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25 Tasty and Healthy Kids’ Lunch Ideas for Home or School

25 Tasty and Healthy Kids’ Lunch Ideas for Home or School

If your kids are picky eaters, you know that every meal can be a battle. Their growing bodies are in need of vitamins and nutrients, yet all they crave are unhealthy foods with no nutritional content. What you need are creative meal ideas they can eat for lunch at home or at school, designed to appeal to their palate.

The recipes listed here contain lots of vegetables, minimal or no processed ingredients, and most importantly, flavors that even the pickiest kids will love! The ingredients for each meal are listed below. Click on the name of the dish to see the full recipe!

Finger Foods

1. Asian-Style Fish Cakes with Sweet Chili Dipping Sauce

    Do you have a finicky eater that refuses to eat fish? This is a great way to make this omega-3 fatty acid rich protein appealing and fun to eat. And it’s much better for you than frozen fish sticks.

    Just so you know, these fish cakes freeze amazingly well! To save time, make a big batch and freeze them for whenever you need a quick meal or snack.

    View recipe here.

    2. Chicken Zucchini Poppers

      Some kids don’t like the texture of zucchini, but in this recipe, they add moisture and the zucchini is barely detectable. Make sure to squeeze out the excess water in the zucchini so that the poppers stay together and don’t fall apart. They can be pan-fried or baked! The poppers pair perfectly with the citrus avocado dressing.

      View recipe here.

      3. Baked Crispy Chicken Fingers with Apple Fries

        If your kid asks for chicken fingers, you don’t have to say no. This version is made with white meat chicken and baked. Substituting fries with apple fries makes this an appetizing lunch that both you and your kids will approve of. Turkey breast can be used instead of chicken.

        View recipe here.

        4. Broccoli and Cheese Nuggets (Vegetarian)

          Broccoli is notorious for being a hard sell. Who knows why kids don’t like eating these miniature trees? But when mixed with cheese and formed into a fun shape for easy dipping, kids may give these broccoli-filled nuggets another try. Another positive is that they are baked, not fried.

          View recipe here.

          The Salad Bar

          5. Chicken Taco Salad

            Kids love tacos, so why not make them a healthy taco salad? This one is packed full of leafy greens, tomatoes, corn, avocado and grilled chicken. Adding crushed chips on top gives it the perfect amount of texture and appeal for your young kids to enjoy without a single complaint.

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            View recipe here.

            6. Chicken Salad with Grapes

              A colorful chicken salad with crunchy roasted nuts, dried cherries, grapes and celery, it can be served alone, in a sandwich, or on a bed of lettuce. Apples can be used in place of the cherries or in addition. Greek yogurt can also be used in place of the mayonnaise to up the healthy factor even more!

              View recipe here.

              7. Salad Stuffed Pepper Bowls with Creamy Avocado Dressing (Vegan)

                As many of you moms know, a huge part of the appeal of a meal is the presentation. These pepper bowls are such a clever idea for a kid-friendly lunch. The salad AND bowl are made from a plethora of colorful, nutritious veggies. How often do you get to tell your kids to eat their bowl? You can add a protein to the salad if you prefer, such as grilled chicken.

                View recipe here.

                Soup of the Day

                8. Vegan Chili

                  This vegan chili recipe contains primarily of vegetables and beans, making it very healthy and filling. Making a flavorful and rich tasting chili doesn’t have to take all day. By blending a small portion and adding it back in, the chili will be thick and satisfying, and no one will be able to taste the difference! Make a big batch because the leftovers keep very well.

                  View recipe here.

                  9. Chicken Pot Pie Soup

                    Get all the flavors of chicken pot pie in half the time with this chicken pot pie soup recipe. This is such a comfort food, but also contains a lot of nutritionally dense ingredients, such as carrots, celery, peas, corn and green beans. The crust and filling are cooked separately, which is a major time saver for busy moms.

                    View recipe here.

                    10. Slow Cooker Taco Soup

                      Another spin on the beloved taco, a fan favorite of young kids. This recipe is slow cooker friendly, so you can prep all of the ingredients in the morning, throw it in the slow cooker and come back to a house smelling of aromatic taco soup. Serve with tortilla chips or over a baked potato.

                      View recipe here.

