My Book Journey - that led me to health

Becoming Vegan: Comprehensive Edition by Brenda Davis, RD 

My book journey began with reading Becoming Vegetarian: The Complete Guide to Adopting a Healthy Vegarian Diet by Brenda Davis, RD. It put nutrition in perspective as it gave me comfort to learn I did not need meat, dairy or eggs to meet my nutritional needs. Over the years, this information has been expanded. In 2014 Becoming Vegan: Comprehensive Edition was released. It is considered the most authoritative reference on how to adopt a plant-based diet. Internationally acclaimed vegan dieticians Brenda Davis and Vesanto Melina specifically designed this fully-referenced, comprehensive edition to meet the needs of those with a deep interest in nutrition. They also have an Express Edition available.

Is Your Child’s Brain Starving by Dr. Michael Lyon, MD 

Although my son was now an adult and no longer on medication, he was put on Ritalin in kindergarten. When I discovered this book it intrigued me and I wanted to learn more. It is a survival handbook for parents and teachers working with children with ADD/ADHD, behavioural or learning difficulties, anyone who suffers from hidden food intolerances or allergies and those struggling with digestive disorders. I often wondered whether ADHD was tied to food and after reading the success stories in this book, I decided to do the recommended elimination diet. If kids could do this long term, surely I could do this for 30 days. Doing this elimination process was a critical revelation that I had food sensitivities and I became aware which foods were triggering my heartburn, tummy pains and eczema.

Cooking the Whole Foods Way by Christina Pierello 

I was encouraged and quickly got hooked by Christina Pirello’s inspiring story.  In 1983 she was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia (AML),and was given nine months to live. There was no medical intervention for her so she chose to take an alternative approach which was with whole natural foods. She had a full recovery and is still thriving today.

After reading Christina Pirello's story and Healing with Whole Foods, I made a decision. I was not going back to my old way of eating. That meant I needed recipes without meat, dairy and eggs. It took awhile, as when I started my journey there were no recipes on the internet, but over time I found three recipe books listed below and a new exciting, flavorful adventure.

My food journey was evolving as I was learning more about whole grains, beans and lentils and I found myself eager to learn more. I was delighted when I came across a full-page article in our local St. Albert Gazette as I had an opportunity to take hands on classes to cook whole foods. As my knowledge increased, it opened a whole new world of plant-based cooking with wonderful flavours.

My book journey continued to grow. The instructor recommended two books: Cooking the Whole Foods Way by Christina Pierello and Healing With Whole Foods by Paul Pitchford. With my research it was clear, the food we eat is imperative to our health.

Used as a reference by students of acupuncture, this is a hefty, truly comprehensive guide to Chinese medicine and the healing power of whole foods.

The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook by Jo Stepaniak  

A few years have gone by and I was doing well, not consuming meat or dairy, but every now and then I would give in to a craving for pizza or lasagne. I thought it was impossible to have these without cheese until I discovered The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook, a cookbook that replicates recipes reminiscent of cheese. This book changed my life as I discovered a replacement for dairy. 

Vegan Vittles: Down-Home Cooking for Everyone by Jo Stepaniak 

I also purchased Vegan Vittles. One of the things I really enjoyed is the style of the way Jo Stepaniak authors her books. Her books aren't just recipes as she includes little stories,  tips and comments along with encouragement for the reader to experiment. Her style and encouragement gave me confidence to convert my favourite comfort foods to make them plant based and healthy. 

Simply Heavenly! The Monastery Vegetarian Cookbook by Abbot George Burke 

Around the same time I found another cookbook that continued to change my life. Simply Heavenly had a recipe for a thick, creamy dairy free sour cream which I discovered to be a perfect dip and multi purpose spread. He also had other interesting nut cheeses and flavourful broth recipes for soups and gravies which was a welcome of extra flavor. 

On my journey I also discovered the documentary Forks Over Knives. Over the years, I have come a long way with my health and discovered many tasty recipes, many which have become my new go to favorites. Experiencing the relationship between whole food plant based and how I felt was undeniably connected. It’s what keeps me motivated to stay on track. This revelation made me eager to encourage others and this was the beginning of Journey to Healthy Eating being born.