15 essential health and fitness books for your Christmas wishlist
Whether you've embraced the new generation of e-readers and don't go anywhere without your Kindle or prefer the smell and feel of a real book, there are some essential health and fitness books that you really must get your hands on this year. Christmas is a great time of year to create a reading wishlist so that friends and family can get you something you really want! But they're also a good way to keep track of any inspirational books you come across that you want to get around to reading at some point – the Expertrain team's wishlist is growing by the second.
We thought we would put together a shortlist of 15 of our favourite health and fitness books that can help you to be fitter, healthier and happier. We all need a bit of help and inspiration at this time of year, so step away from that chocolate bar and reach for one of these books instead! To help, we've included a link to Amazon, where you can buy all of these (most are available in traditional paperback or Kindle format).
#1. I Quit Sugar by Sarah Wilson
Sugar is the enemy – we're talking refined, processed white sugar, which is responsible for mood disorders, weight gain and even thyroid conditions. Sarah's escape from the world of white sugar didn't mean she gave up sugar altogether, rather she found healthier alternatives, and you can too with this great cookbook! This is one of our favourite books and if you have a sweet tooth, this will quickly become your go-to health book of the season. The 8-week plan is easy to follow and includes shopping list and plenty of healthy recipes to inspire you.
#2. The Art of Eating Well by Hemsley & Hemsley
We usually prefer to buy cookbooks in 'real' book format as it's so much easier to view the recipes, make our own notes and also there's just something so exciting about looking at all the pictures in a real hardback or paperback book! But you can pick up the Hemsley sister's cookbook in e-reader format if you like. A gentle introduction to healthier ways of cooking and eating, it's packed with sensible eating advice including wheat, dairy and sugar-free recipes, and if you're into baking, this will help you replace refined white flour with substitutes such as coconut flour, and sugar with dates and other natural sweeteners. We love their recipes – their cosy cottage pie with cauliflower mash has to be one of our all-time favourites!
#3. The Blender Girl: Super-Easy, Super-Healthy Meals, Snacks, Desserts and Drinks by Tess Masters
If like us, you love using your Vitamix blender but are not too sure what to make, you need this book in your life! Chances are, you've already tried all our smoothie recipes, but this book is packed with 100 vegan, gluten-free recipes for soups, spreads, smoothies and more. There are even main meals and appetisers with a blended component. We're in love with her Spicy Chickpea Burgers with Portobello Buns and Greens. This is a great introduction to alkaline, raw, clean eating or a great gift for anyone who has just purchased a new blender!
#4. Hungry for Change by James Colquhoun, Laurentine ten Bosch and Dr. Mark Hyman
Want to know the truth behind all those fat-free, sugar-free foods on the supermarket shelves? This is the book for you, and it's also a documentary available on Netflix. Hungry for Change tells you how to read labels, what additives to avoid, and why most diets don't work. The book is packed with delicious healthy recipes for optimum health – yum!
#5. Deliciously Ella by Ella Woodward
We think it's well worth buying Ella's cookbook in hardback just for the amazing food photography alone! You've probably heard us mentioning her recipes in many of our posts, but her cookbook is really a must-have for anyone interested in healthy eating. Simple, delicious, healthy vegan food is at the heart of Ella's philosophy and she follows a whole food, plant-based diet. Now you can do the same with her recipes which include Sweet Potato Brownies and Sweet Potato, Sprout and Beet Salad.
#6. The Oh She Glows Cookbook by Angela Liddon
Fans of the Oh She Glows blog have been waiting a long time for Angela Liddon's much-anticipated cookbook, and we guarantee you won't be disappointed! Oh She Glows is one of the web's most popular vegan recipe blogs, and the cookbook is packed with over 100 delicious recipes including protein-packed snacks, healthy breakfasts and delicious sweet treats such as Chilled Chocolate Espresso Torte with Hazelnut Crust. We can't wait to get our hands on a copy of this and get cooking!
#7. Crazy Sexy Kitchen: 150 Plant-Empowered Recipes to Ignite a Mouthwatering Revolution by Kris Carr
Anyone who has seen the documentary Hungry for Change will remember Kris Carr – she turned her life around by starting a healthy eating regime, and her recipes are simply delicious. This book is packed with inspiration, as Kris helps you find the best kitchen tools, assists you with a healthy food shop and guides you to the right recipes for your dietary needs. One of the best all-round cookbooks for anyone looking to shake up their health and fitness regime this Christmas – you'll even find some delicious recipes for Christmas Day!
