Reviews by Health Professionals and Awards

Book Awards and Reviews by Medical Doctors, Scientists, and Registered Dietitians

Canada Book Award

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Canada Book Award emblem






“Every so often a book comes along that you feel should be on every vegan’s bookshelf (and probably every vegetarian’s too).  ”Becoming Vegan: Express Edition“ is one such book.  Written by two Canadian dietitians, “Becoming Vegan: Express Edition” is a comprehensive and authoritative guide to vegan nutrition.”
Paul Appleby, Senior Statistician, Cancer Epidemiology Unit, University of Oxford and statistician for the EPIC-Oxford and Oxford Vegetarian studies

Even as a nutrition book rather than a cookbook “Becoming Vegan: Express Edition”  ranked high in Philly Foods V for Veg Top 10 Vegan Cookbooks for the 2013 holiday season, with the comments “Another helpful time-saver is “Becoming Vegan: Express Edition” the guide from Brenda Davis and Vesanto Melina that spells out everything about the process. It’s so much more. Anyone into veganism or food should own.”   (Note that its companion volume: “Cooking Vegan” by Vesanto Melina and Joseph Forest is packed with outstanding recipes.)

Vegetarianism has gained a modicum of mainstream support, but most people draw the line at veganism. Complete abstinence from all animal products just seems too extreme, too difficult, and everyone wonders how vegans get enough protein. Registered dietitians Davis and Melina cover every aspect of the vegan life, from its ethical foundation, based on the recognition that animals are sentient beings, to how very nutritious and delicious a well-planned, plant-based diet can be. Their clear, detailed, and practical coverage of the benefits of eating vegetables, fruits, grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds is supported by easy-to-use, remarkably informative charts, and propelled by expertise and enthusiasm. Plant foods are “low in saturated fat, free of cholesterol, and high in fiber” as well as rich in protein, vitamins and minerals, essential fatty acids, and antioxidants. The authors explain how to maximize nutrition via preparation guidelines, meal plans, and menus for all ages and explicate the ways a vegan diet can help prevent and treat cardiovascular disease, cancer, and diabetes. This is the go-to book for understanding and practicing healthy and enjoyable veganism.
Donna Seaman, Booklist, American Library Association
This title has been recommended for young adult readers: YA/Special Interest: Health-conscious and environmentally aware teens will appreciate the wealth of information and guidance. —Donna Seaman

THE LATEST VERSION OF BRENDA DAVIS and Vesanto Melina’s classic, Becoming Vegan, adds the tagline “Express Edition” to the title, a nod to today’s faster-paced world, as compared to 2000, when the book was first published. “It is remarkable the amount of new information that has been published over the 13 years since its release,” says co-author Brenda Davis. (A “Comprehensive Edition“ is also in the works; look for it in early 2014). Becoming is an all-stones-turned study of veganism, a cross between CliffsNotes and a Dummies book (without the illustrations), jammed with so much information on vegan history, nutrition, and ethics it would be an antioxidant-rich superfood if it were edible. Davis and Melina deliver as always, providing us with an up-to-date, enjoyable read that can be easily shared with those either new to or just exploring the plant-based lifestyle. Becoming Vegan: Express Edition truly represents veganism in the 21st Century.
VegNews magazine

Becoming Raw Reviews 

“Brenda Davis and Vesanto Melina do an outstanding job of nutrition research, bringing readers the most accurate and up-to-date information. Their books are a must-read for anyone with an interest in raw food and/or vegan diets.
A raw vegan diet is to average dietary patterns what the summit of Mount Everest is to an average hill-an ascent to potentially exhilarating and life-changing heights, fraught with hazard. The health benefits of a judicious raw diet are apt to be considerable, while a reckless approach could be equally harmful. In typical Davis and Melina fashion, Becoming Raw is thorough, thoughtful, practical, and balanced. It is, in fact, the gold standard on the topic. If the rarefied terrain of a raw vegan diet calls out to you, Davis and Melina are the best Sherpas in the business; don’t make the trek without them!”Becoming Raw 140
David L. Katz, MD, Director, Prevention Research Ctr., Yale University School of Medicine, Nutrition Columnist, O, the “Oprah Magazine”