                      Oodles of Noodles

                      11. Baked Eggplant Parmesan Penne

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                        Swap out typical Chicken Parmesan with healthier but just as tasty eggplant, which is sauteed instead of deep fried. But you don’t have to sacrifice the crunch from the breading by adding panko on top. You can also use whole wheat pasta to cut calories and add fiber, minerals, and protein.

                        View recipe here.

                        12. Roasted Chicken and Tomato Pesto Spaghetti Florentine

                          This recipe incorporates roasted grape tomatoes, baby spinach leaves and rotisserie chicken breast for a light and easy lunchtime pasta. You can make your own homemade pesto if you have the ingredients on hand. Store-bought also works just as well.

                          View recipe here.

                          13. Thai Noodle Salad (Vegan)

                            Filling your meals with plants of different colors will ensure that you are getting all of the vitamins and minerals you need. This recipe alone covers four colors! You can use any type of noodle (wheat, rice, soba, etc.) to make this dish, and customize the veggies to your heart’s content.

                            View recipe here.

                            14. Southwest Pasta Salad (Vegetarian)

                              This pasta salad is bursting with flavor — with tons of spices, lime juice and chipotle peppers. Don’t worry about making too much because the leftovers will be even more flavorful, after marinating in all of the seasonings overnight. And there is no heating needed! Use a lentil and quinoa pasta to make this dish gluten free.

                              View recipe here.

                              15. Avocado Hummus Pasta (Vegan)

                                This recipe is one that I created when I had no clue what to do with the vegetables, ripe avocados and leftover hummus I had to use up in my fridge. The textures and flavors of each ingredient somehow just works magically together. The creaminess from the avocado and hummus ties it all together. This accidental discovery is a huge hit with my husband and son!

                                Prep Time: 20 mins

                                Cook Time: 10 mins

                                Total Time: 30 mins

                                A 30-minute creamy vegan pasta loaded with veggies and tossed in a creamy sauce made from ripe avocados and hummus.

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                                Serves: 6

                                Ingredients

                                • 1 lb rotini pasta (substitute as needed)
                                • 3 tsp olive oil
                                • 3 cloves garlic, minced
                                • 16 oz white button or baby bella mushrooms, sliced
                                • 1 bunch asparagus, chopped
                                • 8 oz sugar snap peas
                                • 1 cup frozen or fresh spinach, chopped
                                • 1 large cucumber, chopped
                                • 3 oz sun-dried tomatoes, julienned
                                • 2-3 ripe avocados, chunks
                                • 10 oz hummus, any flavor
                                • 1 tbsp garlic powder
                                • salt, pepper to taste

                                Instructions

                                1. Cook noodles according to package instructions, drain, and set aside.
                                2. Chop veggies and set aside.
                                3. Add olive oil to a large saucepan. Saute minced garlic until aromatic. Add mushrooms, asparagus, cucumber, spinach, and sun-dried tomatoes. Saute until tender.
                                4. Add pasta, avocado, and hummus to the pan and mix gently.
                                5. Add garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
                                6. Serve warm. Store leftovers in the fridge for a few days.

                                Some Assembly Required

                                16. French Bread Pizza

                                  This is one of the most versatile recipes I’ve ever come across. Not only can you completely customize the toppings on the pizza, you don’t even have to use French bread. Deli rolls, Italian rolls or hoagie rolls work just as well! The possibilities of toppings that you can add are endless. Have your kids customize their own individual pizzas with their favorite toppings to ensure they will create a meal they love.

                                  View recipe here.

                                  17. Rainbow Pizza

                                    Look at the colors on this pizza! Not only is this pizza visually appealing, it’s also extremely healthy and delicious. The combination of bell peppers, broccoli, red cabbage and beets add a variety of complementary textures and flavors to this creative pizza recipe.

                                    View recipe here.

                                    18. Asian Lettuce Wraps

                                      Chicken lettuce wraps are a crowd-pleaser at P.F. Chang’s, but there’s no reason you can’t make a just as good if not better version at home. Requiring only 15 minutes, these lettuce wraps are scrumptious and fun to eat. Your kids will love assembling their own lettuce wraps and devouring this healthy lunch.

                                      View recipe here.

                                      19. Fish Tacos

                                        Another way to get kids to eat fish is to serve them into tacos! These flaky pieces of fish are topped with a tangy, crunchy slaw loaded with veggies. The fish can be pan-fried or grilled and served in a flour or corn tortilla. Your kids will be requesting this dish over and over again.

                                        View recipe here.

