Book Review: Inspired by Lorna Jane Clarkson

This is Book Review: Inspired by Lorna Jane Clarkson. I was very happy to receive this book through Sweat Pink Ambassador/Fit Approach program. This is a sponsored campaign. All opinions are, however, always my own.

The very first impression I got, as I opened the package containing my brand new, fresh-from-the-print book Inspired, is that this author’s colorful bubbly personality shines through in every page!

I am a visual type, no doubt about it. That’s why I like to spend my time taking beautiful pictures of food, yoga, nature and my dog, Zen. Everything can be made more enjoyable if we just invest a few extra minutes of effort to make it pretty, colorful, creative. Cooking is an amazing outlet for that, and so is yoga. I love teaching yoga, I get 60 - 90 minutes of ‘showtime’ to create a brand new sequence, new playlist, new mood each time.

That is why I was immediately attracted to this book. Words cannot describe how beautiful it is, and the only thing prettier than the carefully-designed pages are the words in it. The name Inspired could not be more appropriate! If you are looking for a book to Inspire you on every field of life, this is it!

Describing Lorna Jane Clarkson as an activewear mogul is an understatement. She is your ultimate #girlboss, and in a field all us girls can only dream of working it. She designs fabulous workout clothes, for God’s sake! With over 155 shops in 54 countries, she is most definitely successful.

She also writes awesome books to top! Inspire is not her first baby. Move, Nourish, Believe was her introductory piece in 2011, followed by MORE of the Fit Woman’s Secrets in 2013. She dedicated a whole book only to recipes, and her first cookbook, NOURISH - The Fit Woman’s Cookbook was published in 2014.

Her Instagram accounts simply re-affirm the ultimate inspirational girl status. Combined, the two accounts boost over 720k followers, and they are full of pictures of cute girls sporting cute active wear (duh!), Pinterest-worthy inspirational quotes, and delicious foods. She got me hooked, that’s for sure!

Lorna Jane started out some 25 years ago, as a fitness instructor in Queensland, Australia, and it is clear she has plenty of experience in the field by her spot-on tips and advice. As a yoga instructor myself, I simply cannot underestimate how refreshing it is to see a book filled with very positive images and messages. Although Lorna Jane is quite popular, successful, and of course, beautiful, neither this book nor her social media is overflowing with her own pictures, selfies, or even life story. Yes, her own voice is very much heard (and her face is on the cover), but her work is not of auto-biographical nature and it’s not a tribute to her own life or success, but rather completely dedicated to the reader - or so I feel, as I flip through the pages (or IG posts).

Each page of the book is like a story in itself, with unique color schemes, fonts and pictures, that all somehow combined form a well-rounded story on how to make your life better, in every field. It’s prettier than the last issue of a fashion magazine, and the tips are quite on point and relevant.

But enough of my swooning over the looks, let’s dive into the content!

LJ’s simple philosophy is MOVE, NOURISH, BELIEVE.

Each chapter is dedicated to an area of life, beginning with the simple “Start Believing”! In a nut shell, the whole book covers areas of life from Beauty, to Nourishment (the chapter that definitely catches my attention, but more on that later), Fitness, Party planing, Balance, Travel, Happiness, and Style. Like I said, all is covered. And each area of life is touched upon with mindfulness, positive affirmations, and goal building.

A whole chapter of the book is entitled Dream Big, and that is an underlying theme of Inspired. How do you dream big, what inspires you, what moves you? No matter your professional field, or lack of direction in the same, Inspired boosts tips on how to make your dreams happen. This is where Lorna Jane spills her tips on becoming the boss of your own life. My favorite quote:

Find a career that you can wake up to every day and be passionate about. A career that involves doing things that you would choose to do even if you weren’t getting paid for it.

We immediately get a glimpse into the secret of her success. I am a firm believer in this philosophy. I don’t work to make money, I don’t do things just so I would gain something, but I really work on finding my happy every day, in everything I do. Mindless fitness to just ‘torture fat out of your body’, eating according to rules and calorie counting, fake relationships aimed at selfish benefits, none will make us happy… So the first step in finding Inspiration in life is - finding that positive mindset and doing things we genuinely like!

The whole book continues in the same tone in every aspect. You will get snippets of interviews with successful people (like Lorna Jane herself), inspirational words from real girls all over the world (like “What would you tell your younger self”), recipes for homemade beauty products, travel tips.. you name it. It is a well rounded fun read.

Inspired has a cool iconographic of how to build a perfect smoothie (no health book can go without it), from base to delicious extras. Here’s my quick take on it! Base: Ice, Produce: Banana, frozen strawberries, frozen blueberries, frozen raspberries. Liquid: almond milk, Add-ons: Plant based protein with hemp seeds. Blend and enjoy!

What are the CONS?

There aren’t many. It delivers what it promises. It’s a super pretty coffee table book, perfect for any fashionista’s, fitnessista’s, inspirational girl’s modern loft style apartment. I love keeping it in my ‘yoga space’ next to my mat, and get a glimpse of an inspirational message here and there.

I wish there were more recipes in it. I know, Lorna Jane already has a cookbook, and this book didn’t focus on nourishment alone. But I love food and healthy recipes, and even if they are not vegan or raw, most healthy recipes can be modified to fit the needs. I did love the Confetti Cake, which is vegan and basically raw!

I could have used more fitness or workout tips too, or rather read something I haven’t really seen or tried before. But the ones that are there are solid. Both recipes and fitness tips are scattered all over, there is some in each chapter (like Vacay moves in the Travel section).

This isn’t a book filled with deep words that never end, but rather images and ideas. If you are expecting philosophical topics, long transformational stories, or a good novel, continue looking. This is a cool, modern, fit girl’s guide to success, painted in colorful and creative fonts, well executed pictures, and inspirational posters. And it’s a fun read every time!

I leave you with the most important question:

What Inspires you?