|Summer's long, lazy days will soon give way to busy schedules. Take advantage of the last few weeks of August and stretch out with a good book (or blog). I've gathered my favorite reads and broken them down so you can find the ones that will keep you turning the pages. Who said you can't read your way to great health? —Stephanie
Bust out of your cooking routine with fresh ideas from some of my favorite chefs and foodies. Whatever your eating style, you'll find recipes that make your meals sizzle with flavor and nutritional goodness. And don't be afraid to experiment Now is the time to try new ingredients and dishes -- come Thanksgiving, you'll be dominating the kitchen.
For vegans: Appetite for Reduction, by Isa Chandra Moskowitz
For the new cook: EatingWell Serves 2, by Jim Romanoff & the EatingWell editors, is excellent for couples (and single people!).
Want a deep dive into a specific subject? Nerd out with these picks and dazzle your friends with all your knowledge.
Restaurants: Eater.com (check out the national edition and the city editions) and GrubStreet.com (New York magazine's food blog)
Nutrition/food labels: Fooducate.com makes readers more aware of product labels so you know how healthy the stuff you're buying truly is. I recommend the apps, too -- I chose the gluten-free specialty version, which takes the guesswork out of shopping.
BLOGS TO BROWSE
Whether you're scrolling through your phone during a long bus/cab/elevated subway ride or just (admit it) procrastinating a bit at work, these blogs and websites will keep your brain happy with lots of useful info you can put into action.
The Kitchn: Get everything from kitchen inspiration to inventive recipes to posts about foodie trends.
My New Roots: Holistic nutrition junkies will drool over the recipes and whole-foods schooling.
Bon Appetit: For good, old-fashioned yummy food.
These folks are the "thought leaders" of food and eating. If you want to get into the nitty-gritty of food politics, food science, or food philosophy, these are the people to check out.
Michael Pollan: In Defense of Food is the "eater's manifesto." Pollan can break it down into 7 words: "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." I like his style. Also check out Food Rules to clear the clutter about how to eat.
Mark Bittman: Not sure where to start when building a cookbook collection? Start with Mark. He's a James Beard Award winner (kind of like the Oscars for food) and will teach you how to cook everything. Seriously, everything.
Alice Waters: The Art of Simple Food is the ultimate how-to book on eating (and cooking) seasonal, local, fresh foods -- with an emphasis on simplicity and deliciousness.
Marion Nestle: Desperate to untangle the web of food lingo and rules? Read What to Eat. Want the inside dope on the food industry's influence on our diets? Food Politics is the way to go.
Andrew Weil, M.D.: Dr. Weil is renowned in integrative medicine. He also can put together some fantastic recipes. Check him out for everything from food to health to happiness.
My favorite reads for specific circumstances. They're great supplements to many of the other books and resources here.
Gut health: Integrative Gastroenterology, by Gerard E Mullin
For new parents: Real Food For Mother and Baby, by Nina Planck, gets you back to basics with sensible, whole foods to nourish yourself and your family. Weelicious, by Catherine McCord, has 140 easy, healthy recipes even picky mini-me's will eat.
For the athlete: No Meat Athlete is blogger Matt Frazier's book for serious athletes who want rounded, protein-rich vegetarian meals.
Food allergies: Elana's Pantry. Whatever your food restriction, Elana hooks you up with recipes and resources.
Vegan: Gluten-Free Vegan Girl. It can be hard out there for a gluten-free plant-eater. Solveig, a teen girl from Norway, makes it a lot easier.
Sometimes you want to put down the book and kick back with a movie. This time, skip the same-old blockbuster and try one of these eye-opening food docs.
Forks Over Knives is a great watch if you're curious about the effects that animal products and processed foods can have on our bodies and minds.
Fast Food Nation explores the fast-food industry and the "all-American meal." May just inspire you to flip your own burgers.
Food Inc. is a critical examination of factory farms and the conglomerates that control most of our food supply.
Food Matters explores the importance of food on health and the ways in which processed or genetically modified foods, pharmaceuticals, and other things we consume may be making us sick.