                                        20. Skirt Steak Fajitas

                                          This tortilla friendly recipe that incorporates skirt steak, onions and bell peppers has decided to go the fajita route. All of these ingredients can be combined on one baking sheet. That means fewer dishes and easier clean-up! You can serve with your favorite toppings such as avocado, sour cream, salsa and shredded cheese.

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                                          View recipe here.

                                          No Utensils Needed

                                          21. Avocado Egg Salad Wraps

                                            Eggs are a great ingredient to include in a nutrient-dense lunch for growing kids. Egg salad is one of the best ways to serve it, but the large amounts of mayonnaise introduces a lot of unnecessary saturated fats. This recipe cuts out a lot of the mayo and uses nature’s mayo — avocados, for creaminess.

                                            View recipe here.

                                            22. Spicy Tuna Avocado Wrap

                                              Canned tuna is such a convenient ingredient and is also a great source of protein, omega-3 fatty acids, iron and potassium. This wrap contains lots of hearty vegetables and uses avocado and Dijon mustard to flavor the tuna. Sriracha is used for added spice if your kids can handle spicy food! These wraps can be packed easily in a lunch box to take to school.

                                              View recipe here.

                                              23. Chicken and Avocado Roll-Ups

                                                These easy roll-ups take only 10 minutes to make! And they’re packed with great veggies like avocados, tomatoes and onions. You can pack it with even more veggies like spinach, cucumber, or whatever you might have in your fridge.

                                                View recipe here.

                                                24. White Bean Veggie Burgers (Vegan)

                                                  Do you have kids that love eating burgers? These 100% vegan burgers with plant-based bacon and cheese will be so delicious that they won’t even realize they’re not eating meat. Beans contain lots of vitamins and fiber and are a great source of protein. You can bake or grill these delectable burger patties.

                                                  View recipe here.

                                                  25. Turkey Spinach Slider

                                                    One of the problems with turkey burgers is that they can be flavorless and unappetizing when prepared incorrectly. This recipe incorporates ingredients that pack a punch like cumin and garlic. There’s also spinach leaves blended right into the patty, but your kids will be too busy chowing down to even notice!

                                                    View recipe here.

                                                    Making healthy lunches for home or school doesn’t have to be daunting task. Armed with these recipes, you have all the tools you need to find meals that the pickiest of eaters will enjoy.

                                                    By incorporating nutritional but less appealing ingredients into forms your kids recognize and love, you can introduce them to new flavors and hopefully, open their minds to trying new things.

                                                    Featured photo credit: Pixabay via pixabay.com

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                                                    Katie Lemons

                                                    Parenting Blogger and Full-Time Working Mom

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                                                    Last Updated on July 17, 2019

                                                    25 Best Self Improvement Books to Read No Matter How Old You Are

                                                    25 Best Self Improvement Books to Read No Matter How Old You Are

                                                    I remember the first time I got my hands on a self-improvement book. I was baffled. At that moment, I realized my fate was not set in stone. I could become my own drill master and coach. The books I read would set out the training course for me to overcome. All I had to do was listen to that voice that aspired to climb higher and higher.

                                                    Every time I committed to a new challenge, I knew it was going to be outside of my comfort zone. But after enough iterations, I also knew it will not just be part of my repertoire, it will be part of me.

                                                    Not all self-improvement books are made equal. Some help start you out on your journey, others give you a boost when you’ve achieved experience in certain areas.

                                                    Here are the best ones that I recommend to read no matter how old you are:

                                                    1. Whatcha Gonna Do with That Duck? And Other Provocations

                                                    by Seth Godin

                                                      This book is a masterpiece, and unlike most self-improvement books, this one targets an infinite array of areas in which you can, and ultimately must, improve.

                                                      With its ruthless honesty and genuine inspiration, Godin makes you ponder the difficult questions you wouldn’t ever dare to ask yourself. The result is a completely new perspective of the world- a fresher, more vibrant perspective, packed with new and bold possibilities.

                                                      If you need a friend who understands you, a boss that forces you to venture deep in your non-comfort zone, a wise guru that tells you what needs to be left behind and a sage that proclaims the coming of a new age, then look no further; you will find these shrewd voices all tied together in this magnificent book. Make sure to get this one.

                                                      Print | eBook

                                                      2. Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets

                                                      by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

                                                        Perhaps it is the fact that randomness played such a significant role in my years as a poker player that I find this book utterly important.

