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Guide for Beginners
“If you don’t like the road you’re walking, start paving another one.”
- Dolly Parton, American Songwriter + Musician + Entrepreneur

Intrigued? Ready to learn more? This handy resource, focused on a plant-powered diet and lifestyle, was designed with love from a seasoned educator and a mostly recovered food junkie. The educational and fun CH pages as well as external links in this guide can support your Food + Fitness as Medicine adventure (check out the Legal Stuff page here). It can also help you navigate through the out-of-control mis/disinformation campaigns found in so-called research, twisted marketing campaigns, and conflicts-of-interest dietary guidelines. Try to concentrate on positive contributions towards a possible hospital-free life for humans, a kind world for food animals, and stable eco-systems for the planet! 


This Guide for Beginners is organized into three color-coded steps:


  1. STEP ONE: Just Curious? (orange)

  2. STEP TWO: Rather Interested? (orange + green)

  3. STEP THREE: Almost Convinced? (orange + green + grey)


Please note: Most of these resources are WPF. However, a few are plant-based, vegan, or vegetarian. I've learned that we all have our own unique path and process towards plants. Now with food education at your fingertips, I trust you'll find YOUR own way towards a possible hospital-free life. Need support? LMK. So... what's for supper tonight? 


Getting started...


Cookhouse Hero / CH Blog / Books + Cookbooks / Wise Advice for Newbies / Films / YouTube / One More Link to Get Started / More Links / Nutrition Facts Daily Dozen App + Links / Dr Campbell's 8 Principles of Food + Health / Forks Over Knives: Beginner's Guide to a Whole Food, Plant-Based Diet / Heads up if you take medications! / Got Kidz? Check out CH KidZone

  • Whole Plant Foods LINK

  • 17 Plant-Focused Diets LINK

  • Cook Like a Hero LINK

  • Top Five Food Myths LINK

  • Fitness + Exercise LINK


  • Cultural Realities LINK

  • The Art of Nutrition LINK

  • Fun Food Science LINK

  • Diets + Disease LINK

  • Stress + Sleep LINK

  • Pleasure + Addiction LINK

  • Food + Bev Industry LINK

  • Farms + Factories LINK

  • Eco-Systems LINK

“Your present circumstances don’t determine where you can go...

they merely determine where you start.”

- Nido Qubein, Lebanese-born Business Leader + Motivational Speaker

  • The Plant-Based Diet for Beginners: 75 Delicious, Healthy Whole-Food Recipes (2019)  LINK / The best resource for total beginners with low-ingredient, accessible, affordable recipes. 

  • How Not to Die Cookbook: Over 100 Recipes to Help Prevent and Reverse Disease (2018)  LINK / Evidence-based, creative, and easy-to-follow recipes from Nutrition Facts. 

  • Love and Lemons Every Day: More than 100 Bright, Plant-Forward Recipes for Every Meal: A Cookbook (2019)  LINK / A welcoming vegetarian cookbook... perhaps a gateway for curious omnivores?

  • Un-Do It: How Simple Lifestyle Changes Can Reverse Most Chronic Diseases (2019) LINK / Lifestyle Medicine pioneer, Dr Ornish, and Anne Ornish offer a guide for disease prevention and reversal. 

  • Plant-Powered Families: Over 100 Kid-Tested, Whole-Foods Vegan Recipes (2015)  LINK / Vegan and plant-based recipes focused on both grown-ups and kids. 

  • Eat for the Planet: Saving the World One Bite at a Time (2018)  LINK / Focused on why food and eco-systems are directly connected in our harmful, modern food systems. 

  • Ethical Vegan: A Personal and Political Journey to Change the World (2021)  LINK / Focused on compassion for all creatures on the planet and embracing personal and global change.

Wise Advice for Newbies

Choosing My Health is a fun YouTube channel made for beginners. This practical video offers a smart, sassy, and sensible way to think about and navigate expectations and potential pitfalls. Before transitioning towards cooking and eating a variety of nutrient-dense plants, click below!

