Preparing your own fresh food can be one of the best, most therapeutic treatments for your chronic pain. The good news is that 2015 was a bonanza of pain-healthy cookbooks for all types of diets. Chefs of any level, from “I can burn water” to “I am a master of haute cuisine,” can find a cookbook that works for them. Here are our favorite pain-healthy cookbooks for 2015.
1. Fast Food, Good Food: More Than 150 Quick and Easy Ways to Put Healthy, Delicious Food on the Table by Andrew Weil, MD
Dr. Weil offers up nutritious, delicious recipes from his own kitchen at home. Quick and easy enough for even the most novice cook.
2. Everyday Super Food by Jamie Oliver
Jamie Oliver may have started his career as The Naked Chef but he continues to educate and change people’s minds about what it means to eat good food. You don’t need to follow trends or spend hundreds of dollars on “superfoods.” Everyday ingredients can be super foods!
3. Cultured Food for Health: A Guide to Healing Yourself with Probiotic Foods Kefir * Kombucha * Cultured Vegetables by Donna Schwenk
Fermented foods like kefir and kombucha can go a long way towards healing a damaged gut. Because our gut is home to trillions of bacteria, research has found that imbalances can lead to any number of conditions, from inflammation to Parkinson’s disease. This cookbook offers step-by-step directions to not only make your own fermented foods but to also incorporate probiotics into your recipes.
4. Deliciously Ella: 100+ Easy, Healthy, and Delicious Plant-Based, Gluten-Free Recipes by Ella Woodward
This gorgeous, full-color cookbook offers delicious gluten-free, plant-based recipes inspired by the blog of the same name. Suffering from a mysterious illness that left her sick and with chronic pain, Ella decided to give up meat, dairy, wheat, and other inflammatory foods. Her conditioned improved quickly, and she was inspired to develop easy and delicious recipes for others.
5. Anti-Inflammatory Diet: Heal Inflammation and Eliminate Pain with These Simple and Delicious Recipes by Nancy Brooks
This cookbook not only gives recipes and tips for preparing food for optimal nutrition but also seeks to educate people on why certain foods act the way they do in the body. Aimed squarely at reducing inflammation, this is a cookbook that could change your life.
6. Healthy Smoothie Recipes for Chronic Pain by Dr. Elizabeth Wan
Dr. Wan is a doctor of integrative medicine and offers more than just smoothie recipes for chronic pain. This book also takes time to explain the research behind treating chronic pain with these fast and delicious smoothies. This book is available only on Kindle formats.
7. Grains As Mains by Laura Agar Wilson
Grains As Mains adds ancient grains – spelt, faro, buckwheat, and quinoa – into everyday recipes to punch up the nutrition and make them healthy. Even burgers get the healthy treatment, and the whole cookbook is easy to follow for the healthy-cooking newbie.
8. Bountiful: Recipes Inspired by Our Garden by Todd Porter
Beautifully photographed and lovingly written, this cookbook is an ode to the beauty and bounty of fresh-picked fruits and vegetables. Not only does the author put up delicious and easy-to-cook seasonal recipes, but he also offers tips for planting and tending your own garden. The food is delicious, but the photography alone is worth the price of this cookbook.
9. A Girl and Her Greens: Hearty Meals from the Garden by April Bloomfield
For the experienced cook and dedicated foodie, this book is an homage to fresh, seasonal, and local vegetables and the preparations that honor them. Bloomfield formerly authored a cookbook featuring nose-to-tail cooking focused on meat (aptly titled A Girl and Her Pig: Recipes and Stories) but turns her culinary expertise to mostly plant-based fare.
10. A Good Food Day: Reboot Your Health with Food That Tastes Great by Marco Canora, Tammy Walker, and Michael Harlan Turkell (Photographer)
Even though this book was technically published in 2014 (December 30th), we can’t help but add it to our list. Many prominent chefs are notoriously unhealthy, and Marco Canora decided that he would no longer live like that. He asks the reader to imagine a day filled with healthy food and then gives you the recipes and tips to get there. There is something for every skill level here.
And heads up: 2016 looks like it will be another great year for pain-healthy cookbooks. Here are a few to look forward to in the new year:
- 100 Best Vegan Recipes (100 Best Recipes) by Robin Robertson: With a release date of March 8, 2106, this cookbook can help you incorporate more plant-based meals into your diet that may help manage weight and minimize inflammation by eliminating animal products.
- Alternative Baker: Reinventing Desserts with Gluten-Free Grains and Flours by Alanna Taylor-Tobin: If you have a sweet tooth but are gluten-free and don’t want to fill your body with sugar, Taylor-Tobin’s cookbook is sure to satisfy. Due out in April 2016, this cookbook uses ancient grains, nuts, and seeds to add texture and taste in desserts with less sugar.
- The Anti-Inflammation Cookbook: The Delicious Way to Reduce Inflammation and Stay Healthy by Amanda Haas: This cookbook, created in consultation with Dr. Bradly Jacobs, offers an explanation as to how inflammation works in the body and why certain foods can make it better or worse. This cookbook is due to be released February 2, 2016.
- Whole Bowls: Complete Gluten-free and Vegetarian Meals to Power Your Day by Allison Day: Bowls are some of the easiest and versatile meal options out there. This cookbook comes out April 5, 2016, just in time for the newest crop of vibrant spring vegetables.
Looking for a gift idea for someone with chronic pain? Any one of these cookbooks would make an excellent gift that lasts a lifetime. Is there a cookbook you would add to this list?
Image by Tim Sackton via Flickr