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25 Healthy Snack Recipes To Make Your Workday More Productive

25 Healthy Snack Recipes To Make Your Workday More Productive

Have you ever been confused by a snack label?

It can be time consuming to check and decipher every ingredient. Many processed snacks promise low fat but are packed with sugar!

The best way to ensure fresh and fully in-tact nutrition is by preparing simple snacks at home. Each of these healthy snack recipes are simple, delicious and provide nutrients you just can’t get from a vending machine.

1. Mini Burrito Bowl

    Burrito bowls make great snacks or small lunches. There’s endless combinations to mix and match meats with rice and grains, veggies and cheeses or salsas. They can be altered to be allergen-friendly, vegetarian and vegan.

    ~ Get the recipe!

    2. Paleo Sweet & Spicy Meatballs

      For those who want a little extra protein, these paleo meatballs are sure to please. They are also packed with iron and Vitamin C which means you’ve got a snack that’s working for you, not against you!

      ~ Get the recipe!

      3. Southwestern Sweet Potato & Lentil “Jar Salad”

        Jar salads are quick to prepare and easy to store. They make fresh salads easy to take anywhere!

        ~ Get the recipe!

        4. Moroccan Chickpea & Quinoa Power Salad

          This winner uses minimal ingredients and a short prep time for a fast and easy snack or side dish. The recipe also gives you homemade honey-lemon dressing which you can save in the fridge for other on-the-go meals!

          ~ Get the recipe!

          5. Grain-Free Tahini Granola

            Making your own granola ensures that you are not consuming excess sugar and preservatives in many store-bought brands. Natural Granola is packed with healthy nutrients and can be enjoyed by itself or with your favorite flavor of yogurt. This knockout recipe can be made with oats or dried fruits too!

            ~ Get the recipe!

            6. Nut-Free Granola

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              This recipe will keep your energy high whenever you need a little boost at work![1]

              Ingredients

              • 9 cups rolled oats (or combination of oats, rye, barley, etc.)
              • 1 cup unsalted, roasted hulled sunflower seeds
              • ½ cup flaxseed meal
              • ½ cup pure maple syrup
              • ½ cup unsweetened apple sauce
              • ½ cup honey
              • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
              • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
              • 1 teaspoon sea salt

              How to prepare:

              1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees and prepare baking sheets with parchment.
              2. In large mixing bowl, combine oats, sunflower seeds, flax seed meal, cinnamon and sea salt. Stir to combine.
              3. In medium saucepan, whisk maple syrup, honey, applesauce and vanilla over low heat until combined. (about 5 minutes)
              4. Pour hot syrup over oat mixture. Stir to combine.
              5. Pour mixture in a single layer onto prepared baking sheets.
              6. Bake for 50 minutes, stirring granola every 10 minutes. (For ease I set my timer five times for 10 minute increments)
              7. Let cool and store in airtight container for up to two weeks at room temperature and up to one month in the refrigerator.

              7. Copy-Cat Bistro Boxes

                Look no further for a quick snack with almost no prep work or cooking needed.

                You just need boiled eggs, apple slices, celery, grapes, and a side of peanut or almond butter. You could mix it up with different berries, cherry tomatoes, multigrain cracks, and humus instead of peanut butter. Swap the cheese for an extra egg to make it dairy-free.

                In case you need it, here’s the recipe!

                8. Chicken Pita Pockets

                  Another filling snack for those who may have to skip breakfast every now and then. These pitas will keep you satisfied and focused. Swap the chicken with tofu for a meat-free option.

                  ~ Get the recipe!

                  9. Sweet Potato Quesadillas

                    This dairy-free option is best prepped the night before for one or two servings. You can use coconut oil to crisp the tortillas and mix in other veggies for more flavor.

                    ~ Get the recipe!

                    Sometimes we just need a little extra something to satisfy mid-morning or afternoon hunger pains. Each of the following twists on favorite snacks can be stored in bulk to get more out of your prep time.

