50 Fantastic Resources for New Vegetarians

You are not alone.

6565418531 70caeb0935 b 225x300But it sure can feel like it when you first go vegetarian — especially if you live in a place where, when you tell people you don’t eat meat, they ask, “But you still eat chicken and fish, right?”

Look around, though, and you’ll find all kinds of resources out there to help you stick with your vegetarian diet and get the most out of this truly enjoyable lifestyle. Thanks to the internet, there’s now plenty of good advice, ideas, recipes, people — and even food — only a click away. You just need to know where to look.

And that’s where this list can help you. Here are the top 50 resources for new vegetarians that I know of (though most are useful to not-so-newbies as well). I’ve tried to include mostly stuff that’s free, but a few things that cost money, like foods and shopping places, made the list too.

Enjoy.

Nutrition

1. Thrive in 30 — vegan pro Ironman Brendan Brazier’s e-course teaching the fundamentals of maximizing energy and vitality through plant-based nutrition in 30 days

2. PCRM’s 21-Day Vegan Kickstart — a useful starter kit from the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, including a meal plan, a community forum, and lots of nutrition information. Check out PCRM’s homepage for lots more good stuff, some of which is surprisingly light-hearted and funny.

3. Primitive Nutrition — a series of videos (over 70!) arguing against the popular Paleo diet. I think it would have a greater impact if it were more balanced and not quite so overtly in favor of veganism, but there are a lot of interesting points in the few videos I’ve watched.

4. Protein in the Vegan Diet — the Vegetarian Resource Group’s explanation of how much we need, and a list of good sources of high-protein vegetarian foods

5. Iron in the Vegan Diet — another good article from the VRG, this one addressing the second-most popular question people ask about vegetarian nutrition

6. PaleoVeganology — the argument that we should look at the past and how are bodies have evolved to decide what’s good for us makes a lot of sense. PaleoVeganology does this, but draws conclusions that are often very different from those of the Paleo diet crowd.

Sports and Fitness

7. Vegan Bodybuilding and Fitness — Robert Cheeke’s passionate community of plant-based athletes, mostly bodybuilders. There’s an active forum community and lots of good articles on sports nutrition.

8. True Love Health’s “Day in the Life” series — in this video series, registered dietitician Matt Ruscigno hangs out with some amazing vegan athletes and has them share favorite recipes and nutrition and training advice on his blog.

9. Organic Athlete — a nonprofit dedicated to “creating a better world through sport.” The site highlights a lot of vegan athletes through videos, podcasts, and articles.

10. Vegan Muscle and Fitness — more nutrition and training articles, mainly from Derek Tresize and Marcella Torres, two competitive vegan bodybuilders.

11. 4-Hour Body — what? 4-Hour Body is for vegetarians? Well, not really. But the few chapters that focus on plant-based diets (including ultrarunner Scott Jurek’s) are totally worth it.

12. Brooks Running Shoes — while many of the major running shoe companies make animal-friendly shoes, Brooks is the only one I know of that advertises that all of their shoes (except walkers) are vegetarian- and vegan-friendly. Some, like the Green Silence, are eco-friendly as well. Bonus: the aforementioned Scott Jurek helps design lots of the shoes!

Cooking How-to

13. Sprout School — you don’t have to be vegetarian to sprout beans and seeds, but it’s one of those things nobody seems to try until they stop eating meat. Sprouts are healthy and very easy to grow at home, and probably fun for kids.

14. How to Cook Beans from Scratch — beans are so much better tasting, healthier, and cheaper when you cook them yourself instead of buying canned. Here’s how to do it.

15. Kitchen Fundamentals: Basic Knife Skills — one of the hidden perks of going vegetarian is that it forces you to cook your own food more often. Learning basic ways to chop food will save you hours upon hours in the kitchen, so check out this Art of Manliness post if you’ve never thought about your knife skills.

16. How Can I Spice Up Vegetarian Dishes? — Madhur Jaffrey is the author of one of the best vegetarian cookbooks I’ve seen, World Vegetarian. In this post she gives several simple guidelines for making your food more interesting.

