Plant-based Eating: How to make the Change

Monday November 28, 2016

From Beyonce and Jay-Z to former President Bill Clinton, plant-based eating is surging in popularity, and for good reason.  In addition to being good for the environments, studies show people following plant-based diets are at reduced risk for heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and other life-threatening health conditions.

Following a plant-based diet will change the way you consume and think about food.  People following this newest foody trend, have significantly lower BMI’s (body mass indexes) largely because plant-based foods are rich in fibre (which in not found in many animal products.  Reducing red meat consumption and increasing your daily intake of fruits and vegetables can increase longevity and decrease the risk of several types of cancers also.

Plant-based diets are also good for the planet.  For example: producing 1 pound (1lb) of beef consumes 1,847 gallons of water and 1 pound (1 lb) of broccoli consumes only 34 gallons of water.  So eating one less hamburger a week, is like taking your car off the road for 320 miles.  One gallon of milk requires 880 gallons of water to make – from start to finish.

Be kind to our animals.  Carnivores eat approximately seven thousand (7,000) animals (including fish) over their lifetime.  In North America alone, over 27 billion animals are slaughtered for food every single year.

Add edamame beans, tofu, and seitan (wheat gluten) to add texture, fibre and healthy protein to your meals.  Always try to purchase organic soy and vegetables when possible.  Look for humanely-raised labels too.  Even supporting restaurants that purchase and prepare plant-based dishes will help you enjoy your new lifestyle.

Legumes are high in fibre, carbs, and protein and are great for balancing blood sugar, and maintaining healthy weight while providing you with the energy you need. Lentils are easy to cook and high in iron and protein.

Even your smoothies can benefit from going plant-based.  Smoothies are a delicious and simple way to include a high-protein alternative to a heavy egg-centered breakfast.  Get your fibre, antioxidants, protein and healthy fats all in your blender.

Begin by exploring your health food store.  With so many plant-based options, look for ‘plant-ified” twists on your favourite foods, including mac’n’cheese, pizza and even some yummy desserts.

Avoid consuming animal hormones, growth factors and other contaminants but cutting our dairy from your diet. Pick alternatives like coconut milk or dairy-free yogurt and ice cream instead.

Make simple swaps. Start incorporating more plant-based foods into your diets by making simple swaps like option for hummus or a dairy-free Cream Cheese on your morning bagel or grilling up cauliflower steaks at your next BBQ.

Opt for Plant-powered proteins.  Choose plant-based proteins for a least one meal a day. Ingredients like pea protein, chia, lentils, almonds and chickpeas will help you fulfill your daily protein intake goals.

From grocery stores to fast-food chains to restaurant menus, the plant-based trend only continues to grow in popularity. Unlike restrictive diets of the past, it’s what people are craving.

by Daiya