Like many of you, I try to eat a low fat, whole food, plant based diet. I consider colorful, life-enhancing food (especially vegetables!) to be a gift to myself, nourishing body and soul. Luckily, I also adore the vibrant new flavors I’ve discovered as a result of embracing this way of eating!
That said, I also fall off the wagon far more than I care to admit. So, given my distinct lack of willpower (yeah, I’m talking to you, brownies), I find it really helpful to surround myself with uplifting cookbooks, books, blogs, websites, and videos. Here are some of my favorite whole-food, plant-powered resources—may they inspire and encourage you on your journey towards better health!
- Eat to Live by Dr. Joel Fuhrman. A comprehensive, engaging guide to eating a healing, nutrient-dense diet. Backed by enormous amounts of research and touching personal stories of success, this book outlines plant-based eating plans for both weight loss and overall health.
- Age Less, Live More by Bernando LaPallo. A lifelong “near vegetarian,” Mr. LaPallo wrote this book at the tender age of 107, and as of December 2015, he’s 114 and still going strong. (Check out his blog here.) This quick read is full of wisdom, faith, humor, and joy—along with great tips for getting and staying healthy.
- Crazy Sexy Diet: Eat Your Veggies, Ignite Your Spark, and Live Like You Mean It! by Kris Carr. Ms. Carr is one awesome lady! Her warm, yet no-nonsense prose will pump you up; the easy recipes in the back of the book will have your taste buds singing. (She uses a lot of olive oil, but you can usually cut it from the recipes with no problems.) From kicking the sugar habit to injecting more joy into your life, Ms. Karr covers all the bases. You can’t help but smile when you read this!
- The China Study by Dr. T. Colin Campbell. I began transitioning to a whole food, plant based diet after reading this book. Clear and compelling, it lays out the scientific (peer-reviewed) evidence for eating plants. From heart disease, to cancer, to autoimmune disease, The China Study addresses the ways that plant-based eating promotes health and longevity. (Also recommended: Whole: Rethinking the Science of Nutrition.)
Cookbooks – All feature plant based recipes that make eating healthy delicious.
- Everyday Happy Herbivore: Over 175 Quick-and-Easy Fat-Free and Low-Fat Vegan Recipes by Lindsay S. Nixon. Mostly unprocessed, with recipes ready in 30 minutes or less. Great for weeknights!
- The Health-Promoting Cookbook: Simple, Guilt-Free, Vegetarian Recipes by Dr. Alan Goldhamer. 100% vegan recipes that are free of salt, oil, sugar, and wheat. Skeptical that they could be any good? I was too. Then I tried them. Delicious, simple, and easy, these hearty recipes are great for investment cooking.
- Bravo!: Health Promoting Meals from the TrueNorth Health Kitchen by Chef Ramses Bravo. Also free of salt, oil, sugar, and wheat, these recipes tend to be a little more complicated than those in The Health-Promoting Cookbook, but are worth the extra effort.
- Eat to Live: The Amazing Nutrient-Rich Program for Fast and Sustained Weight Loss, Revised Edition by Dr. Joel Fuhrman. I know this isn’t technically a cookbook, but the recipes in the back are stellar. I highly recommend the dijon-date dressing—it will make you want to eat salad at every meal!
Online Communities – For when your steak- and shake-scarfing friends just don’t understand.
- Dr. McDougall’s Discussion Board. A great site if you have specific questions about plant-based nutrition or just need some support. The best part? If you have a burning nutrition question, you can ask Jeff Novick, a plant-based dietitian (RD) who helps moderate the site. He frequently answers reader questions.
Videos and DVDs
- Chef AJ and the Dietitian. Free! Fun and funny 5-minute cooking demonstrations on plant-based Chef AJ’s YouTube channel, featuring the chef herself and dietitian Julieanna Hever. Learn how to make pineapple unfried rice, no-added-sugar apple pie hearts, and more.
- Forks Over Knives. Inspiring documentary that makes a compelling case for a plant-based diet. Check out the trailer here; watch the full-length film online via Amazon, Netflix, or iTunes.
- Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM). Learn how a low-fat vegan diet can help prevent, reverse, or manage disease; read up on the latest plant-based diet research; or sign up for a 21-Day Vegan Kickstart. Engaging and meticulously researched, the resources available in the Health and Nutrition section of PCRM’s website are second to none. Healthcare professionals can even sign up for free continuing medical education (CME) courses.
Updated December 2015.