When I first went vegan back in 2006, I wasn't a dietitian and hadn't even thought about getting my master's in nutrition. So I was pretty clueless on the nutrition aspects of veganism. At that point I had been a vegetarian for over 4 years so I knew that getting enough protein wasn't an issue. To be honest, I didn't think much about where I would get my calcium, iron and B12. And to be honest, I still don't - because they are incredibly easy to get in a vegan diet. There are 3 books that I think are essential in teaching the lay person every thing you need to know about vegan nutrition for all stages of life (from pregnancy, to lactation, infancy, and childhood to adulthood) and give you a brief crash-course in the importance of a vegan lifestyle.
The second book you must own is Diet For A New America: How Food Choices Affect Your Health, Your Happiness and the Future of Life on Earth by John Robbins. 2012 marked the 25th anniversary of the original printing of this groundbreaking book that will force you to raise your consciousnesses and awareness of the food you eat. Robbins solidifies the link between factory farming and animal cruelty with disease and the current state of our environment. Just in case you aren't familiar with Robbins you might be familiar with his family. The Robbin's in his name is none other than that of the Baskin-Robbins ice cream empire. Robbins has rebuffed the family business to advocate for a healthy, plant-based, vegan diet and lifestyle and spells out with stunning clarity the importance a vegan diet has not only on your health, but the health of the planet and the health of society at large. If you ever needed a top 10 list of reasons to go vegan and stay vegan then this book is for you! A book that is an honorable mention is Robbins The Food Revolution: How Your Diet Can Help Save Your Life and Our World which uncovers the dangers of many of today's most popular foods and the impact it has on our health.
Finally, the third must-have book in your collection is the first book on vegan nutrition I ever read Becoming Vegan: The Complete Guide to Adopting A Healthy Plant-Based Diet by Brenda Davis RD and Vesanto Melina MS, RD. Out of any book in my collection (and I have literally thousands of books in my home), this book is the most highlighted and tabbed book I own. This book opened me up to the world of vegan nutrition and gave me a passion for it. As a new vegan I found myself bombarded with questions about nutrition that I just wasn't prepared to answer. How was I supposed to know every plant-based source of calcium, iron and protein? I knew that major organizations like the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics endorsed a vegan diet for all stages of life and I could rattle that sentence off with ease but I didn't know the science behind why a vegan diet was so healthy and great for every stage of life, let-alone have the ability to regurgitate that information to a skeptical omnivore and sound intelligent. This book gave me all the tools I needed. The authors advice is practical, easy to follow and well-presented. One great feature I love about the book too is that it shows you what a poorly planned vegan diet looks like versus a well-planned diet. We also know that vegan living off of oreos and veggie burgers, if you happen to be that vegan then this is an essential book for you!
There you have it. The three essential, can' live without, need in your life from here to eternity books you should own. Even if you're a tried and true, long time vegan these books are great resources to get your brushed up on the basics that we old seasoned vegans tend to take for granted in this every increasing vegan friendly world. Happy Reading!