Vegan for Life: Everything You Need to Know to Be Healthy and Fit on a Plant-Based Diet is a must read for anyone who is vegan, thinks about being, knows a vegan, etc. I am biased since I'm a huge fan of Virginia Messina and Jack Norris. I love how they are committed to veganism from an ethical position, but try to be as unbiased as possible when analyzing the nutritional information. They keep on top of the latest research and amend their recommendations accordingly. They have done a wonderful service to the vegan movement by publishing Vegan for Life. It is extremely consumable for the layperson, going through nutrient by nutrient, but then also pulling it all together to show how easy it can be to be well nourished while staying true to your values. Nutrition for pregnancy, lactation, children from birth up are also covered, as a mother of three "vegan from conception" children (ages 11, 7, and 3), this makes me very happy.*
The section of Vegan for Life on what types of studies are done, the significance of each type of study, what to look for and how to interpret the data is helpful for anyone who cares about nutrition. Much of what is covered, is also here on Jack's blog. This is something else I appreciate about Jack and Virginia, they are quick to share their knowledge and will also try to answer questions. I believe they truly want everyone who is vegan to be as healthy and happy as possible. Vegan for Life doesn't cut more out of your vegan diet by vilifying cooked foods or gluten, but also covers how one with food allergies or sensitivities might still eat a wide variety of nourishing healthy foods.
I can't say I really found a lot of surprises in Vegan for Life since I try to stay up-to-date on nutrition, but it was great to see some of what we've been practicing for years in print. It is also nice to have certain reminders because we all get lax about our health from time to time or get into certain food ruts, veg or no. There is a entire chapter on soy which is very balanced and well-written. Vegan athletes are covered as well as people eating a plant-based diet with chronic diseases. It isn't a huge tome, under 300 pages, but thorough. So do yourself a favor and get your hands on Vegan for Life, you'll be happy you did.
For locals, I have two copies of Vegan for Life, so I am more than happy to loan one out.
*My eldest had his physical for public school today and I tried to find something amiss. Not that I don't believe you can raise healthy vegan children, to the contrary, but I am a mother first and no matter what I feed my children, I take their health seriously. Our pediatrician almost laughed at me (okay, he did laugh at me, but in a nice way). Parker eats better than almost anyone I know and he really is the picture of health. He has a congenital heart defect and comes from small parents (and grandfathers on the short side as well) so he will never be the biggest in his class, but he has consistently impressed the doctors. He is obviously old enough to make his own choices about food, but I am glad that if he decides to be vegan for life, he has the information he needs to make healthy choices.