The reason that I have changed to a Whole Foods Plant-Based Diet is because of all the the health benefits: less heart disease, cancer, diabetes, hypertension, healthier weight, better blood flow throughout body, reduced inflammation, fewer medications, lower cost of food, improved brain health, longer and better quality of life and may help prevent (osteoporosis, diverticular disease, gallstones, rheumatoid arthritis and the progression of kidney disease.) It is also good for the environment.
Once I decided to change to a Plant-Based Diet, I had to decide how to proceed. So, I thought I would start with breakfast. I started making smoothies, oatmeal and chia seed pudding. Next, I started making my own Almond Milk, but then discovered I needed the calcium in processed Almond Milk.
Next, I tackled lunch. My obvious decision was to start having salads each day. I use several types of beans or lentils for my salads: black, pinto, lima, black-eyed peas, garbanzo,…Then vegetables/fruit: artichoke hearts, purple cabbage, carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower… Next for the fat: either avocados or olives. My nutritionist told me I needed more Omega 3. She recommended walnut oil. 1 tbsp a day. I started making a simple salad dressing using the oil. I didn’t want to, but she told me it is good for my brain health. I also love hummus. Usually, I place it in a lettuce wrap with lots of vegetables. In winter, I have soups too.
Third, I had to figure out what to eat for dinner. I thought I would be only eating lentil loaves and veggie burgers. This is when I started searching the internet for recipes and found www.plant-poweredkitchen.com and www.fragrantvanilla.com. I discovered there is an amazing amount of resources online and I could eat a variety of delicious meals made with whole food plant-based foods.
One thing I had missing from my diet was grains. I am slowly incorporating them into my diet. It is a work in progress. I have made oatmeal bread, bread using sprouted spelt flour, pita bread..When I am busy I have learned, it is okay to purchase bread that is made with less than five recognizable ingredients. Currently, I prefer lavosh. I also have been eating quinoa. It is very versatile.
Finally, dessert. I loved sugar and knew that I did not want to give up eating it. Then I began using Amy Lyons recipes. They are amazing! My family loved them and did not know that I was using cashews and maple syrup. Besides, being delicious they are also beautiful to serve at a dinner party. So, I started using dates, date paste, date syrup, fruit purees, 100-percent pure maple syrup, and mashed bananas.
“If we eat a colorful, varied diet that is as close to nature as possible, move our bodies, and live mindfully, the optimal health, boundless energy, inner radiance, and effortless weight management are sure to follow.” Julieanna Hever, MS, RD