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Wise Eating, Self-Acceptance, Heart Nourishment & Presence

Book Reviews & Testimonials

Books by Susan Lebel Young

Grandkids as Gurus: Lessons for Grownups

Susan Lebel Young’s Grandkids as Gurus is a fun, and sometimes poi- gnant, celebration of the innate and uncomplicated wisdom of children, and the dharma they offer us in each encounter. By generously sharing experiences with her own grandkids/gurus, we witness how toddlers and little kids can be teachers simply by being in touch with themselves, always in the present and without judgment. My big take away from this charming book is about letting go: while we perseverate, kids have moved on to whatever is next and interesting in their lives—often with no connection to what came before. Spontaneity is a way of being, not something to strive or apologize for.

Maggie Butlerauthor of Compassionate Journey: Honoring Our Mothers’ Stories and others

Susan Lebel Young’s Grandkids as Gurus: Lessons for Grownups is a won- der of a book both charming and utterly profound as one grandmother chronicles the practice of incidental devotion, revering the wisdom she gleans from her four grandchildren as they grow. From the unique voice of the narrator who we come to count on as Susu, readers will be en- tertained by the antics of “Bob, Fred, Laudie, and Cookie” as the pages fly by. But these vignettes do more than simply enchant. They deliver an impact that makes me want to run out and notice all the magical moments that surround us, the ones we discover when we slow down enough to pay attention, the ones that invite us to be more attentive, more loving, more kind. Not since Ross Gay’s The Book of Delight have I read a missive that offers this much everyday hope in an increasingly bittersweet world.

Jodi Paloniauthor of They Could Live With Themselves, writer, editor, creativity coach

Like most adults, Susan Lebel Young thought she knew how to be a grandparent. It turns out she really didn’t. But she does now—thanks to her grandchildren/gurus. They have taught her “Joy,” “Kindness,” Pa- tience,” “Presence,” and other lessons that Young took to heart and cap- tures in short, simple, but insightful anecdotes in “Grandkids as Gurus.” The book speaks to adults of all age—whether or not they are grandpar- ents. With her ability to find deeper meaning in the tender, touching, loving, and humorous interactions with her grandchildren, Young has crafted a handbook for grownups. As she says in the Preface, “Children know. They sense. They feel.” May we bow to the true teachers. May this book help us listen to the kids and invite the adults to be learners. Life might be better. Way better.

Mo Mehlsakveteran Maine newspaper reporter & editor and grandfather of Noa, who teaches him daily

It takes a wise and attentive grandparent to move beyond delight in her grandchildren’s sayings to seeing their inherent wisdom, wisdom even for guiding adults. Sue Lebel Young is that singular grandparent, and the result of her careful listening and disarming insights is Grand-kids as Gurus. It should prove thought-provoking for her readers of all ages.

Peter Monroformer journalist and blogger at

Children laugh on average 400 times a day,; adults 40. Becoming an adult does not mean giving up wonder, joy and curiosity. In this book of listening and observation, Susan Young relates glimmers of the orig- inal self of childhood which we all carry within us hidden beneath the self we built to cope with the adult world. Dive in and recall what will enrich your life.

George Dreher, MDseeker of beginner’s mind and fortunate to be a spouse, parent and grandparent

An engaging, refreshing reminder of why we’re all here. With humility, sensitivity, and “deep bweffs,” Susan Lebel Young flips the script about elders as teachers. With profound presence, she highlights opportunities for learning and growing through the gifts inherent in these wise souls called grandchildren. From school to storytime; from fort-building to bedtime, we’re treated to endless opportunities for reawakening our own childhood wonder, curiosity and joy. The writing is deeply relat- able. The anecdotes are laugh-out-loud adorable. And the flashbacks to Young’s own childhood and motherhood add even more depth to an already powerful read. Even if you’re not a grandparent, this book will help lead you back home to yourself.

Elisa Boxerjournalist & author of The Voice that Won the Vote

Food Fix: Ancient Nourishment for Modern Hungers

Thanks to you, Sue, I’m now eating fruit again, which says to me that you’re absolutely right that fruit sugar is different from processed sugar. I feel great when I eat real food, fruit included.  I’m not going to say it’s easy not to eat processed junk, because it was such a habit for me. Yesterday I reeeeally wanted some peanut M&Ms. But, as we’ve been practicing, I was present to that craving, present with that wanting. I noticed it without judging and without acting on it. I had some celery with peanut butter and a few raisins, –just to see what would happen if I made that choice—-and I felt very satisfied. When I get present to the craving (which happened several times yesterday) instead of allowing it to control me, I take back my power. I really am experiencing that, through these antidotes, I can change my life. It’s happening. So in that way it’s simple…just not always easy to remember to practice them.

Client and student

Savor this book.  Take your time with it.  It’s the real thing, filled with the kind of wisdom that only comes from the trenches.  Sue Young brings a depth of understanding to the complex food issues that entrap and entangle so many of us today.   After her wholehearted efforts, over the course of decades, she has emerged from the maze and the fog to offer guidance for others who are struggling with the food koan.  Sue’s voice is clear, strong and beautiful and her message is grounded in wisdom.  I love this book.”

