Vegetarian Sports Nutrition

By D. Enette Larson-Meyer, PhD, RD

If you're one of the many VJ readers who participates in some form of exercise or sport, you owe it to yourself to read Vegetarian Sports Nutrition. This book, by VRG Advisor Enette Larson-Meyer, is a comprehensive guide for all vegetarian and vegan athletes. Regardless of your sport or level of performance, by reading Vegetarian Sports Nutrition, you will learn ways to use nutrition to improve your performance and overall health.

For those with some nutrition background or a strong interest in nutrition, Dr. Larson-Meyer has included clear discussions of key nutrients for athletes — from protein, fat, and carbohydrates to iron and vitamins, all based on the latest research. For those who are mainly looking for practical advice, there are lots of lists, charts, and tables that show how to plan a healthy vegetarian diet that takes into account your level of exercise, fitness goals, and personal characteristics. There are ideas for losing weight, gaining weight, making quick meals and snacks, eating before, during, and after events, and remaining injury-free. Also, there is an extensive, well-documented discussion on whether to use supplements.

This book would be a valuable addition to the library of any active vegetarian or vegan or of any athlete who is vegetarian or who is interested in moving towards a more vegetarian diet.

Vegetarian Sports Nutrition (ISBN 0-7360-6361-7) is published by Human Kinetics. It has 264 pages and retails for $17.95. Look for this book in your local bookstore or at

Reviewed by Reed Mangels, PhD, RD.

Skinny Bitch in the Kitch

By Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin

The authors of the bestselling Skinny Bitch have now written a cookbook. Quite honestly, I was surprised to see so many unique vegan recipes.

Readers can prepare Potato Scramble for breakfast, which in addition to potatoes contains vegan cheese, tofu, tomatoes, vegan sausage, and more. For lunch, you may want to try the 'Tuna' Salad Sandwich made with shredded parsnips. Finally, dinner may call for a sample of several international dishes offered or a recipe from the section called "Down Home Cookin'," which includes items such as Oven-Fried 'Chicken' and Cornbread.

This book also offers creative dressings and sauces, as well as a dessert chapter including Peanut Butter Potato Chip Cookies and Chocolate Suicide Cake.

Nutritional analyses are not included, and some recipes are not necessarily low in fat, which seems to go counter to the book's title. Also, keep in mind that several dishes will take extra time to prepare. Nevertheless, the offerings in this book are highly appealing.

Skinny Bitch in the Kitch (ISBN 0-7624-3106-7) is published by Running Press Book Publishers. It has 192 pages and retails for $18. Look for this book in your local bookstore or order it online.

Reviewed by Debra Wasserman.

Mindless Eating

By Brian Wansink, PhD

Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think is not your traditional diet book. As its author Brian Wansink says on the first page, "The best diet is the one you don't know you're on."

Wansink, who studies consumer behavior at Cornell University, takes a fascinating look at people's food behavior and how all sorts of factors — such as the size of your plate, the name of a food, and how long you stay at the table — influence how much you eat. Once you're aware of these factors, it's easy to make changes to avoid mindlessly overeating.

Although this book is not vegetarian, it includes lots of ideas that vegetarians who want to lose 10 or 20 pounds a year can incorporate into their lifestyle. Plus, it's a very entertaining book and one that you'll enjoy whether you're trying to lose weight or simply interested in learning more about why people eat what they do.

Mindless Eating (ISBN 0-553-80434-0) is published by Bantam Books. It has 276 pages and retails for $25. Look for this book in your local bookstore or order it online.

Reviewed by Reed Mangels, PhD, RD.