So you’re trying vegan, huh? Hooray!!! Not only is a vegan diet cruelty-free kind to the animals, it’s also the best diet for optimal human health and it significantly reduces your carbon footprint. If you’re brand new to a vegan diet and don’t know where to start, this list if for you! If you’ve already been following a vegan diet for some time, this list is also for you! And if you’re a total vegan diet pro, this list is also for you because you can send it to friends and family that need a bit of support on their vegan journey.
How to Go Vegan
If you’re trying a vegan diet for the first time, the following two resources are great places to start. Both Veganuary and Challenge22 offer guided support to help you succeed in your vegan journey. Both groups also have community groups on Facebook which you can join for added support. My advice to new vegans is to go at your own pace and get as much education on the topic of veganism as possible; this will help you stick to your goals whether you’re doing it for environmental, health or ethical reasons. Below is a list of resources for books on the benefits of a vegan diet, vegan cookbooks, free vegan recipes websites, vegan documentaries, vegan apps, and more.
Need Help & Support Starting A Vegan Diet?
Veganuary is a 31-day free program aimed at helping people go vegan for the month of January and beyond. You can sign up on their website by clicking “take the pledge”. You’ll then be subscribed for all the good stuff like 31 days of vegan recipes, meal plans, and helpful tips. Be sure to join their private Facebook group to connect with others taking the Veganuary pledge. During last year’s Veganuary campaign, over 250,000 people took the pledge. This program is free and available all year round.
This is an amazing resource for people wanting to try out a vegan diet. They provide awesome recipes, personal guidance, and support from a network of other vegans and registered dieticians. Once you sign up for the challenge you’ll receive recipes, tips, videos, and motivation right to your inbox.
Master Vegan Resources List for Beginners
Websites For FREE Vegan Recipes:
The following websites offer a wide variety of vegan recipes. Some recipes are super simple and some are more complex. One thing is for sure, you’ll never get bored with the endless supply of mouth-watering dishes.
This website came after the success of the Forks over Knives documentary on Netflix. It’s owned and run by the same people. They provide awesome recipes and information for those looking to go plant-based. They also have a Forks over Knives magazine that features amazing recipes and fresh informational content that is all plant-based, of course. The magazine is sold in supermarkets including Sprouts and Whole Foods. The recipes found on Fork Over Knives are low in refined oils, perfect for those looking for heart-healthy recipes.
Wildy popular, and rightly so, Hot For Food Blog is a vegan food blog by Lauren Toyota. Lauren’s work has been featured in Women’s Health Magazine, Huffington Post, Food Network and more. Recipes on her website are mouthwatering good. Find recipes like vegan cheeseburger bites, vegan Nashville hot chicken tacos, and my personal favorite, vegan salted caramel dark chocolate danishes. See below for Lauren’s debut cookbook by the same name, Hot For Food.
The Cheap Lazy Vegan is, as written by blog creator Rose, a vegan cooking channel for people who don’t know what they’re doing. Rose is Korean but was raised in Canada. Her recipes focus largely on vegan Korean food but you can find variety as well. Head to her blog to find recipes like vegan smoked salmon aka carrot lox, vegan spicy noodle stir fry, simple vegan sushi rolls, and vegan lasagna.
As blog founder Sam puts it, It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken features fuss-free vegan recipes. Sam grew up in a house full of foodies, chefs, butchers, & hunters. Her childhood home had real animal heads decorating the walls. After watching the film Vegucated and Forks Over Knives, Sam knew she was going vegan, and shortly after, her blog was born. Here you’ll find recipes like cheesy vegan scalloped potatoes, double chocolate muffins, vegan steak sandwich, and vegan buttery soft pretzels.
Jackie, creator of Vegan Yack Attack is veteran vegan. Her work is regularly featured in VegNews and she’s authored not one, but THREE vegan cookbooks. On her blog, you can find recipes like chunky monkey baked oatmeal, Mexican tofu frittata, beer & brat mac n’ cheese, and buffalo chickpea nachos.
List of Vegan Cookbooks
There are hundreds of vegan cookbooks available online and in stores. The following list contains my favorite vegan cookbooks. You can find the following vegan cookbooks on Amazon.com. Click the book title to shop your selection.
Books On Vegan Health
This book is jam-packed with valuable information on disease prevention. The author, Dr. Michale Greger explains, in layman’s terms, what the most common diseases are, how we get them, and how not to die from them, all while discussing plant-based nutrition and quoting strong supporting scientific evidence. You can order this book on Amazon or get it via the Audible app. By the way, if you have amazon prime, you get one free book on audible.
