This is the best keto cookbook for beginners

A review of the best keto cookbooks on Amazon, plus which one is the best keto cookbook for beginners–perfect for anyone just starting the low-carb, high-fat lifestyle of the ketogenic diet! (This post may contain affiliate links.)

Happy February!

Well, sort of. February is always a grim month—it’s cold; it’s gray; it’s dark; it’s cold. It’s the month when I most want to hide under the covers with a novel. (I’m reading this now!) And it’s the month when I most want to pile on the comfort food, yet there’s still that pesky January healthy-eating thing going on.

Jarrett and I were flattened with the flu all of last week, and we were such sad sacks that barely anything got done. But the two bright spots in the week were this:

  1. Jarrett achieved his lifelong dream of having an op-ed published in the print Wall Street Journal! (Can I go stage-mom for a second and say how bursting with pride I am!?)
  2. My new cookbook column on The Kitchn debuted! My pals at The Kitchn generously invited me to write a monthly cookbook review column for them, and anyone who’s ever heard me monologue about cookbooks knows I couldn’t resist.

We’re calling the column What To Read & Cook Next, and each month, I’ll select one of the bestselling cookbooks on Amazon, investigate why everyone’s been cooking from it, and point you to that one recipe that will change your game in the kitchen.

Here’s an excerpt from this month’s column, where we talk about the best keto cookbook for beginners:

The best keto cookbook for beginners + a fat ball recipe

best keto cookbook

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The 28 best Anne Lamott quotes on books and writing

The 28 best Anne Lamott quotes on books and writing, including the best Anne Lamott quotes on writing as a way of life, writing the truth, the writing process, shitty first drafts, and the magic of books. This post may contain affiliate links.

“For some of us, books are as important as almost anything else on earth. What a miracle it is that out of these small, flat, rigid squares of paper unfolds world after world after world, worlds that sing to you, comfort and quiet or excite you.”

That quote always makes me breathe deep and smile. There’s something about hearing our deepest feelings spoken back to us by another person that makes life feel less scary and alone.

Are you a quote collector, too?

Words are more powerful than almost anything else, and so I love collecting little gems of insight from across the ages that I can flip through when things feel overwhelming or confusing. (I catalog a lot of favorite + prettily designed quotes over on Pinterest–follow me there!)

But some of my favorite quotes to collect are quotes about books and writing. Because if there’s one thing that heartens me, it’s remembering that books are pure magic.

best anne lamott quotes

So today I’m sharing some of my favorites: these are the 28 best Anne Lamott quotes on books and writing. Many of them are from Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott, but there are just as many that were found and collected from her other books or other writing.

(But in case you need just one source for the best Anne Lamott quotes on writing, Bird by Bird is where you need to go. Here’s why I call it one of the 5 best books for writers.)

Confession: I meant to keep this list to under 10 (ha!), but I just could not cut some of these gems. Even reading through these Anne Lamott quotes while I was compiling this list made me feel more at ease and focused. So while it seems silly to say you can have 28 best Anne Lamott quotes, I present them to you anyway. To me, they are the best.

And I hope they also give you a few moments of breathing deep and smiling today.

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The one word you need to stop saying to overcome perfectionism

The one word you need to stop saying to overcome perfectionism–this one word makes women feel guilty all the time, but you can choose to stop saying it to overcome perfectionism and guilt. (This post may contain affiliate links.)

A few weekends ago, Jarrett and I collapsed on the couch. It was supposed to have been a restful Sunday, but we’d just spent the day doing laundry, attending service, cleaning, grocery shopping, organizing the closet, taking Pepper to the dog park, and prepping food for the week.

We were ready for bed. It was 5:13 pm.

And we had one last thing on our list: cook Sunday dinner.

We’d already defrosted a roast, bought cauliflower and brussels for sides, and picked out a recipe from Meat. We were COMMITTED. No way out of it now.

The one word you should stop saying to overcome perfectionism

So the shoulds started.