Recipes

17. YumUniverse — Heather Crosby offers tons of free, whole-food (and sometimes raw) vegan recipes at YU, including lots of innovative approaches to replacing dairy products. The site also offers several guides for getting started on a plant-based diet.

18. Peas and Thank You’s Reci”peas” Page — family-friendly recipes that are always delicious and usually quick and easy. Sarah’s cookbook is one of my wife’s favorites for finding vegan dishes (especially breakfast foods) that our 20-month old son will eat.

19. Post Punk Kitchen — when you want to spend just a little more time on dinner and know that the time will be worth it, Post Punk Kitchen is where to turn.

20. Choosing Raw — Gena Hamshaw’s approach to raw food isn’t the militant, complicated one so many people associate with raw. Instead, she creates lots of recipes to help readers incorporate more raw foods into their diet. She also writes lots of thought-provoking posts about vegan issues.

21. Vegan Latina — delicious vegan latino food recipes from Terry Hope Romero, Veganomicon co-author (and NMA guest poster!).

22. Foodily — a new and fast-growing recipe search engine that allows users to search for recipes that contain and, more importantly, do not contain certain ingredients. (For example: “French onion soup without beef stock.”) Foodily is also a recipe-sharing site; check out the my favorite recipes on the No Meat Athlete page.

23. Fat Free Vegan Kitchen — thanks to Forks Over Knives, everyone seems to be jumping on the “no added oil” bandwagon. If that’s you, you’ll like Fat Free Vegan Kitchen, which has hundreds of recipes that fit the bill.

24. The Blissful Chef — Chrisy Morgan’s food is what some might call macrobiotic. All I know is it’s good food that you feel great about eating. Lots of gluten-free, soy-free, and raw food, presented in a light and approachable way. And the best curried chicken-less salad that I know of.

25. 44 Finger Lickin’ Recipes for Vegans and Carnivores Alike — Mark’s Daily Apple, from former pro triathlete Mark Sisson, is anything but vegan (instead, it’s Primal, a close cousin of Paleo). But here he shares a list of healthy recipes that fit in with both camps.

26. 20 Plant-Strong Soups — a list of low-or-no fat soups from the Engine 2 Diet’s site.

27. 101 Cookbooks’ Vegetarian Thanksgiving Recipes — it’s funny how many people let the thought of a meatless Thanksgiving or Christmas prevent them from being vegetarian the rest of the year. Here’s the 101 Cookbooks (an amazing site for vegetarian recipes) approach to Thanksgiving without turkey.

Groceries

28. Barnivore — lots of beers and wines aren’t vegetarian or vegan. Barnivore is incredibly good at helping you figure out which ones are.

29. The Dirty Dozen — one of the benefits of giving up meat is that it leaves you more dime to spend on better produce. This list explains which fruits and vegetables you absolutely should buy organic and the ones where it’s okay to skimp.

30. Field Roast — fake meats aren’t a health food, by any means. But they can be useful when you’re transitioning to vegetarian, or as an occasional treat later on. Field Roast sausages are just about the best meatless meats out there.

31. Gardein — more fake meat that isn’t disgusting (most of it, anyway).

32. Daiya Cheese — vegans love Daiya. While it’s better than other cheese alternatives I’ve tried, it took me a while to come around on the texture and taste of it, but I’ve learned that if you just use a little bit (on pizza, for example), it’s pretty close to the real thing.

33. Food Fight! Grocery — Food Fight! is a fun little mini-mart in Portland Oregon with vegan health food and vegan junk food alike. Check out their mail-order website next time you need your beef jerky fix.

34. The “Accidentally Vegan” List — a list of all the food in the grocery store that’s so bad it couldn’t possibly be vegan, but it is.

Shopping

35. Vegan Proteins — an online store for vegan protein powders and other supplements.

36. Vegan Essentials — a massive online store that sells just about anything you can think of related to vegetarianism and veganism. They even sell No Meat Athlete stuff!

