So You Want to Eat Vegan?

“Eating and reading are two pleasures that combine admirably.”
                  – C.S. Lewis

People have so many different reasons for becoming vegan:  health, animal welfare, environmental concerns.  Sometimes they eat vegan for a limited time as a detox.  If you decide, for any reason, to give the plant-based, vegan way of eating a try, the book for you is Vegan for Life:  Everything You Need to Know to be Healthy and Fit on a Plant-Based Diet by Jack Norris and Virginia Messina.  This book addresses all your nutritional needs from getting enough protein (which is much easier than you might think!) to the specific daily intake of various vitamins and minerals that may be a little different from what you need with a more standard diet.  There are also sections on the unique needs of a vegan pregnancy and childhood, as well as sections on eating vegan as a teen or a person over fifty.

The book is filled with interesting tidbits, such as:
  • Vegans have to be careful to get enough vitamin B12 in their diets.
  • Leafy, green vegetables, tofu and sesame seeds are great sources of calcium.
  • We all know that beans are a source of protein (black beans have 7.6 grams per half cup), but even vegetables have some (broccoli has 2.3 grams per half cup cooked).
  • Plant foods contain no cholesterol, while even lean meats like shrimp and chicken are high in cholesterol.
Some other great resources in OC Public Libraries for a new or established vegan are:  Veganomicon:  The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook by Isa Chandra Moskowitz (Be sure to try the tempeh tacos—yum!); Viva Vegan!:  200 Authentic and Fabulous Recipes for Latin Food Lovers by Terry Hope Romero; The Conscious Cook:  Delicious Meatless Recipes that Will Change the Way You Eat by Tal Ronnen; This Crazy Vegan Life:  A Prescription for an Endangered Species by Christina Pirello; and the documentary, Forks Over Knives.

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