What is a Plant Based Diet?
A plant based diet or lifestyle is a way of preparing and consuming meals that only contain Whole Foods. By eliminating toxins and dead foods (animal products, more on this below) we allow our bodies to heal naturally and thrive in an alkaline environment (more on alkaline here). Plants such as root vegetables, fruits, berries, nuts, seeds, legumes, grains, and leafy greens are all alkaline or neutral on the pH scale. Our metabolism is sometimes referred to a fire because it involves a chemical reaction within our bodies that breaks down a solid mass. Simply put our metabolism is what converts food into energy. When we are consuming high vibrational living foods we are allowing our bodies to absorb those nutrients and minerals, convert them and release them back out. Taking in the good both physically and as it absorbs into our cells affecting our spiritual and mental health as well.
Acidic vs Alkaline Foods
When foods are acidic they interrupt our bodies natural functions, cause blockages, and leave heavy residue. Since our bodies job is to survive it begins to take other routes to ensure it’s getting what it needs. This can lead to osteoporosis, cancer, arthritis, migraines, acne, candida, bloating, and other diseases or illnesses because that organ now has to rely on a different route than it’s natural function. For example, when the body is highly acidic it begins to reach for calcium from your bones to buffer the acidic toxins causing osteoporosis. Acidic foods include meat, dairy, poultry, eggs, and alcohol. Now onto alkaline foods. Alkaline foods are either neutral or basic on the pH level. They have the power to strip the body from toxins and begin the healing process from the inside out due to their micronutrient and vitamin content. As I said above, acidic foods essentially strip the body from nutrients and minerals because it’s being rerouted and siphoning from another source. When we consume higher quality foods we are not siphoning but instead flooding our systems with what it needs. Think of your body as a diesel truck. Alkaline foods are the diesel you need to keep running. But once you put gasoline (acidic foods) into your truck it begins to break down. Alkaline foods include fruits, nuts, seeds, vegetables, leafy greens, natural fats, natural sugars, legumes, and starches.
Health is wealth, invest in yourself.
Okay so now that the basic nutrition is out of the way, time for step 2! You’ve done your research, you’re ready to take your health to the next level and heal from the inside out. I’m here to help. It’s important to keep in mind that everyones body is different so you have to do what works for you. You know the background of a plant based lifestyle but past eating history can cause your bodies internal environment to be completely different than someones you found on social media or even your doctors. Nowadays there is far more information on healing through plants and holistic health than there was 20 years ago but it’s still so new that is not quite fully accepted yet. So do your research but also listen to your body.
How to Adopt a plant based lifestyle
I am going to teach you how, step by step, because I know how confusing and frustrating starting something new can be. When I first became vegan I was 17 years old just starting my senior year of high school. I was at the grocery store with my mom and told her I wanted to try going vegan. I would pay for my own groceries and teach myself how to cook. My parents are awesome so she just told me okay cool do it. So I did. I got on Pinterest, did a little google search and bought a bag of broccoli, vegan butter, quinoa, rice, and oatmeal. I grew up playing sports, eating fairly healthy (my mom or dad would always prepare a healthy home cooked meal for dinner), and I was working out 5-6 days a week and playing volleyball. My body was used to vegetables and grains, I always had protein (meat) on my plate, and I drank LOTS of water. I became vegan overnight essentially. I did the call or nothing approach. Long story short my transition wasn’t too terrible as yours may or may not be. If you are coming off of a diet of cheese puffs, soda, candy bars, and white bread sandwiches with lunch meat than my advice would be to ease into it. Allow your body some time to adjust to the goodness you are about to load up on.
Step 1: Take it slow or commit fully. The beginning is up to you. If you just watched Cowspiracy and are highly motivated to elevate up right now than do it. But like I said before if you are worried about digestive issues (which will ease if you wait it out) or not quite ready to give up eggs just yet, than start slow. I’m not saying slow as in eating broccoli once a week. If you are going to take it slow try swapping one meal a day for a full plant based unprocessed meal. To keep it easy try some of my favorite one pot meals here. You don’t have to be a master chef to be vegan you just have to be committed to the lifestyle. It’s really a lot simpler than people make it out to be. Once you have become used to one full plant based meal everyday, start eliminating full categories. Swap all dairy products for plant based alternatives such as almond milk, coconut yogurt, non-dairy cream cheese (my favorite brand is Kite Hill), vegan butter (I use Smart Balance), etc. You would be surprised how many plant based alternatives are available nowadays. Since most of these products are considered processed make sure to check the labels for high fructose corn syrup, carrageenan, added refined sugars, flavors, and colors. If these products are not available where you live- check out my guide for tutorials on making everything from scratch!
Step 2: You’ve made the decision to do it whether fast or slow, so now it’s time to prepare. Make a plan, write a list, clean out the pantry of all junky foods (chips, crackers, cookies, frozen garbage, anything that has ingredients that you can’t pronounce or won’t find on any store aisle- should probably be tossed. You can download my plant based grocery list here and print it out or screenshot on your phone for easy use.
Step 3: Alright you’re doing it there’s no turning back now. The pantry is clean the fridge is ready to be stocked with high vibrational produce and you are determined. You’ve got your grocery list with a couple easy meals in mind. So now I’ll teach you how to shop without breaking the bank. Healthy foods for some reason get a bad rap. They are notorious for being expensive, weird, gross, bland, boring and well too much money. My secret trick just for you is to shop local, shop in season only, and buy in bulk! I am blessed to live in an area where I can have everything I need just by driving down the road. I am surrounded by wholesale bulk stores, farmers markets, grocery stores, health food stores and since I live in the US we get a lot of our produce imported so if I want guacamole in the winter- I can have it. I understand this isn’t everyones situation. However, if you are shopping for in-season produce it will be much cheaper than imported produce because it’s widely available at the moment. If you are shopping local you are not only supporting your community but also eliminating the middle man, keeping cost down, and getting quality eco-friendly produce. Most grocery stores have bulk sections. I buy all my nuts, seeds, rice, legumes, quinoa, oats, nutritional yeast and other seasonings, flours, and coconut or natural sugars from the bulk section.
Sample Meal Plan of What I Eat in a Day
Breakfast - I always start my morning with 32 oz of filtered water. Sometimes I will add lemon or a drop of apple cider vinegar to get my system going. Breakfast is usually a big bowl of oatmeal, smoothies, or a tofu scramble. In the summer I will occasionally have a ‘mono meal’ which is just choosing one fruit and eating until you are full. Watermelon is my favorite in the summer. When I know I have an early morning or have to travel the next day I will prepare some overnight oats the day before.
Lunch - Mid day meals are almost always different. I eat whatever I’m in the food for and whatever I have prepared in the fridge. Some days I’ll make a big salad with baked tofu or chickpeas or if I want something warm I will make a quick curry with rice or stir fry with some noodles.
Dinner - Dinner is similar to lunch but usually higher in protein. Big salad, veggie or bean burgers, curry, stir fry, baked tofu, or soup. During the hotter months it may even be a big smoothie bowl.
Snacks - I love to snack! Protein balls, carrots and hummus, fruit, rice cakes, apples and peanut butter, nuts and seeds are all my favorites.