Thank you for taking more of your own time to learn about nutrition. You won’t find generic advice like “lose weight and exercise” here. Instead, we focus on providing you with documentaries that shocked us into giving up certain foods immediately, apps that made reading nutrition labels a breeze, and books that made nutrition simple to understand. Our rule of thumb is that if it changed the way we eat, it might do the same for you. Here are some of our most highly recommended resources on your journey to the becoming the healthiest version of you.
Cooking at home is essential to healthy eating. Since cooking is a skill, you need to be taught, and you need to practice, to do it well. Most Americans are fairly well versed in cooking meat, wheat and dairy, but have little experience cooking healthier foods. Enter Rouxbe, a very high quality online cooking school with a focus on plant foods and health. This is best for someone who has free time to experiment with lots of new recipes. The courses are expensive, so you may want to start with Culinary Rx light ($50), or a general membership (free 7 day trial, then $10/month).
DVDs: Jeff Novick’s Fast Food
If Rouxbe doesn’t fit your time or financial budget, you might start with this $20 DVD. You’ll have to put up with low production quality and a quirky personality, but this is as quick as healthy food gets. Cooking these meals takes 10-15 min or less from start to finish. This is not meant for the experienced healthy home chef, but will definitely help those of us who never have enough time to make dinner. We find the food to be slightly bland, so be heavy on the spices. Even if you add some less healthy ingredients for taste, this is a huge improvement over the standard American diet.
Famous for their short, time-lapse, easy to follow cooking videos, we were surprised to find some of our favorite simple healthy recipes here, and they were indeed tasty. This may be the fastest way to find some healthy, delicious recipes that don’t require chef level expertise. Try to stay under “Healthy Eating” recipes on the website or use the “Healthy” tab under the app search function. Tasty also has a lot of very unhealthy recipes that are best avoided.
Understanding where your food comes from will make it easier to eat healthy food and harder to eat highly processed food. The “How Does it Grow?” videos are quick (5-10 min), fun, and of high production quality. They left us wondering how we have lived so long without knowing such basic information about our food.
You’ll find a lot more factories, added sugar, preservatives and other ingredients in these videos, but they are equally important in understanding your food. Check out the “All Episodes Food Collections” to focus only on the food videos.
Book: Eat, Drink and Be Healthy: The Harvard Medical School Guide to Healthy Eating
The best Nutrition 101 book available, discussing the history of government involvement in nutrition, landmark nutritional studies, and overviews of fats, proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. We don’t agree with everything in the book (like the unwavering support of vegetable oils and multivitamins, and the recommendation to avoid unprocessed potatoes and corn), but we agree with 95%. This book is a must, especially if you plan on reading more advanced nutrition material.
Book: How Not to Die
Nutrition 301. Although we already mentioned Dr. Greger’s website (nutritionfacts.org) in the evidence-based medicine section, this information is so good that we had to reference it again in book form. This huge book explores the tedious details between diet and the top 15 causes of death in America. The second half also provides specific food recommendations.
Book: Slim by Design
Most of nutrition focuses on utilizing your willpower to choose healthy food. Instead, this book focuses on simple changes to control your food environment (pantry, kitchen, work, grocery store) to make healthy food choices easier. Implement some of the recommended changes, they actually work.
Book: Salt, Sugar, Fat
What seems like a conspiracy theory turns out to be truth. Food manufacturers using research labs to experiment on humans, precisely manufacturing foods to the point of maximal addiction and satisfaction. This book demonstrates how the profit-at-any-cost food manufacturers prey on our human nature, to the detriment of our health.
The healthiest foods generally don’t have nutrition labels, because they’re just one ingredient. But the majority of food eaten by Americans is processed, with nutritional labels. Fooducate can help you transition to healthier versions of these foods simply by scanning the barcode. It will provide you with a food grade (from A to F), an explanation of the grade, and recommended alternative brands for that same food with a higher grade. Download the app and start scanning items in your pantry. The app is still a work in progress, but it’s definitely a step in the right direction.
Documentary: What the Health
A shocking revelation of how conventional livestock are raised in the US and the financial influence of the meat, dairy, fast food and pharmaceutical companies on trusted consumer and medical associations. It’s hard not to want to give up conventional meat and dairy after viewing.