What exactly is a Plant-Based Diet?

I’m asked this question a lot

The possibilities are endless, the benefits are life changing

A Whole-food, Plant-Based diet is a heart healthy, environmentallyfriendly, type-2-diabetes-fighting lifestyle eating plan that celebrates food and nourishes your body. On a plant-based diet, you’ll focus on whole non-processed foods and plants like vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, seeds and nuts.

Sometimes this diet is confused with a vegan diet. But the two are not the same. Vegans don’t eat any meat, dairy, eggs or honey because it originates from a conscious being. Sounds healthy doesn’t it, but vegans can eat foods such as Oreos and french fries all day if they choose to, because they do not come from, or use any animal product. I’m not saying all vegans would eat this way! Just that they can.

A plant-based diet is similar to vegan because both avoid animal products, but a plant-based diet takes it a step further. Plant-based focuses on whole-foods, so nothing processed, no fast-foods, even those considered vegan.

What can you eat if you choose the Whole-Foods, Plant-Based lifestyle? The list below is not exhaustive!

  • Fruits: berries, citrus fruits, pears, peaches, pineapple, bananas etc.
  • Vegetables: Kale, spinach, tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, asparagus, peppers etc.
  • Starchy vegetables: potatoes, sweet potatoes, butternut squash etc.
  • Whole grains: brown rice, rolled oats, farro, quinoa, whole wheat pasta, barley etc.
  • Legumes: peas, chickpeas, lentils, peanuts, black beans etc.
  • Seeds, nuts and nut butters: almonds, cashews, macadamia nuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, natural peanut butter, tahini etc.
  • Unsweetened plant-based milks: coconut milk, almond milk, cashew milk, oat milk etc.
  • Spices, herbs and seasonings: basil, rosemary, turmeric, garlic, onion powder, curry powder, black pepper, sea salt etc.
Spice up your life
  • Condiments: Salsa, mustard, nutritional yeast, soy sauce, vinegar, lemon juice, etc.
  • Plant-based protein: tofu, tempeh, plant-based protein sources or powders with no added sugar or artificial ingredients
  • Beverages: coffee, tea, water
  • Tofu and tempeh

Foods to Avoid on This Diet – the list below is not exhaustive!

  • Fast food: french fries, cheeseburgers, hot dogs, chicken nuggets, etc.
  • Added sugars and sweets: table sugar, soda, juice, pastries, cookies, candy, sweet tea, sugary cereals etc.
  • Refined grains: white rice, white pasta, white bread, bagels, etc.
  • Packaged and convenience foods: chips, crackers, cereal bars, frozen dinners etc.
  • Processed vegan-friendly foods: plant-based foods like faux meat, faux cheeses, vegan butters etc.
  • Artificial sweeteners: Equal, Splenda, Sweet’n’ Low etc.
  • Processed animal products: bacon, lunch meats, sausage, beef jerky etc.
  • All meat, dairy and poultry

I have previously stated in this blog that I did not ‘transition’ to a wfpbno eating lifestyle. That doesn’t mean everyone will do it the same way and I will not judge anyone who chooses to transition rather than jump right in. I know there are those who struggle to let go of cheese for instance, or choose to eat wfpb a few days a week, or for a few meals a week. Whatever you choose to do is right for you. I would suggest, however, that you do your research. For instance, there is so much information available on the internet. Join some Facebook groups such as: Forks Over Knives Official Plant-Based Group, WFPB Family Healthy Food and Daily Inspirations, WFPB No Oil – Trust the Process, WFPB Beginners!, Mostly Plant Based UK, and Plant-Based on a Budget Support Group. Joining these or others will provide you with tips, recipes, meal plans and inspiration.

I will continue to passionately advocate for this lifestyle as I know how amazing I feel eating this way. I will be perfectly honest here, I can’t say I’m 100% wfpb. I’ve already said when I eat out I’m not always 100%. But let me tell you, if you do follow the wfpbno eating lifestyle, your body will let you know in no uncertain terms when you have strayed from the wfpb path – I’m speaking from experience! Your body will have detoxed from all the processed foods you may have been used to eating and your gut will not tolerate it. Whenever this has happened to me it has served as a huge reminder as to why I have chosen this eating lifestyle – for my health! The significant weight loss is a very welcome bonus.

Eating for health

The first recipe book I bought was The Plant Based Diet For Beginners: 75 Delicious Whole Food Recipes – by Gabriel Miller. 10 months in and I still use this recipe book and some of his recipes have become my go to meals to cook.

Health Benefits

  • Plant-based diets are recommended for people with Diabetes
  • Plant-based diets reduce the risk of heart disease by lowering blood pressure, improving cholesterol and promoting weight loss
  • Research shows a plant-based diet may help with slowing the progression of some cancers due to the antioxidant content of plant foods such as fruit and vegetables
  • With no calories or macros to count or portions to measure, many find plant-based diets easier to manage than other weight loss programmes
  • Inflammation is significantly reduced on a plant-based diet, more so I believe if you eliminate oil from your diet
  • Check out the internet, Facebook groups etc. Regarding the research and testimonials about the benefits of adopting this lifestyle.

On a personal note, a few days ago, my 17yr old grandson was struggling to open his water bottle and asked me to try. It took a couple of attempts but I did it. 10 months ago I wouldn’t have been able to do that, I had no strength in my hands and the pain in some fingers was excruciating….. no more. Of course, the grandson would say his attempts had loosened it before I opened it….I don’t think so!

Healing through eating plant-based

In my last blog I talked about the appliances I use to help me save time in the kitchen. Just wanted to let you know I made brown rice in my Instant Pot. Simply put the rice and water in and the Instant Pot does the rest. However, I did change it up a bit and instead of using water, I used low sodium vegetable broth – absolutely delicious! And of course while it was cooking, I was free to get on with other stuff.

Please like, share , follow and/or comment on this post. Let me know if you found it useful and please ask questions and make suggestions for future posts

Published by smith57angel

Passionate about a Whole food plant based lifestyle

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