If I think of the path to my self-proclaimed dirty hippiedom, it stretches pretty far back, but it probably wasn’t until my late teens and early twenties that I began to really become more conscientious of my diet — something my mom and uncle had long struggled to supplement when I was a stubborn vegetarian kid — and how food could heal and prevent illness.
I was always reading up on what extract, tea, root, herb or tincture could replace over the counter pharmaceutical stuff for basic issues. At some point in these Google treks, I stumbled upon Joy McCarthy’s twitter and website, Joyous Health.
Never had I come across a holistic nutritionist so approachable, enthusiastic, passionate and open with her knowledge — a perfect balance of fun and informative, without laying down guilt trips or ever coming across as condescending or judgmental.
And if you expect anyone to reconsider their lifestyle based on yours without leaving them feeling defensive and closed off, you’ve got to know that judgmental is definitely not the route to take. Joy gets that. She doesn’t pontificate an absolutist stance and embraces that different people have different needs, diets and paces of improvement. I have friends who come to me for advice on how to improve eating habits or where and how to start eliminating toxic products, and hers is usually the first website I send them to because of how friendly and accessible it is.
So, those of us in the know were overjoyed to find out that she was hitting the presses with her first book, Joyous Health — part cookbook, part lifestyle guide.
Every bit as genuine and accessible as she’s always been in the online community, the volume offers up 150 recipes and tips, with a little something for everyone. A self-professed “flexitarian,” Joy’s recipes are mostly plant-based, so while she always makes sure to include protein in her meals, she’s not going to tell you you’re going to have to munch exclusively on lettuce and hunger tears for flavor to get flit, slim or healthy. She includes recipes for the vegetarians, vegans, gluten-intolerants, meat-eaters and pescatarians alike.
So, if you have even the slightest inkling of cutting out the gunky, junky food from your life and moving toward a cleaner, leaner and healthier overall lifestyle, this book is the place to start. I promise, it won’t be boring, bland or tedious — you’ll have fun and revel in the results.