How do I Get Started?
One of the first steps is to reset your refrigerator, freezer and pantry. This won’t happen overnight, but as you start cooking with more plants and whole foods, you will naturally reduce your reliance on packaged, highly processed foods. Like anything, it’s an individual process. You might dive in headfirst, while others may move step by step. Whichever approach you choose, start now and begin to make the change. It’s easier than you might think and is critical for future success.
The center of your plate is going to be the starch-based comfort foods most of us have always loved, but that have long been stigmatized because of a misperception that they are “unhealthy.” Yet, these are the foods that people around the world have thrived on for generations: tubers like potatoes and sweet potatoes; starchy vegetables like corn and peas; whole grains like brown rice, millet, quinoa, and buckwheat; and legumes like chickpeas, black beans, kidney beans, and lima beans.
Good nutrition is the basis for healthy living, and the key element is simple: whole plant foods. These foods best meet our nutritional needs. They have the power to heal us and sustain a healthy and vibrant life.
A diet high in animal-based and highly processed foods makes people sick and overweight. But many of these sicknesses can be prevented, halted, and often reversed by eating a whole-food, plant-based diet.
We recognize that eating healthy can be tough for some people to maintain. But keep in mind, it is only hard at the beginning, when you are feeling poorly and detoxing from the unhealthy Standard American Diet (SAD). Within four to five days, you will be feeling better than ever, and watching the weight melt away as you flood your body with anticancer nutrients.
What Exactly Can I Eat on a Whole Food Plant-Based Diet?
Fruit: mangoes, bananas, grapes, strawberries, blueberries, oranges, cherries, etc.
Vegetables: lettuce, collard greens, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, carrots, etc.
Tubers and starchy vegetables: potatoes, yams, yucca, winter squash, corn, green peas, etc.
Whole grains: millet, quinoa, barley, rice, whole wheat, oats, etc.
Legumes: kidney beans, chickpeas, lentils, lima beans, cannellini beans, black beans, etc.
We know you can do it! Wishing you the best of health always. Eating the rainbow in naturally grown foods provides us with everything we need to live a strong and healthy life!
Will I get enough protein on a plant-based eating program?
Don’t worry, you will get enough protein. Nearly all vegetables, beans, grains, nuts, and seeds contain some, and often much, protein.
Kidney, black, pinto and most other varieties of beans contain high amounts of protein per serving. Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are another legume with a high protein content.
Ezekiel bread is made from organic, sprouted whole grains and legumes. These include wheat, millet, barley and spelt, as well as soybeans and lentils.
Steelcut Oats are an easy and delicious way to add protein to any diet.
Vegetables with the most protein include broccoli, spinach, asparagus, artichokes, potatoes, sweet potatoes and Brussels sprouts.
The menus exceed the recommended daily value for protein. Many so-called diet “experts” and even many doctors tell us that we need to eat large amounts of animal protein in order to stay healthy. It’s a comforting story, because many people want to keep eating meat, eggs and dairy. But the truth is, plant foods contain the full spectrum of amino acids, and provide all of the protein our bodies need. Eating large amounts of animal products is not a healthy way to meet our nutritional needs.
One of the problems associated with eating animal protein is that it elevates IGF-1 more than plant protein. That’s because animal protein is richer in essential amino acids. These elevated IGF-1 levels increase your risk of developing cardiovascular disease and cancer.
Is it true that breaking my food intake up into smaller meals eaten throughout the day is helpful?
No—you don’t want to be eating throughout the day, because your body will always be in the anabolic phase (digesting) and won’t go into the catabolic phase, where fat is burned for fuel and when your body is working to clean itself. Eating constantly interferes with body-fat loss, even from the same amount of caloric intake.
What beverages can I have?
Water is always the best choice for a beverage. It is okay to have plain, unsweetened seltzer or carbonated water. Hot or iced caffeine-free herbal tea is also an option.
Can I drink coffee?
Cut out the caffeine or limit yourself to one cup of coffee per day. Coffee can be an addictive substance and it is better to consume it only in moderation, if at all. Any sweetened milk, whether dairy or non-dairy, added to the cup of coffee will hinder the full potential of this plan.
Can I add spices or other seasonings to the recipes?
Feel free to spice up your meals. You can add herbs, spices, no-salt seasonings, cayenne pepper or hot pepper flakes to any of the recipes. Just don’t use salt. Add lots of fresh herbs like cilantro, mint, basil, parsley, turmeric, cumin and lots of ginger. Read our favorite spices blog post
How do I handle eating out at a restaurant?
Dining out can be challenging when transitioning to a high-nutrient diet. Do some research ahead of time and look for restaurants that have healthful options. For breakfast, it is easy to find oatmeal and fresh fruit. For lunch and dinner, large, entrée-sized salads are often good choices; ask for the dressing on the side and use a minimal amount, or stick to lemon juice or vinegar. Vegetable-filled whole grain wraps or vegetable burgers are also commonly available. Most restaurants will also be happy to make you a special platter composed of an assortment of cooked vegetables.
What if I get invited to a party?
Bring your own food to the party and bring extra to share with others. It is also helpful to eat something healthful before you go, so you don’t arrive at the party hungry and tempted to overindulge.