Review: The Thirlby - A Field Guide to a Vibrant Mind, Body and Soul

A look at the seriously beautiful new book The Thirlby - A Field Guide to a Vibrant Mind, Body and Soul. Full of advice on healthy, mindful living. Read on to see what's inside and how to get your hands on a copy. 

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So I've had a new subject for my bedtime reading lately. 


The Thirlby - A Field Guide to a Vibrant Mind, Body and Soul

I was interested in this book, not only because the author, Washington-based Almilia Kakinc-Dodd, seems to eat similarly to me, but because this wasn't a general 'cookbook'. Instead, it's a guide to life in the modern age, for those of us who are health-conscious, but understand it's not all about just the diet you eat. After all, it's not worth eating avocado toast and poached eggs and then staying up all night watching movies, or stressing at 2am about what your boss said to you earlier in the day.

Healthy living goes beyond just avocados. And this is a book that, very aptly and calmly delivers this message. 

First, the book is beautiful. The photography is that classy, pale Instagram-type, with vintage dinnerware and crisp, white sheets. I love it. It's a treat just to look through. 

Flick through, and you'll see subjects such as 'Breathwork' or the practical 'Herbal First Aid Kit'.  Your spiritual needs are taken care of too, with advice on anything from how to let go of built up emotions and cut imaginary cords to the way we view disappointment in our lives. I found a lot that was useful to me - wise words on how to move forwards and inspire ourselves. Yeah, OK, I know it sounds cheesy, but it worked. It reminded me to re-think what I'm doing  - how I'm treating those around me and how I'm treating myself. 

The final section of the book is on 'Beauty Bites' and includes recipes that help support your body. I was interested to read that Almilia had also done the autoimmune protocol, like me, to address her own health issues, so I felt even more like I could relate to her and her message and that of course is on improving your lifestyle as much as what you put on your plate. The recipes do contain non-AIP things like seeds, nuts, nut-milk and eggs but no refined sugars or gluten. They're also fairly simple - although slightly trickier items like spirulina or maca do make an appearance. 

I became obsessed with making the Nutty Chocolate Hormone-Balancing Bars - they contain flaxseed, which, she says, helps to flush out excess estrogen levels in the body. They were delicious, and my husband helped himself to a few too, from the fridge, Nutty, intensely chocolatey and not too sweet at all. I sprinkled mine with pistachios and freeze-dried raspberry pieces. Oh, a great big tasty flakes of sea salt. Yum. 

As I said, some of the ingredients in some recipes are a bit obscure - things like pomegranate powder, chlorella and lucuma powder, for example. But if you were intent on making these recipes you could always order the ingredients online. And there are recipes that are very simple, too. I'm making the nutty chocolate bars again, for definite - they stave off a sugar craving beautifully. And I made them without the maca listed in the ingredients (because I react to it) and they still turned out luscious. 

This is a book I will continue to turn to on good and bad days for support and encouraging words - really, for grounding - and for interesting recipes that I know my body will benefit from. I love the whole thing - the photography, recipes, helpful advice and homemade first aid kits. Even the heaviness of it on your lap as you read is comforting and calming. 

Honestly, this book's a keeper. Do go check it out for yourself

To celebrate the launch of The Thirlby - A Field Guide to a Vibrant Mind, Body and Soul, the publishers Prestel are giving away one copy of the book to one of you lucky readers! See below for the details, and good luck!

Giveaway Rules: 
  • Open to Comfort Bites Readers in the UK, only. 
  • You must be aged over 18 to enter.
  • One reader will receive one copy of The Thirlby - A Field Guide to a Vibrant Mind, Body and Soul.
  • One reader will be drawn at random on 13th April, 2018. 
  • To enter, click on the Rafflecopter Widget and follow the instructions. You MUST register your entry with the Rafflecopter widget below, as this will be where the winning entry will be picked. Update: I'm seeing some entries already that haven't added a comment below - I'll moderate all the entries and only pick a winner from those who have commented, so please do follow the rules. Thanks! 

Good luck! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Ooh, that looks like a good read, thank you for your review. And I def agree, diet is just one part of the health equation. The nutty hormone bars look yummy!

  2. Wow.ilove to read a new cookbooks im the evening and I know I would love this one as it is much more than a cookbook

  3. This book sounds exactly the kind of thing i'd like to read! x

    1. Great, Jess! It's such a full book, lots of things in there :)

  4. Love the modern approach of this book and I really enjoy tracking down new ingredients so it'll be fun to do a bit of detective work!

    1. That's brilliant, Jules - I love finding new ingredients, too :)

  5. My advice would be to change the colour filter on your phone to red and/or wear amber glasses in the evening to avoid blue light from screens and indoor lighting. It helps my sleep! Thanks Jo for the giveaway. This book looks amazing!

    1. Yes! Great tip - I love my blue light blocking glasses, but turning the screens off completely is the best idea otherwise I still get kept awake by thinking about emails! Thanks.

  6. My advice would be everything in moderation - and never put someone elses happiness before your own!

    1. Brilliant advice Natalie! And totally agree with you about the happiness. A good reminder, thank you :)


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