About the Book
Becoming Vegan by Brenda Davis and Vesanto Melina is described as a complete guide to adopting a healthy plant-based diet. Both authors are registered dietitions. The book includes nutritional information, a vegan food guide, general tips on living as a vegan, and information about disease prevention.
The book has 17 chapters. The first chapter, “Vegan Roots” is an overview and history of the vegan movement, and some information on the ethical, health of veganism.
“Vegan Health” is the second chapter, going over the health effects of a vegan diet and its relationship with diseases such as diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and osteoporosis.
The next six chapters are dedicated to the different components of a vegan diet. The chapters cover plant proteins, fat, carbohydrates, vitamin, minerals, and phytochemicals.
The ninth chapter is a general vegan food guide, and includes sample meal plans suited for different caloric needs: 1600, 2200, 2500-2800, and 4000 calories.
Chapters 10, 11, and 12 are guides to having optimal health during different life stages: pregnancy and breast feeding, babies, children, and teens, and seniors.
There’s a chapter focusing on losing weight in a healthy manner, with sensible tips, and ways to modify the food pyramid for weight loss. There’s also a chapter on gaining weight on a vegan diet, which has tips on bulking up the calories of vegan foods without adding bulk. The chapter “Vegan Athlete” goes into proper nutrition for peak athletic performance, including ways to adapt the vegan food guide for increased energy requirements, supplementation information, and important nutrients.
The book also includes a chapter on eating disorders, with a brief overview of anorexia, bulimia, and eating disorders not otherwise specified. There is some information regarding normalizing eating habits from restricting or binging tendencies.
The last chapter in the book, “Vegan Diplomacy” explores different ways and ideas for explaining vegan lifestyle choices to others. There a a few hypothetical “sticky situations” with different choices for “reactions” and what the probable outcomes for these reactions might be.
Each chapter is ended with plenty of references as well as recommended resources for extra reading.
I came across this book in Nelson, BC while visiting my family. I’m really glad I found it, because I’ve found it extremely useful. When it comes to nutrition, the book is very thorough. I learned a lot of great information about soy, vitamin B12 and D. I found the section on weight loss interesting, the authors’ approach was simple and refreshing. I also found the chapter on eating disorders helpful, specifically the tips on learning to normalize eating habits after binging. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone interested in learning more about the health and nutritional aspects of a vegan lifestyle. It’s a great resource, I find it really great to keep around for a quick reference.