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A plant based diet is just what it implies, a diet compromised of plants. Commonly, a plant based diet includes those who eat some animal products as long as they primarily eat plants. I’ve followed a plant based diet for about ten years and love it!
Plant-based diets emphasize higher intakes of plant foods and lower intakes of animal foods. Foods derived from plants include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and legumes.https://www.cnn.com/2019/08/09/health/plant-based-diet-heart-disease-study/index.html
More and more research is emerging on how healthy and vital a plant based diet is. Not only is a plant based diet better for the environment, and ethically for the animals, it’s now emerging to be the healthiest option for our bodies.
Sticking to an overall plant-based diet or a diet that includes more plant foods than animal foods could be associated with a 16% lower risk of cardiovascular disease and up to 25% lower risk of early death.https://www.cnn.com/2019/08/09/health/plant-based-diet-heart-disease-study/index.html
Eating less meat also decreases the risk of stroke, obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, and many forms of cancer (see more here).
If you want more information, I recommend checking out the documentaries Forks Over Knives, What The Health, and The Game Changers. These documentaries go into depth about current research and observational studies of plant based diets.
Meal planning is key. Most quick options are not plant based (i.e. fast food), so having a plan in place and food ready to eat will be your most important step to ensure you eat plant based. For more meal ideas, you can get some awesome plant based recipe books. My favorites are Thug Kitchen and Forks Over Knives Cookbook.
Pinterest has endless options for awesome plant based recipes. Pinterest is a great place to get some ideas and start planning. You can check out my plant based recipes board here.
Eating plant based doesn’t have to be hard. Start with simple basics you’re familiar with and build from there. Always have easy and quick options on hand like oatmeal, beans, rice, apples and bananas (not to mention these basics are super cheap and will keep your food costs down). Try to keep food that is both familiar and quick to make readily available as you transition. Tacos, salads, and grain bowls are all great, easy basics to focus on.
Try to connect with others who follow a plant based diet. Having others to enjoy a similar diet with will make the journey much easier and more enjoyable! My husband and daughter are plant based as well and we love having big feasts together or trying new recipes! We also joined local meetups for plant based diets and found some awesome like minded people to enjoy food with!
Just commit. Once you make the decision, it’s not so hard. Write down a list of goals to become plant based and put them somewhere you will see them everyday. You could start with something easy like “no meat on weekdays” or “one plant based salad a day” and work your way up to being fully or primarily plant based.
Little steps make a big difference! Whether you’re making the switch for the animals, the environment, or your health, only good can come from it!
Do you have a favorite plant based meal? Any other tips you think would be helpful? Questions? Drop them below!