                    10. Cinnamon-Vanilla Chia Seed Pudding

                      Ingredients:

                      • 1 cup almond or coconut milk
                      • 3 tablespoons chia seeds
                      • 1-2 packets stevia
                      • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
                      • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
                      • 1 small pinch sea salt

                      How to prepare:

                      1. Stir together all ingredients in a small bowl or mix together in a blender until smooth.
                      2. Refrigerate to set and stir occasionally.
                      3. Makes about 2 fresh servings that can be stored for up to 3 days in the fridge.
                      4. Optional: Top with fresh fruit, chocolate chips, or nuts before you leave the house for more delicious varieties.

                      11. Chocolate & Avocado Pudding

                        Ingredients:[2]

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                        • 1 medium ripe avocado
                        • ½ cup coconut or almond milk
                        • ¼ cup creamy unsweetened peanut butter or almond butter (optional: use almond butter, cashew butter, or sunflower seed butter to keep it paleo)
                        • 4-6 tablespoons pure maple syrup
                        • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
                        • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
                        • 2 pinches sea salt
                        • 2 tablespoons unsweetened coconut flakes (optional)

                        How to prepare:

                        1. Place all ingredients except the unsweetened coconut flakes into a food processor and mix until smooth.
                        2. Transfer to serving dishes, top with coconut if desired, and enjoy! Best eaten fresh, but can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days.

                        12. No-Bake Peanut Butter & Oatmeal Bites

                          Ingredients:

                          • 2 ½ cups old fashioned oats
                          • ½ cup unsweetened coconut
                          • 1/3 cup sunflower seeds
                          • 2 tablespoon ground flax seed
                          • 1 teaspoon salt
                          • ¾ cup peanut butter or almond butter
                          • ¾ cup honey
                          • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil

                          How to prepare:

                          1. Mix the oats, coconut, sunflower seeds, flax seed, and salt together in a large mixing bowl.
                          2. Stir the peanut butter, honey, and coconut oil together in a separate bowl.
                          3. Add this mixture into the oats and stir together until all of the oats are coated.
                          4. Place the bowl in the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes to set for rolling.
                          5. Once chilled, roll into 1” rounds and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
                          6. Allow them to set in the fridge for 10 minutes before diving in. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

                          13. Dark Chocolate, Cranberry & Pumpkin Granola Bites

                            Ingredients:[3]

                            • 5 cups old fashioned oats
                            • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
                            • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
                            • 1 cup brown sugar (or ¾ cup stevia)
                            • ¾ cup almond slivers
                            • 1 cup dried cranberries
                            • ½ cup toasted sunflower seeds
                            • 1½ cups pumpkin puree
                            • 1 cup applesauce
                            • ½ cup honey
                            • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
                            • ½ cup dark chocolate chips
                            • 1 teaspoon salt

                            How to prepare:

                            1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a 10” by 10” baking pan and line with baking paper.
                            2. In a large bowl, mix the oats, spices, dried fruit, almonds, seeds, chocolate chips,  and salt.
                            3. In another medium-sized bowl, mix the sugar, pumpkin, applesauce, honey, and vanilla extract until smooth. Pour over oat mix and stir everything together until all of the oats are moist.
                            4. Pour the entire mixture into prepared pan and evenly spread the mix. Bake for 30-35 minutes to a golden brown top.
                            5. Allow 15-20 minutes for cooling and lift the paper to remove the entire bar.
                            6. Cut into desired shapes and sizes and store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one week, store in the fridge for up to two weeks.

                            14. Parmesan Kale Crisps

                              Ingredients:

                              • 1 head of Kale
                              • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
                              • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
                              • 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice
                              • 1 tablespoon olive oil
                              • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

                              How to prepare:

                              1. Preheat the oven to 275°F. Line a pan with baking sheets
                              2. Wash the entire body and cut off the stems. Then cut across the leaves into 2-inch slices.
                              3. In a large bowl, toss the Kale leaves in the lemon juice, olive oil, salt, cheese, and pepper flakes.
                              4. Lay the leaves on the sheet and place in the oven when ready. Bake until crisp for about 20 minutes, turning the leaves over at the 10 minute mark.

                              *This recipe will make 4-6 servings. The chips can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for about 3 days. (You could also try this with seaweed if you really want to show off your new snack skills.)

