The plant-based way of eating is more than just one of the hottest food trends of 2017. It’s also linked to a bounty of health benefits including a lower risk for some types of cancer and diabetes, a healthier heart and slimmer waistline, to name a few.
Intrigued? Let’s first talk about what plant-based eating is not. Contrary to what you may think—it’s not vegetarian or vegan. Ok, so what is it, you ask? Of course plant-based eating includes beans and legumes, fruits, veggies, whole grains, soy, nuts, seeds and oils at the core; however it also includes sensible amounts of lean meats, poultry and seafood on the fringe.
What I personally love about this approach is that, unlike so many stringent nutrition recommendations out there, this one is far more flexible. And hey, it allows highly nutritious plant foods to peacefully coincide with a burger here and there. Think you can dig it? Here are a few super-easy ways to transform your plate.
Choose one meal per day to go heavy on the plant foods. Be more adventurous than simply defaulting to a salad and try one of these ideas in place of a typically meat-containing meal. You can do it!
Breakfast–overnight oats made with coconut milk, chia seeds and fruit.
Lunch–roasted or grilled vegetable tacos with spicy black beans, fresh salsa and guacamole. We love these tacos.
Dinner–whole-wheat pasta primavera with fresh lemon and garbanzo beans.
In between meals, nosh on veggies and hummus, roasted almonds or seasoned pumpkin seeds.
Reduce the amount of meat, poultry and fish in go-to recipes and replace it with beans, lentils, cooked quinoa or diced, finely chopped mushrooms. This technique works best in tacos, casseroles, soups and chili. In addition to enhancing the nutrient content of the dish, these plant-based ingredients add hearty texture and flavor and may also stretch your food dollar. And stretching your food dollars is pretty nice. Am I right?
Experiment with New Flavors
If going plant-based takes you out of your comfort zone, tap into a new cookbook, website or meal planning tool like My Happy Plates for inspiration. After a little time and experimentation with unfamiliar ingredients, textures and flavors, you’ll gain the confidence you need to create taste-bud pleasing plant-based dishes with ease. Your body will thank you.
Learn more about how My Happy Plates can help you plan your meals for the week here. We’d love to save you some time this week!