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{review} Body and Soul by Bethany Hamilton

I received a copy of this book from Zondervan in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and a good review was no guaranteed.

My daughters and I received two great books from Zondervan that are right up their alley! Both of my older daughters, ages fivedaysawayfrom 13 and 10, are outdoorsy and pretty active. They are also huge fans of Bethany Hamilton and Gabrielle Douglas (but more on her here). So these books have been a huge hit on our house.

Here is a little bit of info about Body and Soul - A Girl's Guide to a Fit, Fabulous Life:

As a professional surfer who has overcome incredible challenges, Bethany Hamilton shares her expertise as an athlete and a Christian, showing girls ages 11-14 how spiritual health is just as important as physical health. With workouts, recipes, and advice for living a balanced life, Bethany will help young girls become their best “selves” ever.

You can find this book here for $19.99

Our Thoughts:

As I said above, Bethany Hamilton is quite the star in our house. We've watched Soul Surfer an infinite
amount of times and my oldest daughter follows her Instagram account. So when I told the girls we were getting this book, they were very excited. Completely serious, I looked through the books and snapped this pic on the day the books came. I have only seen them briefly since. They are in my girls' rooms, being memorized.  (I just popped in and grabbed it, so I could refresh my memory.)

When I looked through this book, at first I was a bit unsure of the content. It almost took the form of a diet book and as much as I think young girls need to be healthy I am not in favor of dieting at such a young age. But upon reading further, it's not even close to a diet book. Bethany encourages her readers to be healthy in several ways. First and most importantly, Bethany reminds and gently teaches her readers that God is their Creator. He calls them to be good stewards of them body HE's given each of them. There is Scripture throughout the book, as well as places to write in answers to questions or just thoughts about what Bethany is teaching.  Bethany talks about mindset and having joy. She constantly reminds her readers throughout the book that God loves them and the goal is to be your best self - not being a carbon copy of someone else.

The chapters on eating and recipes are loaded with great information. Practical information. Not some crazy diet plan but the kind of tips I think most moms are giving their children already. Eat healthy and fresh food, drink water, consider where your food is coming from. She also debunks the popular low-carb diets and encourages healthy carbs and healthy fats. I really love her approach and the laid back, encouraging way it's presented in the book. There is a "plan" at the back of the book, but it's not extreme or pushy in any way. It's written in a style that makes girls realize they can start being smart about how they eat and live now, rather than when they're 'grown-up.' There are also chapters dedicated to recipes and exercise.

I would highly recommend this book for any girl, ages 10+. It's a great reference book, even after they've read the whole thing. I'm sure this book will stay by my daughter's reading chair for quite awhile. Lastly, two quick things - #1: this book is loaded with bonus content that can be accessed with a smartphone. We haven't tried this yet, but I'm sure it's great! #2 - Bethany has been nominated for a Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Sports award for Favorite Comeback Athlete! Congratulations Bethany!!


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