Ever since it was released, I’ve been absolutely dying to get my hands on a copy of Gwyneth Paltrow’s cookbook It’s All Good. So you can imagine my delight when my friend Kayla showed up last night for dinner with that very book, wrapped up with a bow, as a housewarming gift! Needless to say, I spent the better half of this morning poring over every page, and I’m even more excited about it than I was when I first learned about it.
Though this is not a vegan cookbook, I’m delighted to say that there are a ton of vegan recipes (all labeled as vegan) in this book. From Quinoa Granola With Olive Oil + Maple Syrup and Buckwheat + Banana Pancakes to Baked Beans with Maple + Molasses and homemade Sriracha sauce, this book is filled to the brim with nutritious, whole, healthy and hearty foods. There are even recipes for a flourless crumble, cheesecake, and a tasty brownie—none of which include white sugar or dairy.
What I really love about this book is its philosophy: that our bodies deserve nutritious, wholesome foods and that those foods should also taste insanely good. Stemming from Gwyneth’s own health scares, this book is about eating clean in a way that honors the body, and also about creating food that nourishes the soul at the same time. I love what her doctor, Dr. Habib Sadeghi, wrote in the foreword:
“Food that has fantastic texture, depth of flavor, and an enticing aroma excites us and makes us happy. It thrills us, lights us up, and reminds us what it feels like to enjoy something from the soul level. The experience is even richer when we share food we love with friends and family. It brings us together and strengthens the spiritual connections we have with each other. We feed our bodies through food, but we feed our souls through what makes us happy, through pleasure. Because food brings us so much pleasure, it’s not just essential for a healthy body, but a healthy spirit, too.”
It’s been my experience that whole, natural foods heal not only the body, but also the mind and the soul. After battling anorexia in college, and experiencing a significant amount of weight gain due to binge eating in the process of my recovery, I didn’t find true balance in eating until several years after graduating. In no way can I attribute my recovery to a certain way of eating—that was entirely God’s doing—however, I will say that eating whole, natural foods without restriction has played a large role in my learning to trust my body and my true hunger once again.
Though it’s difficult to look back at my troubled past, it’s remarkable to see how far I’ve come since the days of starving myself for control or eating endlessly to cover up my true feelings. People may think I’m a little kooky (and perhaps a little bit of a hippie) for eating vegan, but I can say with complete honesty that the choice to eat a whole foods, plant-based diet has given me the gift of peace with my body, allowing me to eat without guilt, restriction or overindulgence, as well as in a way that helps my body operate at it’s absolute best.
As I try Gwyneth’s recipes in the coming months, I promise to document them with photos and share the outcome with you here. For those of you interested in snagging a copy of this book, you can get it in hardcover at Target or through Amazon.
What would you say your food philosophy is? How has food influenced the health of your body, mind and soul (positively or negatively)?
Photos by Ditte Isager (except for the top photo, and the photo of the cookbook with a cup of coffee, which were taken by me on my iPhone)