|Basic InformationMore InformationLatest NewsLinksBook Reviews|101 Ways to Meditate29 Gifts3-In-1 Total Body Fitness with Desi Bartlett30 Minute Ab & Butt Blaster5 Day Fit Yoga7 Weeks to 100 Push-Ups8 Keys to Body Brain BalanceA.M. EnergyAccessible Yoga for Every Body DVDAfter the Ecstasy, the LaundryAge-Proof Your MindAgeless Mobility: Pain-Free Wellness For LongevityAlmost MeatlessAM/PM YogaAnswers for AristotleAnywhere, Anytime, Any Body YogaAthlete's Guide to YogaAuthentic HappinessAwakening Self-EsteemBalanced AssetsBedroom Body: Booty Burner, Core & Pelvic Floor WorkoutBeginners Yoga DVDBellyFit ElementsBetter Sex Through YogaBody By BethennyBreath-Centered YogaBreathingCalm EnergyCalm Focus JoyChoosing CivilityClassical Pilates Technique DVDComplementary and Alternative Therapies ResearchCore Fusion - Pilates PlusCore Fusion - Pure Abs & ArmsCore Fusion - Thighs & GlutesCore Fusion Body SculptCore Fusion Lean & TonedCore Fusion Power SculptCore Strength PilatesCore Strength Vinyasa Yoga Power Hour with Sadie NardiniCreative Core AbsCreative Writing In Health And Social CareDance the Chakras Yoga WorkoutDeep Stretch / Yin YogaDr. Andrew Weil's Guide to Eating WellDr. Andrew Weil's Guide to Optimum HealthDr. Andrew Weil's Mindbody ToolkitEastern Body, Western MindEasy YogaElement: Yoga for Stress Relief & FlexibilityEmotions, Stress, and HealthEvamarie Pilipuf's Yoga Express DVDEvery Day Yoga for Every Body DVDEveryday GreensEverything VeganExhale Core Fusion 30 Day SculptFamily YogaFast Food for the SoulFat and FuriousFear and Other Uninvited GuestsFit Family Fun CircuitFit in 5 DVDFlat Abs PilatesFlow and YinFlow YogaFluid Power Vinyasa Flow YogaFully PresentGaiam Pilates Slide and Sculpt Kit with DVDGaiam Pilates Total Toning KitGaiam Yoga For Weight Loss KitGet Ripped & ChiseledGood MedicineHealthy AgingHealthy Sexy Beautiful Kundalini YogaHemalayaa's Yoga for Young Bodies DVDHemalayaa: Bollywood BootyHot Body Cool Mind - Level 1Hot Body Cool Mind: Waking Energy How to Cook Everything VegetarianI'd Rather LaughIn Defense of FoodInsight Yoga Earth: Balancing Yin EnergyInsight Yoga Heaven: Balancing YangInsight Yoga with Sarah PowersIntegrated YogaIntegrative MedicineIntroduction to Ashtanga Yoga DVDIntroduction to Qi YogaIntroduction to Yoga DVDIt's Up to YouJanis Saffell Beverly Hills YogaKids Teach Yoga - Flying EagleKidYogi - Yoga for ChildrenKnowing the Nature of FearKripalu YogaKripalu Yoga Dynamic DVDKripalu Yoga Gentle DVDKundalini Yoga : DVDKundalini Yoga for Beginners & BeyondKundalini Yoga Meditation for Beginners & BeyondKundalini Yoga Meditation for Complex Psychiatric DisordersKundalini Yoga on the BallKundalini Yoga Solar Power All-In-One WorkoutKundalini Yoga to Detox and Destress DVDKundalini Yoga Transformer All-In-One WorkoutKundalini Yoga: Green Energy of the HeartLife MakeoversLifeForce Yoga to Beat the Blues--Level 1LifeForce Yoga to Beat the Blues: Level 2Living Room Yoga DVDLiving Room Yoga: Twist and BendLiving Your Best LifeLiving Your DreamLunar Flow YogaMadhur Jaffrey's World VegetarianMake It Fast, Cook It SlowManage Your Depression Through ExerciseMaui PilatesMayo Clinic Wellness Solutions for Back PainMayo Clinic Wellness Solutions for IBSMayo Clinic Wellness Solutions for InsomniaMean GenesMeditation in a New York MinuteMindfulness for BeginnersMisadventures of a Garden State YogiMozart's Brain and the Fighter PilotNew York PilatesNext-Level PilatesPassionate VegetarianPerfect in Ten AbsPerfect in Ten: PilatesPerfect in Ten: StretchPerfect in Ten: YogaPilates AnatomyPilates for BeginnersPilates for MenPositivityPower to the Peaceful YogaPower YogaPower YogaPower Yoga for HappinessPower Yoga: Core PowerPower Yoga: Fat BurnerPrescriptive StretchingPsychology Moment by MomentPure and Simple YogaPure SculptPure Yoga Pilates with Kerry BestwickQi Gong Fire & Water With Matthew CohenQi Gong Flow for BeginnersQi Gong for Low Back PainQi Gong for Upper Back and Neck PainQi