We didn’t just wake up and decide to go on a plant-based diet, this actually some time. It was a long journey. Over the years the husband and I have been trying to live healthier. The minute we had our kids, we made our goal prolong our lives. We want to be able to see our great-grandkids.
What is a Plant-based diet
Plant-based or plant-forward eating patterns focus on foods primarily from plants. This includes not only fruits and vegetables, but also nuts, seeds, oils, whole grains, legumes, and beans. It doesn’t mean that you are vegetarian or vegan and never eat meat or dairy. Rather, you are proportionately choosing more of your foods from plant sources.
Main benefits of Plant-based diet
Our biggest motivation was my husband’s high blood pressure diagnosis. We were so freaked out because he was so young. For such a fit family, we where quite disappointed. We did our research and decided that working on our diet is worth a try. We also discovered that type 2 Diabetes is largely a preventable disease, yet nearly 400 million people suffer from it. Eating more fruits and vegetables lowers the chances of developing diabetes and Cardiovascular disease. One shocking study even found that animal proteins “turn on” cancer genes, and reducing intake of animal products could “turn off” cancer genes. The plant-based diet has been shown to lower blood pressure and cholesterol, aid digestion, and prevent constipation from increased fiber intake.
Tips to help you get started on a plant-based diet
- Eat lots of vegetables. Fill half your plate with vegetables at lunch and dinner. Make sure you include plenty of colors in choosing your vegetables. Enjoy vegetables as a snack with hummus, salsa, or guacamole.
- Change the way you think about meat. Have smaller amounts. Use it as a garnish instead of a centerpiece.
- Choose good fats. Fats in olive oil, olives, nuts and nut butters, seeds, and avocados are particularly healthy choices.
- Cook a vegetarian meal at least one night a week. Build these meals around beans, whole grains, and vegetables.
- Include whole grains for breakfast. Start with oatmeal, quinoa, buckwheat, or barley. Then add some nuts or seeds along with fresh fruit.
- Go for greens. Try a variety of green leafy vegetables such as kale, collards, Swiss chard, spinach, and other greens each day. Steam, grill, braise, or stir-fry to preserve their flavor and nutrients.
- Build a meal around a salad. Fill a bowl with salad greens such as romaine, spinach, Bibb, or red leafy greens. Add an assortment of other vegetables along with fresh herbs, beans, peas, or tofu.
- Eat fruit for dessert. A ripe, juicy peach, a refreshing slice of watermelon, or a crisp apple will satisfy your craving for a sweet bite after a meal.