Power to the Plants
By Cheryl Alker
It would seem we are all talking about plant-based eating at the moment. So is it just the latest buzz phrase and today’s trendy diet or a long-term lifestyle with lasting benefits?
Let’s Look at the Evidence
Firstly, there is no timeline associated with plant-based eating, it is actually a lifelong journey that, if followed, will improve your overall health. Plant based foods are low in saturated fat and cholesterol and rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. It can help you lose weight and lower your risk of heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes.
A plant-based diet consists of eating plentiful supplies of vegetables, fruits, nuts, legumes, whole grains and seeds. At the same time you should be reducing the amount of animal and refined products you eat.
The great thing about a plant-based diet is there are no rules telling you that you can’t eat this and you can’t eat that such as vegetarian or vegan diets. So if you want some chocolate, ice-cream or to join your family for a family meal to celebrate a special holiday such as Thanksgiving or Christmas, then you can without limitations!
The rule of thumb for plant-based eaters is good nutrition with a balance of fat, protein and carbohydrates. The ratio of each really depends on your personal goals. For instance, do you want to lose weight or build muscle? Aiming for one-quarter whole grains, one-quarter legumes, one-quarter vegetables and one-quarter dark leafy greens is a good place to start.
Start out with simple steps such as choosing one day of the week not to have meat, you can even start out only doing this once a month and increase it as you feel comfortable. These meat-free days could end up only once a week or a couple to more days a week. As I said no rules, it is whatever you are comfortable doing and what makes you feel healthier and more energized.
There are so many wonderful totally plant-based recipes out there, that it shouldn’t be difficult to introduce wonderfully nutritious and tasty meals into your weekly plan.
Before you know it you will be cooking plants regularly and your lifelong path to better health will have truly began.