Have you come out of the post-Thanksgiving feeding frenzy haze?  Over the past few weeks I’ve been “getting the business” from my family to complete my holiday wish list.  As I started piling onto the list the titles of books I hadn’t yet read, I thought of all the great books I had encountered this year….especially the cookbooks.

In fact, I am one lucky duck.  One of the things I get to do as a health expert is review fantastic books each year.  So, here are my picks and favorite cookbooks for 2014.  These are books you’ll want on to put on your holiday wish list…seriously.  GREAT resources and delicious recipes here. Enjoy!

(listed in no particular order)

  1. Mediterranean Paleo Cooking

Mediterranean PaleoI don’t know where to start regarding the glory of this cookbook. Mediterranean Paleo Cooking is a feast for the eyes and the belly- from the pictures, to the stories to the recipes. At times, I was completely transported to the Mediterranean. I could practically smell spicy aromas wafting out of the pages.

Because I coach people to heal their gut, I am so happy this book was created! MPC contains great guides for anyone following a Paleo, AIP, GAPS, SCD, low-carb, nut free or egg-free diet. It also explains in a comprehensive yet straightforward fashion so much of what’s important about food – for instance, which food sources are best, what the different types of gut healing diets are and so much more.This is a terrific cookbook for meal planning and inspiration.

I’ve already made a few recipes and each one has been simple and absolutely delicious! It’s been hard to put this cookbook down. I just love reading it, looking at the stunning food photography and using it to craft my family’s weekly meal plan. It’s bringing me back to my time spent in the Mediterranean. GREAT ADDITION to any kitchen!

  1. The Paleo Kitchen

The Paleo Kitchen 2When I was first diagnosed with Hashimoto’s, my digestion was in shreds. I couldn’t eat a thing without having some sort of reaction – a pesky cough, tight chest, eczema and may stomach upset. I couldn’t get any help from my doctors about what I should eat to make all this go away. So I researched…and learned about the connection between gut health, adrenal health and thyroid function.

Over and over again, I read accounts of the Paleo diet reversing the symptoms I was experiencing. I was afraid to take the plunge though. In my mind, it sounded like that “crazy” Atkins diet. And because I had been trained in the accepted, traditional nutrition concepts of the day, eating a diet without grains seemed like a fad diet that could do harm.

To say that The Paleo Kitchen has everything you want in a cookbook is an understatement. This is a Paleo bible for your kitchen.

The Paleo Kitchen takes you through the basics of Paleo eating, through your pantry, through your kitchen, through the grocery store all the through the meal on your table. It gives you the tools you need to start enjoying the Paleo lifestyle in a clear and straightforward way.

And then there are the recipes! Don’t get me started on the recipes. As a Midwestern girl, they had me at Biscuits & Gravy. But there’s much, much more from breakfast favorites, to delightful appetizers to vibrant lunches and dinners. Just the pictures alone make me want to eat this book, literally.

The recipes are simple, delicious and a cure-all from menu planning boredom. George & Juli hit a home run with The Paleo Kitchen. It’s a must-have for those in any stage of Paleo living and for those ready to be inspired!

  1. The Grain-Free Family Table

Grain Free FamilyAs a health expert and coach, one of the most common challenges I hear from you is finding nourishing, healing and delicious recipes the ENTIRE family will enjoy. We all have those picky eaters in our home and Carrie Vitt has the remedy for that!

The Grain-Free Family Table is by far, one of the best cookbooks to arrive this year.  Carrie’s recipes are simple, family-friendly and fun! I’ve had my 5-year old join in on preparing several of her recipes and he not only has a blast, he’s been thrilled with every dish we’ve made so far from this cookbook. I can’t tell you how great it is to have buy-in from a picky eater and The Grain-Free Family Table does just that.

What I also love about this book is how nourishing and healing the recipes are for the gut and the body in general. This is one of the main attributes I’m looking for when I’m recommending a cookbook to a client and this cookbook hits it out of the ballpark.

In fact, a few years ago, I found Carrie’s pecan pie recipe on her Delicious Organic blog and have successfully recreated this dish year after year for the holidays to absolute raves! (if you’re not following Deliciously Organic online, do it now!)

I really can’t say enough wonderful things about this cookbook. It’s a win-win when it comes to meal prep – easy for you and delicious for your family. With the Grain-free Family cookbook, you will have lots of happy eaters at your table. :)

  1. The Wellness Mama Cookbook

Wellness-Mama-CookbookLike many of you, I’m a huge fan of Katie The Wellness Mama’s blog so I was super stoked that she was creating a cookbook this year.  I’ve been waiting anxiously for it to arrive and let me tell you, it was worth the wait!  I became giddier and giddier as I flipped through the pages.