Gong for Weight LossQiGong for Healthy Joints & BonesQiGong IllustratedQuick Blast MethodReach - Upbeat Toning & Flexibility for a Dancer's BodyRed Lotus YogaResistance Stretching With Dara TorresRestorative Yoga PracticeSaving NormalSelf-CompassionSeven Challenges To Change Your Life DVDSleep BetterSolar Flow Yoga DVDSoupsSparkSpontaneous HappinessSports Hypnosis in PracticeStep By Step Strength TrainingStep by Step Tai ChiStrength & SpiritStrength, Grace, HealingStress ReliefStrong Body, Ageless BodySun SalutationsSuper Natural CookingSurf Yoga SoulSybel's Yoga For Sports & FitnessSybel's Yoga For Sports & Fitness Vol 2Tai Chi for Beginners with Grandmaster William C. C. ChenTaming Your Inner BratTeach Yourself MeditationTeen YogaTeenYogi DVDTen Minutes to RelaxThe Accidental VeganThe Angelica Home KitchenThe Art and Science of MindfulnessThe Athlete's Guide to YogaThe Beginner's Guide to Healthy EatingThe Booty Barre -Total New BodyThe Breathing FieldThe Cafe Brenda CookbookThe Complete Book of Raw FoodThe Complete Vegetarian HandbookThe Easy Yoga WorkbookThe Feeling Good HandbookThe Five Things We Cannot Change ...The Happiness of PursuitThe Healing Remedies SourcebookThe Healing Remedies SourcebookThe Health Psychology HandbookThe Healthy KitchenThe Heart of YogaThe Indian VegetarianThe Jewel Tree of TibetThe Joy of MeditatingThe Kettlebell BoomerThe Little Book of Healthy TeasThe Little Soy BookThe Little Yoga BookThe Mood CureThe Mozart EffectThe Myth of Freedom and the Way of MeditationThe Perfect ExerciseThe Pilates Workout JournalThe Playful BrainThe Quest for Peace, Love, and a 24'' WaistThe Spa DeckThe Stoic Art of LivingThe Way of StretchingThe Weight of the NationThe Will to Live and Other MysteriesThe Yin Yoga KitThink SmartTotal AstangaTotal Health the Chinese WayTotal PilatesTotal-Body ToningTransform Yourself with Jivamukti YogaTransformative YogaTrudie Styler's Warrior YogaV-Core WorkoutVegan ExpressVegan for LifeVegetarian Turkish CookingViva Vegan!WalkingWalking a Literary LabyrinthWatch Me Do YogaWeight Loss Cardio KickWellbeingWhat We Say MattersWhen Things Fall ApartWriting in FlowYin and Yang YogaYin Yoga DVDYogaYogaYoga & Pilates Workouts for DummiesYoga 4 TeensYoga : Beginners Flow for EveryoneYoga AnatomyYoga and PsychologyYoga as MedicineYoga Beauty BodyYoga Bliss HipsYoga Body : Lean & Defined Total Body WorkoutYoga By Teens DVDYoga Emergency DVD: Arms & ShouldersYoga Emergency DVD: BackYoga Emergency DVD: Full Leg StretchYoga Emergency DVD: HipsYoga Flow DVDYoga for AnxietyYoga for Back CareYoga for BeginnersYoga for EveryoneYoga for MeditatorsYoga for OsteoporosisYoga for Pain ReliefYoga for Regular GuysYoga for Strength & EnergyYoga for the Young at HeartYoga In BedYoga in BedYoga Inside Out: Go DeeperYoga Inside Out: The Healing WayYoga Journal's Yoga for StressYoga Journal: Yoga for Strength and Toning DVDYoga Link: Core IntegrationYoga Link: Hip HelpersYoga Link: Shoulder Shape-UpYoga on DemandYoga Quick FixesYoga SanctuaryYoga SculptYoga ShaktiYoga Therapy for Back PainYoga Therapy Prescriptions - 60 Health Restorative SequencesYoga To Go's Yoga Quick Fixes DVDYoga to the Rescue - Feel Good from Head to ToeYoga to the Rescue for Back PainYoga to the Rescue for Neck & ShouldersYoga Weight Loss for DummiesYoga: Freedom from Back PainYoga: Relief from Neck and Shoulder PainYoga: Spirit of Vinyasa FlowYogabodyYogawomanYou Can Think Yourself ThinYou'll See It When You Believe ItYour Body Breakthru - Your Best Body Circuit DVDYour Brain on FoodYour Miracle Brain
by Jack Norris, RD & Virginia Messina, MPH, RD
Da Capo Lifelong, 2011
Review by Aline Medeiros Ramos on Feb 7th 2012
Vegan for Life, by Ginny Messina and Jack Norris, is a great read for both longtime vegans and people considering going vegan. It is quite a comprehensive book, whose authors are not only very knowledgeable about the latest nutritional research, but also manage to present it in a very accessible manner.