This is the most comprehensive study on diet and nutrition. It’s packed with great info on our history with food and looks at the correlation between a population’s diet and disease. From the book website “More than 30 years ago, nutrition researcher T. Colin Campbell and his team at Cornell, in partnership with teams in China and England, embarked upon the China Study, the most comprehensive study ever undertaken of the relationship between diet and the risk of developing disease. What they found when combined with findings in Colin’s laboratory, opened their eyes to the dangers of a diet high in animal protein and the unparalleled health benefits of a whole foods, plant-based diet.”
This book explains how a vegan plant-based diet can not only prevent heart disease but reverse it as well. Dr. Esselstyn is a renowned surgeon, researcher, and former clinician at the Cleveland Clinic. Due to his expertise, he’s been featured in films like Forks Over Knives as well as other vegan documentaries.
Dr. Neal Barnard is a New York Times bestselling author and founder of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. The Cheese Trap explains the mechanisms behind our addiction to cheese and how we can break the addiction. From the book website “We’ve been told that dairy does a body good, but the truth is that cheese can be dangerous. Loaded with calories, fat, and cholesterol, cheese can make you gain weight and leads to a host of health problems like high blood pressure and arthritis. Worse, it contains mild opiates that make it addictive, triggering the same brain receptors as heroin and morphine. In THE CHEESE TRAP, Dr. Neal Barnard presents a comprehensive program to help readers break free of their cheese addiction so they can lose weight, boost energy, and improve their overall health. This easy-to-follow diet features a treasury of healthy recipes that will tame even the toughest cravings-from pizza, to lasagna, to ice cream and cheesecake.”
Have questions about protein? If you’re new to a vegan diet you may be wondering, “how do vegans get their protein?” and “how can I get enough protein on a vegan diet?” This book will answer those questions and much more. From the book website, “Food and wellness experts Kathy Freston and Bruce Friedrich have spent years researching the future of protein. They’ve talked to the food pioneers and the nutrition scientists, and now they’ve distilled what they’ve learned into a strength-building plan poised to reshape your body and change your world. Complete with delicious recipes and a detailed guide to food planning, Clean Protein explains everything you need to know in order to get lean, gain energy, and stay mentally sharp.”
It’s no surprise that even though it was written 10 years ago, Blue Zones is still quite popular especially among celebrities. Blue Zones doesn’t focus 100% on a vegan diet but it has rather useful information regarding primarily plant-based diets and other factors that can help one live a long healthy life.
From the book website, “longevity expert Dan Buettner draws on his research from extraordinarily long-lived communities—Blue Zones—around the globe to highlight the lifestyle, diet, outlook, and stress-coping practices that will add years to your life and life to your years.
A long healthy life is no accident. It begins with good genes, but it also depends on good habits. If you adopt the right lifestyle, experts say, chances are you may live up to a decade longer. So what’s the formula for success? National Geographic Explorer Dan Buettner has lead teams of researchers across the globe to uncover the secrets of Blue Zones—geographic regions where high percentages of centenarians are enjoying remarkably long, full lives.”
Podcasts About Vegan Health & Lifestyle
If you have an iPhone, then you already have the podcast app on your phone. You can find the following podcast on all major platforms.
Hosted by “The Weight Loss Champion” Chuck Carroll, who lost 275 pounds, this podcast is aimed at providing listeners with the benefits of a vegan plant-based diet supported by real scientific data. Dr. Neal Barnard, founder of PCRM and author of various books including The Cheese Trap, is a regular guest. The show almost exclusively features medical doctors that discuss the many benefits of a vegan plant-based diet and its effect on human health.
New to the podcast game but making HUGE waves, Heal Thy Self is hosted by Dr. Christian Gonzalez, a vegan physician. Doctor G, as he is known to his listeners, presents important information about healthy that is easy to understand and changes that are easy to implement. He starts each show off with a “knowledge bomb” such as toxins in toothpaste, followed by a product review, for example, which kinds of toothpaste are worse and which are best. That’s followed by a guest interview, usually someone in the medical community that will share valuable insights into human health. Not all guests are vegan but Doctor G always talks about the importance of a vegan plant-based diet.
This podcast is for anyone interested in learning about the benefits of plant-based nutrition through an evidence-based approach. Dr. Belardo is a vegan physician and regularly welcomes other physicians to speak on plant-based nutrition.