Travel

37. The Most Veg-Friendly Cities in North America — while there are some notable absences (no Austin, TX?), it’s a good list. I like that they had a category for small cities as well as large.

38. Happy Cow — if you travel a lot, Happy Cow is essential. Just type in a city name or zip code, and you’ll soon be presented with a list of all the vegetarian-friendly restaurants and natural foods nearby. They have a mobile app too.

39. Stress Free Vegan Travel — one of my favorite posts on the now-defunct Ridiculously Extraordinary blog. Karol offers a Buddhist approach to vegan travel that won’t be for everyone, but I like it.

Entertainment and Education

40. Forks Over Knives — a documentary about the benefits of a whole-foods, plant-based diet that took off and found some mainstream success. Starring China Study author T. Colin Campbell along with Caldwell Esselstyn. You can get it on Netflix.

41. Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead — also on Netflix, a documentary about a guy who lost a crapload of weight when he started juicing. I haven’t seen it, but many people have told me it inspired them to go vegetarian.

42. Earthlings — an utterly gruesome film about the horrors that go on in food production and other industries in which animals are exploited. This isn’t a topic I like to write about No Meat Athlete, but if you’re looking for some motivation to stick with vegetarianism, this is it. It’s hard to watch, but if you’re up for it, the entire film is available for free on their website.

43. VegNews — of the vegetarian/vegan magazines, VegNews is my favorite, mainly for the recipes and lack of stuffiness. I’ve included it here mainly because there’s a bunch of free content on their website.

44. The Vegetarian Food for Thought podcast — for those who like to take their vegetarianism on the road. I don’t listen to many podcasts, but when I announced that No Meat Athlete was starting one, many people recommended that I check out this one from cookbook author Colleen Patrick-Goudreau.

45. How to Become a Vegetarian, the Easy Way — practical advice from Leo Babauta in typical, no-pressure Zen Habits style.

46. The Kind Life — actress Alicia Silverstone’s site, with tons of “plant-based lifestyle” information beyond just recipes, like environmentally-friendly products, what to feed your dog, and vegan pregnancy. Basically, girly stuff.

47. VegWeb — a site with tons of user-submitted recipes and a big forum community.

48. Vegan Drinks in your town — if you live within driving distance of a decent-sized city, chances are there’s a Vegan Drinks for you. I had fun when I went to DC’s version, where the bar ran several specials on vegan food for the night, and I met lots of great people who I’ve since run into all over the place.

49. Your local library — I didn’t include any cookbooks in this resource list, mainly because I’ve only tried about a dozen in a universe of hundreds. Cookbooks aren’t cheap, so I like to try them out from the library before I buy. A few favorites are CLEAN Food, 1,000 Vegan Recipes, Thrive Foods, Supermarket Vegan, Veganomicon, Vegetarian Cooking for Dummies, and Madhur Jaffrey’s World Vegetarian.

50. 8 Common Foods You Thought Were Vegetarian — I can include one of my own posts, right? icon smile When you’re a new vegetarian, you’ll probably slip up here and there. Check out this list, though, and you’ll save yourself a few of those mistakes.

Got one to add? Feel free to leave it in the comments.

Also, if you found this list helpful, help me out by clicking a button below to share it on Twitter, Facebook, or Stumbleupon!

 

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Comments

  1. This is awesome! I’m an on-again off-again vegetarian, recently read Thrive (and am currently reading The Sexual Politics of Meat) and becoming re-committed to vegetarian/vegan diet for all sorts of health, athletic, and ethical reasons.

    I’m sold on the theory and this resource listing is going to be super helpful with the practical pieces!

  2. Thank you so much for this great listing – your hard work is much appreciated.

  3. This is amazing, and will be useful to lots of vegetarians, old and new! I’ve been a vegetarian for most of my life, and I’m already bookmarking lots of these links.
    Thanks for all you do Matt!

  4. Just like Forks Over Knives (great movie, btw), you can see Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead on instant Netflix. I wouldn’t call it vegetarian inspiring (like Forks is…) but it is an inspiring weight loss movie.

    • Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead is available for free on Hulu. It is inspirational, as far as sticking with something that is good for you.

  5. This is a great overview of the most useful sites I can think of… and I’m a vegetarian resource JUNKIE. Thanks for everything you do!

  6. Jon Weisblatt says:

    Hey Matt,
    Thanks for leading this horse to water. Now I shall drink it more. It’s always helpful to get spoonfed more material. thanks for doing the hard part and putting it all together in an easy to access resource.
    Run on!

  7. Matt,
    This is absolutely fantastic! And thank you for including Day in the Life, we really appreciate your support of our project.
    Keep up the great work!

  8. Um, did you read my mind today? I’ve been doing a bunch of online research about vegetarian diets and then bam this post shows up on my bloglovin feed! Thanks for compiling this list!

  9. Thanks so much for this list! I’ve been a reader of your blog for a year but have just recently cut red meat and poultry out of my diet… on my way to becoming a no meat athlete!

    Another great vegan lifestyle site that I love (especially for recipes) and that you didn’t include here is ohsheglows.com.

  10. Great list! It is hard getting started, but I’m sure a lot of these sites will make it easier to take the plunge for someone who might be thinking about it. Well done!

  11. I traveled 118,000 miles with work last year and I really struggled to stay meat free.

    My absolute top top is stuff your bag with Lara bars. I recently took a 6.30 United flight from Orlando to San Francisco and they had no veggie meals. I would have given in last year but this time I was prepared and my Larabars sustained me for the 6 hour trip.

  12. Thank you for this post! Although I am not vegetarian, I am finding myself enjoying meat less and cooking more meat-free meals. I am always on the lookout for great recipes and other resources.
    Like one of the above posters, I was going to recommend ‘Oh She Glows’. I have liked everything I made from that site, especially the Creamy Avocado Pasta.
    I also use my Moosewood cookbook quite a bit. My current favorite from that cookbook, Navajo Stew, is on their website moosewoodcooks dot com as well as a sampling of their other recipes.
    I’m looking forward to seeing more suggestions from readers as well!

  13. Thank you SO much. I’m hoping to start a 30 day vegan challenge soon, and this is exactly what I needed to give it my best shot. I think i’ll be spending my next few hours right here :)

  14. This is amazing!! Thank you!

  15. My wife just spent an hour and a half composing a similar list to send to a friend who is interested in becoming a vegetarian. I’m too smart to tell her now that you’ve already compiled a better list. In a few days I’ll say “hey honey, look what’s on NoMeatAthlete…”

    Nice work.

    #BangBiscuit.

    Yeah.

  16. http://www.ohsheglows.com Love her recipes!

  17. Matt, your share buttons aren’t working on this. I will do it manually but thought you might want to fix it.
    Great list!

  18. I’ve been a veggie for a while now…but I just converted to being a mostly vegan. These sites are so helpful…there is a sea out there of information…this helps narrow it down. I’ve shared it with all of my newbie/seasoned veg friends..and it’ received many accolades. THANK YOU.

  19. Hey, we miss World’s first Vegetarian Butcher on the list http://www.devegetarischeslager.nl @vegebutcher

  20. Don’t forget Lindsay, the Happy Herbivore! Excellent low-fat vegan recipes and inspiration:
    http://happyherbivore.com/

  21. Would you consider adding Yummy Plants to your list? We have a great “Start Here” section to help new veggie eaters that includes interviews and information from Dr. Barnard, Dr. Fuhrman, Alex Jamieson and lots of great info about easy egg and dairy substitutions.

    Thanks for your consideration! :)
    All the best,
    Rebecca

  22. Summer Long says:

    Thanks, Matt, for this list. I’m a cyclist who is just now going vegetarian again after years of depending on meat protein (and fighting feeling tired all the time). Nice to feel all that support out there in the virtual universe!

  23. Such a great link roll. My New Year’s resolution was to become vegetarian as I don’t really have access to any clean and healthy meat. Thanks!

