I am definitely a cookbook junky. there’s probably over 200 in my house. I just love reading new recipes and looking at food pictures. Another passion of mine is health and wellness, so you know I was excited to receive a copy of Joyous Health: Eat And Live Well Without Dieting by Joy McCarthy. This is so much more than a cook book, it’s a true guide to a healthier lifestyle.
When I opened the book in the mail I couldn’t wait to try all her recipes, however, I thought I should start with her lifestyle tips. One of the very first points in the book is the benefits of drinking lemon water; cleanses the body, increasing bile (sounds gross but apparently it’s important) and reduces heart burns were some of her claims. I’m not a big lemon water fan, just not a huge lemon person. But, everyday for two weeks I started my morning with lemon water. For me I found myself more energized in the morning and it did wonders for my skin. In fact, at the end of two weeks when I stopped drinking my lemon water I instantly broke out. I’ve struggled with acne as long as I can remember, and I’m mind blown that something so simple made a huge difference. I’ll be sticking to my new lemon water routine.
Next I wanted to try an easy breakfast to pair with my lemon water. I keep trying to like chia seeds, but I have trouble with the texture. In the past adding some creamy pumpkin puree like in my spiced chocolate pumpkin pudding, is the only way I’ve been able to stomach them. Joy’s strawberry chia pudding has you pureed the seeds, brilliant! It was an easy make ahead recipe that I would be just as satisfied eating for breakfast or dessert!
From there I moved on to a heartier dessert, pancakes. I’m a sucker for a good pancake. Growing up whenever I was sick my mom made me pancakes, so it’s the ultimate comfort food for me. The flavor combination of coconut and bananas gave these pancakes a tropical flare. While tasty, I just don’t prefer the texture of coconut flour products. I feel they’re never quite the same as the original. Definitely a tasty breakfast, but doesn’t necessarily satisfy my pancake cravings.
The next recipe I sampled was my favorite of all, Thai Beet Soup. It combines so many flavors in one healthy soup. I had never used fish sauce at home before, and was a bit scared. I’m glad this book pushed me out of my comfort zone because it was delicious! I pureed my soup and it was delicious served both cold and hot; perfect for this type of year. I’ve got another quart in the freezer and I can’t wait to pull it out for a chilly fall night!
Of course I had to try the sweets! Healthy sweets are my weakness, well any sweet really, but I prefer the healthy ones! First I tried the chewy almond butter cookies, which were heavenly. What really set them apart was the sesame seeds though, gave them an unusual flavor that had everyone going back from more. I thought I’d balance out these cookies with the chocolate chili cinnamon bark which tasted like a sinful treat. That combination of spicy and chocolate is amazing, next time I’ll add some course sea salt to bump up the flavors even more.
Every recipe I tried from Joyous Health was delicious and unique. There are so many more I can’t wait to try: turmeric popcorn, goji berry glory muffins, cardamom parsnip pear soup, I know they will all be amazing. Don’t take my word for it, try her recipes yourself!
Disclosure: I was provided free product for this review, all opinions are my own.