Becoming Vegan, by Brenda Davis & Vesanto Melina, was first published in 2000, and ever since then has been THE essential vegan nutrition reference & guide, for vegans from beginners to veterans.
For relevance and usability, nothing else during that time has come close to Becoming Vegan. The authors are registered dietitians, long time vegetarians and vegans, well known, highly respected and influential in the field of vegetarian nutrition.
I've owned a copy of Becoming Vegan for several years, and I admit it's strange that I haven't reviewed it.
I thought I didn't review it because one of my daughters took it home and wouldn't bring it back. SHE said it's because I thought veganism was dangerous. I did think that vegan was a difficult, extreme path for a new vegetarian. I still think it's best to go veg gradually.
But a few years ago I had an epiphany and went vegan myself. So if I had any foolish notions about vegan diet, I no longer do. Anyway, I now have another copy, and I am hereby giving Becoming Vegan its long overdue review.
Becoming Vegan starts off with historical and health perspectives on veganism, which is helpful for both newbie and oldie vegans, to understand what it's all about and get some talking points to reassure family and friends and your doctor.
Davis & Melina clearly and completely, with excellent documentation, explain everything you need to know about vegan nutrition: protein, fat, carbs, vitamins & minerals, phyto-nutrients. They provide a vegan food guide and chapters on vegan pregnancy, children, seniors and athletes.
They cover overweight, underweight, eating disorders, and last but not least, vegan diplomacy - how to act and talk about your vegan diet without giving the impression it's a new religion which everybody must join - or else!
If you want to be a healthy vegan, buy a copy of Becoming Vegan, keep it by your bedside and read it every night, before during and after meals, while you're commuting, or instead of doing whatever you're supposed to be doing - until you know it off by heart.
Then keep reading it so you don't forget anything important. And when you're not doing that, check out Savvy Vegetarian's delicious mostly vegan recipes, and all the great vegan cookbooks we've reviewed.
Judith Kingsbury, Savvy Vegetarian