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enLIGHTened: How I Lost 40 Pounds with a Yoga Mat, Fresh Pineapples, and a Beagle Pointer Hardcover – May 1, 2009

4.4 out of 5 stars 77 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"I love enLIGHTened. Anyone who has struggled with weight will relate to Jessica's story and her message.  This book is brave and honest, inspiring and heartwarming." -- Allison Fishman, author of You Can Trust A Skinny Cook and host of the television show Cook Yourself Thin

"Jessica Berger Gross occupies that rare space on the bookshelf of writers I want to become and befriend. She can be both funny and very honest about her journey, and her plan for becoming the best and truest version of herself was inspiring. And doable!"-Suzan Colon, author of Cherries in Winter: My Family's Recipe for Hope in Hard Times

"Jessica Berger Gross is movingly honest about her struggles with weight (and motherhood). The key to her success? Thinking about yoga as a whole life practice. This beautifully written, intimate, and upbeat book inspired me, and will inspire others, too."-Kristen Rentz Lewis, author of YogaNap: Restorative Poses for Deep Relaxation

"A charming testimony to yoga's ability to heal the body and mind." -- Neal Pollack, author of Stretch: The Unlikely Making of a Yoga Dude

“Recipes, philosophy, yoga poses, compassion, pineapple cutting lessons, and practical tips about diet and health. (Catherine Newman, author of Waiting for Birdy)”

About the Author

Jessica Berger Gross is a longtime yoga devotee and editor of the award-winning anthology About What Was Lost: 20 Writers on Miscarriage, Healing and Hope. Originally from New York, Jessica lives in Vancouver, British Columbia with her husband and son. Her essays and articles have appeared in Salon, Babble, The Globe and Mail, Yoga Journal, Yoga International, The Huffington Post, momfilter.com and more. She writes the Enlightened Motherhood blog for yogajournal.com.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing; 1 edition (May 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1602396396
  • ISBN-13: 978-1602396395
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 5.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (77 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,439,620 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I discovered the joys of yoga and pilates a year ago. I love it, although I am not as flexible as I would like to be (Jessica actually talks about this in her book). So, of course, this book hit me and I had to read it.

It is extremely well written, with honesty and I love that Jessica was completely opened about her weight issues, as well as some of her relationship issues with her parents. This book feels like a girlfriend and I talking -

I love the subject matter and Jessica touches on Ayuverda which is something that I have developed an interest in as well. Its almost as if Jessica was reading my mind.

I even love the quick and healthy recipes that are in the book. I have to say though, that, at times, Jessica makes the whole overeating thing a little too simplistic. As someone with an eating disorder (binge eating( its not always quite enough to talk to yourself or go for a long walk - but Jessica is right about trying to get to the root of the problems.

One of the things that I felt a little off about was the fact that Jessica always seems to have the time AND money to do all the things she wants to do. ALthough she and her hubby sounded as though they were not necessarily stable in the finance dept, especially since he was looking for another job - she goes ahead and becomes a yoga teacher and from the rest of the book, I did not get the feeling as though Jessica really ever had a full time job other than that of teaching yoga. Yet, she seems to be able to benefit from everything from Kripalu retreats to invitro, etc. I felt a disconnect there - what about the rest of us who have to hold down full time jobs, juggle kids and are just making ends meet???

I know that Jessica claims that you don't need a lot of $$$ to be healthy, etc.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I would not recommend this book. At best, she seems to have good intentions, but, the writing is superficial and feels pretentious. Very few practical tips, zero laughs, and lots of patting herself on the back.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If your weight is the reason you are happy or sad & if the number on the scale is the most important thing in your life, this book might be for you. I was rolling my eyes long before we got to the self-administered enemas. The author is way too self-obsessed & narcissistic. This was a painful read.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Jessica Berger Gross explores what is means to apply yogic principles to her own life and encourages the reader to do the same in an honest, humble, humorous and inspiring book. It is easy to get engrossed in this book :)- I read most of it within the first three days of opening it. I found Jessica's story extremely relatable, and as I read it felt that I was listening to a close friend share her experience. Many of the questions Jessica asks herself over the course of the book encouraged me to ask the same questions of myself (ie are my really practicing "Brahmacharya" - or moderation- when it comes to my eating?). The book includes tips that will be helpful to those who are seeking support in lifestyle changes such as recipes for simple healthy meals (I haven't tried the chili yet but I intend to!), and yoga postures that are supportive to physical and psychological well-being. Highly recommend!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have never written a review before, but feel that this book was too important to not write a review for. The book is inspiring, engaging and touching. It was recommended to me by a friend of mine who knows the spiritual "weight loss" journey that I've been on for the last six months. I was able to relate on many levels to the authors battle with weight loss, food as comfort and her relationship with her parents. Finding comfort in eating the right foods and yoga has replaced bags of chips, eating out of comfort and being a couch potato. This book is a must read for anyone who is struggling to find their own path and road to better eating, better living and overall well being.
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Format: Hardcover
This book is like a pep talk from a friend about taking responsibility for your body, your mind and your choices in your life -- it tells you things you may already know, probably have thought about repeatedly, have made failed resolutions to attempt, but for whatever reason, you haven't actually been able to JUST DO IT already! Jessica Berger's words are encouraging and hopeful, and this is the kind of book you can read and continue to come back to when you need someone to set you back on track. The chili recipe was my favorite and is already in heavy rotation at our house!
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Format: Hardcover
Part spiritual memoir, part how-to manual for diet and lifestyle change, the words filling these pages are both relevant and inspiring. Jessica Berger Gross succeeds in making friends with her readers by doing something we rarely get the chance to see- she exposes her very real past pain for all to see, and allows herself to remain real and accessible as she does so. Sharing hurt from a dysfunctional and abusive childhood, emotional over-eating, ineffective coping strategies, getting on and falling off the diet wagon, and eventually making a sustainable change in her own life, Berger-Gross reaches out a compassionate hand to us all, cheering us each on in our own path to happiness and health, with pages and pages of touching and humorous anecdotes along the way. I have tried nearly every one of the recipes she has included in her book- all to wild success and a huge hit for several dinner parties I've thrown since. She peppers the book with yoga poses- all intended to be used by real people- no impossible poses intended for those perfectly sculpted, impossible hollywood bodies. With the poses, she gives the traditional title, along with meditations to ponder and integrate with the practice itself. Her recommendations for music, books, websites and more was tremendously helpful for me, and I have happily used several of these resources to support myself in my own food/yoga life.
Since reading her book, and the few books she recommends in her pages, I have moved from a committed vegetarian to a passionate, and compassionate vegan. I have never felt healthier, happier or looked better. Reading EnLIGHTened, I felt I had made a friend for life, and will enjoy every re-read of Jessica Berger Gross' words. I have purchased this book for friends and family, and highly recommend it to everyone and anyone!
[...]
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