About ten years ago the up and coming lifestyle shift was labeled Paleo. (Our family started down that path in 2010) A few years after that, Whole 30 became all the rage and has continued to gain popularity. Recently a shift has been made towards Keto, or focusing on the benefits of getting your body into ketosis. These could all fall under the category of clean eating. And all the while, there has been an undercurrent of following what is simply called a traditional diet.
Going into details of each of these lifestyles is for another post, another day! For now, I am going to keep it simple and list my favorite cookbooks that fall into these categories. Trust me - we have gone through our fair share over the last decade and found plenty of duds - but there are some truly phenomenal people out there creating out of this world food...that's healthy to boot.
Paleo Indulgences was the first Paleo sweets cookbook I found that was continually reliable. In books before this, typically only a few recipes would turn out well (I blame it on the recipe, not user error ;) Discovering this was such a treat! There are several recipes that are not desserts, which is an added bonus.
Shortly thereafter, Danielle Walker hit the scene and quickly became a darling of the grain free movement. Her journey in life has not been easy yet her story is beautiful. I bought her first cookbook, Against All Grain: Delectable Paleo Recipes to Eat Well & Feel Great, and I think I told everyone I knew about it once we dove in! It is great for beginners and includes a section specifically tailored to children, featuring dishes like banana mouse pancakes, hidden-veggie muffins, mini-meatloaf muffins, fruit juice gelatin shapes and trail mix granola bars. The recipe that got the most attention from this specific book was her World Famous Sandwich Bread.
Her second and third cookbooks have been just as wonderful. Against All Grain: Meals Made Simple, and Against All Grain: Celebrations, A Year of Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free and Paleo Recipes for Every Occasion. Our favorite recipe out of all of them is her Real Deal Chocolate Chip Cookies 2.0 from Meals Made Simple. YUM!
Her fourth book, Eat What You Love, is being released this December, and you can preorder it now. If you don't have the funds to purchase any new cookbooks right now, make sure to check out Danielle's recipe index on her website.
If the idea of switching to a lifestyle of clean eating just simply doesn't seem possible because who in their right mind would ever cut out biscuits and gravy, coffee cake, chicken pot pies, chicken and dumplings, grits, pigs in a blanket, bread pudding, cobbler, funnel cakes and other Southern staples...look no further than Down South Paleo: Delectable Southern Recipes Adapted for Gluten Free, Paleo Eaters. Y'all [PSA: it's y'all, not ya'll] this book is so much fun! Our favorite recipe from this book is her pigs in a blanket. Delicious and filling!
If you are looking for a cookbook specifically for your children with very simple recipes they can manage with minimal supervision, check out Eat Like A Dinosaur. The food is kid friendly and very straightforward. Don't expect show stoppers, but do expect tasty, easy meals that the kids can participate in creating. We love the waffles!
We were actually making a batch of these waffles in the photoshoot below from 2013. The suggestion is to make enough to freeze, but I could never keep them around long enough to get them in the freezer. They are so yummy!!!
I had always hung on to 10 pounds since my fourth was born four years ago, even after strictly adhering to Paleo and Whole 30. I did Keto by the book for a week and dropped SEVEN pounds. Clearly my body responded very well to this! I became more educated about nutrition after reading about ketosis and highly recommend researching it. Happy eating! xxSF.
[As a side note, I don't care for the word diet being associated with any of these lifestyles. While I understand what we eat is generally attributed to being labeled "our diet," I believe the word diet still carries a negative connotation of deprivation and restriction, which couldn't be further from what clean eating is. We originally decided to adjust our lifestyle not necessarily to lose weight, which is usually a happy byproduct, but to pursue health, wellness, and a life free of disease. I think if you approach anything as only a short term solution, as diets tend to be, long term success won't be as easy.]