Would you like to know how to know what to eat? It seems a stupid question, doesn’t it? Other species have no problem. Tigers know what to hunt for, and birds know which berries to eat from the trees. Why are we the only species that has to pay hundreds of pounds to get ‘experts’ tell us what to eat, how many calories to count, what we can’t eat, and what products we must buy, to ensure proper nutrition?
These fun & simple good nutrition books makes what could be a boring subject a lot more readable. It’s important to know what to eat, without bias. And these books can do just that. Party In Your Plants is by wellness expert Talia Pollock, who shares the good news that you can still eat foods you enjoy, just in a different way. You don’t need a new expensive blender, nor even a meal plan. Learn how to eat well most of the time.
American food campaigner Michael Pollan says you can sum up how we should eat in 7 words: Eat food. Not too Much. Mostly Plants. He says all diets rely on reducing calories – don’t eat too much). All experts say we should live on 90% or more plants. Combine with regular exercise (walking’s fine) and try to relax (stress kills), to give yourself the best chance. Michael’s 64 food rules include:
- Don’t eat anything your grandmother would not know
- Comes from a plant? Eat it. Made in a plant? Don’t.
- Don’t get your fuel from the same place, as your car
- Don’t eat cereals that change the colour of the milk!
- Don’t eat anything with more than 5 ingredients
- Avoid foods with ‘health claims!’
Fun & Simple Nutrition Books
- Vegan Savvy (nutrition on a plant-based diet) is a positive look at the health questions that surround eating plants. It’s easy to fall down a rabbit hold of vegan fast food and beans on toast, and end up deficient in iron, iodine, omega 3 fatty acids and calcium. Lack of these nutrients can lead you to feeling sluggish or low in energy, and suffering mood swings. This book can remedy these pitfalls, with a simple and flexible approach from registered dietitian and consultant nutritionist Azmina Govindji.
- Simple Happy Kitchen is a fun and colourful book by an artist (he worked with a nutritionist, to ensure the information is accurate). Pedro Almondovar (a roasted almond) takes you through vitamins, minerals, calcium, protein and vitamin B12.
- The Plant Power Doctor is by Dr Gemma, with simple switches and 60 recipes for wholefood breakfasts, family favourites and meals-on-the-go. Gemma helped found Plant Based Health Professionals.
- 30 Days of Vegan is a simple book by a registered dietitian, making it a breeze to change your diet in a month. It offers a handy meal menu and a shopping list of all ingredients you need.
- Plant-Based Well Kind of Cookbook is by Calie and Nic (she took 3 years to go plant-based, he made the decision overnight). They show how to eat well on a budget, without need for special gadgets. You won’t lose muscle or lack protein (Nic got bigger).
- Plant Over Processed is by Hawaiian fitness fanatic Andrea Hannemann. Once addicted to sugar and convenience foods (with IBS, asthma, brain fog and chronic fatigue), she dropped the specialists, supplements and fad diets, quit processed foods and embarked on a new way of eating. She does yoga, runs or surfing 45 minutes a day. Below is her Green Morning Smoothie.
Healthy Living James is a book of mostly plant-based recipes by one of the world’s top health recipe bloggers. This book is ideal for people with health issues. If you have allergies or intolerances, these recipes can be made in minutes, with everyday ingredients. The 80 recipes include gluten-free options and use affordable ingredients and a couple of pots and pans. Recipes include:
- Strawberry Granola Pot
- Banana Waffles
- Wok-Fried Greens
- Black Bean Nachos
- Tex Mex Quinoa Salad
- Homemade Pot Noodle
- Mushroom Stroganoff
- Chickpea Smash Burgers
- Meat-free Ball Marinara Sub
- Garlic Flatbread
- Salt & Vinegar Smashed Potatoes
- No-Bake Chocolate Tart
- Choc Peanut Butter Shake
James Wythe fell ill 10 years ago and was left bedbound for two years, and housebound for the next four years. Unable to communicate, eat, sleep, tolerate light or sound, watch TV or look at his phone, he was eventually diagnosed with ME and told there was no cure. But on the advice of a nutritionist, he cut out all gluten and dairy, and slowly began to get better. He had no idea how to cook, so gradually taught himself and now has hundreds of thousands of fans worldwide, who he teaches to cook quick and simple healthy meals.
Plant-Based meal Plans
Not everyone wants a vegan meal plan, but many people prefer to stick to a routine, especially when on a budget or perhaps recovering to wellness, or feeding a big family. Here are some of the best around. They enable you to plan your meals and budgets, and most have swap-outs if you want to sub things you don’t like or can’t eat, due to allergies etc.
- The Veg Space is a food blog created by a professionally trained chef. Her Four Week Vegan Meal Plan is fab and free! Just enter your email address to receive a PDF to your inbox for 4 weekly shopping lists, 28 easy vegan dinners and a full guide to using the meal plan.
