Dieting and eating healthy are essential for feeling good and staying thin. For anyone concerned about their health or weight, a healthy cookbook can make a thoughtful gift this season.
I've assembled a selection of my favorite books and cookbooks focusing on healthy eating. This collection addresses anything from low calorie recipes to eating organic and sustainable foods. Inspire someone in your life to start eating consciously.
The End of Overeating – Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite, David A. Kessler, MD
If you've ever struggled with controlling your urge to splurge on a jumbo sized bag of potato chips or junk food cravings, you'll benefit from this expose into the American food industry. David Kessler, former head of the FDA, provides incredible insight into the mechanics of the human brain and why some people have difficulty controlling their appetites. Fact-based yet written in a clear, conversational style, Kessler demonstrates how the food industry exploits the addictive tendencies of humans. It's all about the sugar, fat and salt combo!
In paperback – Borders Books $15.99
The Art of Eating In – How I learned to Stop Spending and Love the Stove, Cathy Erway
This entertaining yet enlightening personal account of a twenty-something New Yorker who embarks on a journey to save money, eat healthy, and return to basics by cooking at home is inspirational for all of us. Erway shares recipes along with her trials and tribulations of learning to cook. In the end, she saves a bundle of money, loses a bit of weight, and gains an appreciation for the art of home cooking. Great for the new college graduate or anyone who has vowed to stop eating fast food and cook at home more.
Hardcover – Borders Books $24.00
So Easy – Luscious Healthy Recipes for Every Meal of the Week, Ellie Krieger
Krieger, nutritionist and host of Food Network's Healthy Appetite, shares a wide selection of easy yet delicious healthy recipes for every meal, along with calorie counts and nutritional information. I like Krieger's easy stylings of gourmet meals. With such mouthwatering recipes such as Marinated Flank steak with blue cheese sauce (320 calories), Prosciutto-wrapped cod with pesto potatoes and green beans (410 calories), and Apple brown betty (230 calories), eating healthy will never be boring again.
Hardcover – Borders Books $29.95
The Omnivore's Dilemma, Michael Pollan
This book has been a landmark book for me, changing the way I cook and view food. I highly recommend this book for anyone who is interested in eating healthy and knowing the source of the foods we put into our bodies. Pollan talks about both conventional and organic industrial farming, hormones and antibiotics, and the ramifications of producing food on a mass scale. After reading this book, I was compelled to drive all over Chicago in search of a truly sustainable, free range chicken. And let me tell you, it was truly delicious – I'll never eat a Perdue again.
Paperback – Borders Books, $16.00
Harvest to Heat – Cooking with America's Best Chefs, Farmers, and Artisans, Darryl Estrine and Kelly Kochendorfer
For those interested in delving more into the local food movement, this gorgeous book is chockful of delicious recipes and breathtaking photos. Eating sustainably and supporting local food producers, such as Boley Farms and McCarthy Farms, teaches people to eat foods when they are produced and at the height of their flavor. Instead of supporting an industry that delivers us plastic tomatoes devoid of taste in mid-December, the book engages us to relish seasonal foods delivered from farm to table. Recipes featured include a Roasted Trout with Herb-Champagne Vinaigrette and Brussels sprouts with Brown Butter, Bacon, and Sage. Not only a great resource but a beautiful and decorative display book as well.
Hardcover – Borders Books, $40.00
The Food Matters Cookbook, Mark Bittman
New York Times bestselling author Mark Bittman offers up easy and delectable recipes that emphasize fresh, healthy foods. Bittman changed his eating habits because of health issues several years ago and now advocates conscious eating over processed foods that harm our bodies. The recipes are simple to make yet will satisfy the whole family, such as a Grilled Turkey Hash with Red Wine Glaze and Whole Wheat Chapatis. For anyone desiring to cook healthier and improve upon their health.
Hardcover, Borders Books, $35.00
101 Foods that Could Save Your Life, David Grotto, RD, LDN
Local Elmhurst author and nutritionist David Grotto explains the powerful effects certain foods can have on our health. Grotto provides detailed explanations of 101 superfoods that can positively impact our health along with recipes and suggestions on incorporating them into our daily diet. For example, did you know that pistachios have a high amount of resveratrol, the plant chemical which is believed to fight cancer and heart disease? This book is full of interesting facts and is a valuable handbook for any health-conscious cook.
Paperback - Borders Books, $15.00
The Flexitarian Diet – The Mostly Vegetarian Way to Lose Weight, Be Healthier, Prevent Disease, and Add Years to your Life, Dawn Jackson Blatner, RD, LDN
So we've all heard how healthy vegetables are, right? But as Blatner acknowledges, it's awfully hard to eschew a juicy burger at a barbecue for a tofu patty. Blatner champions the Flexitarian lifestyle – one in which you eat mostly vegetables, fruits, and whole grains, with a little bit of meat. It's a compromise – something we all need! This book provides 100 intriguing recipes everyone will enjoy, such as Potatoes and Brussels Sprouts with Parmesan and Indian Lentil Wraps. Blatner also suggests a diet plan incorporating her recipes.