These are a few of my favorite things!
Kitchen Staples Worth Investing In
Instant Pot Pressure Cooker – I really don’t know what I’d do without my Instant Pot. I can cook so much more food quickly that it saves me hours in the kitchen daily! I liked the 6 Qt so much that I bought the 8 Qt. It’s not uncommon to have both running at the same time. The 6 Qt is fine for most families but if you’re cooking large volumes, the 8 Qt does offer some nice extra space without taking up any extra counter space. Speaking of space, if you’re tight you should consider the 3 Qt!
Air Fryer – These are all the rage now. I resisted following the crowd for a while, but couldn’t hold out for long This has become my most used appliance! I opted for a mid-range budget one but made sure to get a big volume (5.3 Qt) and I have been very happy with it. I have the Power XL and do recommend it.
Vitamix – I use mine all. the. time.
Flavored Balsamic Vinegars – getting the right flavored vinegars in your pantry will make your salads and steamed veggies sing. This can make or break a newbie’s experience starting to really increase veggie intake. Check your local options too. Many towns have a store where you can go and sample the vinegars like a tasting bar! The Olive Tap labels all the thick ones ‘Riserva’ and the feel of these is completely different from the watery vinegar you’re used to.
Learn From the Experts
This is a list of some of my favorite videos, lectures, presentations, audio interviews. Work through them as you have time. They’re all worth it!
Chef AJ’s Teleclasses – Recordings of phone interviews Chef AJ has conducted with a plethora of experts in the plant based world. Learn about everything from food addiction to heart health and improving sleep habits.
Nutrition Facts – A compilation of all of the latest in nutrition resesarch. This is a great place to look up specifics by simply searching key words. You’ll find several short video clips that can answer your burning questions. This particular video is one of my favorites. It’s a full hour presentation I was able to watch in person and I was mesmerized.
Below is a list of my all-time favorite books. Whether you’re just poking around and want to learn more about a veggie lifestyle, or whether you’re all-in and want to learn what to do, or whether you’re a seasoned pro and are looking fore more material, you’ll find something here for you. I’m listing the books in the order in which I’d suggest a newbie read them but feel free to leave a comment or shoot me an e-mail – BeansNotBambi at gmail.com if you have questions about what might be best for your particular situation.
The Pleasure Trap: Mastering the Hidden Force that Undermines Health and Happiness by Douglas Lisle and Alan Goldhamer
This is the book that helped me break through some major barriers. Understanding some basics of how the human brain works helped me to understand why I wound up on a repeat cycle time and again, despite the best of intentions.
Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease by Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn Jr.
Exposes the undeniable links between diet and heart disease and teaches you how to make yourself heart attack proof. Hint: It’s easier than you think. Also includes loads of recipes.
Unprocessed: How to achieve vibrant health and your ideal weight by Chef AJ
A fabulous explanation of exactly what is in processed foods, what to look for, and simple tips to avoid the pitfalls of convenience foods.
The Pillars of Health: Your foundations for lifelong wellness by John Pierre
Moving beyond food, this book teaches how to build strong foundations to support your wellness in all aspects of your life.
The China Study by T. Colin Campbell
Focuses on the links between diet and cancer as discovered through decades of research. This is a technical read packed with powerful statistics and research results.
Forks Over Knives by Gene Stone, T. Colin Campbell, and Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn Jr.
Cliffs’ Notes version of the documentary discussing the issues pointing to a veggie lifestyle – improving everything from heart disease and diabetes to the environment to animal welfare and politics.
Eat to Live by Dr. Joel Fuhrman
Describes the concept Nutritarian, coined by Dr. Fuhrman. It explains how and why eating the wrong foods causes toxic hunger and the desire to over consume calories; whereas a diet of high micronutrient quality causes true hunger which decreases the sensations leading to food cravings and overeating behaviors. It instructs readers on how to leave behind the discomfort of toxic hunger, cravings, and addictions to unhealthy foods. While there’s a focus on weight loss, this is also an excellent read for anyone looking to simply improve health.
Super Immunity by Dr. Joel Fuhrman
Discusses the different nutrient values of various foods and teaches how to unlock the powerful protective phytochemicals that are available to all of us. Learn how to protect yourself against the common cold, flu, and many other infections, not to mention cancers, autoimmune disorders, and so much more. As a side note, I have experienced a drastic reduction in illness since following these recommendations!
Food Revolution by John Robbins
One of my all-time favorites and a must-read for anyone remotely curious about what the western diet is really responsible for. I consider it a more in-depth version of Forks Over Knives, discussing all of the issues we deal with in our modern world, all pointing to the almost too obvious cure-all of a veggie lifestyle. Interesting twist is that author John Robbins descends from Baskin-Robbins fame and a childhood that was dominated by all the wonderful ice cream creations his father was responsible for.
The Engine 2 Diet by Rip Esselstyn
Learn about the professional athlete-turned-Texas firefighter’s bet that turned a whole fire engine company toward a veggie diet to save one of their own. Try the 28 day challenge they committed themselves to. You won’t believe the results. Excellent recipes here too.
Farm Sanctuary by Gene Baur
Learn about the amazing people that started Farm Sanctuary and why there is such a need for their work. From selling tofu hot dogs at Grateful Dead concerts they funded the humble beginnings of one of the most important movements to end factory farming. Learn about the obstacles they overcame and learn how you can help too.
Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows by Melanie Joy
Take some time to consider the above title by reading this book and really asking some hard questions. Why do some animals get the life of luxury and others are simply commodities. Who decides, and why do we all go along with it?
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