                              15. Curried Beet Chips

                                Ingredients:

                                • 12 small beets, red or golden
                                • 1/2 cup olive oil
                                • 1 teaspoon curry powder
                                • 1.5 teaspoons sea salt

                                How to prepare:

                                1. Preheat the oven to 300°F. and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
                                2. Wash and peel the beets, or use a veggie brush to remove outer skin. Use a mandolin slicer to cut them very thinly. Place the beets in a large bowl and mix with the olive oil, salt, and curry. Stir or toss the slices until they are fully covered. Allow them to marinate for up to 20 minutes.
                                3. Drain the oil and lay slices on the baking sheets. Bake for up to one hour. The thickness of your chips will affect baking time, for thinner slices bake for 45 minutes. Remove them from the oven once they are crispy and allow them to cool. Store them in an airtight container for up to a week.

                                See the original recipe.

                                16. Apple-Cinnamon Chips (Vegan, dairy free)

                                  This recipe only takes 3 ingredients and you can alter the amount of sugar to your preference. The thicker the chips the softer they will be and the thinner, the more crispy.

                                  Ingredients:

                                  • 4 Apples
                                  • 1-2 teaspoons ground Cinnamon
                                  • 1-2 teaspoons brown sugar
                                  • Cooking spray

                                  How to prepare:

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                                  1. Preheat the oven to 200°F.
                                  2. Wash the apples and remove the core. Slice them thinly across the apples, cutting them into circles.
                                  3. Toss the slices with cinnamon and sugar.
                                  4. Spray the baking sheet with cooking spray and line the slices on the pan without overlapping them. If you’re using larger apples, use two pans.
                                  5. Bake the chips for around 2.5 hours, until they are slightly soft but dry. Cool completely and store in an airtight container for up to 4 days.

                                  17. Roasted Green Bean Fries

                                    Ingredients:[4]

                                    • 1 pound fresh green beans
                                    • 1 teaspoon of olive oil
                                    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
                                    • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

                                    How to prepare:

                                    1. Preheat oven to 425. Wash green beans and remove stems if desired. Let them dry off.
                                    2. Add green beans to a bowl and drizzle oil over them. Mix with your hands to coat them evenly.
                                    3. Lay the greens on a baking sheet and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
                                    4. Roast in the oven for 25-30 minutes, flip them once about halfway through.

                                    *Mix honey with fresh garlic and chilis for a sweet and spicy dipping sauce!

                                    18. Barley Risotto with Butternut Squash

                                      A hearty and simple dish that is prefect for upcoming fall. You can also swap the squash for sweet potatoes, zucchini, or a mixed vegetable medley.

                                      ~ Get the recipe!

                                      19. Edamame and Chickpea Salad with Lime Dressing

                                        Ingredients:[5]

                                        Dressing

                                        • 1 large avocado, flesh removed
                                        • 1/2 inch slice of ginger root (1/2″ – 1″ piece)
                                        • 1 shallot
                                        • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
                                        • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
                                        • ½ tablespoon pure maple syrup
                                        • 1 tablespoon olive oil
                                        • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

                                        Salad

                                        • 1 can chickpeas, drained, rinsed and patted dry
                                        • ½ tablespoon olive oil
                                        • ¼ teaspoon salt
                                        • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
                                        • ⅛ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
                                        • ⅛ teaspoon ground ginger
                                        • ½ cup cashews
                                        • 10 oz. shelled edamame, cooked
                                        • 1½ cup chopped apples (about 2 small apples)
                                        • Salt & pepper to taste
                                        • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil (optional)

                                        How to prepare:

                                        1. Create the dressing by placing ingredients in a high-speed blender and blending until smooth. Store extra dressing in an extra ajar or airtight container for up to one month in the fridge.
                                        2. Heat a skillet over high heat and add the chickpeas. Cook for about 5-8 minutes, or until they start to brown. Drizzle olive oil over chickpeas.
                                        3. Str in all of the spices and then add the cashews. Keep mixture over heat and stir until cashew are slightly toasted or brown.
                                        4. Add mixture, edamame and apples to a medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper as you desire. Add desired amount of avocado-lime dressing and toss to coat salad evenly. Garnish with chopped basil and serve warm or chilled.
                                        5. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days for freshness.

