Community Healthcare Network

Wellness / Nutrition

Plant-Based Diet

Here’s a question for you: Have you heard of a Plant-Based Diet? A plant-based diet focuses on eating more foods from plants at every meal. This could be fruits, veggies, legumes, whole grains, beans, nuts, and/or seeds. It does not mean you need to become a vegetarian or vegan! You can still be plant-based and continue to eat meat, poultry, fish, and dairy too.

What are some of the benefits of a plant-based diet?

  • Sticking to a plant-based diet can reduce high blood pressure, lower cholesterol levels and the risk of developing heart disease.
  • Plant-based diets can reduce carbon emissions and waste products that often end up in the ocean. Skipping one serving of beef a week for a year can theoretically reduce your carbon footprint as much as driving 348 fewer miles in a car!

How can you incorporate a plant-based diet into your own life?

  • Start slow. Make changes slowly. It’s hard to stick to new eating habits if you change them all at once.
  • Try a Meatless Monday challenge. Every Monday (or any day you prefer) try to not eat meat and instead focus on eating plant-based foods.  Or some people do “vegetarian until dinner”.
  • Do it with a friend. It’s more fun when you try something new with someone else and share the experience.
  • Be a prepper. As with most meal plans, its less stressful if you shop and prep some meals and snacks before you begin.
  • Welcome plant proteins. Worried about staying full? There are many ways to get protein from plants. Some include:
    • Tofu/Tempeh stir fry with veggies
    • Seitan as a meat substitute in meat-based dishes
    • Beans/Legumes mixed with salad
    • Poached egg over Quinoa
    • Nutritional Yeast instead of cheese sprinkled on top of pasta or popcorn
    • Edamame as a snack or mixed in a salad
    • “Mock Meats” like Beyond Burger – this is a processed food so it has sodium (salt) added, but is still lower in saturated fat and is better for the environment than beef.
    • Raw Nuts
    • …for more ideas check out attached Vegetarian Handout and
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