Is there one book that can answer all of my questions about becoming a vegetarian? Yes, Vegetarian Times Vegetarian Beginner's Guide is the only book written for beginner vegetarians or anyone just thinking about becoming one. It's packed with information written by the editors of Vegetarian Times, the leading authorities on the subject. Below are just a few of the hundreds of questions this handy book will answer. Will I get enough protein if I don't eat meat? Do I have to eat salad every day? How does a vegetarian diet help to prevent disease? If I'm pregnant, is it safe to be a vegetarian? Will my vegetarian children get the nutrients they need from a meatless diet?
Spotlight customer reviews:
Customer Rating: Summary: The Vegetarian Lifestyle Comment: "Although high heat can kill microbes, at least 9,000 people in the United States get sick every year from contaminated meat and poultry. Of those 9,000 approximately 500 die and another 6,500 of the survivors never fully regain their health." ~ pg. 9
Whether you want to be a vegetarian or are just looking for ways to include more veggies in your diet, this book explains how you can make more healthy choices. Designed for new vegetarians, the authors dispel popular myths and misconceptions. They show how eating more vegetables can reduce heart disease, cancer and diabetes.
"...the protein found in vegetables has been shown to reduce cholesterol levels..." ~ pg. 119
If you are worried that you won't get enough protein from a vegetarian diet then you will love the foods suggested in this book. You may not think of foods like avocado and lentils as having protein. Oatmeal, tofu and beans also help to give your body the protein it needs. There is also information on why a high protein diet leaches calcium from your bones.
For the most part this book presents a fair and balanced approach to food studies as they provide both sides of the issue. The section on the poor treatment of animals is quite short, although convincing. You might be shocked to learn that over sixty-four drugs are administered to dairy cows. When you think about it, soymilk sounds like a good idea.
One of the sections in the book focuses on restocking a pantry. From my own experience in the last few weeks it is best if you just buy what you need for the recipes you are trying. Soon you will have a stocked pantry with all the right ingredients.
Since I've been trying a variety of soy products I noticed that the cheese is less salty and the soy yogurts are less sweet. This is great because so much food you buy at the grocery store is overly salted and sickeningly sweet.
While the recipes in this book are not comprehensive there are quite a few interesting selections. You may enjoy a quick minestrone, glazed root vegetables, an apple salad or even a cassoulet. There are plenty of cooking tips and a note about the importance of reading labels.
One of the things you will probably decide while reading this book is whether or not you will be a true Vegan or an Ovo-Lacto Vegetarian. This is important to decide because on the one hand you avoid all dairy and eggs and on the other you are free to eat them in moderation.
If you are looking for recipe books or books on a vegetarian lifestyle I can recommend the following:
Skinny Bitch- a very convincing read!
Skinny Bitch in the Kitch: Kick-Ass Recipes for Hungry Girls Who Want to Stop Cooking Crap (and Start Looking Hot!)- the best vegetarian recipes I've found so far
Weight Watchers Versatile Vegetarian
Vegan with a Vengeance : Over 150 Delicious, Cheap, Animal-Free Recipes That Rock
Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home: Fast and Easy Recipes for Any Day
Real Food Daily Cookbook: Really Fresh, Really Good, Really Vegetarian
Enchanted Broccoli Forest
~The Rebecca Review
P.S. The Quick Minestrone is an excellent recipe. My husband had
a bowl too and thought it was quite good. It only took 20
minutes to make and it freezes well.
Customer Rating: Summary: Vegetarian Times Vegetarian Beginner's Guide Comment: Excellent explanation of Vegetariansim and the recipes and ideas were
very good .I would heartilly recommend.Vegetarian Times Vegetarian Beginner's Guide Customer Rating: Summary: Good tips, great recipes Comment: Silly though it may sound, it's actually harder to become a vegetarian than you might think. Eliminating an entire food group from my diet left me scrounging for things to eat, and as I munched on carrots I was wondering if maybe I had made too hasty a decision to give up meat altogether. That's where this book has been the biggest use, providing me with tips and tricks to help me stay the course, and introducing me to new foods I might not have thought of trying.
Chapters Two and Three alone have made the book worth my purchase. Chapter Two, "Vegetarianism 101," outlines some basic vegetarian nutritional information, presenting alternative sources of iron, protein and dairy products. The chapter includes tables that break down the nutritional information of various foods, providing a quick reference when you want to look up alternative sources of iron or see how many grams of protein are in certain foods. The chapter also explains some of the more "vegetarian" foods, like tofu, that seem a little intimidating at first, and lists a few you may not have heard of (like seitan and tempeh).
Chapter Three, "Ready, Set, Eat!" provides tips on stocking a vegetarian pantry, including a list of staples that I found particularly helpful when shopping. The biggest portion of this chapter is devoted to recipes, which are broken down into two weeks worth of planned menus complete with shopping lists. I haven't tried them all yet (I've had the book less than a week), but the ones I have are fantastic. The Pan Bagna recipe even had my carnivorous husband begging for seconds.
The rest of the book focuses on related topics like the health benefits of going veg, how to be more environmentally-conscious, and a look inside the lives of livestock. Really, I just skimmed over this information, since I had already made up my mind to go veggie before I bought the book. However, if you're still trying to decide whether the lifestyle is for you, the information may help you with making the decision.
I'm finding this book a valuable tool for my foray into vegetarianism, and I will certainly be using it as a reference (and a cookbook!) for a long time to come. Customer Rating: Summary: Just Okay Comment: I don't know what I was expecting when I got and began reading this book, but it's not quite what I expected--if that makes any sense. This book really skims the surface of vegetarianism, and I was looking for something more. It's a good reference source, and the recipes are simple on paper. I'll probably be able to better appreciate this book after I've had a chance to read others. Customer Rating: Summary: Not really what I was looking for as an intro to vegetarianism Comment: The authors made quite a lot of effort to say that they aren't being preachy, but this book definitely has an agenda, which put me off a bit. I wanted a book that described how to switch to a healthy, plant-based diet, including organic milk products and free-range eggs. But the book is geared more toward promoting a way of life - past vegetarianism, and into veganism, animal activism, recycling, exercise strategies, etc.
The book never says you have to do any of those things, but they are constantly thrown in, even with whole chapters devoted to what I would consider off-topic subjects. (For example, out of only 6 chapters, 1 is devoted to being "Compassionate, Clean, and Green.") Although I agree with many of the authors' ideas, I did not want them forced down my throat when I was simply trying to learn how to replace meat in my diet.
If you are interested in a lifestyle book that promotes the common beliefs of many vegetarians in addition to describing basic nutrition and providing vegan-friendly dishes, this book is for you. If, like me, you want a crash course in how to use and eat a variety of new grains and vegetables along with dairy and eggs, you might want to keep looking.
Update: I found "The New Becoming Vegetarian" by Vesanto Melina and would strongly recommend that book as a better purchase. "Being Vegetarian for Dummies" is a close second.