Linda Anderson Krech, LICSWToDo Institute

Food Fix will help you get underneath food cravings, habits, and old behaviors that are holding you back and keeping you from being as vibrant and radiant as you would like. Susan speaks with deep experience, passion, and great care about what total health means: body, mind and heart. Page by page, chapter by chapter, she teaches the miracles of self-nourishment. This is extraordinarily helpful in this food-crazed culture. And for an added side-effect…this way of living and eating can also improve our global health crisis.

Julieanna Hever, MS, RD, CPTAuthor of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Plant-Based Nutrition and host of Veria Living's wellness talk show, What Would Julieanna Do?

There lives in many of us a deep need to become more real to ourselves, to choose real food, to feel real feelings, and to acknowledge and honor the truth of our own lives.  And that is where Susan Young comes in, because that is exactly what her marvelous book will help you do.
         She shares her own path with naked honesty.  She writes transparently about her struggle with food, weight, and body image.  She describes in deeply human terms how she has moved toward a genuine relationship with self-nourishment and self-nurturing.”

John Robbins, Author of Diet For A New America, The Food Revolution Co-Founder Food Revolution Network

Food Fix offers an amazingly corrective, functional and heartfelt approach to food, eating and self-care.”

Joseph McLeod, BA, CPT, FMS

“This is a courageous book. By sharing her personal journey, Susan inspires hope for a gentle, self-compassionate way out of what she calls ’Food Frenzy’. With each chapter’s Antidotes to Food Frenzy, she is right there with her reader, teaching and encouraging from beginning to end of this valuable book. (I’ve already established a new morning ritual, based on what I learned in Chapter Twelve.) Food Fix shows us the importance and healing power of mindfulness.”

Maggie Butler, MSW Writer and Co-Founder, Your Write Mind, P.A.

Food Fix is a beautiful, compassionate, heartfelt book full of precisely the medicine our culture so deeply needs right now.

Christiane Northrup, M. D.OB/GYN physician and author of the New York Times bestsellers: Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom and The Wisdom of Menopause

“Food Fix fills a gap in the resources available to individuals interested in healing their relationship to food.  The emphasis on Heartfulness provides a grounding center of kindness and compassion in the process of ‘getting real with food’.  Sue befriends the reader by sharing her personal experiences, peppered with cultural references to create a bridge of trust through shared humanity.  She takes the reader by the hand and one chapter at a time builds a pathway toward self-awareness and access to inner knowing.  The blend of ancient teachings and action steps empower the readers to discern real nourishment and find their way home to themselves.”

Julie Gray, R.N.

“Food Fix: Ancient Nourishment for Modern Hungers is wonderful book. Food Fix is not another diet book, rather it is a ‘life’ book. It points to the only place you can really find nourishment and contentment which is in your heart. It’s fair to say – food is important, the body needs it to live, but it can never fulfill the longing to be whole and healed – that comes from within you. This is a work of a lifetime, may you fare well in the journey.”

Bob Stahl, Ph.D.Co-author of A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook, Living With Your Heart Wide Open, and Calming the Rush of Panic

“If you are ready to break free from the seduction of unhealthful foods, Food Fix is the book for you. Susan Young shares valuable lessons from her journey to overcome dependence on high-fat, sugary foods and gives you the tools you need to take control of your health.  Refocusing on healthful fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes will change your life. Susan will inspire you to nourish yourself with whole plant-based foods.”

Neal Barnard, M.D.PresidentPhysicians Committee for Responsible Medicine

Lessons from a Golfer: A Daughter’s Story of Opening the Heart

“…just finished reading Lessons from a Golfer: A Daughter’s Story of Opening the Heart. Many parts left a lump in my throat. Very soul searching, honest chronology of what families go through when a loved one is ill. Commendations and kudos for sharing this wonderful story.”


About a week after I read Lessons from a Golfer, A Daughter’s Story of Opening the Heart. my brother-in-law, whom I dearly love, went in for triple by-pass surgery. I was deeply touched by this author’s journey with her father and family and benefited a great deal from the lessons she shared here.


“This wonderful story connects the dots between the game of golf and the life lessons it can teach us.  Lessons is a book of the heart in every sense of the word. For every child who has ever wondered how to honor his or her father, for every golfer fascinated with the link between the game of golf and the game of life, and for every family member who has endured a health crisis with a loved one, this book is a gem. “

Nancy StoreyExecutive DirectorMaine State Golf Association

“When Maine golf champion Dr. Ray Lebel went into the hospital with heart trouble, his daughter, Susan Lebel Young, worked through the experience by keeping a journal. That journal now forms the core of her new book, Lessons from a Golfer.  While she trudged through this difficult time, Young found that her father’s golf-inspired life strategies, (‘keep your eye on your own game,’  ‘tackle one shot at a time,’) gave her hope and the ability to hang in there.”

Review in Port City Life

“Duke Ellington said, ‘It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing.’ If this is true, then Ray Lebel means a lot. On the first tee or with a cornet in his hand, he can swing! Ray is a true Renaissance man. Getting to know Ray Lebel in life and through this book redefined for me what a human is capable of.”

Tony BoffaMusician and Golf Enthusiast