Are you a carnivore, herbivore, or something in between? What do you take into consideration when deciding how to fuel your body? I have been reading nutrition and health books since I was old enough to do the grapevine in the Michigan State Rec Center step aerobics classes. If only I were cool enough back then to wear leg warmers. After reading every popular book under the sun, and even going so far as reading enormous nutrition text books, I thought I’d share my top 5 diet and nutrition books to date. I don’t exactly follow any books to a T, but I do think they have something useful to share. If you have some faves I’d love to hear them too.
- The China Study by T Colin Campbell. I doubt the science behind it is bulletproof, but I like that it’s based on a large scale, actual study, of real people. It is labeled “The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted”. It is an interesting, albeit thick read, and has over 1200 positive reviews on Amazon.com.
- Healthy to 100 by John Robbins. This book studies four very different cultures that have the distinction of producing some of the world’s healthiest and oldest people. He asks the question, “What are they doing right?”. He references the China Study and summarizes it well. A good read with practical tips everyone can use. My man friends favorite assertion from the book is that you’re better off being loved, eating a crappy diet, not being active, and smoking than you are being unloved, eating well, exercising, and not smoking! Intriguing, I know.
- An Ayurveda Book. Ayurveda is yoga’s sister science and it’s mostly focused on healing the body with nutrition and simple personal care practices. Although some of the teachings seem old, out of date, strange or difficult to follow, I like that it’s based on my personal type, it feels easy to follow once you give it a go, and it’s based on whole, simple foods. My top 3 in this category: The Yoga Body Diet by John Doulliard is an easy, simplified version of Ayurveda. I like his other book the 3 Season Diet because eating seasonally just makes sense. I also like Ayurveda: The Science of Self Healing by Vasant Lad.
- The Veganomicon. Ok. It’s not a diet book but it’s a damn fine cookbook dedicated to all things veggie. I don’t think veganism is for many people, but we could all benefit from having more veggies in our life. Yes, I mean you. How close are you to 5-10 services a day?
- Other interesting reads that I’ve enjoyed and haven’t thrown away, although they aren’t my main squeezes: Food Rules by Michael Pollan for some common sense inspiration; The Paleo Solution & The 4 Hour Body for those who enjoy focusing on performance and aren’t partial to whole grains; The Engine 2 Diet is a simple instructional manual created by a Texan triathlete firefighter; Staying Healthy with the Seasons, Staying Healthy With Nutrition, and The Detox Diet by Elson Haas are all good basic nutrition books.