I have been asked a lot recently what one book I would recommend to someone who wants to improve their diet. My answer usually depends on the person asking–I have a small arsenal of favorite books about nutrition, so I take into account their personality and try to make a good match. It’s like setting up a blind-date but way less awkward for everyone!
Since I don’t know who is reading this, I’m going to share all five here and let you pick. But before I get to the list I have to say this:
I love reading about nutrition because it is amazing to me how incredibly powerful it is. The healing potential of the human body is just astounding, and I find the knowledge empowering. But it’s easy to get a little (okay, a lot) obsessive and debate the finer details (and there is a multi-billion-dollar industry out there hoping you will do just that, after all)…
And when you read a perspective-shifting book, it can be tempting to get so inspired that you toss all of the food in your house and embark upon a strict raw-food-vegan-macrobiotic-whatever regimen. But in my experience this never lasts, and you end up right back where you started. Especially if you started very far from there.
I say: read one (or more) of these books, get inspired, but also stay real in the knowledge of who you are and where you’re starting out. There is no need to go extreme from the start. You have time. I have been a whole-foods vegan for over a year now and I am still tweaking our diets and learning and growing and experimenting. I’m not perfect. You don’t have to be perfect to get a lot out of these books.
Bottom line: Get some knowledge. Soak up the inspiration. Eat better. Don’t drive yourself bonkers.
Okay, onto the books! All of these cover the same basic information, which can be life-changing if you’ve never read it before. The major differences to me come down to tone and personality–how do you need to hear the information for it to click?
|The Food Revolution by John Robbins
This is the book I usually recommend to guys. It was written by one of the heirs to the Baskin-Robbins ice cream fortune. It’s long on information, very rational.
|The Kind Diet by Alicia Silverstone
This one is my personal favorite, read it if you like upbeat compassion. Of all of these, this is the book I would recommend to me, if I was looking for a book (does that make sense?). Excellent, comprehensive, thoughtful, and spoke to me on a very intuitive level. (More here.)
|Crazy Sexy Diet by Kris Carr
Read this one if you want in-your-face optimism and a kick-ass warrior cheerleading attitude. The energy in this book is seriously infectious! Thorough, informative, and inspiring.
|Disease-Proof Your Child by Joel Fuhrman
I usually recommend this one to (surprise!) parents. (If you’re not a parent, Dr. Fuhrman’s Eat to Live is also excellent). But if are a parent and you read this book please please do me a favor and extra-specially read my caveats above–read this to get informed, not to freak yourself out.
| The China Study by T. Colin Campbell PhD
This one is for those who want more information, and are willing to read something a little more dense. Most of the books above quote research done during the China Study so this is like going straight to the source. (More of my thoughts here.)
|Oops! One more…
Appetite for Reduction by Isa Chandra Moskowitz
Have you read any of these books, and what did you think? Would you add any books to this list?
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