What is a plant-based diet, and why is it a diet style which many nutritionists, doctors, and other health experts recommend? No particular diet works for everyone, but much research points toward a plant-based diet as a healthy choice for many people. Eating a plant-based diet doesn’t have to mean that you never eat meat, fish, seafood, eggs, or dairy products. It just means that one’s diet focuses on fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains, beans, and other food products from plants. Katherine D. McManus, MS, RD, LDN at the Harvard Health Blog tells us that “plant-based diets offer all the necessary protein, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals for optimal health.” Moreover, a plant-based diet, if done mindfully, can help minimize the amount of fat and cholesterol going into the body, which can have negative health effects when eaten in excess.
Plant-based eating is flexible and includes a variety of diet styles, cuisines, and recipes. Many books have been published in recent years touting the benefits of plant-based eating and offering innovative recipes for vegetarian and vegan meals. Here is a selection of books published within the past decade, all available through SJPL.
- Eating Vegetarian: A Healthy Cookbook for Beginners by Alissa Bilden Warham and Steve Warham
- Party in Your Plants: 100+ Plant-Based Recipes and Problem-Solving Strategies to Help You Eat Healthier (Without Hating Your Life) by Talia Pollock
- How to Go Meat-Free: Eco Tips for Busy People by Stepfanie Romine
- The Healthy Vegetarian: Healing Yourself, Healing Our Planet by Gary Null, Ph.D.
- Main Street Vegan: Everything You Need to Know to Eat Healthfully and Live Compassionately in the Real World by Victoria Moran
Diet for a New America
One of the country’s foremost proponents of plant-based diets is John Robbins, who in 1987 published Diet for a New America, which advocated for these diets on the basis of animal welfare, personal health, and environmental sustainability. A reviewer for the Vegetarian Times wrote: “The book is a pleasure to read, as engrossing as the most exciting novel.” SJPL is hosting an online book discussion on Wednesday, May 5, 2021 from 7:00-8:00 PM to talk about Robbins' book, its impact, and developments since its publication in the areas of health, the environment, and factory farming. If you are interested in reading and then discussing Diet for a New America with others online, please register.
Virtual Vegetarian Event Series
SJPL is also hosting five online events in the Virtual Vegetarian series, which will provide information for different participant groups on healthy, plant-based eating and transitioning to a vegetarian or vegan diet style. Teens in particular are encouraged to attend; we are offering three events just for teens. To register, see the listing below.
- Virtual Vegetarian 101 for Teens: Wednesday, April 28, 2021 5:00-6:00 PM
- Virtual Vegetarian 101 for Adults: Thursday, May 6, 2021 4:30-5:30 PM
- Growing Up Vegetarian: Virtual Family Vegetarian Lifestyle 101: Wednesday, May 12, 2021 5:00-6:00 PM
- Virtual Vegetarian 101 for Teens: Wednesday, June 16, 2021 4:00-5:00 PM
- Virtual Vegetarian 101 for Teens: Friday, June 18, 2021 4:00-5:00 PM