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Resources for Beginning and Sustaining a Plant-Based Life (Plus Some Embarrassing Pictures of Me)

Posted Mar 22 2012 10:48am

I hope everyone is having a nice week so far. Seems like Wednesday and Thursdays are my busiest days and then I finally start to wind down on Fridays. Do you experience that, too? I am already starting to think about the weekend, I am hoping to check out Joshua Tree National Park  since the weather is back to being sunny and nice ( no more snow! ). I’ve lived in California for just about 25 years now (moved here when I was 12 years old), but there is still so much I haven’t seen.

I can’t believe I’m doing this, but here is a picture of me with my friends in our freshman year of high school, just about a year after I moved to California. Can you recognize me? (Why, oh why am I posting this on the internet?):

I’m going to deviate from my normal food-related post today to talk about some of my favorite resources for beginning and sustaining veganism or a plant-based life. One of the reasons is because I get a lot of health-related questions here on my blog. I don’t mind them at all and I love doing the research to try and answer the questions, but I’m not qualified to give health-related advice at this point (I don’t have my degrees yet) so I hesitate to be too specific. Of course, I can talk in general terms and point people in the right direction, and I am always happy to share my experiences, too.

The funny thing is that I’ve been studying nutrition on and off for about about eight years now (yikes, how did that happen?) and I am only courses away from finishing my bachelors degree-equivalent in nutrition and my masters degree in public health nutrition, but I feel like every single piece of information I learned about real nutrition I had to learn by myself. In other words, in all those years of studying nutrition at the university level, I have literally only had a few hours of lecture on nutrition other than what has been put together by the lobbyist-influenced government (i.e., promoting industry as opposed to promoting health).

Does this sound too liberal or radical? If so, I truly, truly invite discussion on this point, whether in the comments section of this post or in private through e-mail with me (carrie on vegan @ gmail.com; my e-mail address is one word but I spaced it out to deter spammers). That being said, I think in light of the reality of how nutrition is taught (or not taught) in our country, that it is up to us to educate ourselves. Here are a progression of resources that have helped me in my journey.

Don’t forget, I’ve posted this very embarrassing “before” picture of myself on my “ About Carrie ” tab. The photo is here, it was taken roughly 10  years ago. It is interesting to note that I was probably exercising as much as I do now when this picture was taken; what has changed is my diet:

I much prefer this photo of me taken just about a week ago:

Okay, enough rambling…onto the links (for my full list of resources, click on the “Resources” tab on my home page or click here ).

By the way, I don’t get any financial compensation by any company or individual for anything I post here on my blog outside of occasional food samples which I normally pair with a giveaway and make very clear that I received the product for free. An example is the chia seed giveaway that I did last week where I was sent a small bag to test and then did a giveaway for a much larger bag of chia seeds.

I also work with an ad company called Foodbuzz that runs the two boxes of ads seen in the side bars on the right side of my home page (sometimes there are non-vegan friendly pictures of food posted there, unfortunately. I hope this will change in the future). I don’t receive any products or special compensation for anything I recommend here, though. I just wanted you to know that.

Introductory resources about veganism and health (not in any order of importance):

The Kind Diet by Alicia Silverstone (the accompanying website is here ). This was the first book about veganism that I read that really spoke to me. I had tried to read Skinny Bitch a few years earlier, but it turned me off, to be frank. I love Alicia’s tone in this book and her gentle way of explaining the way animals are treated when raised for food. It was after reading this book in September of 2010 that I felt the pull toward vegetarian and veganism. For this reason, it will always have a prized spot on my bookshelf. I don’t agree with all of the health and nutrition information in this book, though, especially the macrobiotic bent and the information on supplementation. But, it is a wonderful resource.

Healthy Eating, Healthy World  by J. Morris Hicks (the author’s blog is here ). I wrote a review of this book on the Our Hen House website  in November of 2011 and found it to be a wonderful, introductory resource about what I see as the top three issues why plan-based living makes sense: for health, for the environment, and for the welfare of animals. It is clearly written and well researched.

Eat to Live by Joel Fuhrman, M.D. (Dr. Fuhrman’s website is here and his blog is here ). If you’ve been reading my blog for any amount of time, then you are probably aware of how much influence Dr. Fuhrman has had on my life. I read this book in November of 2010 and haven’t looked back. For a list of Fuhrman-related posts, click . If you want to protect your health for the future or use diet to reverse disease, then this is an absolute must-read. I credit Dr. Fuhrman with reversing the course of my life. Everything I learned about nutrition I learned from Dr. Fuhrman (you can quote me on that!). :)

I have tons more recommendations but I don’t want to overwhelm you. As I mentioned, you can always check out my Resources tab for more book recommendations, blog links and my favorite podcasts. And, of course, I’d love to hear about any of your favorite healthy, vegan resources, I am always looking for new sources of information.

Have a happy, health day!

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