Food For Thought

Welcome to my ever-expanding list of recommended resources. These books, podcasts, apps, websites, and films will give you tons of information regarding living healthy and the motivation to make the switch.


  • How Not To Die. Michael Greger- A pretty important topic, right? Dr. Greger and his team scour through all the nutritional publications in the english language, so we don’t have to. Follow the recommendations in this book to live long and prosper. Plus, all the proceeds from all of his books go to charity.
  • How Not To Diet. Michael Greger- Dr. Greger breaks down all the many ways you should not diet, and leads you to the most successful way to lose weight in a healthy way.
  • How To Survive A Pandemic. Michael Greger- I wish everyone would read this book. Not only do we learn how to survive the current Covid 19 pandemic, but we also learn how to avoid the next pandemic, which unfortunately may be much worse than the current one.
  • The Blue Zone. Dan Buettner- I love the Blue Zones series, and this was the first book. National Geographic writer Dan Buettner has been working with physicians, scientists, and city leaders to bring the lessons learned studying the areas of the globe with the healthiest, longest lived people in the world. What do the people from Sardinia, Ikaria, Okinawa, Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica, and the Seventh Day Adventists in southern California all have in common that allows them to lead such long and health lives? It’s not just good genes. Take a look and see what you might change in your own life based on these amazing people.
  • Dr. Neal Barnard’s Program For Reversing Diabetes. Neal Barnard- This is a solid, easy read to get you on the road to reversing many types of diabetes,and getting off of medications. I recommend this book first to the majority of my patients with diabetes.
  • Mastering Diabetes. Cyrus Khambatta and Robby Barbaro- Cyrus and Robby know diabetes inside and out, and they both have had type 1 diabetes for a long time. They get into the details on why processed food and animal foods cause diabetes, and how to get healthy quickly and safely.
  • The China Study. T. Colin Campbell
  • Whole. T.Colin Campbell
  • Prevent And Reverse Heart Disease. Caldwell B. Esselstyn 
  • Engine 2 Seven Day Rescue Diet. Rip Esselstyn
  • The Pleasure Trap. Doug Lisle and Alan Goldhamer- Written by the folks at True North Health Center in Santa Rosa, this book looks at the addictions that have lead our nation to its current disease state and how to address them. 
  • Fiber Fueled. Will Bulsiewicz
  • The Starch Solution. John McDougall
  • UnDo It!: How simple lifestyle changes can reverse most chronic disease. Dean and Anne Ornish- Dr. Ornish is one of the godfathers of the lifestyle medicine movement. His research published in the early 1990s on reversing coronary atherosclerosis was a game changer. His message is simple: eat well, move more, stress less, and love more. This is his latest book, and it brings it all together.
  • Younger Next Year – Live Strong, Fit, And Sexy Until You’re 80, And Beyond. Chris Crowley and Henry Lodge, MD- They tell you why you should work out 6 days a week for the rest of your life. I was pretty motivated by this book. I like the idea of being healthy and able to go for a run at 80.
  • Tiny Habits, by BJ Fogg
  • Atomic Habits, by James Clear


  • The How Not To Die Cookbook. Michael Greger 
  • The How Not To Diet Cookbook. Michael Greger
  • The Blue Zones Kitchen. Dan Buettner. Beautiful book looking at recipes cooked in the 5 places around the world with the highest concentration of healthy centenarians. Covers Sardinia, Ikaria (Greece), Nicoya Peninsula (Costa Rica), Okinawa, and Loma Linda, California.
  • Mango And Mint. Nicky Garratt. Vegan Indian, Arabian and North African cooking. I learned how to cook Indian food from this book and really love it. I do recommend cutting the amount of salt and oil used in the recipes, in general. And it turns out Nicky is also a rock star (literally) and an amazing table tennis player occasionally seen in the North Bay.


  • – by far my favorite place to get information on using diet to prevent, treat, and reverse chronic conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, autoimmune disease, etc.
  • – the Physicians Committee For Responsible Medicine. A group of health care specialists with advice on healthy eating, advocacy, and research.
  • – recipes, motivating success stories, more info on their apps (see below) and movie
  • – info on plant based nutrition, as well as how to take an on line course for med students and clinicians new to the field of plant based medicine 
  • – free advice and recipes on plant based nutrition, as well as how to attend his intensive 12 day on-line program. My friend and fellow Santa Rosa Family Medicine residency grad Anthony Lim helps run the program.
  • check out the Q&A webinars by the docs at plant based telehealth
  • – Brenda Davis is a wonderful dietician who has been doing this for a long time. She knows her stuff. Check out her websites for info and some good recipes.
  • – Julieanna Hever is the Plant Based Dietician. She wants you to eat vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grains, nuts and seeds, mushrooms, herbs and spices in infinite tasty combinations!


  • The Exam Room – by the Physicians Committee. Interviews and Q&As with plant based specialists
  • Healthy Human Revolution – Dr. Laurie Marbas interviews specialists and patients that believe in the power of a plant-based diet 
  • NutritionFacts Podcast – both a video and an audio podcast by Dr. Michael Greger that brings the latest science about healthy eating
  • The Rich Roll Podcast – an amazing plant based athlete interviews specialists in healthy living
  • Mastering Diabetes Audio Experience – Cyrus Khambatta and Robby Barbaro chat about using a whole food plant based diet to treat and reverse diabetes. 
  • Plant-Strong – Rip Esselstyn leads motivational interviews with physicians and other leaders in the plant-based movement.


  • Daily Dozen: brought to you by Michael Greger. Simple free app to track your healthy eating, also with “21 tweaks” to help with weight loss.
  • 21 Day Vegan: free vegan kickstart by the Physicians Committee (PCRM) with recipes, short videos, and general how-to
  • Forks meal planner: plan your meals, set up grocery shopping lists, how to speed prep for batch cooking, plus tons of recipes
  • Vegan Maps: find healthy restaurants near you. Especially nice when you’re traveling.
  • Headspace. Guided meditation practice.
  • Calm. Guided meditation practice.


“Some people think a plant-based, whole foods diet is extreme. Half a million people a year will have their chests opened up and a vein taken from their leg and sewn onto their coronary artery. Some people would call that extreme.”

Caldwell Esselstyn, MD

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