The word healthy has become so controversial, hasn’t it? Everyone has their own definition, and people sure are stubborn with their opinions. I’ve tried to learn as much as I can about nutrition and healthy eating through books, studies, videos, lectures, etc. and the fact remains that no one can agree on what the heck healthy even means.
The lack of consistency across the board doesn’t make it any easier for the rest of us busy people just tryna get by in life without having to worry about the nutritional value of every morsel we shove into our mouths. It doesn’t help that food labels and advertising campaigns do nothing but confuse you more.
Of all the books I’ve read on the matter, there are a few I’ve found that offer a well-rounded and less complicated approach to healthy living. These are not diet books. They are also not just recipe books. They offer a whole lot more, which is why I love them so much.Each of these books offers practical advice on living well and improving your health, and none of them force you to eat any one way or preach that their way is best (YASSS!) I think you’ll appreciate how they don’t fit ‘healthy eating’ into a box and focus rather on balance as key to living a healthy life.
If you need some inspiration to be a little healthier or just want some practical advice, these books are for you!
1. Nourish by Amber Rose, Sadie Frost & Holly Davidson
Nourish is perfect for anyone who wants an all-encompassing health book because it combines the three most important aspects of wellness: mind, body, and soul. Written by three friends (well, Sadie and Holly are sisters), each author gives thoughtful advice about improving your well-being through food, exercise, and mindfulness. There’s even a weekly plan to follow at the end that combines a meal plan, exercise routine, and meditation program.
You also get recipes like Raspberry & Rose Cupcakes, an explanation of the different types of yoga and a daily practice to follow, meditation tips, positive thinking tips, and a 4-week exercise program.
2. Joyous Health by Joy McCarthy
I love Joy’s approach to health and wellness because she acknowledges that there is no one-size fits-all way to eat. Instead of fixating on diets or counting calories, she emphasizes mindful eating, healthy substitutions, and detoxing in a safe and gradual way.
You get a ton of helpful tips for living a joyous life, as well as tasty recipes that will boost your mood and give you energy all day. You can also expect healthy food budgeting tips, an explanation of superfoods and how to use them, and a 10-day meal plan and wellness journal.
Buy here: Joyous Healthy by Joy McCarthy
3. The Plant-Powered Diet by Sharon Palmer, RD
This is a great book for anyone interested in optimizing their health, and it’s really helpful if you’re considering reducing your intake of animal products. I especially like that this book includes tips for omnivores, vegetarians, and vegans, without trying to force the idea down your throat that any one way of eating is ‘correct’.
The book encompasses a lot of topics, including exercise, and I feel like it’s the perfect read for anyone embarking on the journey to improve their health. Palmer is articulate, concise, and informational (without being boring), which makes this an all-around enjoyable read. She also includes tips on where to get protein, how to fall in love with veggies, how to eat healthy on-the-go and in restaurants, and an example food and exercise journal.
4. Deliciously Ella by Ella Woodward
Ella has an enormously popular food blog, deliciouslyella.com, and her book became the fastest selling debut cookbook ever. She started her blog as a way of sharing how she was dealing with a relatively rare illness by eating a whole foods, plant-based diet, and her book is a continuation of the blog.
The book is broken into sections by food group (Grains, Nuts, Beans, Veggies, Fruit) with tips on how to use and prepare each group, as well as lots of quick and simple recipes. Ella’s recipes use easy-to-find ingredients which really makes grocery shopping and cooking a whole lot more enjoyable. It’s also nice to know that these recipes aren’t going to make you feel bloated or weighed down. Some of my favorite recipes include homemade Nutella(!), Almond Butter Fudge, and 10-minute Tomato Pasta.
Buy here: Deliciously Ella by Ella Woodward
5. The China Study by T. Colin Campbell, PhD
This one is for all the nutrition nerds out there! If you haven’t heard of The China Study, it’s basically a compilation of research studies that show there’s a strong correlation between eating animal products and disease in humans (although some people do question how thorough the research is). The name comes from comparative research conducted on diets in rural China versus the Western diet.
Even though it’s long and research-heavy, the authors did a great job simplifying the science jargon to make it easy for anyone to read. It uncovers a lot of interesting (and concerning) information about how the science and nutrition industries are corrupted, which makes it extremely difficult for any of us to know what we should be eating. But the best thing is that despite the evidence the authors uncovered, they don’t want you to obsess over what you eat.
What are your recommendations for health books?