What is a plant based diet ? : A plant-based diet is centered on whole, unrefined, or minimally refined plants. It’s a diet based on fruits, vegetables, tubers, whole grains, and legumes; and usually excludes or minimizes meat (including chicken and fish), dairy products, and eggs, as well as highly refined foods like bleached flour, refined sugar, and oil.
Now living in a city as opposed to a farm or island, this diet may seem inapplicable; but it’s actually a lot easier than you think. Take London for example, you’d think such healthy options would only be attainable in wealthier areas such as West London; but you couldn’t be farther than the truth. Let’s throw that assumption out the window, there are so many amazing places to eat out such as : Cook Daily in Shoreditch, Calabash in Sydenham, Love Gift in Brockley along with supermarkets such as whole foods and planet organic. As more and more people transition to healthier lifestyles and focus on wellbeing as true ‘wealth’, it’s no wonder diets that favour rich in goodness produce are appealing. Also for the fitness fanatics, a plant based diet is probably already at the base of your meal plans (rice, sweet potatoes, potatoes etc) so the switch over should be an easier transition for yourselves. That why we’ve compiled 3 tips to aid a successful transition.
Water, Nurture via Nutrition, and Blossom into a stronger/healthier version of yourself.
- Nutrients: Contrary to popular belief, a plant based diet is not a ‘deprivation diet’; you can still have plant based variations of your favourite meals and your portion sizes can be bigger with only a positive outcome. Now for the meat lovers whom will argue that meat provides them with nutrients a plant just couldn’t give let me suggest these alternatives – Tempeh, edamame beans, tofu, and seitan (wheat gluten) etc these options add texture, fiber, and healthy protein to your meal. In fact Tempeh can be seasoned just like fish and will soak in any seasoning allowing you to emulate flavours you’ve come to love. Legumes are high in fiber, carbs, and protein. They are generally feel-good foods for satiety (feeling full/well fed) , balancing blood sugar, maintaining weight and energy. The addition of legumes to your diet will probably be the easiest and includes things like humous, beans, lentils, peanuts, tamarind etc. Needless to say Caribbeans have seen many of these items featured in some of their favourite dishes. ” I’ll have a Rice and peas main and tamarind balls for dessert please”.
- Not as hard as you think : For those who assume this diet will mean a lot of time in the kitchen, rest assure cooking times for plant based diets are usually a lot less than meat options. Also, if you’re someone who counts calories or observes the nutritional value of the things you consume; you’ll be pleased to know that just 1 cup of raspberries = 8 grams of fiber or more. You will find that as long as you replace the meat + dairy with adequate amounts of your plant based produce you’ll be far more healthier with less complications and illnesses. Also for those beginning a plant based diet whom may not be as strong willed as those whom jump straight in with the change, try meatless mondays at least just to acknowledge how much better you feel and how much better your energy/productivity is.
- Supplements / Replacements : For some of you on the go, it may take a bit longer to commit to consuming or purchasing produce all across the nutritional table but rest assured there are alternatives/ additional supplements that will make it a lot easier. For example if you have an Iron deficiency you can replace the red meat/poultry and instead take vitamins, or intake more broccoli/kale/spinach/leafy veg, pistachios etc. Fyi broccoli and kale are easier for your body to absorb the nutrients from.
All in All GD’ers, this is a diet that we’d strong recommend considering.
Remember : Water, Nurture via Nutrition, and Blossom into a stronger/healthier version of yourself.