It Takes Guts

About It Takes Guts

Food (and life) is all about perspective: having an open mind and an adventurous spirit can take you to wonderful places you’d never experience otherwise.

From health and nutrition writer, podcast host, and self-proclaimed health nerd Ashleigh VanHouten comes this entertaining and user-friendly guide to enjoying some of the more adventurous parts of the animal, as well as understanding the value of whole-animal cooking. Enjoy 75 delicious and uncomplicated recipes sourced from an enthusiastic advocate of nose-to-tail, ancestrally inspired eating who does not have a background in cooking or organ meats—so if she can do it, so can you! Ashleigh has also enlisted the help of some of her chef friends who are known for their beautiful preparations of nose-to-tail dishes to ensure that her recipes nourish and satisfy both your body and your palate.

There are many great reasons to adopt a truly whole-animal, nose-to-tail approach to eating. It Takes Guts: A Meat-Eater’s Guide to Eating Offal with over 75 Healthy and Delicious Nose-to-Tail Recipes is more than a cookbook: it’s about education and understanding that the way we eat is important. Our choices matter, and we should seek to know why a particular food is beneficial for us, the ecosystem, and the animals, and how our food choices fit into the larger food industry and community in which we are a part. Through interviews with experts, more than a few hilarious and thoughtful anecdotes, and of course, delicious recipes, you’ll learn the cultural, environmental, and health benefits of adding a little “variety meat” to your diet.

As the saying goes, the way you do anything is the way you do everything. So let’s all approach our plates, and our lives, with a sense of adventure and enthusiasm!


  • An entertaining introduction into the “offal” world of organ meats, and why it’s more delicious (and less scary) than you may think.
  • A breakdown of the healthiest and tastiest organ meats, from heart, liver, and kidney to tongue, bone marrow, and blood!
  • An interview with a butcher on how to source the best organ meats, including what to look for and ask about.
  • 75 delicious, fun, and easy recipes that you don’t have to be a chef to prepare.
  • Plenty of background and personal anecdotes about specific recipes: where they come from, why they’re special, and why
    you should add them to your meal plan!
  • A number of contributed recipes from respected chefs, recipe developers, and fellow health nerds, Ben Greenfield, Beth
    Lipton, and Tania Teschke.


Ashleigh is a health and nutrition journalist, speaker, podcast host, certified health coach, and self-proclaimed health and fitness nerd.

She has written for Paleo Magazine for more than eight years, as well as a number of other health publications. She hosts the Muscle Maven Radio podcast, and has worked with other top-rated health-related podcasts like Shrugged Collective, Muscle Intelligence, and Paleo MagazIne Radio; her podcast has been downloaded more than 1.5 million times and she’s interviewed some of the biggest names in health and wellness including Dave Asprey, Laird Hamilton, Steph Gaudreau, Mark Sisson, and many more. Combining her formal education and professional experience in marketing and communications with her passion for healthy eating, exercise, and learning, Ashleigh works in a consulting role for a number of professionals in the health and wellness world, working alongside individuals like Elle Russ, Dr. Gabrielle Lyon, and Ben Pakulski.





“This book does a great job of introducing readers to the myriad benefits of a truly nose-to-tail diet, and how much health and enjoyment can be found in eating organ meats — but more importantly, in opening your mind to new things.”

Mark Sisson
New York Times best-selling author and founder of Primal Kitchen Foods

“If you truly want radical health and vitality, including organ meats in your diet is a must. Nose to tail nourishment is something our ancestors have benefited from for thousands of generations but has been forgotten about in recent years. In this cookbook, Ashleigh does a fantastic job of sharing creative, delicious recipes that will help you include more of these incredibly nutrient-rich foods in your diet.”

Paul Saladino
Leading authority on the science and application of the carnivore diet, and author of The Carnivore Code

“Using the whole animal is what we all should be doing! Ashleigh’s book shines light on proteins that we didn’t even know we should be eating. She transforms organ meats into approachable and delicious dishes that you actually want to make, and educates you on why they are so important to our health. As a chef, hunter and health nut, this book is a staple in my kitchen!”

Bri Van Scotter
Professional chef, hunter, and creator of Wilderness to Table