A month ago, on Valentine’s Day to be exact, I walked into my publisher’s office for a meeting and was greeted by a stack of white paperbacks with my name on the spine.
I quickly inhaled a big belly breath like they taught me to do in yoga class, thanked my lucky stars that I was wearing black pants in case I peed a little, and then proceeded to have a very calm, silent meltdown of surreal excitement.
Sometimes I forget that I’ve been down this whole book road before, because five years later, it still feels like the first time. (The very first time!). The process of writing a memoir about my health was kind of a lonely one. There was no prop stylist or photographer to collaborate with. Just my laptop and my bestie, a fetching desktop succulent named Skeeter.
Which is all to say that seeing the bound galleys for the first time was much more emotional than I expected. It made me feel all kinds of proud and vulnerable. And I’ve been anxiously awaiting the day I could show it to you and shamelessly gush.
If you’re an old hat around here, you’ve probably heard lots already about the story behind my year of health. So today, to celebrate The Wellness Project being available for pre-order, I wanted to tell you a little bit about what makes the book itself special. Because unfortunately for the sake of our visuals here today, it’s not the photographs (there are none!).
If your last name ends in “apine” or you are already sold for whatever other reason, skip to the second half of the post for info on your special bonus prizes for being part of the awesome pre-order posse.
My Hashimoto’s story, soup to Brazil nuts. I’ve read a lot of medical books over the years. And if I’m being honest: most of them put me to sleep. Unless the doctor injected his or her own personal struggles into the writing, I had a hard time connecting. I’d underline some facts, but often I had no idea how all the tips added up to create a life. That’s a huge reason why I knew I had to write this book. Facts and figures are so much easier to digest if they’re sandwiched between juicy details that we can all identify with—the good, the bad, and the healthy. Living better doesn’t happen in a vacuum!
Healthy hedonist tips. While the meat of the chapters revolve around my experience, I also wanted to make sure I left you with some actionable takeaways. At the end of each section there are a list of Healthy Hedonist Tips that will help you choose your own wellness adventure (or design your own project!). You’ll get a sneak peak of some of these in my e-calendar if you preorder the book! More on that below.
Illustrations. Okay, so there are no photographs. BUT there are illustrations! As a visual person, I knew I needed something to break up the text and add personality to the story. I worked with my friend Julia Taylor-Brown who did a truly dreamy job. You can get a sneak peak of some of the ones that made me smile below.
Periods, poop & other things we should talk more about. If the sperm illustration below is any indication, the book covers a lot of ground. If you were following my project in real time (you can see the archives here), you know that I looked at every piece of my health puzzle—not just food and exercise. The 12 chapters include: Water Works (hydration), Green Beauty (skincare), Back It Up (posture), Pillow Talk (sleep), Rag Time (sex + hormones), Relaxation Station (stress), and Eater’s Digest (gut health).
If there’s one thing I’m most proud of it’s that the book weaves a bigger picture of how all these elements intersect in our lives, and asks the hard questions about how changing any one of them affects the whole patchwork quilt of our daily vitality.
Each chapter ends with 2 recipes. Yes. There are recipes! I included dishes that fed a certain aspect of my health or narrative, Ruth Reichl-style. All are gluten-free and anti-inflammatory. 80 percent are plant-based. And they include back pocket items like Desperation Minestrone Soup, Homemade Sleepy Tummy Tea and Golden Milk Chia Pudding.
If this sounds like the perfect read for you (or a Hashimoto’s/autoimmune peep in your life), pre-order before May 16th from one of the above retailers, and you’ll receive a few special goodies:
1. The Wellness Project E-Calendar: I polled you guys on Instagram about what your ideal free supplement to the book would be, and the response was strong. Recipe, shmecipes. You wanted a calendar! I’m genuinely PSCYHED about how this came together (you can see a pic above of April!). Every month has a theme for self-improvement that mirrors one of the book’s chapters, and each week includes a few sample challenges that you can add to your life.
Simply email your confirmation number or purchase receipt (a screenshot is fine!) to [email protected]. You’ll receive the calendar PDF within 24 hours.
2. By pre-ordering, you’ll be automatically entered to win some of my favorite products from the year of health. I’ll be announcing these physical giveaway prizes as we get closer to the release date. So the earlier you pre-order, the more chances you’ll have to win something dope. (There may or may not be a Squatty Potty involved…)
3. Since April on your e-Calendar is Skillet Skills month, I’m also sharing a discount code for some of my favorite gluten-free pantry items!
I will leave you with one very special piece of news, in case you are one for long car trips or carry a small purse: the audiobook version of The Wellness Project will officially be read by the internationally acclaimed actress…
Yes, friends. After a rigorous audition (and thrice repetition of “red leather, yellow leather”), I got the part of “reader/Phoebe”! The audiobook option isn’t available yet for preorder, but once it is, that will totally count for the above.
I look forward to getting to talk in your ear on your daily commute!
And thanks as always for making all of this cool shit possible. I would never have gotten the chance to narrate my own life if it weren’t for you.
Join the Launch Team
Want a FREE early copy of The Wellness Project? Consider joining my launch team! I’m so excited to be banding together with fellow healthy hedonists to get this book out into the world, and help each other in the process. Team members will learn the in’s and out’s of what it takes to put a stack of paper out in the world, AND get a group of accountability buddies for their own #4WeeksToWellness micro project. If you wanted to join my guinea pig group two years ago, this is your chance to test drive some changes together and receive all my love and gratitude in the process. Email [email protected] if you’re interested with a sentence about why!