A Plant-based Lifestyle refers to a focus on food primarily, and for many, exclusively from plants. This includes not only fruits and vegetables, but also nuts, seeds, whole grains, legumes, and mushrooms.
Ways to Get Started with a Plant-Based Diet
Here are some tips to help you get started on a plant-based diet:
- Eat plenty of green leafy vegetables. Aim for having greens such as kale, collards, Swiss chard, and spinach at least twice a day. Fill half your plate with colorful vegetables at lunch and dinner and the other half with whole grains or legumes.
- Remember your healthy snacks. Always have on hand nuts or seeds. Bring vegetables or fruit to enjoy as a snack with hummus, salsa, or guacamole.
- Change the way you think about meat. Have smaller and smaller amounts. While you are young and healthy, use it as a garnish instead of a centerpiece. As you age eat less and less. Eliminate it entirely once you understand what nutrient and protein-rich plant food replaces it.
- Choose small amounts of good fat. Fat in avocado, nuts and nut butters, seeds, and olives are particularly healthy choices in limited portions.
- Include whole grains for breakfast. Start with oatmeal, quinoa, buckwheat, or barley. Add some nuts or seeds along with fresh fruit.
- Build a meal around a salad. Fill a bowl with salad greens such as romaine, spinach, wilted kale, or red leafy greens. Add an assortment of other vegetables along with fresh herbs, beans, peas, or tofu.
- Try adding roasted vegetables. They take on a whole new rich savory flavor and are a wonderful addition to grain and pasta dishes.