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 https://www.bluezones.com/recipes/