There are a number of books that I recommend to the parents of every eating disorder patient I see. When it comes to books for eating disorder sufferers themselves, however, I am much more cautious. Many of the books that are directed at sufferers, while well-intentioned, can be triggering for some patients.
Now all of that has changed. I have finally found a book that I would wholeheartedly recommend to any adult eating disorder patient at any stage of recovery: Food to Eat. I have never read anything quite like this before. Food to Eat, authored by dietician Lori Lieberman and recovering eating disorder patient Cate Sangster, combines practical nutritional advice with quick, easy-to-prepare recipes. The most unique part of Food to Eat is that the pages of recipes and nutritional advice are peppered with dialogue between Lori and Cate. A virtual cognitive restructuring exercise, this dialogue counteracts common eating disorder thoughts with empathic, scientifically-grounded information about nutrition and behavior change.
Food to Eat can be particularly helpful for young adults with eating disorder histories who are transitioning into independent living situations which require them to prepare their own food for the first time. In addition, I would recommend Food to Eat for an adult of any age who is pursuing recovery and wants to develop a certain level of comfort in preparing and eating a variety of foods. Finally, I would recommend Food to Eat for caregivers of eating disorder patients who are responsible for preparing and serving food to the patient, as this book provides unique insight into what the patient is likely thinking when a given recipe is presented.