For my last blog post of the year, I thought I'd recommend a few books to give your vegan or vegan-curious friends this holiday season. For the sake of convenience, these links lead to Amazon's website, but you can probably order these books from your local independent bookseller, which will help to keep your money working in your own community.
One of the most talked about vegan-interest books over the last couple of years has been Forks Over Knives: The Plant-Based Way to Health. With advice from long-time vegan advocates T. Colin Campbell, Caldwell Esselstyn, John MacDougall, and others, Forks Over Knives not only explains why a plant-based diet is good for you, it also provides a plan for getting started and dozens of healthy recipes. A Forks Over Knives DVD is also available. Check out the Forks Over Knives website at http://www.forksoverknives.com/.
Fans of Lindsay Nixon's Happy Herbivore cookbooks will be happy to know that a new one came out earlier this month. Happy Herbivore Light & Lean: Over 150 Low-Calorie Recipes with Workout Plans for Looking Great and Feeling Great may be just the remedy needed for anyone on your shopping list who's been indulging in holiday treats all month. Additional recipes, as well as complete meal plans, are available at http://happyherbivore.com/.
Post Punk Kitchen maven Isa Chandra Moskowitz also has a new cookbook out just in time for the holidays. In addition to dozens and dozens of mouth-watering recipes, Isa Does It: Amazingly Easy, Wildly Delicious Vegan Recipes for Every Day of the Week includes helpful tips about how to equip your kitchen and stock your pantry, shortcuts to make cooking a little less time-consuming, and a list of ingredients that can be substituted for various allergens.
If you have a friend who keeps talking about going vegan but just hasn't taken the plunge, Dr. Neal Barnard's 21-Day Weight Loss Kickstart: Boost Metabolism, Lower Cholesterol, and Dramatically Improve Your Health may provide the incentive he or she needs. Dr. Barnard provides a wealth of information in this book about the benefits of a plant-based diet and offers suggestions on how to develop healthy eating habits. More information about Dr. Barnard and his Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is available at http://www.pcrm.org/.
I always love to hear about vegan athletes, since the conventional wisdom seems to be that an athlete can't get enough protein to be competitive without eating meat. In No Meat Athlete: Run on Plants and Discover Your Fittest, Fastest, Happiest Self, marathoner Matt Frazier shares his story about how switching to a vegan diet not only did nothing to hinder his running, but made it possible for him to run longer and faster. Learn more about No Meat Athlete at http://www.nomeatathlete.com/.
I'll be taking a break from this blog until after the first of the year. Best wishes to you and your families for a happy holiday season!