Although the book is quite ambitious and aims to cover a little bit of everything from nutrition to meal ideas to ethical issues, Vegan for Life does not focus too much on the ethical aspects of choosing a plant-based diet, nor does it engage in deep philosophical arguments concerning the use of animal products. The last chapter of the book ("Why vegan?") does mention a lot of these ethical issues, but, especially because this comes at the very end, none of it seems meant as a form of persuasion founded on guilt, as one may often find in other books on veganism, which usually start by listing all the negative consequences of a non-vegetarian or non-vegan diet. In addition to this last chapter, there is also a short introduction where the authors explain why they became vegan, but aside from those, the core of the book is really dedicated to the essential – and scientific-based – nutritional and health information one must have before and while following a vegan diet.
Because both authors are dietitians, they warn the readers about the potential dangers of resorting to junk-food veganism, but they do not, conversely, try to convince the reader to completely avoid junk food or industrialized products. They are aware of the pitfalls of a strict vegan diet and try to offer balanced and easy solutions to issues vegans face when they need to buy groceries or order a meal at a restaurant.
Besides bringing very up-to-date information on food nutrients and supplements, Vegan for Life is also carefully written to account for the specific needs of people in all stages of their lives, or with different lifestyles: pregnant and breast-feeding women, children, teenagers, menopausal women, people over fifty, and athletes.
In this book you will find clear information on the nutritional values of various types of food and food combinations, and learn why and how to use supplements such as B12, calcium, vitamin D, iron, zinc, and iodine, among others. Messina and Norris also do a good job highlighting some of the most common myths about the use of those supplements in vegan diets. Most notably, they explain why one should not wait three years before taking B12 supplements when one has gone vegan. B12 supplements are needed right away, to make sure anemia as well as other consequences of B12 deficiency are avoided. To better illustrate the essential facts about those vitamins and minerals, the book contains some very useful charts and tables on the nutritional values of certain foods, as well as of our needs for some key nutrients.
In spite of accentuating all positive aspects of a plant-based diet, the authors are not afraid to raise the two sides of contentious issues when that is needed. In chapter 15 - "Is it safe to eat soy?" - for instance, they talk about all potential benefits of this legume (for lowering risks of heart disease and breast cancer, for example), but also mention the possible harmful effects of excessive consumption of some forms of soy, especially when associated with unbalanced diets (like interference in thyroid function). But since there is an ever-growing number of studies on soy, and none is categorically conclusive, the authors carefully emphasize that soy products do not have to be an intrinsic part of a vegan diet. In fact, they suggest that people who choose to include soy in their diets limit its intake to three or four servings a day.
Now, the most interesting chapter for those transitioning to veganism is chapter 8 ("Making the transition to a vegan diet"), which is also where the authors leave some of the scientificity of the previous chapters aside and give a more detailed account of what kinds of ingredients and meals best constitute a vegan diet.
Although this is not meant to be a cookbook, it does contain a few suggestions for vegan meals (including ingredient substitution), and to make a vegan diet easier to follow with some ingredients easily found in grocery stores. Messina and Norris also give recommendations for some product brands, which is a great thing for people who are not yet familiar with the range of products available for all vegan tastes and styles. In fact, the authors always make sure to emphasize that a huge part of the success of a vegan diet depends on the trial part of "trial and error:" if you have tried some vegan product or food and did not like it, they always suggest that you try a different brand, or recipe. The important thing is to give it at least a second chance.
All in all, with chapters covering a full range of aspects of a vegan diet, this book is (perhaps together with a good vegan cookbook) a great starting point for anyone who wants to become vegan, and an excellent reference even for people who have always followed a vegan diet.
© 2012 Aline Medeiros Ramos
Aline Medeiros Ramos, PhD candidate in philosophy, Université du Québec à Montréal firstname.lastname@example.org