#8. Born to Run: The Hidden Tribe, the Ultra-Runners and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen by Christopher McDougall
Billed as 'the best book you'll ever read about running', this New York Times best-seller is about far you can go, both physically and spiritually; it's pretty inspirational stuff! There's a great narrative that will keep you hooked from beginning to end, but underneath are the deeper achievements of the book – the joy of running. If you're already into running or if you're planning to start in the New Year, this book will motivate and inspire you.
#9. Men's Fitness 12 Week Body Plan by Nick Mitchell
This Men's Fitness release promises you the body you have always wanted in 12 weeks – motivation and hard work are required though! World-leading personal trainer Nick Mitchell worked to transform Deputy Editor Joe Warner's body, and he lost 8kg of body fat and gained 10kg of muscle in just 12 weeks. Transform your physique with a pull-out workout plan, breakdown of the routines and nutritional information to keep you on track. Perfect if you're looking to change your physique for the New Year!
#10. The Yoga Bible by Christina Brown
This isn't available on Kindle, but the paperback version is packed with every full-colour illustration you could ever need to learn over 170 yoga postures. For those looking to find mental and physical balance and learn yoga, this is the ultimate bible! Yoga is a great way to de-stress and centre yourself after a hard day at work, whether you try bikram yoga, ashtanga yoga or one of the other forms.
#11. Thug Kitchen: Eat Like You Give a F***
We love the no-frills approach of this cookbook, based on the popular vegan blog (loved by Gwyneth Paltrow). Don't expect fancy food photography or hard-to-source, artisanal ingredients; this is proper, unadulterated vegan comfort cooking with some serious spice. We love recipes such as pumpkin chilli and beer and lime cauliflower tacos – so delicious! There's also plenty of info on why plant-based diets are the healthiest choice. It's a pretty good looking hardback too, if you're looking for gift ideas.
#12. Salad Samurai: 100 Cutting-Edge, Ultra-Hearty, Easy-to-Make Salads You Don't Have to Be Vegan to Love by Terry Hope Romero
If you're trying to eat a plant-based diet but seriously lacking inspiration for salad ideas (have you checked out our autumn salad recipes yet?) then you need this book in your life! Written by award-winning chef Terry Hope Romero, it will teach you the way of the veggie warrior in no time. Ideal for those who fancy themselves as a nutritional ninja, many of these salads are vegetarian and dairy-free. Amongst some of the tempting recipes are Seitan Steak Salad with Green Peppercorn dressing and Herbed Pea Ricotta, Tomatoes and Basil. Seriously great salad ideas for throughout the year!
#13. The Marshmallow Test by Walter Mischel
Giving into your cravings is all too easy, and sometimes it can be hard to resist sweet (or savoury) treats when sticking to a healthy, balanced diet. Psychologist Walter Mischel gives us an insight into how to curb your cravings by maintaining a 'cool' reaction when faced with temptation, and he explains what impact this can have on the rest of our lives. A must if you're struggling with willpower!
#14. Body by Simone: The 8-Week Total Body Makeover Plan by Simone De La Rue
Looking for a book which provides you with information on ballet barre workouts? Simone de la Rue's book (only available in hardback) is a must-have. It's divided into sections aimed at all fitness levels, from beginners to advance, and the workouts are a good blend of cardio and strength training. There's also an inspirational mantra section 'mirror minutes' where you're encouraged to focus on what you love about your body. This is the perfect companion for anyone looking to tighten and tone with a dance-based workout this Christmas!
#15. Choosing Raw: Making Raw Foods Part of the Way You Eat by Gena Hamshaw
We should all eat more raw, plant-based foods, but some recipe books can make this type of diet seem a bit intimidating. Whether you're looking to switch to a raw diet altogether, or just incorporate more raw foods into your current eating regime, this book is your saviour. Packed with delicious, uncomplicated vegan recipes, it lets you enjoy tasty raw food quickly and easily. With over 100 recipes, stunning food photography and helpful meal plans, you're sure to find something you love. Recipes include Red Lentil and Walnut Hummus, Basic Chia Pudding and Kale Salad with Sweet Potato, Almonds and Creamy Maple Chipotle. Drool!
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