The Beginning Of A Life Changing Transformation
When you are first initially contemplating the transition from the traditional meat based diet you may be asking ‘what can you eat on a plant based diet?’ It may even feel extremely restricting. However, after some thorough research you will discover that there is a vast amount of different meat-less and non-animal products that can be substituted for old foods. The most important thing to remember about your new alternative lifestyle is that nutrition is key. This will be the most important aspect of your new lifestyle diet and it depends solely on the different foods you consume.
Therefore, it is very important to know what ingredients are in your diet and to be sure that you still offer your body the proper balance of nutrients it requires for everyday function. You may even find that you get to eat a larger amount of food than expected because the new diet does not contain all the processed foods or added preservatives.
In addition to a more healthy lifestyle for yourself, you will also be adapting a better lifestyle that can positively impact the environment. Eating less meat can have a positive impact on the environment because the majority of green house gases come from animal agriculture. Therefore, each meatless meal you are consuming is making a large impact to help out Mother Nature. You can now eat healthy and keep the environment healthy!
The Proof Is In The Health Benefits
There are countless positive benefits you are able to experience when you choose to adopt a plant-based diet. The ten benefits listed below are only some of the health improvements you will begin to see throughout your new lifestyle. I’m not saying there won’t still be challenges and trials to face along the way.
However, every vegan option will bring you one step closer to your overall goal. And that ultimate goal is to be fully converted over to a healthier mental and physical state of being through the implementation of a plant based diet.
What are the Benefits of a Whole Food Plant-Based Diet?
- A plant-based diet helps Boost your immune system
- Helps to Lower body mass index (BMI) and maintain a healthy body weight
- A plant-based diet can help lower your risk of certain cancers
- Plant-based diets can improve gut health by increasing healthy fiber intake
- A plant-based diet helps to reduce inflammation
- Plant-based diet can help Improve kidney function
- A plant-based diet has been shown to prevent, arrest, or even reverse diabetes
- Can help improve issues with migraines, skin irritations, allergies, digestion, dementia, strokes, blood pressure, and hormones
- Benefits the environment by minimizing the amount of farmland required and greenhouse gases produced
- Overall mental and physical health by providing the body with the nutrients it needs to heal itself
What Is This “Plant-Based” Diet Really All About?
When you choose to remove animal products from your daily consumption this means that you will greatly reduce or eliminate all meat, dairy, and other animal products. Upon eliminating these staples from your diet, you will need to educate yourself about more nutritious alternatives. This is not saying all of your food options must be removed and never consumed again. This simply means you will turn your attention to finding more natural and nutritionally dense options that can be added to your diet and consumed on a regular basis.
You will also want to be more cautious when dining outside the home. You will educate yourself about what foods contain animal products in order to avoid them down the road. Remember this is a new lifestyle change; therefore, you will have to make some tough decisions. It will be safest to cook at home for a while or order simple ingredients such as salads and vegetarian options while you slowly get accustomed to your new menu.
Exciting Foods And Dishes Await You
Many people jump to conclusions when they hear phrases such as “plant-based” or “vegan” diet. Individuals immediately assume they must have meat products in their diet in order to survive. On the contrary, humans are able to thrive without having a meat-centered diet. Some individuals believe that these terms automatically eliminate all food within certain food groups.
However, this is not the case by any means. Instead, this alternative, animal-by-product-free, lifestyle actually opens up a whole new world that is filled with fresh nutrient dense foods. Your new whole food plant based diet will most likely be quite different than those eating the Standard American Diet. A plant-based alternative diet focuses largely on the consumption of fresh vegetables, legumes, fruits, whole grains, plant-based protein, nuts, and seeds.
With so many different and exciting food choices, there are countless recipes that can be tested to find some that will quickly become your new favorites. This new and unique journey will leave you wanting to experiment every time you are in the kitchen. Plus, with so many more different options there are tons of ingredients to play around with and experiment with in order to find those new recipes. Having so many ingredients to work with is great because it ensures that you will not get bored with the same old dishes.
Countless Meat Alternatives
Just because you decide to eliminate animal-based products from your lifestyle does not mean that you cannot have some meat substitutions in your diet. Thankfully, there are numerous meat substitutes available on the market these days; and most of them taste pretty good. Once they have been added into your recipe; you will not even be able to tell the difference because it will still be so delicious and nutritious.
A few of the meat alternative available include: tofu, tempeh, seitan, vegetable protein, vegan meat, jackfruit, mushrooms, and even lentils. The companies listed below are some of the more popular brands that have invested in providing people with these delicious meat-less products.
