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Announcing My Third Book: The Joyous Cookbook!

I wanted to share the behind-the-scenes of writing the Joyous Cookbook, with tons of photos from our shoot days and all the food we ate!
Sep 16, 2019 | Joy McCarthy

You may have already heard the news from my Joyous Health Instagram account, but if you haven’t, my third cookbook, The Joyous Cookbook, is now available for pre-order, and it comes out December 31st, 2019!!! I couldn’t be more joyous about sharing this exciting announcement with you. You are, after all, the reason I share my recipes and write cookbooks.

Joyous Cookbook

It’s thanks to you, that I continue to do what I do.

I thought I would take some time to share a little behind-the-scenes of how this cookbook came to life and the process of creating it. All the photography I’m sharing in this blog post—between Walker, Carol and myself—is from our iPhones.

Why did I write a third cookbook?

Since I was a little girl, I have loved being in the kitchen and creating something from nothing! Until my mid-twenties, most of what I created was baked goods from triple layer carrot cakes to pumpkin cheesecakes, chocolate chip cookies, and more—but they were the furthest thing from being healthy!

I definitely considered myself more of a baker back then, not a cook. Nowadays I still make carrot cake recipes and cheesecakes and cookies, but they are healthier without all the refined sugar, and in my opinion, they taste better, too! I also LOVE making savoury recipes like one-pot meals, hearty mains and salad bowls galore.

So, the short answer is, I LOVE creating and it is a joy for me to create something for you, and then hear how much you love it!

What is the joyous cookbook about and who is it for?

The Joyous Cookbook is all about nourishment—delicious nourishment, to be more precise! My goal was to create a cookbook for everyone and every family to enjoy—from plant-based lovers and meat-eaters to those with food allergies, sensitivities and restrictions. This means there are plenty of dairy-free, grain-free and nut-free options which you'll find identified throughout the book.


This cookbook is for families, food lovers and health enthusiasts. Its for YOU!

These recipes are the best representation of how my family and I eat: uncomplicated, real-food recipes made with ingredients you can find at pretty much any grocery store. 

How did you create these recipes?

With lots of trial and error. I get tons of practice because we eat homecooked meals far more than we get take-out, or eat out at a restaurant. I have a super cute helper who loved helping me create in the kitchen, too! This photo is from one of my recipe testing days. I can’t believe how young Vienna looks here. This was from May 2018. 

Vienna cooking in the kitchen.

Since this is my third cookbook (my first two babies were Joyous Health and Joyous Detox), I’ve gotten a lot of practice in the kitchen. Also, I’ve taken all the feedback from those cookbooks and incorporated it into this new cookbook. These are the best 100 recipes I’ve ever created!! 


More about the recipes in the joyous cookbook

As I just mentioned, the recipes you’ll find in The Joyous Cookbook reflect how I eat. But, I’ve been listening to you, my community, over the years and from doing so, I have a pretty good sense of what recipes you love to make. I hear you loud and clear, and I made a point to incorporate those types of recipes into The Joyous Cookbook.

From easy-to-make breakfasts, hearty mains and one-pot meals, to sides and salads, snacks and desserts, my recipes will keep you well-nourished every day.

With recipes like Apple Cinnamon Waffles (which you can turn into pancakes), Crunchy and Creamy Soba Noodle Salad, Fish Tacos, Sweet Potato Veggie Pad Thai, Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler, Superfood Chocolate Bark (and much more), you’ll be able to find a simple, nourishing and delicious recipe for whatever you’re in the mood for!

FAQ: What do you do with all of the food you make and shoot for the cookbook?

I get this question a lot; the answer is, we eat it! :) Well more precisely, Walker eats a lot of it!

Walker taking a bite out of a sandwich.

Are there any galette recipes?

I’m so glad you asked! :) Yes! If you’ve been a reader for a while, you know I am obsessed with galettes. They are like the lazy lady’s version of a pie—kinda, sorta. And yes, I’ve got a savoury galette recipe that will have your friends and family thinking you’re a distant relative of Julia Child!

Savoury Galette

And of course, I have a sweet galette. Also, a friendly reminder, the photos I’m sharing in this post are from my iPhone NOT the actual photos in the book. I can’t share all of those with you yet, and I wanted this post to have more of a behind-the-scenes look to give you a true idea of what the making of this cookbook looked like!

Sweet galette

Speaking of photos, who did the food photography?

This cookbook is extra special because my husband Walker shot all of the photos on our camera. We used our Sony A7RII—the same camera we shoot all our family vacation photos on. Walker also wrote a post a while ago talking about all of the equipment we use to shoot and film videos at Joyous Health. It only made sense we would shoot this together because Walker has been doing all the photos for the blog since 2015 onwards, and they’ve drastically improved over the years. Im so proud of what we have created!

Curious what it’s like working with your significant other? Walker and I did a podcast on that very topic!


It took us from April to July 2018 to complete shooting the book. It was a MASSIVE project but we spaced out the shooting so we would have time for doing our regular Joyous Health work as well, like events, writing and creating delicious recipes for the blog. 


Food styling props

This book would not have been possible without our amazing prop and food stylist (aka creative guru) Carol Dano! We’ve been working together since the early days of Joyous Health. Her job of sourcing props—both old, new and rented—is a big one. We had a mix of props we rented from The Props, things I already had, and then a few new pieces from Homesense and Pier 1. 

You’ll soon discover that we are all obsessed with cutlery (clearly).

Food styling props

Another person who made this book possible was Caroline Young. She was my right-hand lady making all 100 recipes in our little kitchen by my side. I was pregnant at the time for a couple of months while shooting, so I was feeling like my body was made of cement bricks (aka I was quite tired), so her help was very needed.

Group of healthy happy people

Our Communications Lead, Rachel Molenda, held the fort down in the office and tested out lots of recipes along with all our amazing recipe testers including Laura, Andrea, and Erin.

It takes a village to pull a cookbook off and it was made possible because of this amazing dream team, including Vienna!

Even though my book isn’t officially on bookstore shelves until December 31st, 2019, you can test-drive six recipes before my book officially comes out when you pre-order it! This will tide you over until you have the real thing in your hands later this year (basically on New Year’s Eve!). But, what a great way to start 2020! :)

You can get your pre-order bundle of six recipes here when you enter your receipt number from your purchase.


Thank you for your support over the years. I’m super excited for you to have this incredible cookbook in your kitchen. I hope it becomes tattered, dog-eared and loved in your home.

I can’t wait for you to dig in and get cooking these recipes. Be sure to tag me on Instagram @joyoushealth and #joyouscookbook as you start cooking up the recipes in the pre-order bundle, and let me know what you think!

Joy xo

ps. UPDATE: Walker and I have recorded a podcast talking about the process of creating the Joyous Cookbook. You can listen here.

Sep 16, 2019 BY Joy McCarthy
Samantha   •   September 17, 2019

Thank you for the insight and background of the work that goes into creating a book and why you do it thank you lovely cannot wait to get a copy much love from Melbourne Australia xx

Joy McCarthy   •   September 18, 2019

Nicole B.   •   September 18, 2019

I really can't wait to buy it!! Congratulations on the new book!

Joy McCarthy   •   September 19, 2019

karine   •   December 16, 2019

I just pre-ordered! I am so excited. Love, love, love your work!!

Joy McCarthy   •   December 16, 2019

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