Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Requested This Wedding Gift and It May Reveal a Total Diet Makeover

Royal watchers got a royal surprise just a week before this year’s most-anticipated wedding. After previously hearing that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were asking for donations to select charities in lieu of wedding gifts, The Sunday Times revealed an exclusive wedding registry reserved for their closest friends and family. One of the most intriguing items on the list is The Nordic Cookbook — a magnum opus of eats of cultural factoids from the Northwestern European regions.

What does this mean for Prince Harry and his foodie bride-to-be? We take a look at how this could signal a diet makeover for the royal couple. (Check out page 5 to see what one expert told The Cheat Sheet about the Nordic diet.)

The book, in a nutshell

The Nordic Cookbook on a white background.

This cookbook was on the new royal couple’s wishlist. | Phaidon

The Nordic Cookbook is an expansive 700-recipe chronicle written by renowned Swedish chef Magnus Nilsson. The 22-chapter anthology includes cultural background and recipes for what is now Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Iceland, and outlying islands. (We say “now” because some of the recipes in this book are centuries old, before these countries were established.) The menu resembles that of the Mediterranean diet in that it shuns processed food in favor of healthier fare.

Next: We can’t help but wonder …

Inspiration behind the gift?

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle meet local school children during a visit to Birmingham.

The perfect gift for the foodie and ex-actress, who had recently traveled to Norway. | Hannah McKay-WPA Pool/Getty Images

It’s no secret that Markle is an avid foodie and loves to cook. (Her now-debunked food blog, The Tig, was perfect evidence of that.) It has been reported that she cooks fairly elaborate meals for date night’s in with Prince Harry. Since the duo took a trip to Norway in January 2017, it’s possible Markle wants to learn more about the cuisine and try out recipes herself.

Next: A little more background …

About the Nordic cuisine

Norway's flag.

The book is full of delicious Norwegian recipes. | Derek Brumby/Getty Images

The length of The Nordic Cookbook should be enough of an indication that this isn’t a list of run-of-the-mill recipes you may associate with this corner of the world. Preservation is a big part of the food culture in much of the book, with many recipes revealing that foraging for food in the fall to keep through the winter still shapes many of the dishes served in the regions today. And as the Huffington Post points out in its book review, the cookbook reveals how distinct the dishes from each country can be.

Next: Of course, we’re dying to know …

Dishes that stick out

A Norwegen sandwich.

The dishes are delicious, but not things you’d commonly see at brunch. | Pretti/Getty Images

While a 700-recipe chronicle surely has a few commonplace recipes, there are certainly a select few that garner extra attention for their uniqueness. Denmark’s open-face lunch sandwich, NPR details, consists of buttered toast topped with everything from cold cuts to eel to herring and mackerel. But then you have reindeer blood pancakes, favored by the Sami tribe of Northern Scandinavia who had to store food for the winter and use every part of a hunted animal — yes, including its blood.

Next: If that makes you queasy, consider this …

What the experts say

Norwegian breakfast food on a white plate.

The Norwegian diet is full of fresh foods. | Mark_KA/Getty Imagea

If loaded toast and blood-infused foods sound odd, it may help to know The Nordic Cookbook  also packs a healthy punch. Frida Harju-Westman, in-house nutritionist at Lifesum tells the Cheat Sheet studies have revealed “the diet normalizes blood cholesterol levels, alleviating the risk of heart disease” as well as lowered insulin levels and blood pressure. Harju-Westman adds that “a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that individuals placed on the Nordic diet lost significant amounts of weight, without having to restrict their calorie consumption.”

Next: Let’s take a look at …

How this differs from Meghan and Harry’s current diet

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle during a visit to Catalyst Inc science park in Belfast.

The couple might be getting ready to cook as a couple. | Niall Carson – Pool/Getty Images

Although Meghan Markle has been eating fairly clean while on her wedding diet, the Nordic diet is still a departure from how she and her husband-to-be dine. The Suits alum likes to prepare cuisine with a variety of different influences. She also reportedly likes having things like hummus, chia seeds, and almond milk readily available in the kitchen. (Which aren’t exactly staples in the Nordic diet.)

Next: This makes us wonder …

Does this mean Meghan Markle is giving up French fries?

Prince Harry And Meghan Markle Visit Birmingham.

Meghan Markle will continue to try new foods as she travels with Prince Harry. | Ian Vogler – WPA Pool/Getty Images

We strongly doubt that the future royal is going to give up her favorite guilty pleasure food in favor of a strict Nordic meal plan. But having the book on the wedding registry may suggest that she’s looking for new healthy and delicious eats to prepare at home for herself and Prince Harry. In fact, it wouldn’t surprise us if she begins collecting cook books from places she and Harry travel to after they get married. (We’ll just have to wait and see if that comes to fruition…)

Check out The Cheat Sheet on Facebook …