                                                        We often attribute skill where there is only luck; we confuse correlation with causation and we underestimate the incredible effect small changes can have.

                                                        This book gave me a perspective that I unfortunately rarely encounter in others: you can do everything right and still lose, or do everything wrong and still win. It is thus not about the outcome; it is about your actions that have lead you there.

                                                        This important message is central to many of my decisions I make in my life. This book by Taleb helps you develop such a perspective so you will be able to live in a world one cannot fully understand, where the results are not always clear markers of performance and where chance seems to play games with our fates. Stop being fooled by randomness!

                                                        Print | eBook | Audiobook

                                                        3. The 48 Laws of Power

                                                        by Robert Greene

                                                          I read this book in a time where I thought power was something I should attain. Power for power’s sake. And while I disagree with my former self on this point, the fact remains that power is very real, it forms the invisible scepter of all hierarchical relations around us.

                                                          I still recommend this book. I believe it is important to know how people use power for their own benefit and what to do to protect yourself from certain abuses of power.

                                                          Besides the fact that all stories in this book gravitate around power. It contains many life lessons, amazing historical anecdotes. If read in a certain light, the ability to use power for good.

                                                          From Caesar to Goethe, Sun-Tzu to Machiavelli, this eye opening book spans a wide range of human development. If you, like me, would rather be interested in something less egotistical, perhaps Greene’s latest book Mastery will suffice (I haven’t read that one myself).

                                                          Another great book in the same style, but this time around; covering a wider scope, and perhaps, something that will make the world make a better place.

                                                          Print | eBook | Audiobook

                                                          4. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change

                                                          by Stephen. R. Covey

                                                            The title of this book doesn’t capture it all. Covey shares with us seven habits one should adapt to become truly effective in whatever you would like to achieve.

                                                            Of course, it is not as easy as it sounds. He stresses the fact that we need to go through a paradigm shift – a fundamental change in how we perceive the world and ourselves.

                                                            This book can be read as a guide, with practices and everything, to go through the stages in order to make such a shift happen. Part shock-therapy, part ageless spiritual wisdom, Covey’s book is packed with wisdom that actually makes a difference.

                                                            And as I mentioned, don’t let the title of the book fool you; it is about much more than just becoming more effective. It is about becoming a whole integer person who not only seeks the best in oneself, but also in the people around her.

                                                            A must read for anyone who feels there is always something left to learn.

                                                            Print | eBook | Audiobook

                                                            5. The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide: Safe, Therapeutic, and Sacred Journeys

                                                            by James Fadiman

                                                              While finding a book on psychedelics in this list of books on self-improvement might come as a surprise, I believe any metaphysical distinction between tools such as books, meditation or molecules hold no ground. They should all be solely judged on their merits. And the merits of certain chemical keys, used in a constructive way, are perhaps bigger than any book in this list.

                                                              The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide will teach you how to prepare yourself and your surroundings, what and how much to take, and what do do when something goes wrong. So you can safely enhance your thinking, creativity, introspection and emotional balance.

                                                              This book contains everything you need to know about using psychedelics as a tool for self-improvement while drawing on extensive scientific literature and personal wisdom. A must have for the beginning and experienced psychonaut alike.

                                                              Print | eBook

                                                              6.  Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time

                                                              by Brian Tracy

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                                                                We all know how that destructive downward spiral feels.

                                                                We have to do some big tasks of which the thought alone triggers resistance. We aren’t sure how and where to begin and feeling overwhelmed before we even start. We get easily distracted to get rid of that feeling, only to suddenly realize that hours went by- precious hours- and then find ourselves in the same position as before, still not knowing where and how to begin, but now, feeling guilty on top of it which expresses itself in more craving for distraction.

                                                                Ad infinitum

                                                                To break this spell of procrastination before it paralyzes us, Tracy advises us to Eat That Frog: to set our priorities straight, deconstruct larger tasks into smaller ones, learn when to tackle the big frog first or to start out with something else.

                                                                Tracy is truly a motivational writer. While I wished he had gone a bit deeper into the psychological reasons why people procrastinate, it is still a must have for anyone who wants to break the spell and get shit done.

                                                                Print | eBook | Audiobook

                                                                7. Think and Grow Rich: The Original 1937 Unedited Edition

                                                                by Napoleon Hill

                                                                  A from 1937, this book by Hill is a masterpiece. Don’t bother with the edited versions since they all omit important and controversial information: some historical, and some pertaining to the goal of the book, which is to think and grow rich.

