Plant-Based Diet For Dummies
What's great about a plant-based diet is that it's not just a diet — it's a lifestyle. As such, it encompasses many different aspects of your life, and it can be hard to remember everything you want to remember. This Cheat Sheet is here to help you implement your plant-based diet and to be your pocket-sized cheerleader. This lifestyle can help you be healthy — not just for the next month, but for the rest of your life. It's that simple.
Plant-Based Starter Shopping Guide
Making sure you have the right ingredients in your kitchen when starting (and maintaining) a plant-based lifestyle is essential to making delicious food at home and sticking to your plant-based goals. Always keep these must-haves stocked:
Vegetables: Choose a wide variety of colorful veggies on a regular basis, along with leafy greens like kale and collards. Basically, don't stick to just one color all the time!
Fresh fruit: The same color rule applies here; however, also choose fresh fruits that are in season (hint: berries aren't fresh in the winter!).
Whole grains: Become familiar with different grains in their whole forms. Experiment with ones like kamut, spelt, quinoa, and oats. You can also get breads and pastas made from these grains.
Beans: Explore the diversity of beans. Chickpeas, kidney beans, black beans, and lentils are easy to cook with, and they're loaded with protein too.
Healthy oils: Stock up on oils like olive oil, flax oil, and coconut oil. They all come in handy for different occasions and can be used in everything from salads to baking.
Nuts and seeds: Keep a variety of nuts and seeds on hand. Almonds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and hempseeds are good essentials. They make great additions to breakfast oats or smoothies and are a quick snack.
Other extras: Get ahold of basics like maple syrup, Dijon mustard, tamari (natural soy sauce), almond butter, sea salt, and apple-cider vinegar.
Plant-Based Eating When You're Out and About
When planning your day of plant-based eating out, you ideally want to think about how you can choose a balance of meals that offer your body enough variety to keep you satisfied and full. These options can help you organize your day:
Breakfast: Berry smoothie with plant-based protein powder; whole-grain toast with almond butter and sliced banana; oatmeal with walnuts, raisins, and cinnamon; or scrambled tofu with a slice of toast and avocado
Lunch and dinner: Large salad with a variety of vegetables, nuts, seeds, avocado, chickpeas, and homemade dressing; pesto with brown-rice pasta topped with white beans and steamed broccoli; whole-grain wrap with hummus, lettuce, sprouts, carrots, and avocado; vegetarian brown-rice sushi and a bowl of miso soup; or baked tempeh, mashed yams, and steamed greens topped with tahini
Snacks: Trail mix with almonds, raisins, pumpkin seeds, and cashews; an apple or pear with a tablespoon of nut butter; a handful or two of corn chips with salsa or guacamole; a homemade cookie or muffin with seed butter; or a green smoothie with kale, banana, hempseeds, and avocado
Maintaining Your Positive Plant-Based Attitude and Energy
The process of transitioning to a plant-based diet can be as big or small a deal as you want to make it. It's just about how you approach it and want to make it happen. You have to have a desire to eat better, feel better, and live longer.
Here are some ways you can maintain your motivation and increase your knowledge about eating a plant-based diet.
Read books on plant-based living.
Watch videos on healthy eating.
Talk to other people who eat this way.
Make a list of all the reasons plant-based eating appeals to you.
Go out for some good plant-based meals at restaurants to get inspired.