One of the easiest decisions I ever made when I started this blog in 2005 was to become an Amazon.com affiliate. If you are a blogger, then this is a no-brainer decision. Basically any product you link to on your blog from Amazon.com gets credited to you and you receive a percentage of the sale (usually around 5-7% of the total cost). It’s a cool deal for you to make a few extra bucks when somebody buys a book or other product you linked to on your blog. I’m not usually a fan of affiliate marketing, but HIGHLY recommend the one from Amazon to every blogger out there. You’d be foolish not to take advantage of this.
I’m always amazed to take a look at the affiliate reports at the end of the year to see what people actually bought and I’ve been doing this for several years now. It’s sometimes eye-opening to see a book that you think was purchased by a lot of people actually didn’t…and some unknown book come out of nowhere and sell a bunch. Since all of these sales come from readers of the “Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb” blog, I thought it would be fun to share some of these results with you so you can see what books are most interesting to your fellow readers. I’ve got the Top 25 Amazon affiliate sales through my web site in 2011 to share with you today and there are a lot of familiar and maybe not-so-familiar titles for you to check out. The list includes seven cookbooks, seven Paleo/primal books, eight medical doctors, and even one VEGAN book? HA! How’d that get in there. ENJOY!
Here are the Top 25 “Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb” Amazon bestsellers in 2011:
1. The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living: An Expert Guide to Making the Life-Saving Benefits of Carbohydrate Restriction Sustainable and Enjoyable by Dr. Stephen Phinney and Dr. Jeff Volek
After the overwhelming commercial success of their 2010 New York Times bestselling book aimed at consumers called The New Atkins For A New You (see #2 on this list), low-carb researchers Dr. Stephen Phinney and Dr. Jeff Volek wanted to develop a book that would educate physicians and other medical professionals as well as knowledgeable patients on not just the science behind carbohydrate-restriction, but also the practicality in implementing it as a therapeutic measure for improving health. That’s why they decided to release this self-published book in May 2011 and it’s already become an invaluable addition to the personal library of anyone who is livin’ la vida low-carb or even remotely interested in why it works so phenomenally well in treating obesity and chronic disease. There were contributions made to the book by Dr. Eric Kossoff on epilepsy, registered nurse Jackie Eberstein about the legacy of the late, great Dr. Robert C. Atkins, and even a chapter written as a letter of a patient to a doctor from me. Read my review of the book and listen to my exclusive podcast interview with Dr. Phinney that delves deeper into why they created this book that ended up being the biggest seller through my blog in 2011–by a mile!
2. The New Atkins for a New You: The Ultimate Diet for Shedding Weight and Feeling Great by Dr. Stephen Phinney, Dr. Jeff Volek and Dr. Eric Westman
Speaking of the new Atkins diet book that came out in March 2010, it continued selling quite well in 2011, too! This New York Times bestselling book was several years in the making after Dr. Atkins tragically died following a slip and fall accident on an icy sidewalk in New York City in April 2003. The silence in the years that followed was deafening and it was time to let the science that has been coming out at breakneck speed over the past five years or so speak for itself. Here you have three of the best and brightest minds examining the evidence supporting a healthy high-fat, moderate protein, low-carb nutritional approach–Dr. Stephen Phinney, Dr. Jeff Volek and Dr. Eric Westman–sharing from their wealth of knowledge and experience about what the Atkins diet looks like in the post-Dr. Atkins era. This book truly is an incredible resource that I cite often to people who are wanting to start on the Atkins diet as their plan to lose weight and get healthy. Don’t get me wrong, I still love the information Dr. Atkins provided in Dr. Atkins New Diet Revolution, but this new book is more up-to-date with all that has happened in the science since the legendary low-carb pioneer passed away. Listen to my March 2010 podcast interview with Dr. Westman and read my review of this vitally important book for low-carbers around the world. There’s even a companion cookbook for this book releasing later this month. The Atkins diet is alive and well in the 21st Century and shows no signs of going away anytime soon!
3. Why We Get Fat And What to Do About It by Gary Taubes
Who can deny the tremendous impact that Gary Taubes has played in educating the mainstream public about low-carb, high-fat diets? From his July 7, 2002 New York Times magazine bombshell column “What if It’s All Been a Big Fat Lie?” to the September 2007 release of his magnum opus challenging the conventional dietary wisdom called Good Calories, Bad Calories (see #17), he has almost singlehandedly been responsible for keeping the low-carb message going for the better part of a decade and shows no signs of ending his personal crusade to educate the masses. While the 600-page omnibus GCBC was aimed directly at doctors, researchers and other key health influencers, a groundswell of laypeople who support the science supporting low-carb diets begged Taubes to release a follow-up book that would take the message of his first book and make it more palatable to an everyday audience. That’s why this book was created and released in December 2010 and it garnered Taubes some huge television opportunities, including his March 7, 2011 appearance on The Dr. Oz Show that is STILL being talked about for how he was treated. Even still, he continues to be invited to be a guest lecturer on college campuses and at medical institutions because the message he is promoting is too compelling not to share it. I’m happy he will be one of the featured speakers on the upcoming May 2012 Low-Carb Cruise because he doesn’t typically do these kind of events with laypeople. Read my review of this book and listen to my podcast interview with Gary about his book. And the message of this book will be reaching a much wider audience in the years to come when it releases as a mass market paperback in a few weeks.
4. Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back to Health by Dr. William Davis
If I had to choose one book that has directly impacted the diet of most low-carbers in 2011, it wouldn’t be Taubes’ Why We Get Fat since most seasoned veterans of high-fat, low-carb living already understand the foundational concepts he shared about in that book. That distinction actually belongs to Wisconsin cardiologist Dr. William Davis who wrote a compelling case exposing the dangers to your health that come from consuming modern-day wheat. And he received a ton of exposure for his book while being vilified by the grain industry–which makes him grin from ear to ear! Thanks to the promotion of a grain-free, gluten-free diet in the Paleo community, that message has been spilling over into the low-carb community as well where whole grains have long been an optional part of the low-carb lifestyle. Not anymore! Many of us have come to realize we don’t need nonsensical wheat products like this low-carb bread in our diet anymore because of the damaging effects it is having on our health. And we have Dr. Davis to thank for helping us take our low-carb lifestyle to the next level by eliminating the wheat that is doing more harm to our bodies than even sugar! It’s an eye-opening discovery that I’m happy to see happening as people battle the bulge and chronic disease. Don’t miss my engaging conversation with Dr. Davis on my podcast in September 2011 where he shares more about how to avoid getting a “wheat belly.” And I’m pleased to have Dr. Davis joining us as a special guest speaker on the May 2012 Low-Carb Cruise as well.
When I wrote this nearly 500-page book in 2009, it had been a few years since my debut release Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb (see #15) had come out detailing my 180-pound low-carb weight loss success story that took place in 2004. While weight loss was certainly the primary focus of the first book I wrote (and rightfully so since that’s the biggest thing that happened for me at the time), in the years that followed I learned about and personally experienced so many amazing health benefits from livin’ la vida low-carb that went well beyond simple weight loss that I knew I had to share about them in my follow-up book. From cholesterol (which I’m currently working on my third book about) to fad diets, cancer to veganism, blogging to being in a movie with George Clooney, childhood obesity to the untimely death of my brother Kevin, I poured my heart out in this book to help others learn that this way of eating goes much deeper than shedding a few pounds. It’s a lifestyle change that will turn your life upside down like it did mine. Interestingly, while the traditionally-bound book had sold very well as a self-published title, I’ve been surprised by how well the e-book version has done, especially over the past few months where a strong resurgence of sales have taken place. Maybe it’s all those people who have gotten a Kindle, iPad, or other smart reading device that enables them to read it that way. I’m just grateful for the opportunity to spread the low-carb knowledge to anyone and everyone who wants and needs to hear it!
6. Paleo Comfort Foods: Homestyle Cooking for a Gluten-Free Kitchen by Charles and Julie Mayfield
Paleo diets came on strong in 2011 and this book was one of the breakthrough titles of the year. Thanks to the education about evolutionary/Paleo diets that has taken place over the past few years by people like Dr. Loren Cordain, Mark Sisson, Art De Vany and Robb Wolf, the market for quality cookbooks showing how to make Paleo work in the real world was sorely needed. Enter Charles and Julie Mayfield. Their take on Paleo with a “comfort foods” bent obviously resonated with an eager audience of newfound and long-time Paleo fans who have been literally hungry for making grain-free and low-carb recipes a regular part of their menu planning in the kitchen. I personally LOVE this book and even made my own low-carb twist on their “Luscious Lemon Squares” recipe. And if you missed my November 2011 podcast with this Paleo power couple, then go back and listen to it now. They are a sweetheart dynamic duo who have done us all a great service by writing this book that I’m sure will be a perennial seller for many years to come as people find and discover the benefits of the Paleo/low-carb lifestyle for themselves. While there were other outstanding Paleo cookbooks released in 2011 (see #12), this one seemed to rise to the top because it focused on good food prepared in a way to make it taste delicious and be nutritious for your body. What more could you ask for?
7. Deep Nutrition: Why Your Genes Need Traditional Food by Dr. Cate Shanahan
Before this year, I’d honestly never even heard of Dr. Cate Shanahan and the great work she has been doing promoting the idea of eating the low-carb diet of our ancestors to get as healthy as humanly possible. But when she appeared on my podcast for an in-depth interview in March 2011, a whole lotta people suddenly discovered this diamond-in-the-rough who is doing some truly extraordinary work educating people about what eating healthy actually looks like. Her companion book to this one entitled Food Rules: A Doctor’s Guide to Healthy Eating is helping educate physicians on what a solid nutritional plan should look like (hint: it ain’t high-carb, low-fat!). As a board certified Family Physician herself, she understands the enormous challenges that face her conventionally-trained medical colleagues who have unfortunately been taught more about how to write prescriptions for risky pharmaceutical medications that far too often mask the symptoms rather than getting to the root cause of health concerns. Dr. Shanahan is doing her best to share the traditional principles she’s learned of how what we eat impacts our health with those in the medical profession as well as laypeople like you and me. Something tells me we’ll be hearing a lot more from this low-carb champion in the years to come–and I for one am glad to have her on our side!
