4 healthy summer reads

Get ready for summer by hitting the books, with this quartet of works to keep you motivated:

‘The Ashram Cookbook — The Way We Eat: Recipes for Healthy Living’

When Catharina Hedberg opened the Ashram in Calabasas in 1974, “People were in horrific physical shape,” she said. “They could hardly walk up the driveway.”

For the record:

12:15 p.m. June 15, 2018Updated: An earlier version of this story misspelled author Naomi Whittel’s last name as Whitell.

More than four decades later, the founder and owner of the rustic-chic health retreat — where guests pay $5,500 for an intense week of diet and exercise — has just launched her first book. It has 100 vegetarian recipes from Ashram chef Suzie Spring Bohannon including popular dishes such as savory curried oatmeal.

“When I started, most people didn’t know what some vegetables were,” said Hedberg. “Today everyone is receptive and eager to learn more. The idea is to incorporate some of these adventurous vegetarian recipes into their regular meal plan.”

Info: $50 at and Assouline store at the Pacific Design Center, 8687 Melrose Ave., G-154, West Hollywood.



‘Glow 15’

In 2016, Japanese cell biologist Yoshinori Ohsumi won the Nobel Prize for his research on autophagy, which translates literally as “self-devour.” In her new book, Naomi Whittel shares how adhering to a 15-day regimen that promotes autophagy is the key to weight loss, skin regeneration and overall detoxifying.

“It’s a simple program that uses exercise, sleep, nutrition and natural beauty treatments to help activate the self-cleansing process in the body,” said Whittel, CEO of a nutritional supplements company.

Among her easy-to-follow tips: fats first, carbs last.

“It’s less about what you eat and more about when,” she said, advocating the first meal of the day be avocados or macadamia nut pancakes. The plan also calls for intermittent fasting every other day.

Info: $19.04 on,


‘Sweet Laurel’

The first time Laurel Gallucci baked a cake with little more than almond flour, coconut oil, maple syrup, Himalayan sea salt and organic eggs, her friend Claire Thomas said, “It’s basically a salad.”

The duo, founders of the Sweet Laurel bakery, which delivers grain-free, paleo-based cakes around the country, decided to pour their expertise into their first book, which is predominantly dessert-based.

“When people are trying to avoid grains and refined sugar, for whatever reason, it’s the desserts they miss the most,” said Gallucci, who began her no grain/sugar/dairy diet after being diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder. The gorgeously illustrated book — co-author Thomas is a photographer — includes a Tres Leches cake made with coconut flour and vegan caramel (dates, almond butter), and matcha sandwich cookies, using the potent, powdered green tea.

“Food should be celebratory and inclusive,” said Thomas. “It shouldn’t be about what you can’t have.”

Info: $28 at


‘Nurture: Notes and Recipes from Daylesford Farm’

Covered in pure gray linen, this seriously aspirational book by Briton Carole Bamford will make you want to chuck it all in for a rural life.

Bamford, owner of the organic Daylesford Farm in Staffordshire, England, writes about holistic living; the farm’s cooking school takes visitors out to forage for herbs and wild berries. Bamford, who launched the book at a May event in Malibu, intersperses her story and the striking photos with nutritious recipes: plum and bitter almond jam, flat-iron chicken and kale.

$50 at Ranch at the Pier, 23000 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu. On Amazon starting June 26.



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