Title: The Smart Girl's Guide to Going Vegetarian
Author: Rachel Meltzser Warren MS, RDN
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Publication Date: January 7, 2014
Number of Pages: 240
How I Got It: NetGalley
Whether you’re full vegetarian or on the fringes, nutritionist and national health writer Rachel Meltzer Warren presents an irreverent, supportive, agenda-free guide for teens who are interested in a veggie diet while still looking good, keeping healthy, and eating deliciously.
Half of American students have experimented with some type of vegetarianism before they get to college. This bookstarts with a fun quiz, helping the reader identify where she falls on the “Veggie Spectrum” (ranging from "less meat please" all the way to vegan).
It goes on to cover important topics like uncovering myths and realities about “going veg,” nutrition basics, a guide to eating out, finding a veg-friendly college, dealing with doubtful parents, and more. The book also includes 40 meat-free recipes that the whole family will love.
While this book is geared toward young women, I found it very insightful and will suggest it to other demographics. I've tried to "go vegetarian" several times in my life but felt like I "failed" if I eventually ate meat. This book describes vegetarianism as a spectrum and helps you find where you currently are in your eating habits and gives advice for getting to where you want to be. I've read and seen documentaries where you are shocked, scared, or grossed out to the point that I have changed my eating habits but this book eliminates the theatrics and focuses on positive aspects. Warren dissects myths and provides information for the long list of questions that comes with eliminating / reducing meat in diets. The most common question is usually in regards to receiving adequate nutrients, especially protein. This book provides equations for figuring each person's daily protein intake, followed by a list of several foods with their corresponding protein value. Warren goes on to give multiple samples of what a day's food items might be and how they will add up to an appropriate amount of protein. I really liked the suggestions in this area (pitas with hummus or string cheese) because they weren't filled with elaborate or exotic offerings like many other vegetarian advice/cook books. A Smart Girl's Guide to Going Vegetarian has a great recipe section as well as references for further study. The book also handles such topics as eating disorders or how to talk to your parents about your decision to go vegetarian. The "talking with the parents" section gives valuable advice that can be incorporated into telling your friends and family, so although it is written for a young girl speaking to her parents, anyone trying to go vegetarian may be asked a lot of the same questions. The style of the book is very loose and friendly. Even the scientific aspects are broken down into 'teen speak." If you can get past the fact that you may not be a teen girl, but are interested in vegetarianism, this book would be a great support tool. If you know of a teen girl that is interested in vegetarianism, you can suggest this title to them and feel comfortable knowing that it is packed with valuable information.