The author of The Global Forest--an international bestseller and a classic upon publication, beloved by readers around the world--gives us her tips and advice for achieving better health and peace of mind, with frugality, simplicity and pleasure not far behind.
In The Sweetness of a Simple Life, Diana Beresford-Kroeger mixes science with storytelling, wonderment, magic, myth and plenty of common sense. Orphaned at an early age, Beresford-Kroeger was raised by elderly relatives in Ireland in the Druidic tradition, taught the overlap between the arts and sciences, and the triad of body, mind and spirit. After pursuing a PhD in medical biochemistry, Beresford-Kroeger set out on a quest to preserve the world's forests. In this warm and wise collection of essays, she gives us a guide for living simply and well: which foods to eat and which to avoid; how to clean our homes and look after pets; how we can protect ourselves and our loved ones from illness; and why we need to appreciate nature. She provides an easy dose of healing, practical wisdom, blending modern medicine with aboriginal traditions. This inspiring, accessible book emphasizes back to basics, with the touchstone not an exotic religion or meditation practice, but the natural world around us.
DIANA BERESFORD-KROEGER, a botanist, medical biochemist and self-defined "renegade scientist," brings together ethnobotany, horticulture, spirituality and alternative medicine to reveal a path toward better stewardship of the natural world. In 2010, Beresford-Kroger was inducted as a Wings Worldquest Fellow. The Utne Reader named her one of their Visionaries for 2011. In the same year she was elected as a fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society. She lives in Ontario with her husband, Christian H. Kroeger, surrounded by her research garden filled with rare and endangered species.
“This is a unique book, in its approach unlike any other I know. Readers are treated as friends, invited into the author’s decluttered world of Sweet Simplicity. Diana Beresford-Kroeger convincingly interweaves her scientific expertise and her extensive knowledge of ancient aboriginal wisdom and practices, and a path into a saner and safer world seems to emerge, a path that is open to all. Part of the magic of the book is its practical accessibility. Within the clarity of the author’s big picture of an earth in peril, there are ways forward. Small, individual decisions become opportunities to contribute to collective betterment. There is no ‘them’ and ‘us’ in the author’s approach, in spite of her sense of passionate urgency.”
—Ursula Franklin, University Professor Emerita, former member of the Science Council of Canada, and author of The Real World of Technology
“Diana Beresford-Kroeger weaves together her wealth of scientific and traditional knowledge about the natural world with deep spirituality—and courageously communicates the latter. From this infrequently encountered but insight-generating combination, she distills practical advice for everyday living that will help us to keep healthy in body, mind and spirit. Her most powerful message is that we need to have a deep love for Nature and respect for the natural, to realize how much we will lose if we do not, and that we have obligations to future generations to hold Nature and the natural on trust for them. I loved this book.”
—Margaret Somerville, Samuel Gale Professor of Law, Professor Faculty of Medicine, McGill University
“The very existence of this book—with its down-to-earth appeal to drink wine, eat seaweed, sleep more, enjoy yourself, eschew industrial food—is testament to the chaos and hostility of modern life. But Beresford-Kroeger is a firm and gentle guide back to kindness, back to connection, back to simplicity.”
—Nick Saul & Andrea Curtis, co-authors of The Stop: How the Fight for Good Food Transformed a Community and Inspired a Movement
“The Sweetness of a Simple Life is a thoughtful book with much insight into the fundamental relationship between simplicity, food and biochemistry. It’s a perfect read after a long day in the fields.”
—Daniel Brisebois, vegetable and seed grower, and past-president of Canadian Organic Growers
“In this book that reads like a friendly conversation over a cup of tea, Diana Beresford-Kroeger tells stories about her life, plants she has known, and how these plants may benefit humans. Her stories integrate knowledge from biochemistry, traditional medicine, herbalism, modern medicine, cutting-edge science, and global cultural practices. Though the focus is on people, this book is a gentle, humorous and fascinating window on the diversity of plants, their ecology, and especially their chemical biology.”
—Susan Dudley, Associate Professor of Biology, McMaster University