Reviewed by Clare Brook
Anita Bean studied for a degree in Nutrition and Food Science at the University of Surrey, England. She is the author of twenty-eight books on nutrition and fitness including the best-selling The Complete Guide to Sports Nutrition, first published in 1993, currently in its eighth edition. Bean’s publishing success can be attributed to her ability to cut through the jargon and render scientific studies into an accessible form. Her latest publication, Vegetarian Meals in 30 Minutes: More than 100 Delicious Recipes for Fitness, does not disappoint; it is packed with clearly expressed information about nutrition and health along with new delicious recipes. The first part of this well-presented, 21 cm x 23 cm, edition is a guide to vegetarian nutrition. Part two ‘Recipes’ presents each recipe along with detailed nutritional information for each serve, including a calorie count, the amount of protein, fat, carbohydrate, sugar and fibre.
Part 1 – This section debunks myths about the importance of meat as an essential source of protein and the benefits of a vegetarian diet. Part 1, Chapter 2 gives advice for those thinking of becoming vegetarian, referring to the latest scientific research, it outlines the health benefits of vegetarianism. Bean briefly précises the 2018 report by the World Cancer Research Fund and the findings regarding the link between red meat and cancer. Chapter 3 ‘Vegetarian diets and sports performance’ examines the myths regarding needing meat protein rather than protein from other sources. She also details how to estimate calorie intake according to activity levels ranging from ‘inactive’ to ‘very active’. Chapter 4, ‘Macronutrients’, contains interesting information about protein, carbohydrate, sugar, fibre, and fat, under the headings: Why do I need it? What types are there? How much should I eat? Chapter 5, ‘Six nutrients you may be missing on a vegetarian diet’ – she lists foods that will provide these nutrients and discusses whether there is any benefit from taking vitamin supplements. Other headings include: Fuelling your Fitness’, ‘Sports Supplements’, and ‘Nutrition Myths’. Each subject references the latest research and for that reason it is hard to criticize. Readers can be confident of making well-informed decisions about their health and dietary needs.
Part 2, Recipes, starts with the section ‘Before you begin cooking’, which usefully details alternatives for milk and how to cook without eggs for those with allergies or following a vegan diet. This includes how to make almond milk at home and the benefits of hemp milk,a product that might not be familiar to most people with the benefit of having high levels of omega-3 fats.
The recipes are, of course, designed for healthy eating but are also quite delicious. With recipes such as ‘roasted carrots, chickpeas and grains with pecans’, ‘black bean and sweet potato curry’, ‘cherry and almond clafoutis’, ‘piña colada lollies’ and ‘chocolate orange Cheesecake’, there really is no excuse for not following a healthy diet.
The layout of this book is excellent. There is one page per recipe, with a photograph of the dish on the opposite page. For each recipe there is detailed information about the ingredients. For instances: ‘Turkish-style chickpea pilaf’ Bean states that it is ‘an ideal pre-workout meal’ and goes on to give a brief breakdown on the health benefits of each ingredient regarding vitamin content. There are details on preparation time and cooking time for every recipe and a breakdown per serve of the calorie count, protein, fat (saturated and unsaturated), carbs, sugars and fibre. Bean also incorporates ‘how to make it vegan’ – this appears in a green circle at the end of each recipe.
This is a first-rate guide to eating delicious food with the advantage of knowing that each recipe is designed for optimum fitness.
By Anita Bean
Allen & Unwin
ISBN: 978 1 4729 6064 1
Paperback: $32.99; Pp.221