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Starting the shift toward eating a plant-based diet

Eating a plant-based dietplant-based-diet-starting-the-shift


More and more people are turning to plant foods to increase their health and avoid certain diseases and illnesses. You’ve probably heard of at least one celebrity who follows a variation of this diet! This means that more and more popular press will focus on plant-based foods and diets, more and more manufactures will try to support this trend to gain sales, and we (the consumer) will have easier access to quality foods!

But, once you decide to include more plants in your diet, how do you get started? It’s easy!

Here are some ideas.

First, focus on whole or minimally processed foods. This could mean something as simple as buying whole potatoes and prepare them yourself instead of getting the easy to prepare instant mashed potatoes! It takes only 5-10 minutes more to get the potatoes in the pot, and then the rest is easy. When you make them yourself, you control the amount of salt and fat you include. Instead of adding butter and cream to the potatoes, try boosting flavor with crushed garlic and a bit of parsley for color.


Or, if you already cook your own potatoes (for example) but you’re beginning to worry about the questionable nutritional value of the basic russet, you might shift to sweet potatoes instead! With their deep, rich color, sweet potatoes are high in beta-carotene and fiber. They are in excellent next step in your plant-based diet journey.


Another idea to increase fiber and nutrition would be to replace rice with quinoa or riced cauliflower. If you tolerate them well, you might also replace (either completely or partially) white or brown rice with your favorite legume.


Second, shift the balance of what you put on your plate. Vegetables, grains, and legumes should occupy three-quarters of your plate. Follow your grandmother’s advice, and make sure you see lots of color variation in the foods you’re eating. If you still want to include meat, use it as a seasoning in cooking (for example a bit of pork belly in with the beans or chicken wings in a big pot of broth) rather than 8-10 ounces of steak on your dinner plate. If you want eggs and dairy, limit these foods to 1-2 times a week.


As you plan your meals for the week, think about these ideas! Whether it’s breakfast, lunch, or dinner, choose one meal to focus on this week. How can you replace the animal products with satisfying, healthy plant-based foods? Enjoy being creative! In our next blog, we’ll start going meal by meal with some handy, tasty, and simple recipes and menu ideas.


In future blogs we’ll look at:

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