                                        20. Kale, Clementine and Feta Salad with Honey-Lime Dressing (Vegan option)

                                          Ingredients:

                                          Salad

                                          • 1 head of kale
                                          • 1 avocado, diced
                                          • 1 medium pomegranate
                                          • 4 clementines, peeled and sliced into rounds or small strips
                                          • 4 small radishes, sliced into thin rounds and then into skinny strips
                                          • 1 handful of fresh cilantro, chopped
                                          • ⅓ cup crumbled feta (skip for vegan)
                                          • ¼ cup pumpkin or sunflower seeds

                                          Dressing

                                          • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
                                          • 3 tablespoons olive oil
                                          • 1 medium jalapeño, membranes and seeds removed, finely chopped
                                          • 2 teaspoons honey (or agave nectar)
                                          • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
                                          • ¼ teaspoon chili powder
                                          • ⅛ teaspoon fine grain sea salt

                                          How to prepare:

                                          1. Create the dressing by whisking together all of the ingredients in a small bowl.
                                          2. Prepare the kale by slicing away the stems and chopping the leaves into small, bite-sized pieces.
                                          3. Move the kale to a large salad bowl and sprinkle a small pinch of sea salt over the kale. Lightly toss the leaves and scrunch handfuls at a time until the leaves are darker in color and fragrant.
                                          4. Drizzle desired amount of dressing over the kale and toss so the kale is lightly coated.
                                          5. Add the prepared avocado, pomegranate seeds, clementines, radishes, cilantro and feta over top.
                                          6. Toast the pumpkin seeds in a skillet over medium-low heat for a few minutes, stirring frequently, until they smell fragrant and toasty.
                                          7. Transfer the seeds to the salad and toss the salad to mix all ingredients.
                                          8. Store leftover dressing for up to one month in an airtight container, refrigerated. Leftover salad can be covered and stored in the fridge for up to 3 days.

                                          See original recipe.

                                          More adventurous snackers will enjoy using a dehydrator. Dehydrator recipes include endless varieties of homemade granolas, dried fruit mixes, veggies, and jerky. These snacks from Dried and True will take longer to prepare but can be made in bulk and last for a couple weeks when stored properly.

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                                          21. Dried Balsamic Cherry Tomatoes

                                            Ingredients:

                                            • 3 cups fresh cherry or grape tomatoes
                                            • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
                                            • 1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
                                            • 2 sprigs Thyme
                                            • 1 sprig rosemary
                                            • 1 cup olive oil (more as needed)

                                            How to prepare:

                                            1. Bring a medium pot of water to a slight boil on medium-high heat.
                                            2. While waiting for the water, line a dehydrator trays with nonstick mesh sheet and lightly coat the sheets in olive oil.
                                            3. Once the water has boiled, place the tomatoes in the pot until most of their skins break open. Remove the tomatoes and use a knife to peel off the skins.
                                            4. Place tomatoes on the prepped trays. Set dehydrator for 135°F, for about 22-24 hours. Careful not to dry them so much that they become too tough.
                                            5. Remove and place them in a large bowl with the sea salt and vinegar.
                                            6. Layer the herbs into a large jar, add the tomatoes overtop, and pour in the olive oil. Add additional oil as needed to cover all of the tomatoes.
                                            7. Marinate in the jar for 24 hours, then move to the refrigerator for up to one month. Viola.

                                            22. Dried Shrimp

                                              Ingredients:

                                              • 1 pound of peeled and cooked bay shrimp
                                              • 1 teaspoon olive oil for coating trays
                                              • Optional topping ideas: sea salt, cayenne pepper

                                              How to prepare:

                                              1. Line dehydrator trays with non-stick mesh sheets and coat them lightly with olive oil.
                                              2. Toss shrimp with a topping (if desired).
                                              3. Spread the shrimp on the prepped trays and dry at 160°F for 8-12 hours until dry and slightly cracking.
                                              4. Cool completely and store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one week.