8. The Paleo Solution: The Original Human Diet by Robb Wolf
Whenever anyone asks me the question “what’s the best book for learning about Paleo?” I don’t even hesitate in recommending this one by Robb Wolf as the first option. If I could only identify one name who has made the biggest impact for Paleo in recent years, it would have to be Robb Wolf. His name is as synonymous with Paleo as mine is with low-carb. And I don’t think he minds the association since his life has been as radically changed by Paleolithic living as mine has with the healthy low-carb lifestyle. It certainly helps that Robb has a knack for explaining things in language (both written and spoken) that is entertaining, humorous, but most importantly educational in terms that are understandable by virtually everyone. I have a lot of respect for the work he has done in promoting Paleo these past few years through his wildly-popular blog and podcast and in this September 2010 book release that hit the New York Times bestsellers list. Robb (aka “baby Jesus”) is a rock star in the Paleo community and rightfully so. You’ll see his name associated with several of the titles in this list writing the foreword to #6 and #18. And this young guy ain’t going anywhere anytime soon taking his passion for Paleo in directions that will penetrate our culture even further in the years to come. Read my review of Robb’s book and listen to my “Encore Week” interview with him in January 2011. I look forward to having Robb join us on the 6th Annual Low-Carb Cruise as a guest speaker in 2013!
9. Primal Body, Primal Mind: Beyond the Paleo Diet for Total Health and a Longer Life by Nora Gedgaudas
Nora Gedgaudas is one of the coolest people you’ll ever meet in your life. I met her in person at a bariatric physicians conference in 2010 and then again this year at the Ancestral Health Symposium in Los Angeles, CA where she was a special guest speaker. Nora is just so authentic, super-smart, and knows what works and what doesn’t work when it comes to nutrition and lifestyle issues. She just returned from what she describes as a “whirlwind” trip to Australia where she shared about the concepts she wrote about in this book that was re-released by a major publisher this year who noticed she had a message they could market with the rise in Paleo that has taken place as of late. The information contained in the book was updated with brand new findings Nora has come across since her self-published book came out so that it can help people living in modern society fit the principles of our ancestors into their day-to-day life. I spoke with her about this book in July 2011 and was pleased to hear about all the incredible things she is doing to keep the message going that goes well beyond the Paleo diet. It’s an honor to know Nora and to call her a friend. I’m happy to see her book resonated so well with my “Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb” readers in 2011.
In light of my recent thyroid test results after 8 years of low-carbing that doesn’t show anything is obviously wrong with my thyroid, this book by Dr. Datis Kharrazian rounding out the top 10 was quite appropriate. Although I interviewed Dr. Kharrazian in July 2010, his message has obviously continued to strike a chord with many people of my readers who have been left frustrated by “normal” thyroid test results while still experiencing the problems associated with some sort of thyroid disfunction. As I shared in my review of this book, it is a virtual Bible on all things related to thyroid health and I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to learn more about improving thyroid function for weight and health management. A protégé of Dr. Kharrazian named Dr. Joni Labbe appeared on my podcast in March 2011 to explain how this book changed her life personally as well as for the patients she is now helping using the protocols outlined in this book. If you or someone you know are dealing with Hashimoto’s or other thyroid conditions, then you owe it to yourself to get this book!
Here’s the rest of the Top 25 Amazon bestsellers in 2011:
11. Living Low Carb: Controlled-Carbohydrate Eating for Long-Term Weight Loss by Dr. Jonny Bowden
12. Make it Paleo: Over 200 Grain Free Recipes For Any Occasion by Bill Staley and Hayley Mason
13. Perfect Health Diet: Four Steps to Renewed Health, Youthful Vitality, and Long Life by Paul and Shou-Ching Jaminet
14. Eat to Live: The Amazing Nutrient-Rich Program for Fast and Sustained Weight Loss by Dr. Joel Fuhrman (WHAT?! LOL!)
16. Feed Your Brain, Lose Your Belly by Dr. Larry McCleary
18. Everyday Paleo by Sarah Fragoso
19. Blood Sugar 101: What They Don’t Tell You About Diabetes by Jenny Ruhl
20. Carb Wars: Sugar is the New Fat by Judy Barnes Baker
22. Good Meat: The Complete Guide to Sourcing and Cooking Sustainable Meat by Deborah Krasner
23. Odd Bits: How to Cook the Rest of the Animal by Jennifer McLagan
24. Primal Blueprint Quick and Easy Meals: Delicious, Primal-approved meals you can make in under 30 minutes by Mark Sisson and Jennifer Meier
25. Dr. Bernstein’s Diabetes Solution: The Complete Guide to Achieving Normal Blood Sugars by Dr. Richard Bernstein
What were YOUR favorite low-carb/Paleo/health books of 2011? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
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