Last week I had the pleasure of attending a book launch, hosted by ABC Carpet & Home, for The New Health Rules, a picture book of health and wellness, written by Dr. Frank Lipman and Danielle Claro. When introducing the book, Dr. Lipman explained that the goal was to “simplify content and present it in a beautiful way with pictures.” This really struck a chord with me, as his articulate description seemed right on target with my objective for Back to Basil. Danielle explained that wellness books often felt like homework to her. A hefty book might seem overwhelming to many of us, which is exactly why The New Health Rules is wonderful addition to anyone’s book shelf. A brief paragraph and picture per page spread provide clear and concise information. In under five minutes you can obtain new information or a simple reminder to keep you on the right track.

The major take-away from Frank's talk was this: eat food as close to nature as possible and eat the whole food (no more egg white omelets, people!). Keep in mind that all processed goods and most meat and dairy have been manipulated before reaching your table. He also advised to cut back on sugar, an ingredient hiding in most of your foods, even those we label as healthy. The health rules don't just pertain to diet, however. The book includes tidbits on how to improve wellness in all areas in life. Keep house plants and open your windows to fresh air. Don't use antibacterial hand soap. Walk barefoot on grass or sand when given the opportunity.

Danielle reminded us that “real change happens every day when you make a decision.” If you want to improve your health, understand that it’s a process. Make small changes as you go and be yourself.

Frank signed my book with the inscription, “Be happy. Be healthy. Be well.”