“Brenda Davis and Vesanto Melina do an outstanding job of nutrition research, bringing readers the most accurate and up-to-date information.”
T. Colin Campbell, PHD, Professor Emeritus of Nutritional Biochemistry, Cornell University, author of “The China Study” 

Becoming Raw is an excellent resource for anyone interested in understanding the relationship between food and health. It is one of few books that covers raw, plant-based nutrition from a peer-reviewed scientific perspective, yet presents the concepts in a manner accessible to the general public. This book will be at the top of our list of suggested readings.”
Drs. Karin and Rick Dina, D.C., Instructors of the Science of Raw Food Nutrition courses, Living Light Culinary Arts Institute 

becomingveganx“I suggest you buy Becoming Vegan  by Brenda Davis and Vesanto Melina. It’s a terrific book that will answer all your questions.”
David L Katz, MD. Oprah magazine 

Becoming Vegan is packed, virtually packed with useful information. Congratulations to Brenda and to you for a terrific job.”

Louise Lambert Lagacé, Registered Dietitian, Montreal 

Brenda Davis, the American Dietetic Association’s Vegetarian Nutrition Chair, and Vesanto Melina have written an out-standing guide to vegan diets.  Becoming Vegan begins with a look at the history of the vegan movement, goes on to thoroughly cover basic nutrition topics for vegans, provides a vegan food guide, and discusses topics like overweight, eating disorders, and the vegan athlete.  It ends with an excellent chapter on vegan diplomacy and vegan resources.  Davis and Melina, who previously worked together on Becoming Vegetarian, have written a book that will appeal to both health care professionals and educated lay-people.
Many complex issues, including lipid metabolism and the stages of vitamin B-12 deficiency are clearly explained using a variety of techniques to great advantage.  The book features a number of  tables, bulleted points, sidebars, and boxed bulletins to simplify information and to reinforce points made in the text.  Case studies also give the reader very practical, useful help.  While some of the information presented may be over-the-head of the beginning vegan with no nutrition background, the tables and summary points could be easily used by even a beginner to understand the more important issues.
The tone of the book is both humorous and serious.  Humor is used to add life to the sometimes ponderous topic of vegetarian nutrition while the discussion of eating disorders is done so sensitively that I know that I will refer to this chapter again and again.
Nutrition professionals can rely on this book as a credible source of information for themselves and for their clients.
I highly recommend Becoming Vegan to health care professionals, vegans, and those interested in moving towards a more plant-based diet.”
Reed Mangels, PhD, RD, author of The Everything Vegan Pregnancy Book 

Becoming Vegetarian and The New Becoming Vegetarian Reviews

“Few books on vegetarian nutrition are as comprehensive and accurate as Becoming Vegetarian…  It would be a valuable addition to the bookshelf of all dietetics professionals and other health care providers who work with vegetarian or near-vegetarian clients.”
Journal of the American Dietetic Association (Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics)

Becoming Vegetarian 140 New Becoming Vegetarian140Becoming Vegetarian is subtitled The Complete Guide to Adopting a Healthy Vegetarian Diet, which is a good description of this book. The authors – who are all registered dietitians – provide a comprehensive but readable guide to vegetarian nutrition. The first chapters cover the origins of vegetarianism and the health effects of vegetarian diets, while the main part of the book describes human nutrient requirements and explains how these can be met by a vegetarian or vegan diet. The book finishes with 40 pages of recipes, all of which are vegan or have a vegan version described.  The advice is sensible and up-to-date and the book is a valuable addition to the literature on vegetarian nutrition. It is reassuring to read clear advice on the necessity for a dietary source of vitamin B12, together with lists of foods that do supply vitamin B12. Other important advice, which is not often found in books on vegetarian nutrition, is the need to include plant sources of omega-3 fatty acids (the class of fats found also in oily fish).”
Dr. Tim Key (of ‘The Oxford / EPIC Study), Oxford, England

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