Carrie Underwood’s new book Find Your Path: Honor Your Body, Fuel Your Soul and Get Strong with the Fit52 Life is hot off the press and I’m sharing my 10 favourite things about the book:

1.She picked a lane. The book is all about diet and fitness, which I have no doubt her fans want to hear about from her – and yes, there is a whole chapter on her legs. She certainly makes reference to her husband and kids and talks about her upbringing (I didn’t know her mom was a teacher) and Idol days as they relate to her health, but it’s not a marriage, parenting or career book. (I hope those ones are yet to come.)

2. The specifics. Carrie doesn’t just make vague claims about the foods she eats or her fitness routine; she gets right down to the nitty-gritty, especially with her Fit52 exercises (with ideas for modifying down and up depending on your level), and tons of recipes, including swapping out some ingredients in favourite foods for healthier ones. She also names specific foods (e.g., brands of protein bars) that she loves, and even shares workout playlists.

(I just happened to be reading the book at my daughter’s birthday photo shoot – thanks to Art By Mary Zita Payne for grabbing these pics!)

3. The honesty. She doesn’t hesitate to talk about her mistakes (deprivation, diet pills) and devotes a whole chapter to health and fitness derailers (advertising, kids, friends, boredom) and how to counteract them.

“And of course now I never read the comments section on anything about myself because I know some of it will be mean, and I know how that feels. I take it all very personally, and it hurts my feelings. Hey, I’m human, too!”

4. She is upfront about where her expertise lies. Unlike some celebrity authors, Carrie doesn’t claim to know it all about complex topics. Her trainer Eve Overland and nutritionist Cara Clark (“She’s the professional when it comes to nutrition, so she knows a lot more than I do!”) have their own sidebars throughout the book with professional advice.

5. The book isn’t “my way or the highway”. While vegetarian herself, there are notes in the recipes about what ingredients her meat-loving husband would add, and there are lots of open-minded and supportive comments like, “Not eating meat is a personal decision of mine, and I would never expect anyone else to do it if it wasn’t the right decision for them…You can eat whatever you want – it’s not my business to judge.”

“Exercise is my antidepressant, my anxiety ‘medication’, and my stress relief.”

6. Carrie acknowledges her writing partner, not only in the actual acknowledgments, but right on the title page: “Carrie Underwood with Eve Adamson”. Even the most skilled celebrity-turned-author does not have the time to write an entire book cover to cover by themselves. Most often there are ghostwriters involved whom no one ever knows about. I love when fellow writers get the shout-out they deserve.

7. The photography. The book is absolutely packed with beautiful colour photos, including many which I believe are inside Carrie’s home, which is neat to see. (Maybe you don’t want to eat the same food, you just want to copy her kitchen, and that’s cool too.) Lots of exercises and recipes also have photos along with them.

8. The language. Carrie’s advice appeals to me big-time with a lot of words and phrases like “simple”, “common sense”, “balance”, “flexible”, and “moderate” (“I promise not to tell you to eat weird foods or try fad workout routines or do crazy cleanses or anything like that”), and I also appreciate how her philosophy at its core is very faith-based.

“Every minute of my day is precious, and I’m not going to waste any of them rehydrating seaweed or chopping up ten different vegetables when I can get a bag of mixed stir fry veggies for a couple of dollars at the grocery store.”

9. Carrie’s commitment. While she makes it clear in the book that she does her own laundry, grocery shopping and cooking (just like most of us) in addition to everything that goes along with being a country music superstar, she is hard core about fitting in her workouts, making healthy food choices and tracking her food intake and exercise. It’s not for everyone (more on that in the next point) but it’s certainly impressive.

10. Carrie’s 333 page pep talk worked on me. To be honest, this review is not coming from a total Fit52 convert. While Carrie’s specific diet and exercise routine aren’t right for me (I only eat 4 items on her “The 12 Things I Eat Most” list and I still struggle to incorporate strength training into my life) I closed this book feeling refreshed and inspired. I have upped my daily exercise time (I actually spent over an hour walking on the treadmill as I wrote this post) and found a great website I’m loving with short strength-training videos. Plus, I started to swap out some snack and meal items for healthier alternatives. Ultimately I feel like I walked away knowing Carrie better, which is always my favourite takeaway from a celebrity book.

Disclosure: I was provided with a copy of this book for review purposes. Opinions are, as always, my own.

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