Vegan for Life: Everything You Need to Know to Be Healthy and Fit on a Plant-Based Diet

Vegan for Life: Everything You Need to Know to Be Healthy and Fit on a Plant-Based Diet

by Jack Norris, Virginia Messina


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Going vegan? Here's the go-to-guide, with a six-step transition plan to a plant-based diet, with detailed nutritional information for everyone from athletes to kids to pregnant women.

Whether you're considering going vegan or just want to learn more about plant-based nutrition, Vegan for Life is your comprehensive, go-to guide for optimal healthy eating. Registered dietitians and long-time vegans Jack Norris and Virginia Messina debunk some of the most persistent myths about vegan nutrition and provide essential information about getting enough calcium and protein, finding the best supplements, and understanding the "real deal" about soy.

Covering everything from a six-step transition plan to meeting protein requirements and even calorie and nutrient needs during pregnancy and breastfeeding, Vegan for Life is the guide for aspiring and veteran vegans alike, complete with an easy-to-use food chart, tasty substitutions, sample menus, and expansive resources.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780738214931
Publisher: Hachette Books
Publication date: 07/12/2011
Edition description: Original
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 399,462
Product dimensions: 8.74(w) x 6.06(h) x 0.84(d)

About the Author

Jack Norris, RD, cofounder and executive director of Vegan Outreach and founder of, has been elected to the Animal Rights Hall of Fame and speaks regularly on vegan nutrition and animal advocacy. He lives in Northern California.

Virginia Messina, MPH, RD
, serves on the advisory board of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. She lives in Washington.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Going Vegan for Life xi

1 Understanding Vegan Nutrient Needs 1

2 Protein from Plants 15

3 Vitamin B12: The Gorilla in the Room 27

4 Calcium, Vitamin D, and Bone Health 37

5 Fats: Making the Best Choices 51

6 Iron, Zinc, Iodine, and Vitamin A: Maximizing Vegan Sources 61

7 The Vegan Food Guide 83

8 Making the Transition to a Vegan Diet 105

9 A Healthy Start: Vegan Diets in Pregnancy and Breast-Feeding 133

10 Raising Vegan Children and Teens 143

11 Vegan Diets for People over Fifty 163

12 Plant Food Advantages: Health Benefits of a Vegan Diet 171

13 Managing Weight, Heart Disease, and Diabetes 179

14 Sports Nutrition 195

15 Is It Safe to Eat Soy? 205

16 Why Vegan? 217

Vegan Resources 237

A Quick Guide to Cooking Grains, Beans, and Vegetables 243

Metric Conversion Chart 248

Acknowledgments 249

Notes 255

Index 273

Customer Reviews

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Vegan for Life 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
Gary_Loewenthal More than 1 year ago
I would recommend this book to anyone who eats or is considering a vegan diet. It's packed with no-nonsense, science-based facts and sensible, doable recommendations. It avoids unsubstantiated claims either for against vegan diets, and shows, in an easy-to-read style, how a well-planned vegan diet can be healthy and rewarding.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I recently became vegan and I have been on the lookout for a guide book. This book was exactly what I wanted. It answered all my questions. It tells you what and how much you need of everything. It has charts, ideas for stocking your pantry, recipes and menus. I love how straight forward it is!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you are interested in becoming a vegan, or already are one but are looking to ensure maximum benefit from being one, I highly recommend this book for you. Vegan for Life answered many of my questions about nutrition, how to become vegan, what to avoid, and how much of each food group you should be eating each day. The book was extremely helpful in showing what the daily life of a vegan looks like. It lays out a variety of recommended meals (and even supplies recipes!) while going into specific details about age groups and genders specific needs. The book taught me what vitamins are essential and how to ensure I’m getting enough, and what symptoms to look for in my health to make sure I’m one the right path. The only thing I was not thrilled about with this book is it is extremely biased. From cover to cover they never mention the down sides of being a vegan. Sure they say it is hard in the beginning and takes some getting used to, but they avoid topics like how much extra time goes into planning for this diet, how in some cities finding vegan food is almost impossible, and what mal nourishment can do to your body long term if you don’t plan correctly. Before becoming a vegan I would definitely research the negative aspects harder, but for positive reasons this book is chalk full of them.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great for beginning a journey to a Vegan Life. Simple and direct information.
Raleigh_Reader More than 1 year ago
There's really nothing new in this book. A better choice would be "Becoming Vegan: The Complete Guide to Adopting a Healthy Plant-Based Diet" by Brenda Davis which is more comprehensive and balanced.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Vegan for Life is a very informational book. It is filled from front to back cover with extremely useful nutritional information, recipes, and data charts. I loved how in depth it went on where nutrients that are lacked by a vegan diet can be found otherwise in foods, not pills. I also loved that it gave tons of meal suggestions for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. On the contrary, I didn’t like that the book often became repetitive in its guide. I also didn’t think that it had enough information on studies to be talking about them sometimes. People who are interested in becoming vegan or who are already vegan would love to read this book. Even for people like me, who just wanted to learn more about a vegan lifestyle and what it entails, it gives a great informational background. It gives a fantastic guide on how to become vegan or how to improve your vegan lifestyle. However, I believe that people who enjoy their meat and milk every day, will have no use for this book. I do not think this book should be made into a movie however, because it doesn’t really have a plot of any kind or tell a story, so it would be very difficult to watch. If it were turned into a movie it would be more of a documentary than a movie. The writing style has some humor in it, but it is mostly factual writing because it contains nutritional information that is straight forward. Overall, I would give this book an overall rating of 4 stars out of 5.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A well organized, easy reference for vegan nutrition!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I had been limiting my meat meal for months, and decided it was time to make this my regular life. I had omitted a couple of things I needed nutritionally, and I had a few misconceptions that this book cleared up. A little more knowledge is always good!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
He is a WWE superstar and is a vegan. He should read this book.
karebear30 More than 1 year ago
Love It!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not only is this required reading material for every vegan old and new it is also a helpful resource packed with information about veganism, common misconceptions and then some. It uses evidence of the best practice and evidence on the latest studies for quite a few different subjects, although some of the resources are outdated (2002) it is still a valuable and cherished resource in my nook. I would suggest it especially to new vegans and even for the old ones who have seen it all. This book is simply a great reference and read.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Enjoyed. Informative. Good ideas and tools to help the unknowing get the knowlegde they need to make the transition. U