                                              23. Yogurt Covered Raisins

                                                Ingredients:

                                                • 1 pound seedless black grapes
                                                • 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
                                                • 3/4 cup white chocolate chips
                                                • 1 tablespoon honey
                                                • 1 tablespoon coconut oil

                                                How to prepare:

                                                1. Bring a pot of water to a boil over medium-high heat.
                                                2. Line dehydrator trays with non-stick mesh sheets and lightly coat them with olive oil.
                                                3. Soak the grapes in the boiling water and turn the heat to low. Simmer for 2-4 minutes until the skins begin to crack open. Remove them with a slotted spoon and allow them to cool completely.
                                                4. Place them on the prepared trays and dry at 135°F for 16-20. Check frequently for chewiness. Remove them once they are no longer squishy through the center.
                                                5. Place the white chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl and melt them in the microwave for 30-second intervals. Stir in between to ensure the chips melt thoroughly. Mix in the yogurt and coconut oil until the mixture is smooth.
                                                6. Stir in the freshly dried raisins until they are fully covered.
                                                7. Spread raisins out on thin, mesh a cooling rack and allow them to set.
                                                8. Store in an airtight container for up to two weeks, or in freeze them for up to 6 months.

                                                24. Ginger & Soy Green Bean Crisps

                                                  Ingredients:

                                                  • 1 pound fresh green beans
                                                  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
                                                  • 1 garlic clove
                                                  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger
                                                  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil

                                                  How to prepare:

                                                  1. Wash, stem and diagonally cut the green beans into 1/4 in slivers. Peel and mince the garlic an place in a small bowl. Peel and grate the ginger.
                                                  2. Boil a pot of water over medium-high heat and add a pinch of sea salt. Add the green beans once boiled for about 2 minutes.
                                                  3. Strain and run cool water over the beans for about 1 minute to cool them completely.
                                                  4. Line a dehydrator tray with non-stick mesh sheets lightly coated in cooking or olive oil.
                                                  5. In a medium bowl, mix together the soy sauce, garlic, ginger, and sesame oil. Add the beans and toss them until fully covered with the sauce. Marinate them for about 15 minutes, stirring them every 5 minutes or so.
                                                  6. Drain the beans (save the sauce if you’d like), and lay the slices onto the prepped trays. Dry at 135°F for 4-6 hours until crispy.
                                                  7. Let them cool completely and store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks at room temperature.

                                                  25. Garlic & Sage Turkey Jerky

                                                    Ingredients:

                                                    • 2.5 pounds turkey breast
                                                    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
                                                    • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
                                                    • 8 sage leaves
                                                    • 2 tablespoons molasses
                                                    • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
                                                    • 2.5 teaspoons sea salt

                                                    How to prepare:

                                                    1. Remove skin from the turkey breast and place turkey in the freezer for 2-4 hours until it is firm but not frozen. Cut into diagonal strips that are about 2 inches wide.
                                                    2. Warm the olive oil in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and sage to the oil and simmer together for 1-2 minutes.
                                                    3. Stir in the molasses, black pepper, and then remove from heat. Allow the mixture to cool to room temperature.
                                                    4. In a large bowl, toss the turkey slices with the salt and oil mixture until all slices are evenly coated. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
                                                    5. Line dehydrator trays with non-stick mesh sheets and lightly coat them with cooking or olive oil. Lay the turkey slices evenly on the trays and dry at 160°F for 3-5 hours. Blot excess juice occasionally and remove them once them have dried but are still slightly moist to the touch. Allow them to cool completely.
                                                    6. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for 1 week, in the fridge for up to 2 weeks, or freeze the jerky for up to 6 months.

                                                    One of the best places for snacking inspiration is a local farmer’s market. Shopping for what’s in season will inspire simple, creative dishes that are easy to include in your schedule. Here are some other ways to achieve lasting effects in your workplace.

                                                    Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

                                                    Reference

                                                    [1] Tesco Real Food: Nut-free Granola
                                                    [2] Further Food: Avocado Date Chocolate Pudding
                                                    [3] Infinitebalance: Dark Chocolate, Cranberry & Pumpkin Granola Bites
                                                    [4] Food Networks: Baked Parm Green Bean Fries
                                                    [5] Mother Thyme: Edamame and Chickpea Salad with Lime Dressing

                                                    More by this author

                                                    Alexa Sponaugle

                                                    Holistic Health Coach

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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.

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                                                                      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.

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                                                                        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.

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                                                                              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.

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                                                                                      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.’
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                                                                                          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.

                                                                                                      Print | eBook | Audiobook

                                                                                                      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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