                                                                  The word rich might imply that this book is all about material gain, and while it certainly covers that area, it is about much more than that.

                                                                  This is perhaps the first explicit mention of positive thinking on how to care not just about the cash in your pocket, but also the thoughts in your head.

                                                                  This book has been able to withstand the destruction of time. It covers all the basics from planning, decision making and persistence, to the more advanced techniques as auto-suggestion, transmutation and what we can learn from fear.

                                                                  This is not a grow rich book, but a timeless guide to find out what actually matters. As it says clearly in the beginning ‘Riches can’t always be measured in money!’

                                                                  Print | eBook | Audiobook

                                                                  8. The Attention Revolution: Unlocking the Power of the Focused Mind

                                                                  by Alan Wallace

                                                                    In a world that is dominated by ever stronger technologies designed to grab your attention, a way to empower yourself is to bring that attention back to where you want it to shine. This book offers just that.

                                                                    In The Attention Revolution, Wallace describes the path to attaining Shamatha, a buddhist meditation state of mind that is free from any flickering of distraction. It is a hard and long path, probably not possible for us to reach in this lifetime. However, even getting to stage two or three will make everything in life easier.

                                                                    A wonderful introduction to meditation, The Attention Revolution will inspire you to take on the challenge and see what training your mind can actually achieve.

                                                                    Once you have achieved such level of focus, you can put it to use to open your heart with the practice of The Four Immeasurables or deepen the practice with this wonderful commentary by Dudjom Lingpa, both by Alan B. Wallace.

                                                                    Before you read this book, you may want to take a look at this guide so you get a better idea on how to prioritize your life:

                                                                    The Ultimate Guide to Prioritizing Your Work And Life

                                                                    Print | eBook | Audiobook

                                                                    9. The Paleo Manifesto: Ancient Wisdom for Lifelong Health

                                                                    by John Durant

                                                                      In the last 10,000 years or so, it seems we have been propelled into an ever faster paced world forged by our own hands and minds. Only recently have we been able to reconstruct our journey and reflect back upon our humble origins.

                                                                      This amazing book is such a reflection. It goes back to the paleolithic searching for answers to health and longevity.

                                                                      Between science and his personal experiments, Durant weaves a mind blowing story that will convey the importance of an evolutionary perspective on how to live well.

                                                                      It covers everything from nutrition to exercise, from sleep to fasting, from ancient practices to modern biohacking and even has an outline for a vision of the future where depression and obesity have become obsolete.

                                                                      If you only have room for a couple of books on this list, make sure this one is included.

                                                                      Print | eBook | Audiobook

                                                                      10. Mindsight: The New Science of Personal Transformation

                                                                      by Daniel J. Siegel

                                                                        As my Burmese meditation teacher often proclaimed, ‘Mindfulness alone is not enough!’ Siegel seems to have taken this to heart and made an unique synthesis between meditation, psychoanalysis and neuroscience which he calls ‘Mindsight‘. As he says himself, a potent combination between emotional and social intelligence.

                                                                        All of us deal with one disorder or another, something that seems to disturb the very core of our being at ease; and while it might not always be the best strategy to want to get rid of it, it certainly helps to understand and have compassion for that little aspect that upsets that perfect image of ourselves.

                                                                        Brimming with techniques, insights and epiphanies, this book contains everything you need to know to reprogram your brain and to optimally use its capacity of neuroplasticity. A great book for spiritual seekers and scientists alike.

                                                                        Print | eBook | Audiobook

                                                                        11. How to Win Friends & Influence People

                                                                        by Dale Carnegie

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                                                                          This is the first self-improvement book I have ever read and it is also probably one of the oldest in this category.

                                                                          Written in 1937, mainly for the door to door salesman of that era, this book by Carnegie can truly be called a classic. It shows what we all intuitively know:

                                                                          It doesn’t matter what your line of work is or what you want to achieve. If you are doing business of any kind, you need to make it about the other person.

                                                                          Being nice helps, a lot. And while I might not fully defend the premise of this book because it doesn’t distinguish between genuine interest and faking it to get what you want; it still contains a treasure chest full of timeless wisdom.

                                                                          Everybody wants to feel appreciated, and rightfully so. Learning to take a small effort to make someone’s day will make the world better no matter what your goal is.