We should cook a nice Sunday dinner. We should use the defrosted meat. We should have something healthy. We should stay on track with our meal plan for the week. We should not be slobs and lay on the couch all night like sacks of potatoes.

Apparently, only Pepper is allowed to lay around all day like a sack of potatoes.

The one word you should stop saying to overcome perfectionism

(Forget Pepper about getting a job. I want to apply for her job.)

As the shoulds piled on and yelled at me about how disappointed they would be if we didn’t execute our flawless dinner plan, another voice rung out.

“Guilt is to the spirit what pain is to the body.” — Elder David A. Bednar

I’d read that quote the week before because my author, Erin Falconer, had chosen it as the opening for her section about the word should in her book, How to Get Sh*t Done.

As Erin writes,

Should is a word that implies obligation and expectation and often comes as a box set that’s gift-wrapped in guilt and even shame. It’s also a word that implies open-endedness and the absence of a decision. It describes possibility rather than reality. ‘I should go to the gym’ is not the same as ‘I’m going to the gym.’ …

When you find yourself saying should, you’re not anticipating something great, but rather remind yourself of that never-ending to-do list you should (there it is again!) be chipping away at.”

As Erin points out, should is an energy drain because it forces us to be in two places at once. We should be cooking dinner, but we are feeling guilty about it on the couch instead. So we don’t feel good about cooking dinner, and we don’t feel good about NOT cooking dinner. Pretty miserable, right?

That’s why should is the one word you need to stop saying to overcome perfectionism. Instead, what we can do is banish should and get to the bottom of those should-tasks.

The one word you need to stop saying to overcome perfectionism, and how to stop saying it

The one word you need to stop saying to overcome perfectionism 1

As soon as you hear the word should come out of your mouth or pass through your thoughts, pause for a moment. This task you should be doing–is it really important? Here are the 3 questions you should ask yourself to overcome perfectionism and guilt that you’re not doing everything.

3 questions to help you debunk should and overcome perfectionism

Is your task essential and time-sensitive?

If your task is essential and must be done right then or truly bad things will happen, tell yourself, “I will get that done now. It will feel great to get it out of the way.” That way, you’re focusing on the good that will come out of this unexciting task, and you’ll feel more motivated to just get it done.

If your task essential and not time-sensitive?

If your task is essential but can be done later, create a reminder on your phone or add a time slot to your calendar for when you will do it. Remind yourself why you’re doing it. “I will call the insurance company because I want the peace of mind that everything is okay.” “I will edit my manuscript because I will be so proud of myself once it’s done.”

Is your task nonessential?

If it doesn’t matter and you really don’t want to do it, don’t. Think of it as saying yes to the things that matter (your family, your self-care, your creativity), and no to the things that don’t (keeping up with others, perfectionism, guilt, resentment).


That day, as I sunk into the soft couch with a sigh, I realized that I did not want to cook a complicated meal. Hell no. Not tonight.

So I remembered what I’d read in Erin’s book about the one word you need to stop saying to overcome perfectionism. And channeling Erin’s courage, I decided to kick those shoulds right out the door.

What I really should do, I decided, was respect the reality of margin. (Start with this book on margin if you want to learn more about that!) I would not start the workweek exhausted and unable to give my best to my authors and colleagues.

I was going to eat something simple so I could have more time and energy to hang out with Jarrett (marriage > fancy meals, every time.) I was going to skip cooking one night so that I’d be more excited to cook the next.

I was going to stop feeling guilty about completely silly things and let the smart advice from my badasser-than-I authors sink into my life.

So we scrapped the fancy dinner plan and boiled spaghetti. And we ate it in our jammies, on the couch, with no guilt at all.


If you want 2018 to be the year you stop feeling guilty and start getting sh*t done, pick up How to Get Sh*t Done: Why Women Need To Stop Doing Everything So They Can Achieve Anything. In it, Erin shares much more about should–the one word you need to stop saying to overcome perfectionism–as well as hundreds of other tips for achieving more while doing less.

