By Madi Page
Author Jyl Steinback is best known among her peers as the “World’s Healthiest Mom.” Not only is Steinback the well-known author of several cookbooks, but she also works as the executive director of Shape Up US, Inc.—an organization dedicated to preventing obesity, empowering children and families to lead happier, healthier lives—and is a homeopathic practitioner.
Steinback began her career as many do, wanting to make a change in the world that could positively help others. Hers began on a personal note.
One day, back when she was a student at Arizona State University, she was walking to class when she noticed a group of male students with number cards “rating” the women who walked by. At the time, Steinback was overweight.
At first, she felt devastated. But later, Steinbeck would come to attribute that moment as one of her blessings in disguise, as it gave her a push in the direction of living a healthier lifestyle.
“I didn’t want a diet, I wanted a new lifestyle,” she explains. “A way of life that made me feel good inside and out.”
From there on out, Steinback had a completely new outlook on her health, and in 1993, it inspired her to write her first cookbook. Called Fat Free Living Cookbook, it contains 275 fat-free recipes designed to be simple and convenient for anyone.
Since then, Steinback has authored 12 cookbooks, which have sold over two million copies. [MG1]
She created each of them with the hope that her readers would be inspired to learn more about health, and even possibly make changes to their lifestyle, nutrition and overall health.
In 2011, Steinback was awarded a Community Leadership Award from the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition for exemplary service and dedication to improving the lives of others by promoting and fostering opportunities for participation in fitness, sports or nutrition programs.
Having two children herself has inspired Steinback to be a voice for children’s health and wellness. She is passionate about bringing health and wellness programs to schools, in order to give kids the right education platform at a young age. She hopes that teaching them this information at these ages will ultimately help them to blossom both mentally and physically.
Steinback even recently started a program called Clap4Health!SM, which is being implemented in schools and other organizations. It is designed to bring wellness and mindfulness into people’s lives through clapping.
Steinback’s list of accomplishments is long, as she is such an amazing advocate to the community on health and wellness—but her most recent success story has to do with her newly published cookbook. Think Outside the Lunchbox is her newest cookbook, and it contains over 250 plant-based, nutritious recipes the whole family will love.
Each recipe in the cookbook was created by minimizing all processed foods and utilizing only vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts and fruits. They also eliminate all animal products as an approach to a kinder and more gentle way of eating.
Steinback was inspired to create her first-ever plant-based cookbook as a way to give others a new perspective on how a plant-nutritious diet can be good not only for the environment, but as a way for people to truly flourish.
“To me, it’s changing your habits; it’s a cultural change and getting educated,” she explains. “It is rolling out of bed on the other side in the morning (don’t knock it till you try it—it will change your whole day and you will think differently). It is clasping your hands, moving your finger; it’s different. It feels strange, possibly uncomfortable, but wonderful. I know I do it all the time. If you are a walker or biker and you always go on the same trail, go the trail another way and ‘think outside the lunchbox.’”
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Madi Page is currently a senior at Arizona State University studying nutrition. After graduating in May of 2020, she plans to work towards her goal of becoming a physician’s assistant. In her free time, Madi enjoys writing, spending time with her friends, family and dog Oliver.