My shelves and bookmarked tabs are packed with cookbooks, guides and documentaries related to living a healthier life. Below are my favourites, including those related to nutrition, lifestyle and veganism.
‘Your Life in Your Hands’ by Professor Jane Plant
This book is written by a respected scientist who has survived multiple bouts of breast cancer. She talks about the link between diet and cancers, particularly breast and prostate cancers, with specific emphasis on the threat dairy and animal proteins present. An eye-opening read for anyone looking to improve their health, and an absolute must-read for sufferers of the disease.
The link above will take you to this YouTube video, and I really encourage anyone here to watch it. Dr Greger is funny and engaging, taking his audience through the leading causes of death and relating them to the food we eat. The video is shocking, entertaining, and will leave you in disbelief at some of his revelations. Watch it now!
Neal’s Yard Remedies: ‘Beauty Book’
Find my review here for my thoughts on this book from the Neal’s Yard team on all things to do with natural beauty and body care. With make up inspiration and details of beneficial natural ingredients, it’s a great addition to any bookshelf.
‘Coconut Oil: Nature’s Perfect Ingredient’ by Lucy Bee
Many of you will be aware of Lucy Bee, the Fairtrade brand of coconut oil taking the UK by storm. Lucy has put together this long-awaited book packed with information about Lucy Bee coconut oil, including its health benefits and how it is produced, but better yet are the delicious recipes that are not only tasty but are also great for you. The perfect book to inspire new uses for that jar in your cupboard!
‘Hemsley Hemsley’ by Jasmine and Melissa Hemsley
Full of inventive ideas for snacks, lunches, drinks, desserts and main meals, this book has a lot of recipes that use ingredients you may not normally think to include in traditional dishes. I particularly love the various curry dishes and exciting salads.
‘My New Roots’ by Sarah Britton
I’m sure you’re all aware of Sarah’s renowned blog, and I can tell you that her book is equally vibrant, refreshing and heartfelt. As well as listing incredible recipes, Sarah explains a lot of the theory behind creating a good dish and helpful sections on sourcing ingredients. It is so informative, insightful and engaging, and I thoroughly enjoyed poring over its pages.
Neal’s Yard Remedies: ‘Healing Foods’
‘Superfoods’ by Julie Montagu
I was gifted Julie’s book and it’s such a great addition to the bookshelf of anyone interested in getting more goodness into their diet. Whilst the title of ‘Superfoods’ implies lots of fancy ingredients, Julie actually writes about the ‘superpowers’ of more everyday ingredients such as grains and vegetables. It’s really interesting to read her fun facts, and the recipes are delicious – I love her green açaí bowl and portable lunch ideas.
‘The Thrive Diet’ by Brendan Brazier
Brendan Brazier is one of the only 100% plant-based professional athletes, and an ironman at that! His book explains how a plant-based diet promotes health by reducing stress and illness whilst boosting energy and athletic performance, and describes in detail the benefits of different food groups, ingredients and nutrients. It also contains a lot of excellent recipes and a 12-week meal plan to get you started – definitely a great reference book when you want to know how best to nourish your body and the recipes to make it happen!
‘The Uncook Book’ by Tanya Maher
Click here for my full review on this beautiful raw vegan recipe book by the founder of Tanya’s Cafe in Chelsea, London. It’s packed full of gourmet dishes that are so delicious that I can’t believe how healthy they are – a definite necessity on the bookshelf of aspiring raw foodies or anyone looking for meal inspiration.
‘Whole’ by T Colin Campbell and Howard Jacobson
This author is most famous for his book ‘The China Study’, but ‘Whole’ is an equally interesting read that follows on from where the previous book left off. It explains in greater detail why a plant-based diet is the optimal solution for health, but also explores how scientific research has become too reductionist and focuses on the benefits of individual molecules, when really we need to consider the broader, ‘wholistic’ workings of nutrition in order to truly nourish our bodies.
‘Eating Animals’ by Jonathan Safran Foer
This book is such a valuable read for anyone wanting to know more about where their food comes from, even if you aren’t looking to become vegan. The author presents the food industry in a balanced light without any bias, allowing farmers to have their say and letting both himself and the reader come to their own conclusions on whether meat is ethical or sustainable enough for them. It really gives you an insight into the operation of different types of livestock farming and production, so could be good to lend to any omnivorous friends to give them more information on the reality of eating animals.
Cowspiracy is one of the most important documentaries that I have ever watched. The independent film was born out of a desire to uncover how best to protect our world and environment from the impacts of human-wrought climate change – what becomes clear to the filmmaker is that turning off taps and recycling has no where near as much impact as one lifestyle change: stopping supporting animal agriculture. If you are looking for information on the environmental reasons for going vegan, this is it.