A Beginner’s Guide to a Plant-Based Diet

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This information has been reviewed and approved by Andrew Freeman, MD (August 2021).

 

A Beginner’s Guide to a Plant-Based Diet

Changing to a whole-food, plant-based (WFPB) diet can give you more energy, prevent many health issues and help you live a healthier life.

   

Why a Plant-Based Diet?

  • Prevent the #1 and 2 killers (heart disease and some cancers)
  • Manage blood sugar
  • Control type 2 diabetes
  • Lower cholesterol
  • Lose weight
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Feel better
  • Improve the environment
   

One Step at a Time or All In?

Most people need drastic change in their habits to make it long-lasting. Consider picking a specific day for your switch!

For a slower pace, make one change at a time every two to four weeks. Eventually you’ll only be eating plants and feeling much better!

   

Before You Start

  1. Do your research and ask for help.
  2. Make a meal plan for the week.
  3. Stock your kitchen with plant-based options.
  4. Learn how to prepare your own food.
  5. Plan a food-prep day each week.
 

What Are Plant-Based Food Groups?

  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Root vegetables
  • Whole grains
  • Legumes
  • Nuts
  • Vegetable proteins
  • Anything that comes from a plant!
 

8 Ways to Get Started

  1. Go meatless on Mondays.
  2. Go meatless for the same meal every day.
  3. Add a fruit or veggie to each meal.
  4. Add extra veggies to your favorite dish.
  5. Eliminate animal milks.
  6. Replace cow’s milk and yogurt with soy, oat or almond milk products.
  7. Eliminate cheese and other dairy products.
  8. Skip dairy toppings on tacos and burritos and go for the salsa.
  

Plant-Based Meal Ideas

  • Use plant-based egg substitute for a veggie omelet.
  • Try a tofu scramble.
  • Make soup with kale or legumes.
  • Sandwiches with avocado, sprouts, bell peppers, tomatoes, onions, lettuce, hummus, tofu, tempeh, cabbage, fresh herbs, etc.
  • Use bell peppers to hold sandwich contents instead of bread.
  • Replace beef with tofu, mushrooms, or leafy greens.
  • Grill Portobello mushrooms instead of meat.
  • Make veggie burgers out of legumes.
  • Try tofu-based recipes.

 
As with any major lifestyle change, check with your doctor first.

 

More Information on Plant Based Diets

 

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