WHAT IS A PLANT-BASED DIET?
A plant-based diet is synonymous with a vegan diet; in a broader setting, this includes all vegetarian diets that are composed mainly, but not completely, of plant foods.
This brings an emphasis on food like fruits, vegetables, and places a limited intake on meats, dairy, and eggs. A person’s limitations to this food depend on how strict they want to be. One may choose to eliminate food from animals or just limit their intake.
This type of diet can also help prevent and even treat Type 2 Diabetes, and also reduce the risk of other chronic illnesses, including cancer. Source: Journal of Geriatric Cardiology
Here’s a list of what to eat, limit and avoid when transitioning into a plant-based diet:
1.) Vegetables (legumes, sweet potatoes, asparagus, bell peppers, broccoli, spinach, kale) – for calcium and other nutrients.
2.) Fruits (avocado, blueberry, grapes, mangoes, bananas, grapefruit and oranges) – a mix of various vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients.
3.) White grains (quinoa, brown rice, whole-wheat bread, and whole-wheat pasta) – high in nutrients and fibre.
4.) Beans – provide essential amino acids and plant protein.
5.) Nuts (walnuts, almonds, macadamia nuts, and cashews) – provide healthy fats.
6.) Seeds (chia seeds, hemp seeds)
9.) Tea (green, lavender, chamomile or ginger)
List of food you need to limit (or avoid completely)
1.) Dairy (milk and cheese)
2.) Animal products (eggs, dairy, and meat)
3.) Meat and poultry (chicken, beef, and pork)
4.) Refined grains (white pasta, rice, and bread)
A 7-DAY MENU GUIDE FOR A PLANT-BASED DIET:
Healthy Oatmeal with Fruit and Nuts
Toppings: Nuts of your choice, fresh dried fruits.
Cauliflower Rice Bowl
Add ons: Black Beans, Corn, Avocado and Salsa.
Fillings: Tofu, Onion, Green Bell Pepper, Avocado, Tomatoes.
Main ingredients: Almond Milk. Flour, Maple Syrup, Nutritional Yeast and Cinnamon.
Lunch: Black Bean Tofu Burger
Main ingredients: Tofu, Black Beans and mushrooms.
Mushroom Vegetable Tomato Soup
Main ingredients: Mushroom, Tomato Sauce
Perfect with: Toasted Wheat Bread or a Side Salad.
Main ingredients: Oat flour and Whole Wheat pastry flour.
Douse in maple syrup.
Meatless “Beef” Stew
Made with: Mushrooms, Potatoes and Tomato Sauce.
Kale Tofu Curry
Main ingredients: Kale (substitute to curry powder), tofu and soaked almonds.
Apple-Lemon Breakfast Bowl
Main ingredients: Dates/Raisins, Walnuts, Lemon Juice, and Apple.
Oil-Free Vegan Fried Rice
Main ingredients: Brown Rice, Tofu Scramble, Vegetable, Soy Sauce.
Extra-Crispy Baked Tofu Nuggets
Main ingredients: Tofu, Baking Powder.
Vegan Carrot Waffles
Main ingredients: Carrots, Baking Powder, Flaxseed.
Vegetarian Tofu Bean Chili
Main ingredients: Tofu, Creamy Beans, Tomato Sauce.
Vegan Teriyaki “Chicken” Stir Fry
Main ingredients: Tofu, Broccoli, Teriyaki Sauce, Bell Pepper.
Breakfast: Tofu Scramble
Main ingredients: Tofu (crumbled extra-firm), Almond Milk, Turmeric.
Main ingredients: Plantains, Black Beans, Yellow Rice, Tomato Sauce.
Tomato Braised Mushrooms
Main ingredients: Bella Mushrooms, Not-Beef Stock, Tomato Paste, Coconut Oil.
Main ingredients: Wheat Bread, Ripe Avocados, Virgin Olive Oil.
Pink/Red Bean Stew
Main ingredients: Dry Beans, Tomato Sauce.
Dinner: Vegan Tofu Meatballs
Main ingredients: Tofu and Tomato Pasta Sauce.
The basic idea of this is to limit or completely avoid a diet that is centred on meat and dairy, and switch to a vegetable, fruits and whole grains staple diet. It’s a flavourful approach to eating with outstanding health benefits.
I personally encourage healthier options instead of processed food. However, for someone transitioning, this will be a good start. Regardless of the reason you choose to do this, you will likely become healthier, fewer animals will suffer and your carbon footprint would be significantly better.