Saturday, November 03, 2007

Winning Nutrition Books: Good Gifts for Good Health

The Athlete’s Kitchen
Copyright: Nancy Clark, MS, RD November 2007

Winning Nutrition Books: Good Gifts for Good Health

Each year brings a holiday season filled with athletes searching for the “perfect gift” for a friend, relative, or teammate. To make your shopping easier, I’m sharing a list of winning book suggestions for active people. You can buy many of the books (plus others) at, or—websites that specialize in reputable food, nutrition and weight management books written by registered dietitians and other health professionals. (If the book is not at one of those sites, look on

The American Dietetic Association's Complete Food and Nutrition Guide, 3rd Edition (2006) by Roberta Duyff RD
For 656 pages of clear-cut food facts and eating advice, this nutrition bible is a good bet! This reputable resource separates fads from facts and answers questions from apples to zucchini, allergies to vegetarian diets.

What to Eat: An Aisle-by-Aisle Guide to Savvy Food Choices and Good Eating by Marion Nestle PhD
For people who feel lost in the grocery store, this guide provides an eye-opening tour through the produce, dairy, meat, fish, bread and ”center aisles” of the supermarket. The highly respected author provides the information confused athletes need to make intelligent food choices.

Vegetarian Sports Nutrition by Enette Larson-Meyer RD
Every day, more and more athletes are choosing a plant-based training diet. This book will help your favorite vegetarian enjoy optimal nutrition and top performance.

Practical Sports Nutrition by Louise Burke PhD
Written by internationally known and highly respected Australian sports dietitian Louise Burke, this 656 page textbook is geared for upper-level college and graduate students. But, it is easy to read and practical, and could easily become “the bible” for the serious athlete who really wants to delve into the science of sports nutrition.

Nutrient Timing: The Future of Sports Nutrition by John Ivy and Robert Portman
Written by two respected exercise physiologists, this book is perfect for athletes who are serious about weight training and want to take their sports diet to the next level. They'll learn the importance of what and when to eat to optimize muscles. Scientific but understandable.

Nancy Clark's Food Guide for Marathoners and
The Cyclist's Food Guide: Fueling for the Distance by Nancy Clark RD
If you have friends who are novice cyclists or runners and are venturing into the world of endurance exercise (for example, participating in a Team In Training marathon program or the AIDS ride), these books can help them enjoy the training, eat for the long haul--and, if desired, lose body fat along the way. Perfect gifts for training groups; bulk discounts at

The College Student's Guide to Eating Well on Campus by Ann Litt RD
Litt's how-to food guide can help student-athletes navigate campus food and consume adequate protein despite being vegetarian, fuel properly for sports even when traveling, and survive exams with energy to spare. It's the perfect going-away gift for college freshmen.

Secrets of Feeding a Healthy Family and
Your Child's Weight: Helping without Harming by Ellyn Satter RD
Ellyn Satter RD is the expert on child feeding—and how to end the family feuds over eat-your-peas, no-dessert-until-you-eat-your-dinner, and other such controversial topics. If you and your spouse are struggling to manage your children's food intake and weight, these books are a must!

Mom's Guide to Meal Makeovers Janice Bissex RD & Liz Weiss RD
Written by dietitian-moms (and recipe-tested by their children), this family-friendly cookbook offers abundant ways to sneak health into your kids' tummies. The companion website,, offers more tips, recipes and cooking videos as well as an email newsletter.

Baby Bites by Bridgett Swinney RD
New moms will welcome this book for infants and toddlers. Offers both feeding tips and recipes. A nice gift to accompany the Baby Jogger!

The New Best Recipe by the editors of Cooks Illustrated Magazine
For friends who love to cook, this 1,028 page illustrated book offers more than just recipes. It talks about the testing that went into creating each “best” recipe. So if you want to know how to make the best tomato sauce, cinnamon swirl bread, chicken noodle soup or apple crisp, here's a fun book to read—as well as use for yummy sports meals.

Food for Fifty by Mary Molt RD
This cookbook is a welcome gift for the person who enjoys hosting team dinners. The recipes are not specifically designed for athletes, but the cook will find plenty of good choices for feeding a hungry crowd.

The Food and Feelings Workbook: A Full Course Meal on Emotional Health by Karen Koenig LCSW
Food is meant to be fuel but it often gets misused and becomes a way to starve or smother feelings. With this workbook, the reader learns how to address guilt, shame, helplessness, anxiety, disappointment, confusion, and loneliness. A helpful gift for a loved-one who struggles with food and weight, and had lost the sparkle in her (or his) eye.

Here's to 2008, filled with happiness, health and high energy!

Nancy Clark, MS, RD, CSSD is Board Certified as a Specialist in Sports Dietetics (CSSD). She counsels both casual exercisers and competitive athletes in her private practice at Healthworks (617-383-6100) in Chestnut Hill, MA. She is author of the best selling Nancy Clark's Sports Nutrition Guidebook, Cyclists' Food Guide, and Food Guide for Marathoners. See & for more information.

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