Learn to Cook Healthy by Investing in a Couple Healthy Cookbooks

You have seen me write many times about the importance of cooking food at home rather than ordering out –  I even have it listed as one of my main strategies for losing weight. In fact, I would even go as far to say that learning to cook more foods at home is one of the cornerstones to a successful and sustainable weight loss.

However, cooking healthy homemade meals is easier said than done. Unfortunately, cooking nutritious meals with the goal of losing weight takes a lot more than substituting in light and low fat ingredients in recipes. In the past, because I fell victim to that mindset, I would get very frustrated trying to prepare meals that tasted good. With having such a difficult time creating tasty dishes I fell into the prepackaged diet freezer meal trap.

I remember filling my freezer with Lean Cuisines, Weight Watchers, and other frozen meals thinking that would fill the void of a home cooked meal. Well this eating style is only sustainable for so long. Sooner or later you will run out of diet meals. Also, these “meals” are not very big and after awhile the cost of frequently purchasing them adds up.  Not saying these diet meals don’t serve their purpose as a quick lunch once in awhile but it certainly is not realistic when trying to get your family on board with a healthier lifestyle – they need real food!


Learning to prepare healthy meals does take more effort than purchasing food from the freezer section – yes this is true. However, with a little time and the right tools you will learn to create a healthy lifestyle and lose weight eating delicious foods you love. If you are anything like me you will be shocked on the flavor and quantity of foods you can eat when you prepare the meals yourself. Excited yet?

To start cooking nutritious meals at home I suggest investing in a couple healthy cooking cookbooks. Of course, you don’t actually need to purchase them you could always take some out for free at your local library. These cookbooks will teach you how to prepare healthier meals at home. As you cook through the recipes you will begin to develop skills to create and adapt other recipes that your entire family with love.

Here are a few of my favorite cookbooks.

There are hundreds of healthy eating cookbooks on the market. The ones I started with and still use today are from Weight Watchers and Cooking Light.  I have found these cookbooks to provide the largest selection of family friendly recipes; nutritional, cooking, and food knowledge; healthy weight loss advice; and inspirational weight loss stories.

Here is a list of the cookbooks I use most often – some are really old but still do the trick.

Weight Watchers Annual Recipes for Success 2003

Weight Watchers: Annual Recipes for Success 2006

Weight Watchers New Complete Cookbook

The Best of Cooking Light Everyday Favorites: Over 500 of Our All-Time Greatest Recipes

Cooking Light Way to Bake: The Complete Visual Guide to Healthy Baking – delicious recipes, fresh healthy ingredients, smart tools & techniques

I must add these because they have helped immensely with learning to use my slow cooker and bread machine.

Slow Cooker Revolution

Not Your Mother’s Slow Cooker Cookbook

The Bread Lover’s Bread Machine Cookbook: A Master Baker’s 300 Favorite Recipes for Perfect-Every-Time Bread-From Every Kind of Machine

If the thought of giving up your trusty convenience foods and cooking healthy meals from scratch is overwhelming; don’t worry I am not here to take things away and scare you. I would never do that. My advice, as with everything, is to start slow – baby steps ladies!

What are your favorite healthy eating cookbooks?

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  1. Francesca says:

    I’m so excited to have found your website. I run a daycare from home, so there’s always a meal or snack to be prepared. Last month I discovered OAMM (Once a Month Mom), which introduced me to make ahead freezer meals. And this month I found you. I’m so excited by that I can now provide healthy meals for my family & daycare kids without having to slave in the kitchen everyday. I wish I’d figured this out sooner!

    I too started to use my calendar to help me sort out all my tasks, and even started adding my exercise to it too. It really pushes me to get things done for myself, that I normally wouldn’t have taken the time to do. My daughter recently purchased an ipod touch, it makes it much easier to access my to do list & calendar…so I’ll be adding that to my list of presents for the future. 😉

    I also have a couple blogs that send me great healthy recipes, so I have a lot of variety that I can add to our meals. The cookbooks are a great addition, when the recipes that I gather won’t make the family happy. 😉

    Thanks for all the wonderful information you’re putting out & for being a weight loss inspiration. I look forward to learning more & losing weight along the way.



  1. […] Cooking Light) cookbooks that I have not used in a while. When I first began my weight loss journey I depended on these cookbooks to help me learn to cook delicious healthy recipes. So I decided to dust off my cookbooks and use a couple recipes each week from them. Of course, I […]

  2. […] Learn to cook healthy: my favorite healthy cooking cookbooks […]

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