I am a bit of a glutton for reading and research. These are a few books that have been the most influential in the decisions I have made for our family over the years.
I own all of these books, have purchased them with my own money and refer to them regularly. I receive a portion of sales from anything you purchase using these links to help support The Home Craft.
This was the first book I purchased on diet and nutrition and started my obsession with the topic. It made me aware of the seriously disappointing misinformation most Americans have been taught about what we should eat for most of our life.
After Nourishing Traditions I really didn't think another book about food would have a big impact on how I cook or choose what we eat. Surprise! While reading Eating On The Wild Side I kept thinking that it should be required reading for all people who eat and prepare food. The information was so engaging my 6 year old enjoyed me reading the chapter on Alliums to him. From choosing the fruit and vegetables at the grocery store that have the most nutrients to how (and when) to prepare food for optimal nutritional. I have made changes in how I prepare much of the food we eat based on the recommendations in this book and we have been healthier and happier for it!
Nourishing Traditions was the first cookbook that I read cover to cover. There is so much information in this book that calling it a cookbook really does it a disservice. Sally Fallon is the President of the Weston A. Price Foundation and was my first introduction to WAPF, eating traditionally prepared foods, fermentation and the benefits of cholesterol. This book made the biggest impact on how I cook and how I think about food. It basically turns the Standard American Diet on its head and challenges everything I though I knew about what we are supposed to eat.
I knew my kids health was related to my autoimmune disease, but it took me a while before I was able to get around to actually thinking about healing myself. The Paleo Approach is very heavy on the science as Sarah Ballantyne has PhD in medical biophysics. This book is full of tons of graphs, charts and data for you science nerds. I love using it for reference when I have questions like "Wait...why can't I eat corn?"
Gut and Psychology Syndrome or GAPS, is an elimination diet that focuses on complete healing of the digestive system with nourishing bone broth and fermented foods. I had read my sister-in-law's book before we had really started our heath journey and thought it sounded pretty extreme. When my son's heath issues became apparent I came back to this book with a very different perspective. Instead of simply eliminating symptoms, the goal is COMPLETE healing.
While all of these books have a common message...eat food we have been eating for thousands of years, not the processed foods we have been eating in the past hundred years. However, I really felt I was missing something in my diet and after watching Terry Wahls' TEDx Talk for the 3rd time I figured it was time to read The Wahls Protocol. Her focus on an variety of fruits and vegetables combined with the information I had from the Jo Robinson book made a big impact. She also encourages a much larger amount of vegetables than most Paleo/WAPF diets. Since making this change I have felt great and noticed significant improvement in my autoimmune disease.
Every recipe I have made from The Zenbelly Cookbook has turned out great. The recipes are not overly complicated or time consuming (a huge bonus when you are cooking for a family). So many paleo cookbooks tries to re-create meals from the standard american diet using different ingredients and fall short. This cookbook doesn't try to recreate existing dishes, they offer delicious dishes that stand on their own. There are some delicious sauces and condiments (Bourbon Bacon Jam!) and main dishes that have made it in to my regular rotation (Grilled Lemon Ginger Chicken). The pictures are beautiful and I love the ingredient photo with each recipe.
The Nourished Kitchen is full of delicious from-scratch recipes that feel like they have been pulled from an antique farmhouse cookbook. She includes basic fermentation recipes, hearty soups and stews and a large section of delicious home made bread recipes (I'm really looking forward to being able to make one of these some day). Her Creamed Collard Greens is my secret weapon to get a ton of dark leafy greens into my kids, they even ask for a second helping!