Sarah’s Rap: Ever since I was a young girl, I’ve loved to pore over cookbooks. I read recipes like some do magazine articles and usually head to the cookbook section in a bookstore before anything else, despite my already overflowing shelf of cooking and baking manuals. I don’t usually watch sitcoms, but sit me in front of the Food Network, Cupcake War or some other foodie cooking show and I’m sucked in. Or at least I used to be. Now that I can’t eat many of the things they are cooking on those shows, and frankly often don’t want to, I find them less appealing. Despite the fact that I started a Paleo diet because that was all I could eat, I actually prefer to fill my body with healthy foods. I love the way it make me feel and firmly believe that a daily diet full of fresh veggies, fruits, nuts and healthy meats and fish is the best way to nurture both the body and the mind.
Over the last seven years, my shelf full of high-sugar, grain- and dairy-filled cookbooks has transformed to be chock full of Paleo, anti-inflammatory, gluten-free, and grilling cookbooks. Wherever I look, stores are selling books and cookbooks on these topics as well as Clean Eating, Whole 30, the Mediterranean diet, the Ketogenic diet, and more. Every body is different, so a Paleo diet might not be the right choice for everyone, but there is no mistaking that cutting out sugar, gluten, corn and unhealthy oils can improve anyone’s health. There are so many great options out there for people who want to change their way of eating to one that will improve or promote better health.
In the beginning, cutting back on my favorite sweets, pastas and breads was tough. I started slow and gradually replaced them with Paleo alternatives. Now I am okay with my new diet but initially it was stressful and often I’d become sad or feel deprived particularly when eating out. Gradually I moved beyond that and feel that I’ve been shown the light, so to speak, when it comes to taking care of myself. I hope that others can take the steps necessary to bring greater health to their lives. To help, I thought I’d share some of my favorite Paleo cookbooks.
Whereas blogs, Pinterest, and the Internet are nice for finding recipes, and I often do just that, it’s not the same as sitting down with a book full of glossy food photos and being able to browse the offerings without scrolling. 🙂 Most come with a great intro section and will definitely offer inspiration for changing out traditional meals with options better suited for better health and longevity. A Paleo diet consists of healthy meats, vegetables, fruits, nuts and fats. Even if you don’t follow a Paleo diet, you’ll enjoy many of the recipes in these books.
If you’re a cookbook junkie like I am, you might want to check out the gems below. And even if you don’t love cooking or baking, I hope you pick one and try it out. By cooking and baking for myself, I’ve been able to control what goes into my food, eat a greater variety of healthy options and build a healthier lifestyle for myself.
My Top 10 Favorite Paleo Cookbooks
- “My Paleo Patisserie: An Artisan Approach to Grain-Free Baking” by Jenni Hulet
- “Paleo Cooking from Elana’s Pantry” by Elana Amsterdam
- “Sheet Pan Paleo” by Pamela Ellgen
- “Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans” by Michelle Tam and Henry Fong
- “Against All Grain: Delectable Paleo Recipes to Eat Well and Feel Great” by Danielle Walker
- “The Grain-Free Family Table” by Carrie Vitt
- “Real Food, Real Simple” by Taylor Riggs, R.D.N.
- “The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook” by Mickey Trescott, NTP
- “The Alternative Autoimmune Cookbook” by Angie Alt
- “Celebrations” by Danielle Walker
Over the next few months, I will be doing more in-depth posts on a few of these cookbooks. I will admit that I often fall into a cooking/baking rut, despite so many beautiful options to explore, and many times find myself cooking the same foods. Despite my cookbook addiction, I don’t use some of them as often as I want, often pulling them out only for special occasions and instead cooking the a variation on the same foods each week – meat, roasted vegetables, eggs, Paleo muffins and soup. I want to change that, so I’ll be cooking from a different cookbook every two weeks and sharing with you my favorite recipes and those of my picky kids.
Please let us know in the comments if you have any other cookbook recommendations.