Healing Eats Book Review

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When we were searching for monthly contributors to our blog back in 2015, Kate Jay was at the top of our list. The magazine-worthy photos and thoughtful recipes on her blog, Healing Family Eats, have a magical way of making us forget they are grain/dairy/nightshade-free.

But beyond their flavor and beauty, Kate’s recipes are always written with an eye toward nutrient density. By designing her dishes around the most nutrient-rich ingredients, Kate turns dinner plates into healing powerhouses and cooking into a ritual of self-love.

So when she told us she was (finally) writing her first cookbook, we were like, “It’s about time!”

Healing Eats is a 76-page downloadable e-cookbook containing 25 allergen-free recipes that feature ingredients known for their healing capabilities. True to Kate’s style, each recipe is designed to boost your healing without making you feel like you’re missing out.

In honor of the release of Healing Eats, we wanted to give you a chance to get to know the woman behind the apron and learn more about her book, in her own words. Take it away, Kate!

Please tell us a bit about how the AIP came into your life, and how it has impacted you and your family.
I found the AIP in early March 2014 after being told by the doctor that my symmetrical joint swelling was likely repetitive strain injury rather than rheumatoid arthritis (which my grandmother had severely). He told me to go away and stop with the anxiety. So the minute I got home I consulted Dr. Internet, found Autoimmune Wellness and the next day we were all AIPers who haven’t looked back since. The impact on both myself and my family has been incredible – all my aches and pains went away within a couple of days; my swelling took a while to go down but thankfully it’s all history now. With the help of a practitioner I changed my thyroid meds to a compounded version after finding that mine contained lactose and corn starch and I’m now working hard on coming off them altogether. After 20 years! My husband lost his excess weight and no longer suffers with seasonal allergies. My children have thrived beyond my wildest dreams, my son in particular. He was always the tiniest child in class but now he’s tall, fit and strong but most impressive is the change in his mental health. He suffered with depression and a tendency towards aggression for several years, but as a result of the AIP and the improvement in his digestive health, he is now a happy, loving teen and we have an amazing relationship. I am beyond thankful for that.

Your recipes are categorized a bit differently than standard cookbooks (i.e. Healing Bowls vs. Main Dishes). Could you explain why?
That’s a great question. Well, I stopped distinguishing between my meals long ago so it’s not unusual for dinner to become next day’s breakfast. Instead I decided to mix it up a bit and create food for the mood, so to speak. I relate eating from a bowl as a more casual thing; I often see dishes as comfort foods and perhaps a plate may be something a little more formal, or a meal that’s eaten when there’s more time to spend. Then once I hit on the theme of Healing this, Healing that, it carried on into Healing Treats and Healing Cups to run cohesively. Obviously the recipes are interchangeable and, let’s face it, you may well serve your cooked bake (in the Healing Dishes section) onto a plate, bowl or a dish so there’s a bit of artistic license thrown in too.

Which recipe in the book do you return to most often?
The ones I have made the most are the Baked Oatmeal and the Chicken and Kale Bake. The Fudge Cake is another go-to. I have a hard time with sugars but this one is sweetened only by a couple of tablespoons of mineral-rich molasses that I don’t have a problem with making once in awhile. Oh and the Quick Pickles, which go with everything but never seem to last very long in our house. I know you only asked for one but those easy pickles are seriously good!

Which recipe would you recommend to novice cooks?
I would recommend all of them actually. I would like to think I’ve given very precise, easy to understand instructions and everything has been thoroughly tested so there shouldn’t be any surprises. I often get my husband (who is not a natural cook, shall we say; he is capable but needs a recipe to follow) to make a recipe just to make sure I’ve described everything for the novice cook. Truly, they are all both quick and simple to make as that’s how we roll in our house. I don’t always want to spend a long time in the kitchen so everything has to be either prepped quickly or at least can be done in stages. The Pomegranate and Rose Panna Cotta Jellies are a case in point – first you make the panna cotta and let it set, then come back and make the jelly when you’ve got another gap in your schedule. Same with the yummy topping. Each stage is a quick process, it’s getting to eat it that may take a little longer than others. The same goes for the Lasagne where you have three components to make: the meat sauce, creamy sauce and searing the zucchini which is the pasta replacement. You can either go for it all at the same time or once again, fit each part in and around your day and then just assemble the whole thing when you’re ready to bake.

Between your contributions to Autoimmune Wellness and the recipes on your own blog, you write a LOT of recipes! How do you keep the creativity flowing?
Ha, well actually I haven’t been as proactive on the blog as I would have liked recently, as I’ve been busy with other projects. It’s funny you talk about keeping the creativity flowing though, because sometimes I do get a creativity block. I used to lie in bed thinking up recipes, and I’d come up with a really good one, only to forget it by the morning. I started to keep a notebook by my bedside but then I found it wasn’t conducive to quality sleep so now I’ll go out for a walk and rack the brain cells. Another great place to get inspiration is in the shower – I do a lot of my thinking in there so my showers can be quite long sometimes!

I also love my trips to the local farmers’ market, especially around this time of year when all the produce is starting to look more fresh and exciting. Any vegetable or herb that’s flowering gets me well excited and then when I find teeny baby carrots and micro salad leaves I can’t help but get inspired.

What, beyond delicious recipes, do you hope readers take away from your cookbook?
I love to imagine people cooking the recipes for themselves, their family, their friends – and forgetting that they are even on a healing diet. Good quality, simply cooked, unrefined, real food is the best taste ever – that’s why most top restaurants don’t mess about with their menus. It makes me sad when I read how people transition to the AIP and feel overwhelmed by it all, so I hope they find the recipes and instructions straightforward and worthy of their efforts and expense. When someone tells me that their children have wolfed down my recipe, my day can’t get much better – I know from experience about the peer pressure they face over homemade food in school lunch boxes, I’ve heard it all before. I’d like to hope people feel that an elimination diet is not a hardship but in fact a tasty way of life – with the added benefit you get to feel better in the process. And finally I’d love to know that people are embracing nutrient density in their meals because that’s basically the point of this book.

 

We are truly blown away by the beauty, simplicity and nutrient-density of the recipes in Healing Eats. (Mickey’s been Instagram-ing them here and here!) This ebook will remind you of what a gift each meal can be.

Click here to download your copy of Healing Eats!

About Grace Heerman

Grace Heerman is a writer, editor and yoga teacher from Seattle, and the Blog Assistant for Autoimmune Paleo. She's on a mission to help other women thrive in their 20s using real food and intuitive living, and she shares recipes and explores how to live her most vibrant life on her blog. You can browse her recipes on Pinterest and find out what she did yesterday on Instagram.

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