My three favourite must-have recipe books for a healthy kitchen

The week between Christmas and New Year is such a unique time, and I find the break from normal routine allows me a chance to re-evaluate.  I’m not one to set new year’s resolutions as such, but really taking the time to look at the year that has been and actively planning the year to come can be such a positive and exciting process.

I get out a poster size sheet of paper, and look at every area of my life.  Work, sport, social, holidays and finance are all areas we plan out together as a family. I have learnt over the years that looking back at what did or didn’t work, and using the opportunity to set a new course provides some meaning and purpose for our year ahead.  

As an athlete, as a busy mum and as a business owner it is vital that I have the energy throughout the whole year, and each day, to get through what I have planned.  And so I find that it all comes down to nutrition  – fuelling and nourishing my body to ensure I reduce the chance of injury, to not get sick or run down and to train to my full potential. 

Racing the Busselton 70.3 in December with a horrible cold not only slowed me down – a lot – but it was a good reminder that I need to put my oxygen mask on first… get my nutrition and sleep right and then the rest will follow. I know there are plenty of you out there with a lot on your plates, who could also do with putting yourself occasionally. 

And so, I have gone back to my old favourites in the kitchen, and over the years I have found three amazing cookbooks that I want to share with you.  These books are my absolute go-to’s – they will fuel me and also satisfy a hungry family of boys too. There’s no surprises here – they are all vegetarian books, which means our meals are full of nutrients – and if needed I will add grilled salmon for example for others in the family. Easy!  

Here are my favourite three books that I can’t survive without in my kitchen: 

1. The Busy Mum’s Vegetarian Cookbook The title says it all really – plant based meals that the kids love, and that don’t take all day in the kitchen.  Our favourites are the Pesto Gnocchi Bake, Easy Vegetable Korma and the Chickpea and Rocket Tortilla.  I love this book so much that I gift it to my busy mum friends too! 

2. Thrive – The Vegan Nutrition Guide  – although this isn’t a book I use for the whole family, it has all the extras I need for surviving training and busy mum and work life.  The smoothies are to die for; the energy bar recipes replace the crap you can buy in a packet, and there are plenty of healthy salad dressings etc that you can have ready to go in the fridge for a quick lunch.  A must read for any athlete who is aiming for optimal performance! 

3. How Not to Die Cookbook – OK, so technically this is only new in my kitchen – I was gifted it by a lovely friend a few weeks ago. But it is next level good!  Try the Banana Chocolate Smoothie – packed full of spinach (but the kids didn’t have a clue), the Almond Chocolate Truffles for a sweet treat, and the Lentil Shepherd’s Pie for a crowd pleaser. 

The basics of good nutrition are simple really – wholesome, plant based meals providing all the vegetables, carbs and protein you need to thrive in your busy days and heavy training weeks.  These are the three books that really stand out for me when I need to get back to basics, especially at this time of year when drinks and unhealthy nibblies seem to be the norm! 

What are your favourites in the kitchen? 

We would love your comments too, and don’t forget we send out a new recipe each week from the Bindi kitchen, so be sure to jump on our mailing list if you want to kick off 2019 in great health! 

Happy training!

Belinda x

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