy lifestyle and always welcome sound advice on better ways to improve myself in mind, body, and spirit. I recently finished reading The Healthy Living Handbook by Laura Harris Smith, a guide to improving everyday living habits through simple techniques.

Going beyond complicated diets and exercise routines, spiritual wellness expert and certified nutritional counselor Laura Harris Smith gives you easy, practical, real-life ways to live well--and to live better--emotionally, physically and spiritually. Discover simple course corrections that will bring you the peace, rest, energy, connection and clarity you've longed for. When you live from a place of true health, you will live longer, engage more fully and love more deeply.

Laura Harris Smith is a certified nutritional counselor and the founding co-pastor of Eastgate Creative Christian Fellowship in Nashville, Tennessee, with her husband, Chris. Mentoring young writers all over the world in her online creative writing classes (, she is a playwright, poet, actress, media dynamo and the author of multiple books, and she was a TV host on the Shop at Home Network. Laura and Chris have been married for 33 years and have six children and eight grandchildren. They reside near Nashville.

What initially intrigued me about this book was the author's background as a certified nutritional counselor. Although I try my best to live a healthy lifestyle (with the exception of my pesky sweet tooth), I always enjoy hearing what the professionals in the field have to say, just to see if there's a little extra insight that can be shared. I appreciate the author's focus on ways to maintain an all around healthy way of living, not just honing in on one aspect of our lives, but three different areas that are all equally important, our minds, our physical well being, and our spirituality. She breaks down the book into three different sections that include:

  • The Top 10 Healthy Living Habits for Your Spirit
  • The Top 10 Healthy Living Habits for Your Mind
  • The Top 10 Healthy Living Habits for Your Body

A lot of her insights were practical for everyday living, and many of which I already practice in my day to day life. I especially enjoyed section three of the book, which dives into healthy living habits for our bodies. Sure there were things we've all heard before like getting enough sleep helps maintain a healthy immune system and the need to slow down every so often, but sometimes I think we all need a little reminder of this, so it was still helpful to read the author's insights. Plus, I enjoyed hearing them from a nutritionist's perspective. 

There is an interesting area in this last section where she talks about how we were all taught about importance of animal protein in our diet to the point where adults may be taking in more protein than they really need. She challenges readers to a diet goal of 75% vegetables a fruits, and uses evidence and scriptural references to highlight her point as to why she recommends this. Now I know this may not be appealing to some and there are those who may disagree. I can honestly say that I see some validity in her argument, and it has challenged me to look more into what she has claimed and do my own research on the subject. Perhaps I found it interesting, because I'm always joking with my husband about my strong consideration to become a vegetarian, given my love for fruits and vegetables. It's not that I don't like meat, but I have such a fondness for vegetarian meals and they always make me satisfied. 

My favorite inclusion in this book was her breakdown towards the end where she provides readers with thirty directives (commandments) for healthy living, ten for each section, that sum up what was just read. Since I am a so big on the use of essential oils, I enjoyed reading her insight on the subject where she also included a list of the top fifty common ailments that can be treated by using them.

While I can't say that I didn't already know a lot of the information provided in this book, I did walk away with a few new tidbits of extra knowledge about living a natural and healthy lifestyle. As for the information that I already knew, it's always nice to hear a confirmation that you're on the right track. I especially appreciate that this advice was offered from a Christian standpoint, since it's not always commonplace that I find a book that offers health and spiritual advice all in one read. If you are looking for inspiration on ways in which you can incorporate a healthy lifestyle in these three different areas of your life (spirit, mind, and body), then The Healthy Living Handbook is worth picking up for some sound advice.