A How to Guide on Eating Plant-Based
When starting anything new, there are obstacles and challenges that always come
up, no matter what you are starting. Adding on a whole new way of eating can be
one of the biggest challenges you will face. After all, the food we consume has most
likely been a habit for several years, and we all know habits are hard to break. BUT
what if I told you there are some really easy steps to take when wanting to eat a
more plant-based diet? Let’s get to it!
First, what is a plant-based diet?
Whole food, plant-based diets are heart healthy, environment-friendly, lifestyle
eating plans that celebrate REAL food and nourish your body. On a plant-based diet,
you’ll focus on eating whole or non-processed foods and plants like vegetables,
fruits, whole grains, legumes, seeds, and nuts. The benefits are incredible!
Where do we start?
Read up on scientifically based books. These are my favorites:
- How Not to Die by Michael Greger
- The China Study by T. Colin Campbell
Join Facebook communities to help keep you motivated and accountable if needed. I
run a group called ‘How to Shop, Prep, & Cook Your Way Into a Healthy Life’. I
am always sharing healthy recipes, ideas to stay on track, and food prep ideas. Or,
search around to find a specific interest to you.
I have my clients start with 3 easy steps:
- Don’t give up meat completely if it is something you love. The goal is to eat less;
think 90% plants, 10% meat or animal products.
Here are some easy and delicious recipes to start with:
Easy Veggie Breakfast hash
Loaded Sweet Potato fries
Roasted Potatoes with Herb Pesto
Roasted Vegetable Buddha Bowl
- Do what works for you. A gradual staged transition will be the most effective
path for some while others will want to go at it at once. Different personalities will
seek different paths. If you do decide to gradually change then I suggest start
changing one meal a day. Start at breakfast, then lunch, and eventually get to
- Want to go all in, and then let’s create a meal plan for you. Start focusing on one week first – not anything beyond that. This is a marathon, not a sprint. After the 7 days, start to add in your favorite recipes and research more. You can use Pinterest to search ‘Plant-Based’ recipes and you can find a ton that will suit your preferences.
How to manage the grocery store?
When you’re shopping at the store, it is time to get picky with the labels. Before
buying anything, here is what to look for:
- A short ingredient list
- Real ingredients you can pronounce
- A bunch of real food that doesn’t have ingredient labels
Avoid and or minimize foods that:
- Have a long ingredient list
- Contains anything that says ‘low-fat’, ‘fat-free’, ‘sugar-free’, etc… these will contain nasty chemicals.
- Contains animal products like meat, dairy, or eggs
- Contains refined ingredients like enriched flour, bleached flour, sugar, and canola oil.
The important thing to remember is this is not a habit that will happen overnight.
Take it day by day and with little steps – they will eventually add up to some big and
awesome leaps. You’ve got this!
About the author:
Leah Castle is a Certified Holistic Nutritionist and founder of the Living On Roots blog. She is dedicated to showing women how to cook healthy and quick meals to help them eat well and live healthier while managing their busy schedules. Her programs are designed around plants to nourish your body, make healthy food taste good and develop lifelong habits.
Living On Roots is her way of sharing natural nutrition tips, health benefits of plants and tasty recipes sourced from the Earth’s fruits, roots, nuts and veggies. No matter what journey you are on Leah is always rooting for you.
Here are her social links:
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9 thoughts on “Wellness Wednesday: A How to Guide on Eating Plant-Based by Leah Castle”
Great resources for learning more about plant-based diet. Thanks for sharing them.
I’ve often wondered about a plant based diet. I don’t eat a ton of red meat, mostly chicken. I would only question where the protein would come from in a diet such as this? I appreciate you mentioning the gradual change over to plant based.
Growing up in a community with a lot of farming and hunting, I’ve never really thought of transitioning to a plant-based diet. I love your idea of looking for foods with a short ingredient list. I’d also like to start meatless Mondays so that I have at least one day where I eat more plant-based goods.
I agree about avoiding the ‘sugar free’, ‘low fat’ etc. Producers dress those foods up to make them appear healthy, but they are often pumped full of unnatural ingredients.
I love the approach of encouraging people not to cut meat totally from their diets! This is easily the most informative and gentle way of encouraging people to make better choices. Too many times I see vegans looking down on anyone who hasn’t adapted the same lifestyle, and they are just nasty people. This is a much better approach and really encourages people to change their habits, even a little bit by educating readers about healthy choices and ingredient lists. I definitely agree with reading an ingredient list and steering very clear of things labeled “healthy” like low fat, no sugar, and things like that. Because the brand is still trying to make it taste similar to the “full fat” version by adding a bunch of chemicals. I’m going back now to read the meal plans listed in here and see where I can adapt them into my life. My husband loves meat, but he will eat veggies too. So if I can find a good recipe or idea to do a meatless meal, I’m excited!
I want to go on a vegan diet just to experience the benefits. Did not know how to start from until now. Thanks for this information and tips! 🙂
Great post and insight to what one has not thought of. I like a mix of both plants and animals and will just keep keeping it moderation.
Sounds interesting. As long as I do not have to give up meat completely it would be worth trying out this plant based diet.
Plant based plan sounds very interesting! I am very curious to try it as well. Your advise is always welcome