The Plant Proof Podcast, hosted by Simon Hill is a qualified Physiotherapist, Certified in Plant-Based Nutrition and is currently completing a Masters in Nutrition. Guests on the Plant Proof Podcast include vegan football players, vegan environmentalists, vegan animal rights activists, vegan physicians, and more.
With over 60 million downloads, The Rich Roll Podcast is one of the most highly acclaimed in the world. Rich Roll is an endurance athlete, he became vegan at age 45. He’s since become and Ultra-athlete and best-selling author, his story is amazing. He regularly features plant-based doctors, like Dr. Michael Greger, and Dr. Zach Bush on his podcast. Other guests include vegan athletes, vegan celebrities, and other interesting people. The interviews are always packed with great insights and many takeaways.
Vegan Diet & Lifestyle Online Reading Resources
This website is a goldmine if science-backed evidence on the benefits of a plant-based diet. It’s owned and run by Dr. Greger. All the info is free and the short videos are a great way to learn more about this diet and lifestyle.
List of Vegan Documentaries
The following can all be found on Netflix and do not show any graphic content.
What the Health
Forks over Knives
The Game Changers
The following documentaries can be watched for FREE on Youtube
This documentary does show graphic content. It shows you footage inside slaughterhouses. It’s a real look at where your food comes from and how it’s produced.
This documentary also shows graphic content. If you love animals and want to go vegan but need persuading, this film will help you. It’s narrated by vegan celebrities like Joaquin Phoenix, Sia, and Kat Von D.
The following documentaries can be found on Amazon Prime Video
The Invisible Vegan
How Not To Die
The End Of Meat
Plant Pure Nation
Food As Medicine
Foods That Cure Disease
Vegan Cooking Videos
Viva La Vegan – Amazon Prime
Vegan Recipes in 30 Minutes – Amazon Prime
FREE Vegan Food & Recipe Apps
This app created by PCRM, allows you to follow a 21-day vegan meal plan. You’ll get daily reminders and a meal plan for each of the 21 days, plus tips and tricks from nutrition experts. The recipes are easy to follow, contain simple ingredients, and make following a healthy vegan diet a breeze. Best of all, these recipes are doctor-approved.
Dr. Greger made a checklist of all the foods he recommends in his best-selling book “How Not To Die”. This checklist features a dozen daily foods you should be eating on a daily basis to prevent disease and live a long healthy life. The checklist makes it easy to check off how many servings of each food you’ve had that day and how many you still need.
This app features vegan whole-food plant-based recipes with step by step instructions. Recipes are created by over 50 leading chefs and there are new recipes each week.
Happy Cow App (This app is not free)
The Happy Cow app helps you find vegan-friendly businesses. This app can be quite useful to you if you’re new to a vegan diet and don’t know where to eat out. It’s also great for anyone looking for vegan food while traveling to unfamiliar places.
Vegan Food And Lifestyle Websites
Vegan parenting resource. They also have a print magazine that you can subscribe too. Regularly features well known vegan parents like Ellen Fischer.
Vegan Lifestyle website focusing largely on vegan fashion and vegan beauty.
Vegan Groups on Facebook You Can Join for FREE
This group is for those participating in Veganuary. Although you don’t have to be participating in the Veganuary pledge to join, everyone is encouraged to join. It’s a great place to start if you want to get an idea of what a vegan community is like. The group focuses on encouraging new vegans on their journey and providing useful resources for all. If you’re not sure you want to take the Veganuary pledge yet, join this group and to get a sense of what it will be like.
This group is for anyone interested in vegan plant-based meals that are also healthy. Join to see other member’s journeys on a plant-based diet and share yours too. It’s a great group for new vegan and vegans of all levels.
Members of this group share photos and recipes of vegan food exclusively. It’s a great place to find traditional recipes that have been made vegan!
This group is for those interested in, you guessed it, everything vegan. It focuses on promoting a vegan lifestyle not just a vegan diet, so you’ll find vegan posts discussing lifestyle topics, animal rights activism, vegan clothing, vegan household products, etc.
Vegan Diet, Health & Lifestyle Continued Education
This is a 6-week course that teaches you all the basics of plant-based nutrition as taught by leading experts. This resource is not free (it’s $1,250) but it’s one of my favorites. You’ll learn from actual doctors and specialists in their fields. Topics covered include:
-principals of nutritional health
-the role of government and industry on dietary choices
-how a plant-based diet impacts weight-loss and weight management
-plant-based nutrition for athletes
-trend diets like paleo, gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan, keto, and low-carb.
-psychological reasons we eat unhealthy foods
-how to analyze nutrition papers and studies in order to no be swayed by industry interests