- Amy’s (offers a variety of prepared plant-based dishes)
- Beyond Meat
- Field Roast
- Impossible Foods
- Lightlife Foods
- MorningStar Farms
- Yves Veggie Cuisine
You may actually discover that you enjoy some of the above options so much that they become the center of your new dishes. But even if they are not the main part of the meal, they can still serve as a great plant-based protein option that adds calories and nutrition to any vegetable dish. Again, your main focus will be to make vegetables and greens your main focus during each meal times.
Popular Belief: “My Life Will Be Deprived!”
It can be extremely common for people to believe that they may be missing out on some of their favorite foods. They might feel as though they will never get the opportunity to enjoy these delicious dishes every again during their lifetimes. While that may have been the case decades ago, times have changed drastically.
Through the dedication and investment from the above companies mentioned, as well as many other brands, there are countless ready to eat food options out on the market. Below is a list of just some of the common foods you will be able to pick up at your local markets and make at home in just a few minutes. You will still have a number of delicious options to choose from for any given meal.
Plus, these substitutions provide a great opportunity for you to indulge in a dish without feeling the normal guilt. These alternatives are all plant-based foods allowing you to eat and enjoy every bite. Who would not want to enjoy delicious foods and still maintain a great figure?
Delicious Unique Meat-less Alternatives
- Burgers (black bean, veggie, gluten free, etc.)
- Beefless grounds
- Spicy chik’n veggie patties
- Falafel bites
- Chick’n nuggets
- Breakfast pockets
- Buffalo wings
- Veggie breakfast sausage patties
- Fishless sticks
Investing In The Proper Tools
Upon embarking on a new whole food plant based diet lifestyle, you should be sure to arm yourself with educational materials such as cookbooks. This ensures that you will have recipes that will fit into your new alternative lifestyle, providing you with a strong foundation. Additionally, this allows you to prepare yourself with recipes to fall back on when you get into a pinch. Below are three beginner cookbooks that will assist you along the way with this new lifestyle.
There are several other valuable cookbooks and kindle reads available on Amazon.com that can be very helpful tools in any vegans’ kitchen.
- Forks Over Knives- The Cookbook
These simple additions have the ability to take your cooking experience to the next level. Finding unique ways to add in a variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and legumes can make your dishes some of the best around and leave people craving more. Before you know it you could be converting others to adopt your alternative whole foods lifestyle!
Expert Tips To Make The Transition Easier
Along with purchasing fresh foods and cookbooks, there are also several expert tips that will help you start the transition. You should be aware that because you are not eating as much processed foods your shopping trips are going to be larger in the beginning as you are finding your footing within the lifestyle. You will be purchasing mainly fresh vegetables and fruits; therefore, your knowledge of your local produce section will be tested right away. But, do not worry because you will begin to learn it very quickly as it is going to be the center of your diet.
Along with focusing more on the increase intake of fresh produce, you will be changing your perception of meat and animal products. If you feel too much stress making the transition over to a plant-based diet all at once then there are small changes that can be made. You can begin by cooking one vegetarian meal a week in order to make the transition easier.
It can also be extremely beneficial to focus on adding more greens into each meal. This will help you gradually get use to consuming more fiber. It may be a great idea to even build a few meals around a salad base to switch things up. It can also be helpful to turn fruit into a dessert option. This is a great helpful tip when transitioning because you can replace some of the unnatural foods you previously consumed with all fresh plant-based fruit desserts, allowing you to still get your sweet fix.
Take Back Your Nutrition And Your Life
Making the final choice to transition over from a meat centered diet to a whole food plant based diet is more than just removing traditional protein from your daily food consumption. This alternative lifestyle allows you to take back control and forces you to have the knowledge of what foods you are putting into your body. This is a much more natural lifestyle that strips away most of the convenient and processed foods making you focus on all natural fresh produce, whole grains, and plant-based foods.
Remember that you will most likely be consuming a larger amount of food because it will be all natural foods. This will most likely also force you to become more comfortable with using a variety of different ingredients. Again, there are a large variety of meat alternative options available on the market that will provide you with the opportunity to create dishes to test out in your home. Aside from all the nutritional benefits of eating healthier food options, there are countless health benefits that will come over time.
Plus, adopting a plant-based diet is also extremely favorable for the environment. It can be rewarding knowing that you are taking care of the environment all while still taking care of your health.
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