  24. This was such an useful post! iherb.com is another great place to shop. I find they have the best prices on things like hemp protein, chia, and maca powder and the sorts.

  25. What a great article and list of resources Matt. Traveling while being vegetarian can end up looking like salads, salads, salads…thanks for this. Also, Tasty Bite should be added to any vegetarian’s pantry list. We are 100% vegetarian.

  26. theoccasionalpaleo says:

    I wanted to take a chance to respond. Full disclosure, I am paleo. Also I understand that paleo hate, specifically line item 3, was only one of the 50 items listed. I am not trying to stir up trouble, I just wanted to here some responses from people in your community. It seems after watching video 70 that this particular vegan believes that primal nutrition discounts the importance of plant as irreplaceable part of the human diet. Is this community aware that Art Devany’s cited food pyramid actually recommend plants as humans primary source of calories? Are they aware of Robb Wolf’s posts on synthetic meat and the pretty much hands down acknowledgement that if synthetic meat is as nutritional he would have no problem eating it or that he has his BS in biochemistry? Does it occur to the community that paleo maybe turned of to conventional medical science due to it’s poor track record not just treating sickness but producing health? Are they aware the Mark Sisson’s son is a vegetarian and wife a pescatarian? Did you find it strange that in the first video all of the paleo stars were shown in everyday situations because it is actually kind of hard to find them posing, and all of the vegetarians were oiled up in obviously staged situations? Does it not occur to anyone in the community that we may be doing this because it works for us and not because we are all slaves to trends? While I would acknowledge that there are those in the primal community that attack vegetarianism with the same ferocity that these videos seem to attack paleo, it is certainly not Loren Corrdain, Mark Sisson, or Art Devanny. Mark actually has some posts about how vegetarians can go paleo. I undertand that you ideology does not allow for the same type of reach across the isle brotherly love that ours may allow for, because while we can and do eat vegetables, you cannot, no judgement, eat meat. C’mon though guys you really take this stuff seriously.

  27. Triathlonbabe says:

    I visit “Oh She Glows” daily and in fact fixed one of her recipes 2 days ago (Chickpea “tuna” salad w/o the tuna)and am enjoying some of it for lunch today. I am not a vegan or vegetarian quite yet but I am a pescatarian. I do not eat meat or fowl, only fish. I enjoy resources like this Matt and thanks for the info!!!

  28. As president of Jewish Vegetarians of North America, I want to commend this wonderful list. Is is extremely important at a time when a major societal shift to plant-based diets is essential in efforts to avert climate, food, energy, water, and other environmental catastrophes.

    For more information on Jewish teachings on vegetarianism, please visit JewishVeg.com/schwartz.

  29. Thanks for the link love!

  30. FANTASTIC resource!

  31. A bit late ( just found your blog thanks to SUAR) but the DAILY GARNISH website is also a great recipe and thought blog on vegetarian eating.

  32. Another excellent post full of helpful information. Thanks! Kelli

  33. Great listing Matt :), im a proud vegan and fitness enthusiast and have done a sub 3hr 31 km run on a lacto ovo diet at that stage and also able to bench press 10x bodyweight in a set. I would never go back to eating meat for several reasons inc an animals right to exist of this earth. Earthlings is a great intense doco. Cheers,
    ZAC

  34. You might want to check out http://www.naturallifeenergy.com .

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  1. […] 50 resources for new vegetarians (& vegans!) (No Meat Athlete) […]

  2. […] useful and fantabulous resources for Vegetarians (both old and new) by the No Meat […]

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  4. […] Matt Fraizer is an authority on being a vegan and an athlete. […]

  5. […] If I were to loan this book to someone, it would only be for the recipes. There are better resources on the plant-based lifestyle, better resources on fitness, and much better resources on vegan fitness. Brendan Brazier’s Thrive Fitness comes to mind, as do Scott Jurek’s Eat and Run and Robert Cheeke’s Vegan Bodybuilding and Fitness. Even the web provides great sources of information, many of which are free—you can find 50 fantastic ones listed in this post on No Meat Athlete. […]

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