As a fellow Hashimoto’s sufferer, she’s got loads of healing recipes in this bad boy.  My eyes were delighted just flipping through the breakfast section! We’ve been in a breakfast rut for sure.  My little guy, who also has to follow a healing meal plan, was about to mount a mutiny if I didn’t come up with something of interest for breakfast soon!  So, I started off with the sausage stuffed apples – a huge hit!  So, simple, delicious and just plain pretty.  I’d be happy to serve them for a fancy brunch as well.

Moving through the book, I dog-eared page after page of recipes I had to try.  With every section of the book, I got more and more excited to jump into the kitchen and get cookin’!  There’s so much I could say about The Wellness Mama Cookbook but here are some of the highlights for me…

I already mentioned the stuffed apples and then there were the scrumptious meatloaf cupcakes with sweet potato topping.  Uh, super yum!  And they look so inviting that every kid will happily munch on them.  Then there were the probiotic marshmallows.  I’m all over this recipe…a sweet treat with a probiotic kicker?  Yes, please.

Oh, and let’s talk about the homemade beverage section.  Wha???  Homemade ginger ale, probiotic lemonade, a natural electrolyte elixir, homemade almond milk and coconut milk + much more!  Then there were herbal teas like natural stomach soother and an herbal wassail (a new holiday favorite).  

I don’t really eat dessert too much anymore but the dessert section of this book blew. my. mind.  I’ll be turning to this section for all my holiday entertaining, that’s for sure!

I only wish I could eat cheese!  There were a bunch of scrumptious recipes that included dairy that I can’t try but there is plenty of deliciousness that’s dairy free in this book.  You’ll love it.

  1. The Savvy Gluten-free Shopper

Gluten-free Savvy ShopperHave you wanted to try a following a gluten-free diet but are confused at where to start?  Are you worried that it will be expensive?  Well worry no more! Jennifer Fugo of the Gluten-free School has got you covered in her book, The Savvy Gluten-free Shopper.   

I just loved this book because Jennifer teaches you how to eat healthy and follow a gluten-free diet without breaking the bank.  Man, do I wish I’d known all this before I started my gluten-free journey.  I could have saved loads of money with Jennifer’s simple and effective tips.  I’ve already begun employing some of her strategies and they are making a serious difference in our weekly grocery bill.

What I love most about this book is how Jennifer covers all aspects of following a gluten-free diet.  No stone is left unturned.  She tackles where gluten hides in common foods, how to best stock in your pantry, food storage options and tips, how to budget for gluten-free living, gluten-free meal planning and snacking, and she throws in some delicious recipes to boot.  It’s like a gluten-free bible!….and you must have it.  It’s the perfect kitchen companion for the food lover who is ready to go gluten-free.

Well, I hope you enjoy these fantastic books as much as I do.  They are resources I’ve turned to again and again over the past year.  You’ll love having these in your kitchen as well.

In additiona to the article you just read, I provide a ton of resources on healing your thyroid naturally, including:

  • Our totally free Thyroid Healing Type Assessment, Report and Coaching Sessions
  • Right here on my blog, where I talk about what’s worked best for me and my clients, as well as the latest research and resources I come across.  You can subscribe to get new blog posts delivered right to your email by signing up on the righthand side of the page.
  • My book, Healing Hashimoto’s Naturally — part memoir, part instruction manual for how I personally healed my Hashimoto’s disease.
  • My exclusive free 6 Thyroid Myths That Can Keep You From Healing workshop — with info on the comprehensive Thyroid Fix in 6 program, which walks you through, step-by-step, the exact actions you need to take to heal your thyroid and get your life back! We’ve seen hundreds of participants in the Thyroid Fix in 6 avoid, decrease, or even eliminate the need need for thyroid medications.
  • The incredible Your Best Thyroid Life Video Bundle, in which I personally invited 27 of the world’s top health experts to share their best tips for living with and healing thyroid disease.

Jen Wittman Thyroid CoachJen Wittman is a Certified Holistic Health Expert, Chef, Author & Vitality Coach, who teaches women how to reverse thyroid and autoimmune conditions naturally. She’s helped hundreds of women decrease (or even eliminate) their thyroid medications and has helped others stay off thyroid medication entirely.

Through her free Thyroid Healing Type Assessment, Jen teaches easy and simple steps to thyroid healing that can fit into your busy day. She also provides print outs to bring to your next doctor’s appointment so you can get the support and respect you deserve.