Top 10 Tips for Plant-Based Eating
A new study showed that switching out plant-based foods for animal foods can significantly reduce risk of death, so no wonder lots of people are interested in a plant-based diet. Plus, it’s lower impact on the environment and on the animals themselves. You don’t have to go 100% plant-based to enjoy plant-based foods or even just switch out some meals or foods for plant-based ones, and you can get a lot of benefits out of it. Here are my top tips for eating plant-based:
- Start with protein – Try tofu, tempeh, beans, mushrooms, high protein grains like quinoa, protein powder, plant-based milks, cheeses and yogurt, nuts, seeds, seitan, and other meat alternatives.
- Don’t be a bread and cheese vegetarian – A lot of plant-based folks end up succumbing to the common pitfall of eating some form of bread and cheese for 2-3 meals a day, every day. This just doesn’t provide the variety and nutrients you need.
- Include healthy fats – Fats keep us full longer and make meals more satisfying and delicious. Try avocado, vegetable oils like sunflower oil, avocado oil, sesame oil, olive oil, whole olives, nuts, flax seeds, chia seeds, sesame seeds, coconuts and more!
- Go for whole grains – Try brown rice, farro, soba noodles, oats, millet, amaranth, spelt, buckwheat and more!
- Balance your meals – I know I say it a lot, but aim for about half your plate as veg, then a quarter grains and a quarter protein.
- Try different cuisines – Many traditional cuisines from Asian and Middle Eastern countries naturally have little to no animal products added. Consider adding stir fry or vegetable curry or falafel to your weekly rotation.
- Check your vitamins – Essential vitamins and minerals like B12, Iron, Calcium, Zinc and Vitamin D can be low in a plant-based diet. Be sure you’re getting a supplement that covers your bases.
- Be adventurous – a good plant-based diet is all about variety. Try new veggies, eat new fruits, try different dishes and cooking methods and see what you love!
- Don’t beat yourself up – If you slip up or you’re not perfect, don’t worry, there are no actual vegan police. You don’t have to be 100% vegan to reap the benefits of eating plant-based.
- Be seasonal – The best part of a plant-based diet is truly eating with the seasons – enjoying fresh tomatoes, corn, zucchini, berries and peaches in the summer; butternut squash, pumpkin and mushrooms in the fall; greens and beets and cauliflower in the winter and asparagus, baby greens, peas and artichokes in the spring. Take advantage of your local bounty and consider joining a CSA or visiting your local farmers market for inspiration.
I’m working on a plant-based diet starter kit for those who are interested in taking this a step further but need a little more guidance. I’m also accepting new clients now if you want a personalized plan for going plant-based to lower your risk for chronic disease, increase fertility or just feel better! Book here. If you have questions, feel free to leave them in the comments.