Hey Angels and Alphas,
Plant-based eating is gaining speed as one of the world’s largest diet and nutrition megatrends. While there’s not really an official definition for the term plant-based eating, the concept has grown to basically mean something different for everyone.
For the majority of people, it tends to mean plant foods play a massive role in their diet, but they wouldn’t go as far as to exclude non-plant foods such as eggs, fish, cheese, and so on. Plant-based eating is all about basing your diet on plants and filling your plates with greens, veggies, nuts, and seeds – because that’s what our bodies prefer.
If you’re considering moving toward plant-based eating or just looking to explore new plant-based meal and food options so you can stack your grocery store list, this is for you. We always suggest people approach plant-based eating as a personal eating style and not a restrictive diet.
BUT WHY SHOULD WE EAT MORE PLANTS?
Plants in their nature are going to be full of health-boosting nutrients. They are jam-packed with vitamins, minerals, fibers, and antioxidants.
The nutrients found inside these plant-based foods can help reduce your risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, certain cancers, depression, metabolic syndrome, and so much more. And in older adults, eating more plants has been shown to improve both mental and physical function.
WHICH PLANTS SHOULD WE FOCUS ON?
To maximize the benefits of a plant-based diet, you should be building your meals using the famous plate method. This means aiming to fill about half your plate up at your lunch and dinner with veggies, including plenty of dark green leafy veggies such as arugula, collard greens, kale, spinach, etc.
Plant-based fats will include nuts, seeds, avocado, and olive oil. Great whole grain options can include quinoa, oatmeal and brown rice. Beans and legumes are also going to play a big role in your plant-forward diet, as they are rich sources of protein, fiber, and many vital phytonutrients.
We all know having a well-stocked kitchen will make eating more plants so much easier. Use the grocery guide we’ve compiled below to create delicious plant-based meals while you’re at home for the holidays (and after that.)
ULTIMATE GROCERY GUIDE
Artichoke, asparagus, arugula, eggplant, cucumber, celery, collard greens, carrots, cabbage, broccoli, beets, bell peppers, fresh herbs such as basil & oregano, garlic, scallions, radishes, onions, olives, mustard greens, mushrooms, lemon, leeks, kale, spinach, tomatoes, and zucchini.
Apples, bananas, watermelon, strawberries, raspberries, pineapple, pears, melon, mango, dates, cherries, blueberries, blackberries.
FATS AND OILS
Olive oil, olives, seeds, avocado oil, avocado, grapeseed oil, nut butter, and nuts.
Quinoa, oatmeal, brown rice, rye, whole-grain tortillas, whole-wheat bread, and wild rice.
BEANS AND LEGUMES
Black beans, cannellini beans, kidney beans, lentils, navy beans, green peas, edamame, chickpeas, tofu, tempeh, pinto beans.
Oat milk, rice milk, herbal tea, kombucha, nut and seed milk (such as soy, coconut, almond, and other nut milk.)
SOME HELPFUL PLANT-BASED EATING STRATEGIES
Smoothies! They’re a quick and easy way to get all the plants and greens you want into your diet at breakfast, post-workout, or at lunch.
Oatmeal! It’s a heart-healthy plant-forward breakfast. Serve it along with some chopped nuts and Greek yogurt for added protein.
Substitute cooked lentils with some ground meat in your favorite recipes, such as tacos or sloppy joes.
Beans and/or veggie burgers make for an easy, quick lunch when served with a side of salad, soup, or sweet potato fries.
THE BOTTOM LINE IS…
You don’t have to give up on meat entirely so you can reap all the benefits of a plant-based diet.
If you simply follow the approach of filling half your plate (or even more) with some veggies and greens, and limit your meat consumption to just small amounts a few times a week.
This simple tweak can make a massive difference in your overall health and reduce your risk of dangerous diseases.
And now, you’re equipped with the perfect grocery list to fuel your plant-based ambitions and help you move toward a healthier diet.