“Do you have any book recommendations?” I get this question a LOT by clients and providers alike. There are some awesome resources out there that I frequently find myself sharing. I figured it’s time to share it with you too! Below are my top anti-diet/HAES/ED recovery books (at the moment) with a few bonus podcast recommendations thrown in that. Feel free to drop your recommendations in the comments or let me know what you thought. Happy reading!
Anti-Diet by Christi Harrison.
Christi is awe-inspiring. I had the chance to hear her speak at the Food & Nutrition Conference and Expo in 2018 and my life (both professional and personal) have never been the same. In this book she presents the challenging topic of Health At Every Size with well researched sources and true compassion. As Christi has experience as both a journalist and a dietitian, she is a source to be trusted. If you’re on the hunt for a podcast recommendation hers is the first that I recommend. “Food Pysch” features a variety of guests in the recovery field and also is very attentive to providing trigger warnings, opportunities to skip challenging sections, and avoiding sharing specific numbers.
Body Kindness by Rebecca Scritchfield
I love recommending this book because it’s meant to be done in small doses. It offers information mixed with journaling prompts and opportunities for reflection. If you’re like me and find it challenging to read non-fiction in large chunks, then this would be a great place to start. Rebecca’s social media account is a wonderful resource as well. I have learned a lot from her. Another bonus podcast recommendation is hers. Also named “Body Kindness” she dives into her previous experience as the dietitian on “The Biggest Loser” with former contestant, Bernie Salazar, and together they explore a wide variety of topics such as weight, diet-culture, and more. A bonus tip is if you order the book directly from Rebecca's website, she might sign it for you!
Intuitive Eating: A Revolutionary Program that Works by Evelyn Tribole & Elyse Resch
“I just want to be normal with food.” If this sounds like you, this may be the book you want to start with. That being said, Intuitive Eating doesn’t happen simply because you read the book. There may be challenging feelings and experiences as you explore eating intuitively. That’s why working with a therapist and a dietitian (fingers crossed it’s me!) are recommended, especially if you may have experienced a history with an eating disorder or disordered eating. I also enjoy the companion to the book, The Intuitive Eating Workbook, as it provides some of the same information but in a way that allows you to slow down and process it and what it means for you.
The Body Is Not An Apology by Sonya Renee Taylor
This book really challenged me; that’s one of the highest compliments I can offer a book! How do we create a relationship with our body, respect our body, and listen to our body in a society that is constantly pushing back on us and insisting we shrink ourselves? The author doesn’t claim to have all the answers, rather empowers you to connect with what might work for you. As she says in the book “Radical self-love is not a destination you are trying to get to; it is who you already are.”
Sick Enough by Dr. Jennifer Gaudiani (Dr. G)
It can be really challenging to explain how the eating disorder can impact one’s physical experience from an angle that is both knowledgeable as well as compassionate…and yet Dr. G does it. She breaks chapters down into similar themes, providing examples from a patient/client’s experience, what is happening physiologically, and what the next best steps are. This information is presented in such a caring way that it’s almost as if Dr. G is in the room with you. I also enjoyed the audiobook, although Dr. G herself did not read it.
Life Without ED by Jenny Schafer
This book is written from the perspective of someone who has lived through the eating disorder, a relapse, and has ultimately established herself to be firmly rooted in recovery. The author separates anecdotes and experiences into short, non-linear chapters so that it does not feel overwhelming to read. She also provides many different ways to think about the experiences that the eating disorder can bring about and how leaning into her treatment team was helpful. I love physical copies of books, but for this one I would recommend the audiobook. Jenny reads it herself AND you get the bonus track of her original song “Life Without ED.”
Have you read these books? What were your thoughts? Any titles that you feel are missing from this list? Let me know below!