It's been two weeks since my last post... where has that time gone? Life has been so hectic in our household of late. I've come down with an awful cold and lost my voice. I'm up to my eyeballs doing freelance food photography work, J.D has started at a family daycare one day a week and Little Miss is growing leaps and bounds. I shed a little tear when I dropped J.D off for his first day at daycare over a 6 weeks ago now. He did so well and he hasn't cried once since we started sending him. I had all these terrible scenarios in my head of him screaming at the door as I walked back to the car but alas there was nothing like that. He asks days before he is due to go again if he can go to Bronny's House which is the lovely daycare lady's name. Now that I am one child down on a Tuesday I've started back doing freelance photography work on this day (and every day before and after now). I love the work but sometimes it can be overwhelming trying to juggle two young children while trying to cook up food ready to be photographed for when they have their naps in the afternoon. Thankfully their naps have now aligned and I get a good 2 hours to get my skates on and get to work.
I was lucky to have one of these daycare days off from my normal photography work and spent the day having a bit of me time without a boisterous toddler in tow. If you can call it me time still bringing a 4 1/2 month old along for the ride. I was in a bit of a funk that day with the pressures of motherhood and work piling high and energy and tempers riding low. Some self preservation measures were in order. I chose to do three of my favourite things to get me out of the funk.
1. Go for a walk: not only good for exercise but also great for mental clarity and time to chill.
2. Have a coffee: I don't drink coffee often and I managed to find a fantastic place that did a great almond milk cappuccino.
3. Buy something on my wish list: The Happy Cookbook by Lola Berry was high on my to buy list. I couldn't afford a Thermomix that particular day so I went for the next thing on my list.
This book lit a spark back into my tired and weary soul. The title said it all... The Happy Cookbook! Give me some happy now! I sat down that afternoon after my walk once Little Miss was put to bed, made myself a cup of green tea and devoured this book in that precious hour and for many days afterwards. Drinking in the pictures, the recipes, the little snippets of advice scattered throughout the book. It uplifted and inspired me in that weary and wrung out moment. Do I dare say this is truly a happy cookbook? Maybe it just hit the spot for a down trodden mum on that particular day?
Lola is a nutritionist with a passion and focus on eating vibrant, flavoursome and nutritionally dense wholefoods. The Happy Cookbook is Lola's second cookbook in print with her wildly successful 20/20 Diet Cookbook being published back in 2012. This was Lola's rise to fame and the Happy Cookbook is the cement in her publishing mortar so to speak with another best seller on her hands. The book retails for around $34.99 but if you put your research cap on you can pick it up for around $24 at Kmart or Big W like I did.
The book itself is pulsating with gorgeous and vibrant real food recipes that will not only make you happy when you eat them but also healthy. The Happy Cookbook is broken into eight main different chapters: Rise & Shine, Smoothies, Loaves & Spreads, Salads & Veggies, Patties, Fritters & Burgers, Surf & Turf, Divine Desserts & Sweet Treats. All recipes are refined sugar free and gluten free with heaps of dairy free options as well. Dare I say many paleo options too for those leaning in that direction. I love the layout of the photography with a bunch of recipes displayed in double page spreads throughout the book. The book has a funky, whimsical and bohemian styling to it which I guess exudes who Lola is.
Some of my favourite recipes from this book would be Green Pancakes with Goat's Cheese & Rosemary (A great savoury breakfast option), the many smoothie options such as Strawberry kisses cheesecake smoothie or the Cookie Dough Cake Batter Smoothie (Dessert flavoured smoothies - YES!), Fig, Peach & Cardamom Paleo Loaf, Oozy Macadamia Nut Brownie(I die) , Raw Felafel's Salad with Cashew Aioli and my number one would be the Aussie Beef Burger with Lot on a Paleo Bun. I could talk all day about the many different recipes packed inside this book. Think lots of breakfast ideas, tons of smoothies, salad options, healthy dinner ideas using, beef, chicken, pork and fish and lots of sweet treats - because all the sweets!!!. In my opinion I don't think this book calls for a lot of expensive ingredients as some healthy cookbooks tend to do. Yes they there are some recipes that call for trendy and sometimes expensive super foods but I think overall this is a fairly balanced book. It really is brimming with a lot of variety that I think would sustain a family budget.
I would definitely recommend adding this book to your healthy eating cookbook collection to inject some really great recipes to your family repertoire. It also might inject a little happy into your life.
*Disclosure: This is an independant review. I was not sponsored or paid to write this post and all opinions are my own*