When it comes to food, fitness, and mindset, these books are some of our favorite resources. Don’t forget to check out our library of training and meal plans and our favorite gear!

no meat athlete books

The No Meat Athlete Cookbook: Whole Food, Plant-Based Recipes to Fuel Your Workouts—and the Rest of Your Life

A Sports Illustrated Best Health and Wellness Book of 2017

The No Meat Athlete Cookbook features 150 whole food, family-friendly vegan recipes that are affordable and quick to get on the table, even on busy workout days.

It’s all here, including:

  • Breakfasts to power you up and main dishes that aid recovery
  • Natural sports drinks, portables, energy bites, and bars to take you further and help you get the most from every workout
  • Minimal gluten, soy, and sweeteners
  • An oil-free option for every single recipe
  • Meal-planning guidelines, nutritional info, adaptable “blueprint” recipes, and much more!
  • Foreword by Rich Roll

No Meat Athlete: Run on Plants and Discover Your Fittest, Fastest, Happiest Self

With a foreword by Thrive author and former pro triathlete Brendan Brazier, co-written with Matt Ruscigno, M.P.H., R.D., and published by Fair Winds Press, No Meat Athlete is a distillation of the most effective tools Matt has discovered in his journey toward a lifestyle that’s the healthiest and most fulfilling he’s ever experienced, including:

  • Plant-based nutrition principles for maximum health, energy, and  performance
  • Habit-change techniques, to make sure your changes last
  • Over 50 high-energy recipes and “formulas,” including smoothies, energy bars, sports drink and gel recipes
  • Goal-setting steps for creating your own “magnificent obsession”
  • Simple running fundamentals to keep you injury-free and having fun
  • Training plans for 5K, 10K, and half marathon races

No Meat Athlete includes everything you need to maximize your own energy and fitness, all presented in the manner Matt’s become known for — down-to-earth, flexible, fun and realistic. You know, so that you’ll actually use it.



Appetite for Reduction

One of my very favorite cookbooks for simple, healthy plant-based meals. More focused on flavor than the other cookbooks on my list — four or five of the recipes have been stunningly delicious — but at the same time less involved and complicated than recipes from Isa’s previous books.

Let Them Eat Vegan

An excellent, fun, and extremely family-friendly cookbook.  Tons of easy and healthy breakfast foods, homes dips and sauces, veggie burgers, and pasta dishes, and great about giving options for making certain dishes raw or oil-free, if that’s your thing.

1,000 Vegan Recipes

The first vegan cookbook I ever owned, and one that’s still a standby. The meals are quick — not often fancy, but reliable, just the way I like them.

Thrive Foods: 200 Recipes for Peak Health

Quite possibly my favorite cookbook. I look at it as a more family-friendly and practical version of the Thrive diet, focusing on easy and accessible recipes that will still be some of healthiest you make. More cooked food than raw, but plenty of superfoods and recipes that even my toddler will eat.

CLEAN Food: A Seasonal Guide to Eaing Close to the Source

An amazing, whole-foods based cookbook with a focus on eating seasonally. “Clean” is a perfect descriptor — the food is vegan, often gluten-free, and even without a lot of soy. For me, this book was the perfect introduction to how fresh and delicious plant-based food can be.


Food for Fitness

Serious nutrition for endurance sports. You can go really deep with it, tracking everything you eat to make sure you hit the guidelines exactly, or use it like I do, as a loose framework to build your diet around. While not a vegan- or vegetarian-specific guide, a plant-based diet seems a particularly good fit; for example, Carmichael’s recommended protein intake hovers around only 12-15 percent and the focus is largely on carbohydrate.

Relentless Forward Progress: A Guide to Running Ultramarathons

Everything you need to know about running an ultra, from 50K up to 100 miles. Offers several different peak training mileage option plans for each distance, along with loads of other information about fueling, equipment, race strategy, dropping your drawers in the woods, and anything else you can think of. I’m using a plan from this book to train for my 100-miler this summer.

Core Performance Endurance

If you know you should strength-train but you can’t seem to get yourself to do it, here’s your answer. The exercises and programs here, which can be done at home with minimal equipment, are designed to improve your form as an endurance athlete by strengthening muscles through functional movements.

Daniels’ Running Formula

The first serious training manual I read on my journey to qualify for Boston. Includes training plans of different levels for 800m up to the marathon distance, and provides an in-depth treatment of the fundamentals of running — not of form, but of how to train.

Run Less, Run Faster

The training program I used to qualify for Boston — sort of. I didn’t actually do the “run less” part, choosing instead to do easy runs instead of the the suggested cross-training. But the three (tough!) workouts each week helped me get into the best shape of my life and, after one amazing summer of training, achieve the goal I had been chasing for seven years.

The 4-Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming Superhuman

An absolute eye-opener that turns conventional wisdom about diet and exercise on its head. Intended to be read by picking and choosing sections rather than cover-to-cover, it includes two chapters on ultrarunning and two on plant-based diets (including a lengthy look at how Scott Jurek eats) — and they’re not even the best parts.

Born to Run

The book I credit with turning me into a runner (as I’m sure so many others do too). Ultramarathons, trail running, barefooting, and compelling case for why running just may be in our blood — all woven into a fast-moving story that I read in just a few sittings.

Finding Ultra

An inspiring story of Rich’s personal journey through addiction and recovery to rediscovering his health and athleticism with the help of a plant-based diet and some pretty crazy endurance goals. Has a nice section of practical advice too for getting the most out of your diet.

Eat & Run

Inspirational and entertaining memoir from one of the best known and most accomplished plant-based athletes in the world. Having 20 of Scott’s personal recipes for fueling runs and recovery isn’t so bad either!

Thrive: The Vegan Nutrition Guide

The gold standard of plant-based nutrition for sports, in my opinion. I may not always eat this way, but at least I’ve got a benchmark to which to compare my own diet. And the recipes for sports drinks, gels, and recovery smoothies and puddings are fantastic.

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