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!
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:
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.