There’s something wonderful about January. It’s a month of possibilities when we take a step back from day-to-day life to think about who we want to become. It’s also a time when we try to make new habits stick. This year, two of the leading resolutions set by Americans are to “live a healthier lifestyle” and “lose weight.” Easier said than done, right? To set you on the right track in 2016, arm yourself with these inspiring cookbooks full of easy, nourishing recipes to help make your resolutions a reality. Read on to find the perfect healthy tome to achieve your goals.
If the thought of a juice cleanse or counting calories makes you want to forget your resolutions and reach for a glazed donut, this cookbook is for you. Far from a traditional diet manual, Bon Appetit focuses on eating nutrient-packed meals rather than self-denial. “The problem with cleanses is that they tend to vilify food, treating it as the enemy of health rather than the key to it,” says author Sara Dickerman. Her goal? To make a cookbook that celebrates flavor. The book contains 140 nourishing recipes and four cleanse plans that even include dessert.
Cooking sans meat and seafood can be a real challenge, but blogger and author Sarah Britton makes these vegetarian recipes look five star. Inspired by “the seasons and eating in connection with nature,” Britton’s cookbook covers weeknight family-friendly meals, grocery lists, and back-to-basics tutorials that teach you how to cook grains and make nut butter. We love the little health IQ notes at the end of each recipe, which gives bite-sized information about what makes your meal healthy.
Eating to boost your happiness isn’t usually associated with healthy living, but British culinary master Jamie Oliver is set to change that. Designed to “help you cook your way to a healthier, happier, and more productive life,” his latest cookbook puts emphasis on well-rounded recipes and superfood ingredients to fuel your body and mind.
Guilty of coming home from a long day in the office and opting for takeout instead of a home-cooked meal? We’ve all been there. Break up with your local fast food hangout once and for all with these simple, make-ahead meals, including beef barley kale stew and granola breakfast jars.
Cooking in advance is much more than a time saver. A study by John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found that those who swapped restaurant dining for prepared home-cooked meals consumed fewer calories. What’s even better is that people who frequently made their own meals ate less, even when they dined out on the odd occasion, proving that the habit sticks.
Vegan diets have been credited with a ton of health benefits, including reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. Reach for this cookbook for healthy, balanced vegan options that include spices, grains, beans, and vegetables. Think Thai red curry with winter squash, mushrooms, and broccoli, or lemongrass cabbage soup. Plus, each recipe has been designed for a pressure cooker, so you can throw the ingredients together in the morning and return home after work to a delicious meal. Easy.
A great resource to kick-off your resolution, this cookbook outlines how to stock a diet-friendly kitchen and includes 100 recipes that focus on improving digestion. The best part? Nutritionist Megan Gilmore has created the book to be used every day, so you’ll find hearty meals like skillet fish tacos side-by-side with waist-friendly treats like peppermint fudge bars.
Low fat and low-flavor don't have to go hand-in-hand. Gina Homolka, founder of Skinny Taste blog, has put together recipes that tick both boxes. If you’ve committed to a health overhaul but your partner or family just want mac ‘n’ cheese for dinner, this crowd-pleaser has healthy recipes for everyone. Our pick: the winter potato, kale, and sausage frittata.
Nutritional therapist to the stars Amelia Freer keeps it simple in her first-ever cookbook. Her 10-step guide breaks down healthy eating into a simple list of fuss-free rules, including “make fat your friend (and sugar your enemy)” and “stop snacking.” You’ll pick up this cookbook for its motivational quotes and meal planners and keep it on your countertop for its wholesome, rustic recipes.
We all know that sugar is a diet no-no, but with the white granules in everything from ketchup to Coke, it can be hard to shake the habit. Reach for this sugar-free manual to get started with the bare essentials. From how to cook sweet meals without sugar to new ways to use your leftovers, this handy how-to belongs on every countertop.
Coconuts have topped the superfood list for years, and there’s good reason. A growing body of research suggests they could protect against heart disease and even boost metabolism, not to mention coconuts are packed with nutritional goodness. This cookbook takes our coconut obsession to new heights, with a lineup of creative dairy-free meal ideas. Topping our must-make list: coconut yogurt with raspberry pomegranate coulis and toasted seeds. It’s sweet enough for dessert but healthy enough to have for breakfast.
What cookbook do you think should make the list? Share your favorite healthy must-have in the comments below.