gifts beyond the gift card (part 1) + go-to cookbooks

Looking for a gift that runs deeper than a gift card? Maybe even one that encourages, inspires and helps your loved ones feel good far beyond the holidays?

For anyone who has shown an interest in healthier eating, not just the cooks in the family, these cookbooks read more like manifestos. They are stories of the author’s personal path to finding their groove with food.

I also appreciate that they are written for people who aren’t necessarily passionate about cooking. What they are passionate about is making food that gives them energy and gets rid of the things that make them feel bad – digestion troubles, crazy cravings, issues with cholesterol, blood sugar, thyroid, food allergies, etc…

All of them are packed with ways to incorporate more real food into your meals… something everyone can use, no matter what your health condition or food philosophy.

 

Tara, me and an armload of her cookbooks :)

Tara, me and an armload of her cookbooks 🙂

Tara Stiles, Make  Your Own Rules Diet. Like all things Tara, her recipes are super simple. This one is ideal for “non-cooks” and anyone flirting with getting into yoga or meditation… lots of how to’s included.  I’d also pass along a link to her You Tube channel where she shows how really simple this food thing can be in the Recipes section. (Mainly vegan, gluten-free, natural sweeteners.)

Gwyneth Paltrow, It’s All Good. Gwyneth’s more of a cook… but if you can follow a recipe, it will be All Good with this one. After feeling  burned out and lethargic, she turned to an elimination diet to get her back on track. Insight from Dr. Alexander Junger (of Clean) and Dr. Habib Sadeghi, combined with her passion for real food offer real-life menus for real-life families. This is the most food-stained cookbook in my collection. (Mostly gluten-free, natural sweeteners, has meat, but lots of plant-based options too.) 

Giada, Feel Good Food. This one, along with Crazy Sexy Kitchen by Kris Carr are close seconds for my most used cookbooks. I love Giada’s for her beauty secrets and Kris’s for providing the MOST powerful “plant-based-diet-as-preventative-medicine” message.  Be sure to pass along the link to her Crazy Sexy Cancer movie trailer to whomever you give it to. I credit that movie, along with her blog and book, Crazy Sexy Diet for inspiring me to really explore the food thing. Both offer easy recipes. (Kris’s is plant-based. Giada has some meat + lots of plant-based options.)

Superfood Smoothies by Julie Morris. Just when I thought I’d mastered smoothies, my friend Ashley rocked my world with this book. If you know anyone perplexed by superfoods like cacao, maca, lucuma, and goji berries, this is the perfect gift. Or, if you know anyone perplexed by what to do with their Vitamix, this is the perfect gift. Add Superfood Kitchen and Superfood Juices and make it a Super Special gift !

Simple Recipes for Joy: More than 200 delicious vegan recipes, by Sharon Gannon. This one was given to me by my yoga teacher, written by her yoga teacher, with a foreward written by my healing, nutrition teacher, Kris Carr. How can this be wrong? While I’m not vegan (yet), my heart has serious vegan tendencies. Receiving and reading this book is encouraging me to follow my heart. Regardless of where you are on the subject, the recipes are easy and nutrition-packed.

Breakfast Criminals. This is more of a movement than a book. Ksenia has taken superhuman breakfasts to the streets of NY, encouraging people to start the day with a bowl of love. You can download the e-book and order a heart-shaped bowl for a sweet gift. Two people on my list will be getting these 🙂

heart bowls

I could go on and on with cookbooks. Stay tuned for other gift ideas in Part 2 🙂

If you need help finding your yoga, meditation or food groove,  join our40 Day program at Session Yoga, beginning January 6th, or “Let Go of 2014″ workshop with Jes Gale on December 19th. Sign up here!