                                                                          I still spontaneously remember some of his guidance, and perhaps this quality is the reason why this book still draws millions of readers to this day.

                                                                          Print | eBook | Audiobook

                                                                          12. Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy

                                                                          by David D. Burns

                                                                            Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is the most effective therapy used by psychologists today. It consists of identifying thought patterns that have a detrimental effect on your self-image and mood; and deconstructing these in order to break out of these destructive cycles.

                                                                            If you want to know how this works, which moods are central in your life, what thought patterns are causing your depression, how to overcome self-judgment and guilt, how to defeat approval and love addiction and how your self-perfectionism is hindering you, then don’t look further.

                                                                            Cognitive Behavioral Therapy has helped millions of people and it can help you, and this is the best book for the job. Packed with scientific research, exercises and examples, this is the best improvement your self is going to get.

                                                                            Print | eBook | Audiobook

                                                                            13. Psycho-Cybernetics, A New Way to Get More Living Out of Life

                                                                            by Maxwell Maltz

                                                                              What can a plastic surgeon tell us about happiness?

                                                                              By dealing with his patients, Dr. Maxwell Maltz experienced firsthand that having your expectations come true doesn’t automatically result into a more positive life experience. Their outward appearances did indeed change but their inner insecurity remained.

                                                                              This caused him to find other means to help his patients, resulting in visualization techniques. He found a person’s outer success can never rise above the one visualized internally.

                                                                              This book carries a very honest and humbling story, loaded with fundamental truths about our psychology and how our own philosophy affects us. This is all told by a very compassionate writer.

                                                                              Of some books it can be said that it will be valuable for years to come, and I am absolutely positive that this is one of them.

                                                                              Print | Audiobook

                                                                              14. Thinking, Fast and Slow

                                                                              by Daniel Kahneman

                                                                                This brilliant book by Nobel prize winner Daniel Kahneman is a lucid account of all the amazing research he has done over the years. He is the founder of behavioral economics – the way our psychology affects our decisions – and explains in simple prose how our thinking is divided in two systems: one fast and one slow. (Here’s an explanation on how these two systems work.)

                                                                                The fast one is almost instant; it consists of the hardwired instincts that govern emotions, a remnant of an evolutionary past, an unconscious irrational machine.

                                                                                The slow one is deliberate, self-reflexive and logical, but can easily be distracted and takes a lot of effort.

                                                                                Both play a large role in our lives and Kahneman explores when the fast system fails and why the slow system is often not utilized.

                                                                                Packed with mind blowing examples and sharp analyses, this book teaches you how to learn to make sound judgments, and use the best of both systems.

                                                                                Print | eBook | Audiobook

                                                                                15. An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth: What Going to Space Taught Me About Ingenuity, Determination, and Being Prepared for Anything

                                                                                by Chris Hadfield

                                                                                  A few extraordinary people journey to the edge of our world and come back with a unique story to tell. Colonel Hadfield is such a person, and his story is perhaps the most important one in this list.

                                                                                  While the other books in this list teach you to be independent, visualize your future and dream big, this astronaut’s guide turns these all upside down.

                                                                                  A truly remarkable book, overflowing with mind-blowing stories that illustrate the life lessons he learned as one of the most accomplished astronauts that ever lived.

                                                                                  Full of compassion, warmth and genuine self-reflexive humor, he conveys to us to be prepared for the worst and never let yourself be swayed from enjoying every moment.

                                                                                  Part action story, part no-nonsense hard truth and part timeless spiritual wisdom, this book makes you feel like you stepped onto a rocket ship and experienced what he did while learning these most valuable lessons on the way.

                                                                                  eBook

                                                                                  16. Perfect Health Diet: Regain Health and Lose Weight by Eating the Way You Were Meant to Eat

                                                                                  by Paul Jaminet & Shou-Ching Jaminet

                                                                                    No self-improvement list is complete without a nutrition book and the Perfect Health Diet is arguably the best diet book on the market now.

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                                                                                    If you are overweight or not, feel sick, or just looking for an extra boost in health (and keep it this way), then look no further.

                                                                                    From reading decades of studies the authors construct the optimal way to eat, destroying popular food fads in the process. They explain in sufficient details the optimal macro-ratios of which starches are safe, which vitamins and supplements to take and what foods, or what they call toxins, to avoid.

