10 Cookbooks and the Chicago Health Nuts Who Swear by Them
Plus the recipes you should know
They say abs start in the kitchen. To find inspiration to get back in there--and not just for a spoonful of peanut butter--we asked local health experts which cookbooks and recipes they swear by. Follow their tips and you too will be cooking up gorgeous pomegranate salads before you know it. OK, first just one more spoonful of peanut butter...
“LOVE AND LEMONS”
MindFuel Wellness promotes healthy, mindful living, and its founders, Jacquelyn Brennan and Kelly Moore, are hooked on the whole-foods cookbook and website Love and Lemons. “When looking for recipes, we always look for ones that balance healthy fats, proteins, and carbohydrates,” Brennan says. “One [recipe] that we constantly come back to is the sweet potato and pomegranate salad.”
“Bulletproof: The Cookbook”
Jessica Dogert, the nutritionist at Hi-Vibe Superfood Juicery, loves whipping up recipes from Dave Asprey’s book. “The Bulletproof Diet was not only designed to give you a lean, healthy body, but also to get you a high-functioning brain,” she says. And Dogert should know: She can’t stop thinking about the bone broth she makes using Asprey’s recipe.
“Eating on the Wild Side: The Missing Link to Optimum Health”
Wildly Rooted's Venessa Rodriguez coaches clients (preferably “wild-hearted women”) to achieve their life and body #goals. Among her recommended reading is Jo Robinson’s book. Though it’s not technically a cookbook, it’ll teach you all about nutrients--and it has some recipes that Rodriguez is addicted to. Don’t get her started on the Armenian Lentil Soup.
“Dishing Up the Dirt”
A certified holistic health coach, Shannon Terschluse of Find Your Prana combs this food blog for plant-based meal inspiration. Written by a farmer living in the Pacific Northwest, the blog gives recipes for everything from breakfast smoothies to salad dressings. But the dish that’s in heaviest rotation at Terschluse’s house is the butternut-squash pizza with brussels sprouts, hazelnuts and dates. We’re waiting for our invite to dinner.
“The 4-Hour Chef”
The founder of float therapy spot Float Sixty, Gloria Irwin, loves Tim Ferriss’s book for the way it tackles self-improvement through adventurous cooking. Her favorite recipe is the sous vide chicken breast, but she also loves gobbling up the book’s gorgeous food photography with her eyes.
Claire Schaal, a Core Fusion teacher and the spa director at Exhale Gold Coast, knows how to make a stellar green couscous, thanks to Yotam Ottolenghi’s famous vegetarian tome. Don’t be scared away by the lengthy ingredients list, either. “Ottolenghi uses a ton of herbs and spices,” Schaal says. “So while the recipes seem complicated, they’re actually easy--and always fresh and vibrant tasting.”
“It’s All Good”
Though yoga teacher and food blogger Sara Nash, of Big Buddha Belly, was a bit skeptical about a cookbook co-written by a celebrity (that’d be Gwyneth Paltrow), it’s become her go-to source for weekday mains. “My [favorite] recipe is the warm lentils with basil and mustard vinaigrette,” Nash says. “I use the lentils as a base for a poached-egg brunch, throw them into a salad of butter lettuce for lunch, or use them as a side with chicken or fish for dinner.”
“Whole 30 Cookbook”
As the manager of group fitness programming for Equinox’s central market, Julie Valenti travels constantly between the three local clubs--and also has a two-year-old tot to care for. So she puts her slow-cooker to work, letting it handle healthy meals from the Whole 30 book while she’s out. (Bonus: She usually has plenty of leftover pulled pork around.)
“The Feed Zone Cookbook”
The triathlete and organizer of the BTN Big 10K is always running around (ahem) so he appreciates recipes that are quick and easy to make. Dr. Allen Lim’s book has become a go-to source of dinner inspiration for him, and he’s hooked on the homemade rice cakes he’s learned to whip up.