As one Amazon reviewer wrote:

“As a multi tasking, working, single mom, I could really use insight on how to do less yet achieve more. It is like she is in my brain. I love this book! So, while everyone around me is thankful I won’t be running on empty anymore, I am thanking Erin for writing this book and sharing her stories as well as her useful system of productivity.”

Erin is the Editor-in-Chief and Co-Owner of Pick the Brain, one of the most widely read and well-respected self improvement blogs on the web, and Refinery 29 named her 1 of 10 Women Changing the Digitalscape for Good.

She’s also one of the kindest, bravest, most badass women (she delivered a beautiful baby just two months before releasing her book baby!), and her advice has done a lot to help me stop feeling so darn guilty all the time. I hope you find it helpful, too!

For more productivity tips, keep reading:

how to start writing a book

how to get more writing done

how to be more productive writer

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What I’m Reading This Week

24 Books You Can Read in Basically One Sitting (Terri Pous for Buzzfeed): Binge-reading: activate!

How To Stop Being “Busy” And Start Getting Stuff Done (Erin Falconer on GirlBoss): If you want more Erin (I do!), here’s an excerpt from How To Get Sh*t Done that was excerpted on GirlBoss.

7 Ways to Make It Easy for Publishers to Offer You a Book Contract (Chad R. Allen): It’s true: every publisher (and agent) wants that easy, slam-dunk book to say yes to. While exact numbers may vary based on category and house, these are all sure-fire ways of perking up attention for your project.

Two dying memoirists wrote bestsellers about their final days. Then their spouses fell in love. (Nora Krug for The Washington Post): This story is so beautiful, it almost makes me teary.

Best Book Marketing Advice for Authors: The Best of 2017 (Jane Friedman): This article is jam-packed with incredible resources and insight for smart book marketing. This is where I’d start if you’re ready to promote a book!

What We’re Eating This Week:

Well I just told you this whole story about how I struggle with shoulding myself in the kitchen (and really, lots of other places), so be gentle as I tell you about how sad, sad, sad our meals were this week.

Monday: Don’t let Monday fool you, but we did cook a real thing: Chicken and Veggie Lo Mein. I was so proud!

Tuesday: I’m in NYC so ???

Wednesday: Street cart? Chipotle? Panic and dismay?

Thursday: Airport food. Yeah.

Friday: We’re in MIAMI! I’ll take one thousand fish tacos, please.

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What book lovers really want: 3 ways to gift time this year

A gift guide for book lovers to gift experiences instead of gifts–these perfect day packages will make it a blissful holiday and very Merry Christmas for the bookworm in your life!

“What do you want for Christmas?” I was asked this last week, and I froze like a deer in headlights. Not one thing popped into my mind.

Well, that’s not true. One thing did pop into my mind:


When I thought about what I wanted—really wanted—it was more time. Time to spend browsing through a bookstore without feeling rushed. Time to wander through Whole Foods instead of marching through my shopping list. Time to have nothing on the agenda but reading a book and taking a walk and cooking a very nice dinner for myself.

None of that is expensive, but all of that is elusive.

That’s why I’ve always loved this John Burroughs quote:

“I still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think, all the walks I want to take, all the books I want to read, and all the friends I want to see.”

Since it’s gift guide season, I wanted to do something a little different and share 3 ways you can give the book lovers in your life the gift of an experience.

I know I’m not the only one who feels like the things they most love get pushed into the margins of the day. And I’m sure we all know someone who works hard and selflessly for others and deserves one whole day of their own favorite things.

best gifts for writers

These gift ideas are perfect for:

  • The busy mom or dad who has a hard time relaxing until everything is “done”
  • The constantly-behind writer who wants less rush and more joy in her writing practice
  • The book lover who never has as much time as he wants to binge read
  • The blogger or creative who wants to learn more skills but feels guilty spending money on herself
  • The person who has it all, or who values experiences over things

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