                                                                                    This book is a great supplement to the Paleo Manifesto as it shares its basic evolutionary perspective; we were evolved to eat non-toxic, high fat, moderate protein and carbohydrates.

                                                                                    And sometimes, going around with no food at all, can be a very healthy thing. If your body is not in optimal health, then it is almost no use to read the other books. Make this your priority number one.

                                                                                    Print | eBook | Audiobook

                                                                                    17. Failing Forward: Turning Mistakes into Stepping Stones for Success

                                                                                    by John C. Maxwell

                                                                                      At one time or another, we will all fail. What matters most is how you deal with it once you do.

                                                                                      Will you give up? Or will you use it as a stepping stone for success?

                                                                                      I recently read an article about new start-ups in silicon valley. Its hypothesis was the more you had failed in the past, the more likely you were going to get funding.

                                                                                      Why?

                                                                                      Because failing teaches you invaluable lessons, and if you decide to continue after you hit the pavement, the more you have it in you to deliver.

                                                                                      Now, this is not in anyway our instinctual reaction to failing. Most of us dread it, avoid it or refuse to fail at all costs. All three are by far sub-optimal. It is far better to accept failure where it arises, to accept responsibility and use it as a way to learn about yourself and your weaknesses.

                                                                                      Only when you are absolute honest with yourself with respect to failure can you hope to grow. This wonderful book will teach you how to do exactly this. A honest book for everyone searching for a clean mirror.

                                                                                      Print | eBook | Audiobook

                                                                                      18. The Power of Now

                                                                                      by Eckhart Tolle

                                                                                        The Power of Now hardly needs any introduction. It is perhaps the book that has had the most impact on our collective consciousness in recent years.

                                                                                        It inspired millions of people all over the world to live a more fulfilling and compassionate life, all through the practice of mindfulness. Mindfulness consists of moment to moment non-judgmental awareness. 

                                                                                        It is a technique that alleviates depression, increases emotional intelligence and develops compassion. And only recently has come to the west, which remained weary and skeptical until science had validated a wide array of its claims.

                                                                                        The brain can be trained. The Power of Now teaches you how to release your attachment to certain thoughts and states of mind, thereby clearing the mind to fully embrace the present moment.

                                                                                        If you already have read this book and are looking for deeper understanding, readWherever You Go, There You Are.

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                                                                                        19. The Last Lecture

                                                                                        by Randy Pausch

                                                                                          At some point or another, almost all of us has come across The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch. (If you haven’t, watch this powerful message here.)

                                                                                          What would you say when you only have a few months left to live? This was probably Pausch’s question he posed to himself when he had to deliver his lecture a week later.

                                                                                          But being confined to an academic setting and short time frame, he felt he had more to share, thus marking the birth of this book.

                                                                                          Filled with stories about his childhood, it is a very down to earth exploration of what it means to chase your dreams, to be a good person and live a life that gives value to others.

                                                                                          A beautiful mixture of humor and optimism, his tender voice will be a source of inspiration for everyone who will take the time to listen, something he tried to impart on his readers.

                                                                                          A very lovely read. And don’t forget, ‘It’s not about the cards you’re dealt, but how you play the hand.’
                                                                                          Print | eBook | Audiobook

                                                                                          20. Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead

                                                                                          by Brené Brown

                                                                                            I love Brené Brown’s books. She writes about an insight that I have found to be scary but true at the same time.

                                                                                            Vulnerability, unlike we have been taught, is not a weakness, but a power to be tapped. Growing up with the idea that we have to hide certain parts of ourselves, to look strong and persevere at all costs always seemed a facade to me. And now she has the research to back that up.

                                                                                            From that place of vulnerability comes a sense of worthiness, which for most of us, needs to be cultivated every day. Only if we get in touch with that tender spot of our hearts can we connect with others and develop genuine compassion, which are prerequisites, Brown tells us, for living a ‘wholehearted life.’

                                                                                            The reality, however, is that we often close down, feel neglected and misunderstood, and rather want the vulnerability and perhaps even ourselves to disappear.

                                                                                            This book is an amazing antidote for that common instinct. Want to be truly convinced? Check out her amazing ted talk here.

                                                                                            Print | eBook | Audiobook

                                                                                            21. The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark

                                                                                            by Carl Sagan

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                                                                                              We all find UFO’s fascinating. We all really want to believe in magic or visiting aliens. (Surely the crop circles are conclusive proof!) And some of us believe the government is poisoning us with chemtrails.