  • Forks Over Knives (2011) - This groundbreaking and influential film follows people with chronic conditions as they seek to reduce their dependence on medications and learn about a plant-based diet and lifestyle. LINK 

  • Code Blue (2021) - This film explores lifestyle medicine and the role of Big Pharma on medical school education, as well as the dire lack of food science in the majority of healthcare-education institutions. LINK

  • Meat Me Halfway* (2021) - From the Reducetarian Foundation, this film asks why there's so much resistance to eating less animals and animal products, while shedding light on food-animal factories.  LINK

  • The Need to Grow (2018) - This film follows innovators and game-changers in the world of soil health, and exposes harmful modern agricultural practices as well as imbalanced public policies.  LINK

  • The Game Changers (2019) - From Olympians to world-record breakers, this film challenges the traditional notion that animal protein is the best source of nutrition for athletes (and everyone else).  LINK

  • What the Health?* (2017) - This explores the detrimental health impacts of meat, fish, eggs, and dairy products, and questions the practices of leading health and pharmaceutical organizations.  LINK

  • Brave Blue World (2020) - This solutions-oriented film focuses on innovators who are successfully addressing micro and macro issues in regards to water scarcity. LINK

* Scene(s) that depict animal factory farms are included.

  • Simnett Nutrition - Vegan cooking, diet, fitness, and lifestyle from a lively and entertaining athlete.  LINK

  • WFPB Cooking Show - Inspired whole food, plant-based recipes for beginners and home cooks alike.  LINK

  • Choosing My Health - A fun channel with tips for newbies to WPF cooking and a WPF diet and lifestyle.  LINK

  • Nutrition Facts - The top evidence-based channel on the science of foods, beverages, and beyond.  LINK

  • Mastering Diabetes - Expertise on managing, preventing, and reversing diabetes via a WPF diet/lifestyle. LINK

  • Sweet Potato Soul - A vegan channel with southern/ethnic flavors hosted by a bright and talented cook.  LINK

  • Yeung Man Cooking - A vegan channel focused on Asian-inspired recipes from a calm and creative cook. LINK

  • The Exam Room Podcast - Via the PCRM, focused on education for a vegan and WPF diet and lifestyle. LINK

  • The Brain Docs - A smart wife-husband team offers advice on brain health via a WPF diet and lifestyle. LINK

  • Dr Michael Klaper - A vegan pioneer and educator, Dr Klaper skillfully simplifies complex concepts. LINK

  • Chef AJ - Podcaster and cook focused on a WPF diet, with info on food addiction and healthy weight loss. LINK

  • Dr Joel Fuhrman - Creator of the Nutritarian Diet, Dr Fuhrman offers cooking, diet, and lifestyle advice. LINK

Health + Animals + Eco-Systems

Meet Dr Kong, music professor turned vegan/animal advocate, who offers an intro for newbies. Her TEDx talk was given in 2016 and offers an excellent introduction to three areas in the plant-focused world: human health, animal welfare, and impacts on eco-systems.

  • Monkey + Me Kitchen Adventures - Cooking blog with WPF/vegan recipes and useful kitchen hacks.  LINK

  • Cookie + Kate: Celebrating Whole Foods! - Versatile resource for vegetarian and whole food recipes.  LINK

  • Forks Over Knives - From their influential film in 2011 to WPF education, cooking, diet, and lifestyle.  LINK

  • PCRM - Focused on animal welfare, clinical research, public policy change, education, and vegan cooking.  LINK

  • Food Revolution Network - WPF diet, lifestyle, and research for transforming the health of the world.  LINK

  • Wellness Forum Health - A full-service clinical practice that offers memberships and educational courses.  LINK

  • Nia on Demand - An integrative fitness approach including exercise, martial arts, mindfulness, and dance.  LINK

  • Center for Nutrition Studies at Cornell - Founded by Dr T Colin Campbell, focused on WPF nutrition.  LINK

  • Ornish Lifestyle Medicine - Founded by Dr Dean Ornish, focused on disease prevention and reversal.  LINK

Heads up if you take medications! One positive and common side effect of eating an abundance of whole plants is the rapid need to reduce or eliminate medications. A WPF diet and lifestyle may likely lead to the physiological necessity to get weaned off pills (and in some cases, the need to cancel an upcoming surgery). Your healthcare provider should be made aware of any changes in your diet and lifestyle as soon as possible. One more (unfortunate) heads up: most physicians aren't trained in food science, so you might have to 1) educate your doctor (this is real), or 2) find an integrative, functional, or lifestyle physician who can support your transition.

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