Plant-Based Eating – A Guide for Beginners


plant based eating

By the end of this article, our goal is that you have a strong understanding of what plant-based eating is all about.

What is plant-based eating?

A plate of food with a knife

Plant-based eating is the plant foods diet of plant-based nutrition. It simply means eating plant foods, whole foods, plant-based meals, plant-based diet, plant-based shakes, or smoothies.

What is plant food?

A bowl of salad

Plant food is anything that comes from plants and can be used as a meal.

Examples of plant foods:

Vegetables & Fruits

Grains (Cereals)

Nuts

Seeds

Beans

Legumes

Lentils

Why eat plant-based?

There are many reasons to choose to eat plant-based. Some examples are improved energy levels, weight loss/management/maintenance, increased focus & concentration throughout the day, improved skin appearance & improved heart health. The list goes on.

Where can plant-based foods be found?

Plant-based foods may come from the plant kingdom where plant foods are located, or plant-based meats/foods may come from animals – i.e. plant-based proteins such as soy, leafy greens, legumes, nuts & seeds.

FAQ’s about plant-based eating:

Q: Can I eat anything I want?

A: Yes! Plant-based is not a diet in that there are no restrictions; you simply eat plant foods instead of animal-based products (meat, dairy, eggs). You can still enjoy your favorite plant food guilty pleasures like Oreos for example. Of course, if you’re trying to lose or maintain a healthy lifestyle then plant-based junk food is out the window, but plant-based meat substitutes are a great alternative to plant-based meats.

Q: Do I have to eat all plant foods?

A: No! You can choose from plant or plant-based foods depending on your lifestyle and nutritional needs. As long as you’re getting your daily dose of plant foods there’s no problem at all. In fact, if animal foods aren’t an option for you then you should know that plant “meats” such as soy burgers & tofu cutlets should be included in your diet because they’re good sources of protein and other nutrients (vitamin B6, magnesium, phosphorus).

Q: Can I still drink alcohol and coffee?

A: Of course! Alcohol is plant-based so plant-based eating includes plant-based alcohol. Coffee is plant-based also, but be sure to remove the cream/milk because they are animal products (dairy).

Q: Will I get enough protein?

A: Yes! The myth about plant-protein lacking a sufficient amount of complete proteins has long been debunked and we now know that plant food contains all essential amino acids and we only need to combine 2 plant foods at a meal for complete protein – i.e. rice & beans or soy tofu stir fry with broccoli & mushrooms. There’s no need to overdo it with the combinations because as long as you’re getting your daily dose of plant foods there’s no problem at all.

Q: Will plant-based eating help me lose weight?

A: Yes! Plant-based foods are high in fiber which means that plant-based meals are very filling, not to mention there are plant-based weight loss programs out there that have already helped many people lose weight & keep it off.

Q: Can I still eat plant-based on a budget?

A: Of course! Plant food is way cheaper than animal food so plant-based buying can save you lots of money. You can even buy the discounted produce & combine it with other foods for an inexpensive meal – i.e. carrots, celery, onions = soup base; tomatoes, cucumbers, broccoli = salad base; plant-based meats = plant-based protein.

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