                                                                                              At the same time we are fascinated by the progress made by science, by all the new technology and medicines and the fascinating discoveries being

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                                                                                              22. Philosophy for Life

                                                                                              by Jules Evans

                                                                                                As philosopher Sloterdijk puts it; ‘philosophy is a beautiful child of an ugly mother.’

                                                                                                Philosophy first arose when the old Greek polis states were at the brink of destruction. Philosophy, according to Sloterdijk, was not just a way to make sense of the world, to come to knowledge or truth, but to serve as a psychological immune system.

                                                                                                This book is an amazing expression of this perspective. From the stoics to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Jules Evans writes about some of the amazing philosophical techniques we can use to train and improve our cognitive immune systems.

                                                                                                He weaves ancient stories with modern applications, from heroism to cosmic contemplation. Philosophy for Life is a beautifully written book that makes it easy to understand the practical nature of philosophy.

                                                                                                Perhaps the book would have been better if he would have gone deeper into the subject matter, but nonetheless he captures the essence of what philosophy can mean for the modern person. A must read.

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                                                                                                23. Man’s Search For Meaning

                                                                                                by Victor. E. Frankl

                                                                                                  If I had to pick one book from this list for mandatory reading, I would choose this one.

                                                                                                  For three years, Viktor Frankl labored in four different Nazi concentration camps, including Auschwitz. He tells us about his experience and that of his fellow prisoners.

                                                                                                  Both chilling and uplifting, confronted with the idea that they would be trapped there for the rest of their lives; he gives us an account of those who found meaning and those who succumbed to nihilism.

                                                                                                  A blend between a memoir, a psychological investigation and a self-help book, Frankl delivers a powerful message:

                                                                                                  Finding meaning lies at the core of being human.

                                                                                                  From his own experience as a psychiatrist, combined with anecdotes from his time in the concentration camps, he tells us how important it is to find meaning in our own lives and what we can become if we don’t.

                                                                                                  Suffering, he conveys to us, is inevitable. But as to how we cope with it is dependent on ourselves. If we can find meaning, even in the worst acts our species have ever inflicted upon their fellow men, we will be able to move forward with renewed purpose.

                                                                                                  I also recommend you to check out this article to help you find out your purpose and passion that will motivate you to live in a meaningful way: How to Get Motivated and Be Happy Every Day When You Wake Up

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                                                                                                  24. Simplify

                                                                                                  by Joshua Becker

                                                                                                    This is a fun little book written by Joshua Becker, a big proponent of minimalist living. We all know that quote from Fightclub: “Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don’t need.” 

                                                                                                    Well, this is ending.

                                                                                                    Slowly we are outgrowing an era where the unquestioned mantra ‘more is always better’ dictates our behavior. Rather, we now find ourselves, our lives and our homes cluttered with too much information, too much stuff and just too much shit we don’t need.

                                                                                                    This simple book helps you become aware of the freedom gained from living with less. It is a small book, easily read under an hour, but it carries a persuasive punch to start living live in a very different way.

                                                                                                    eBook

                                                                                                    25. Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It

                                                                                                    by Kamal Ravikant

                                                                                                      The fundamental ground upon which all true self improvement is build is called self-love. Because in the end, no matter which way you turn, if you don’t love yourself, you will sabotage yourself at one point. You will think that, for some reason or another, you are not worthy. And if you think that, why would you truly want to achieve anything?

                                                                                                      And this is not just about achievement. This is about how you approach yourself every day; this is what you see when you look in the mirror.

                                                                                                      We make so many snap-judgments about ourselves- often without being conscious of them- that are filled with negativity, haltering us before we can even begin to heal. This powerful book shows you the antidote.

                                                                                                      Self love. Not to be confused with creating some narcissistic image of ourselves that some previous books in this list implicitly endorse, but self love, that inner gratefulness that no external condition can take away.

                                                                                                      Self love, that infinite source you can share with others.

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                                                                                                      Final Thoughts

                                                                                                      Now that you’ve got a list of the most inspirational books to improve your life, what should you do next? Read them all?

                                                                                                      It’s of course best to read them all, but we only have so much brain energy to take all this knowledge. What if I tell you there’s a way to boost your brain power? Here it is:

                                                                                                      How to Increase Brain Power, Boost Memory and Become 10X Smarter

                                                                                                      More Books for Your Inspiration

                                                                                                      Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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