- Easy Vegan Meal Plan is brought to you by popular blogger and cookbook author Sam Turnbull. For around $99 a year, find weekly recipes and grocery lists, with how-to videos to get you started. You’ll also receive cooking tips, subs and lots of other goodies. You can print your shopping list or take your smartphone to the store, to grab groceries for the recipes. Some meals are freezable, indicated by an icon.
- Vegan IO is a super online meal planner, based in the United Arab Emirates. Brought to you by a vegan family, just enter your goals, activity, allergies and time for cooking, then receive custom plans. There is a free trial then it’s just $2 per week if you pay annually. You get itemized shopping lists (broken down by grocery section) and find printable lists, if you don’t have a smartphone. Nutritional info is calculated automatically, and all the recipes are available for free online.
- Meal Mentor is a site founded by best-selling ‘Happy Herbivore’ cook Lindsay Nixon. The meal plans and grocery lists make it easy to eat healthy food, even when you’re busy. Stop wasting hours planning meals and instead find nutritious dishes that can be prepared in 20 minutes or less. All menus include calorie and macronutrient counts, and some recipes include options for lighter subs and waist-friendly portions.
- Forks Over Knives is a popular meal planner, from the makers of the popular health documentary and cookbooks. You can swap recipes anytime, then follow the instructions and tips from their chefs and nutritionists, to guide you through the week. Save time with their organized grocery lists and Weekend Prep guides. The meals take 35 minutes or less and many avoid common allergens like gluten, soy and nuts. You can also join their community group for support and download the mobile app, to take your personalised vegan meal plan with you.
- PlantYou Planner has a free trial, then sign up for weekly custom meal plans, nutritious quick recipes and checkable shopping lists, to take to the grocery store. You can even toggle serving sizes.
Pretty Bird Kitchen’s Plant-Based Guidebooks
Pretty Bird Kitchen is a beautiful blog by a beautiful young lady who has been plant-based for several years and has a set of lovely plant-based digital guidebooks for you to download (they are very affordable but if you’re on a tight budget, just sign up the newsletter to get some free resources instead). These are beautifully written and designed, and far more affordable than big long courses. You can buy these guides separately or there are value bundles, if you prefer to shop the lot and get a discount!
From knife cuts to cooking methods, grain and bean cooking charts to a list of the best produce to choose organic (avoiding the ‘Dirty Dozen’ that are often coated in pesticides), it’s all here!
Zero to Plant-Based is the ultimate beginner’s guide to stop overwhelm. With Summer’s help, you get all you need including practical steps to take right now, and a companion workbook to track your progress. You’ll also find printable reference sheets and info to prepare nutrient-dense and sustainable meals, to help you, animals and the planet.
Meal Planning Binder is 49 pages of organisational goodness. Create a quick weekly meal plan and grocery list, including master lists of family favourites. There are 8 cover designs in 2 colours, to list soups to salads, breads to sauces, desserts to drinks.
Kitchen Conversion List helps you to translate conversions (useful for UK/US recipes) and oven temperatures, and has tips on how long it takes to cook dried beans, plus food prep terms and abbreviations. Print this out to hang on your fridge or inside a cabinet door, to never worry about miscalculating again.
Seasonal Produce Charts cover all four seasons, to see which fruits and veggies are available locally, better for the planet, taste and your wallet. It also helps to reduce carbon emissions, as your veggies won’t be traveling hundreds or thousands of miles by truck.
This for That Substitution Chart to make it easy to replace animal foods with plant subs, and also how to replace refined sugar and oil with healthier alternatives.
A little e-book on how to banish IBS for good through diet.
14 Tips to Help You Go Plant-Based is a quick guide to help your family on board, by a woman who knows what it’s like to get her carnivore husband on board. This guide (written with her hubby) will help others have an easier transition than they did! The Carnivore’s Guide to Choosing Plant-Based Meals includes the e-book plus 25 Deep South heart-filling meals including:
- Tofu Scramble
- Double Berry Walnut Waffles
- Mexican Fiesta Burger
- Spice Rack Taco Soup
- Big n Bold Texas Cauliflower Bites
- Oil-Free Crispy Baked Fries
- Creamy Whipped Hummus
This personalised vegan recipe book is a great way to store favourite recipes. It has handy cheat pages and space to fill with your perfected recipes, in premium wire-bound hardback or perfect bound softback notebook styles. The pages are made from 100gsm FSC® and EU EcoLabel certified paper and bound in a quality satin card giving it a soft touch feel. Designed, printed and bound in Surrey, England.
A Set of Vegan Visual Recipe Cards
DIY Vegan Visual Recipe Cards is a recipe box featuring 50 oversized illustrated recipe ideas. You won’t find precise measurements or specific instructions, instead just a clear guide to making good food from simple, real ingredients. The recipes are hand-drawn and almost wordless, so it’s easy to see the whole cooking process at a glance. Perfect for visual thinkers who enjoy being creative, and improvising in the kitchen.