I've recently started reading 12 Steps to Whole Foods
by Robyn Openshaw
. Apparently it's a course manual so you won't find it on Amazon.com or at your local Barnes & Noble.
I've got the digital version
($40), but if you have to have the paper version, you can also buy the printed manual
($80). Though at that price it might be cheaper to buy the digital version and just print off the pages yourself or take it to a copy shop to get it printed and bound.
Basically the book gives information and steps to get your diet to about 60-80% raw foods with an emphasis on the other 40-20% being mostly whole foods.
It's an education you'd have to read 20+ books to obtain, with over 175 recipes, fully indexed so you can look up recipes that use ingredients you have on hand. Each step has time- and money-saving tips. The intro and appendices give lots of info about getting kids and spouses on board, learning what's true and false in nutrition, understanding kitchen tools and high-nutrition ingredients (and where to get them), and so much more.
The book is aimed at that group of people who say, "I'd like to eat healthier, but I just don't know how." It doesn't just tell you what to eat, it tells you why. And not only that, it tells you how. I'm on chapter 5 and it has had several recipes per chapter so you know how to incorporate that next step in your diet.
The first few steps are:
Month 1. Drink a Green smoothie every day. (about 15 servings of fruits and vegetables per quart, IIRC)
Month 2. Eat a salad every day. If you normally eat a big meat portion for dinner, swap the sizes. Eat a big salad portion and a small meat portion. Then your normally sized prepared meat will last you for two meals and save you money.
Month 3. Make homemade salad dressings for your salads, that don't have the bad stuff in them from store bought dressings.
Month 4. Enjoy good fats, avoid bad fats. (i.e. replace bad fats with good fats).
To be clear: this isn't a diet plan. When you move on to step (month) 2, you don't discontinue step 1. Each step builds on the last, allowing you to change your dietary habits for life over the course of a year. Of course, you can go faster or slower if you want. That's up to you.
It's pretty cool because the chapters encourage you to write in a health journal so you can record and review any changes in your health you've noticed from the new diet, recipes you really liked, etc. In that sense it really is more like a workbook or a manual than just a book for reading.
My wife and I have been trying to have green smoothies lately after my sister introduced us to them, but our blender just wasn't cutting it (literally) so we ordered a nice (and expensive!) Blendtech and got this (digital) book free. I think we're going to just jump right in and start the first 5-6 steps almost all at once (step 1 has to wait for a few days until the Blendtech arrives) since step 5 is about growing your own produce in a garden and the growing season is already upon us.