The best vacations have the wind in your hair, sun and salt on your skin, sand between your toes and a good book in your hands. But instead of reading up on the hottest fictional tales of Christian Grey, check out these books to get real-life advice on healthy eating, fitness and family relationships. You'll feel refreshed and motivated, even when your beach trip ends.
"How to Have Your Cake & Your Skinny Jeans Too": Author Josie Spinardi says that if you struggle with wanting to lose weight while dealing with out-of-control cravings (who doesn’t?), this book will give you the skills to eliminate this problem — and dieting altogether. She shares how psychology can help you get the body you desire without the maddening “take a walk” advice you get from other books on emotional eating. Learn more here!
"Trim Healthy Mama": If you’re looking for an all-in-one guide to living healthy, this book by sisters Sere Allison and Pearl Barrett is a must-read. This “common sense guide” includes over 250 recipes, weight loss advice, beauty tips, relationship and marriage help and is applicable to women of all ages. Click here to check it out.
"The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts": If you’re looking for advice on healthy relationships, Gary Chapman’s 5 Love Languages books can help you better understand (or be understood by) those you love. In showing affection to your partner, he says there are five different ways of expressing love and explains that both of you may not be fulfilled in the same ways. Learn more about your partner’s and your love styles here. And if you need a little help catering to your kids, also available are The 5 Love Languages of Children and The 5 Love Languages of Teenagers.
"Why Kids Make You Fat… and How to Get Your Body Back": You may not have noticed until your trusted bathing suit fit a little too tight, but added pounds can creep up on you. Begin a new lifestyle when you return home from the beach with the help of this book by nutritionist Mark MacDonald. He and his wife create an eight-week program specific for busy parents to help drop the pounds and keep them off. Get started here!
"Good Calories, Bad Calories": Spend your week in the sand retraining your brain on what you really should and shouldn’t be eating, as told by science writer Gary Taubes. We’ve all been told that the key to weight loss is eating less and working out more, but if this isn’t helping, he may have the answer for you. Find out his secret to weight loss here.
"Yoga For Life: A Journey to Inner Peace and Freedom": In this candid story, Colleen Sandman Yee shares her personal journey of finding and utilizing the power of yoga in her life. She has created step-by-step sequences to help others benefit from the healing powers of yoga, addressing everything from hormonal mood swings to stress, detoxing and increasing your energy and confidence, and shares how to best benefit from its breathing and heart-opening exercises. Begin your own journey here.
"No Sweat: How the Simple Science of Motivation Can Bring You a Lifetime of Fitness": Want to lose weight? Then you’ve got to exercise. But behavior expert Michelle Segar, Ph.D., reveals that people simply aren’t motivated by wanting to be healthier or thinner. In this book, she shares what really motivates us and how to use that to achieve the results you want. It’s a step-by-step guide to feeling driven and inspired to work harder. Get it here.
>> Read more: 31 Ways to Stay Motivated
"Eat Pretty: Nutrition for Beauty, Inside and Out": Eating well to improve your skin, hair and nails is a hot topic right now. But if you need more guidance than that, check out this book by certified beauty and health coach Jolene Hart. She explains the science behind nutrition’s link to your appearance and shares which foods enhance different parts of your body. She also gives nearly 20 delicious recipes to help you look and feel your best! Learn more by clicking here.
"Goddesses Never Age": Whether getting old and gray is years away or you’re beginning to experience signs of aging, Christiane Northup, M.D., says that the secrets to fighting age aren’t what we think. Pills and procedures can’t fix your sassing woes, but this book shares the real keys to living a long, youthful life and includes Dr. Northup’s 14-day Ageless Goddess Program, perfect for women in any stage of life. Click here to buy a copy!
>> Read more: Just a Number: How to Break Free From Your Age
"The Sweet Spot: How to Find Your Groove at Home and Work": Sure, there are days when you feel like you’ve really got your stuff together, and others when your kids are lucky to be dressed and fed before school. But have you ever found that zone — “the sweet spot where you have the greatest strength, but also the greatest ease?” This is what happiness expert Christine Carter, Ph.D., wants to teach you to find in your everyday, chaotic life. Get started by reading more here.
"How to Talk So Your Kids Will Listen and Listen So Your Kids Will Talk": Before Pixar’s “Inside Out” hit the movie scene, communications experts Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish wrote this book to help parents understand their child’s thoughts & feelings and help communicate effectively with their little one. It offers methods to solve common family issues and encourage openness between parents and children, something nearly every family struggles with at some point. Even if that problem is years away, check out this book to learn how to handle it.