What’s the hype about plant-based foods? How to start a whole food plant-based diet? Is it another name for vegan diets? Do I need to leave behind meat and other non-vegan foods?

Nutritionist proclaims the tremendous health benefits of plant-based foods. Ultimately, promoting your mental and physical health – including a decreased risk of deadly diseases.

Science shows that changing nutrition has a powerful impact on your lifestyle. When will you change it then? Start Right Now!

Not only does a plant-based diet heals our body, but it also plays a vital role in controlling ‘pollution’ and saving millions of animals.

But is it more comfortable? It can’t be if you are a regularly processed food muncher. Yet, it’s not impossible.

Let’s explore what whole-food plant-based diets are and how to make the challenge easier.

What’s Exactly a Plant-Based Diet?

strawberries in blue baskets an example of foods primarily from plant sources

A plant-based diet is focusing primarily on foods from plant sources. All types of oils, vegetables, fruits, as well as nuts, whole grains, legumes, beans, and seeds, are included. It’s purely non-dairy and non-meat choice of food.

However, eating plant-based food doesn’t mean you have to avoid non-vegan foods. The proportion of plant-based foods in your regular diet is merely higher. Instead, it’s not such a vegan diet.

However, non-vegan food choices must be the least processed. After all, genetically modified foods are dangerous for both our health and the environment.

What’s a Whole-Food, Plant-Based Diet?

Whole-food diet isn’t a diet, but a lifestyle.

The general principle of a whole-food, plant-based diet is to rely on minimally processed whole foods. Animal products are limited, especially highly-processed foods. Whole grains, vegetables, fruits, seeds, and nuts remain in the limelight. Processed oils and added sugars are kicking out of the zone. Preference for organic foods gives to ensure food quality and maximum benefits of the lifestyle-shift.

Often confused with vegan diets, a whole-food plant-based diet doesn’t throw the idea of eating non-vegan foods out of the window. Moreover, people have different preferences in terms of consuming meaty foods, eggs, seafood, and dairy.

How to Start a Whole-Food Plant-Based Diet?

Changing your entire food choices seems daunting, but isn’t the idea of energetic mornings more appealing?

You can’t have overnight success; it’s a steady process of change!

1. Change Your Negative Mindset

A positive mindset and attitude are all you need to attain your goal. Change your gaze of aversion towards whole-foods with an informed one. Know what’s in your food; it’ll be easier to change the diet plan.

Moreover, look at the brighter aspect of better food choices – improved sleep, better willpower, and reduced stress. Everything that a fast-food or instant energy source foods cannot offer!

2. Make Your Decision

Whenever you need to make a severe change in life, what’s the first thing you do? Establishing a firm decision. That’s it, it all begins with a choice, and stays there with perseverance. Let’s put your body to test!

Understand why you wish to alter your lifestyle, either to protect the environment or to have better health. It’s a win-win situation.

Without a real reason, you’ll falter in following the diet plan more persistently.

3. Eat More Not Less

vegetable salad in gray bowl

If you’ve made the shift, increase the size of your meals compared to previous chicky meals to gain an equal amount of satisfaction. It’s necessary to stuff your meals with salads, vegetable milk, whole grains, and fresh juices.

In between the meals, you can snack on nuts and seeds, whole fruits, and fresh salads.
Healthy juicing recipes are my favorite go-to hack to revitalize my energy. Instead, plant-based juices have tremendous health benefits, as well.

4. Fill Up Your Fridge With Healthy Foods

Stop planning and start acting. Get a whole-food, plant-based grocery list and fill up your fridge with healthier options. Start the diet with the entire family involved to create a supportive environment, and to reap the benefits together.

Throw away the processed foods once and for all. Don’t try to stuff the junk in your body to satisfy one last craving.

Starches such as potatoes, grains, legumes, and pumpkins are excellent sources of energy. Engross yourself to try new and healthy meals.

5. Increase Your Knowledge About Foods

It’s crucial to know what you are about to do before a significant change in life. Know what you were consuming and what you are consuming. See the difference in energy or real calories it provides you. Trust me; it’s going to be interesting.

What’s more? You have a piece of new information to share everywhere you go. Inform others to help them make wiser choices. What does anyone wish to play a positive or helpful role in someone’s life!

6. Prepare Your Meals By Yourself

person cutting vegetables with knife

It’s not enough to consume plant-based foods; you must know how to prepare quick meals on the go.

What if hunger hits you on the road? You may ravenously consume that double cheeseburger without a second thought.

To handle untimely cravings, take your homemade wraps, salads, sandwiches, grain-based salads, or even leftovers along with you.

If you forgot to bring along the lunch, go for salads or light meals that are least processed.

7. Begin with a Plant-Based Breakfast

Unsure of where to begin, try preparing your breakfasts that are whole-foods based. The energy that’ll run through your blood the entire day would be a huge motivation later.

Breakfasts are a great way to make a nutritional change.

Just imagine how it would be to have a fluffy blueberry muffin, gluten-free oat bars, strawberry protein smoothie, avocado toast, or tofu scrambles in the breakfast. Aren’t you hungry already?

Are you gluten-intolerant? There are tons of gluten-free recipes to prepare for breakfast.

8. Progress is the Key Not Perfection

Whenever you are trying out new things, mishaps happen. Similarly, cheat meals jump into diet plans. But it’s fine as long as you are trying. The human mind takes time to detach from old childhood habits. Keep moving forward; that’s the key to your success.

Remember, it takes courage to make a lifestyle change. Even if you fail a hundred times, you need to focus on how much you have progressed. It’s an excellent method to stay motivated.

What Foods Should I Avoid or Limit On Whole-Food Plant-Based Diet?

The whole-food plant-based diet revolves around the consumption of natural food sources. High processed foods are against the norm; thus, they exclude permanently.

When preparing the grocery list, focus on fresh whole foods. Also, you can check the labels of different foods to look for plant-based ingredients.

red cherry tomatoes beside sliced bread on white textile

When you are on a whole-food plant-based diet, fast foods and added sugars are a BIG NO! Refined grains must substitute with whole grains. Packaged foods must replace with fresh and healthy eating.

The foods that should consume to a minimum include pork, beef, sheep, poultry, game meats, eggs, and seafood.

Health Benefits of Whole-Food Plant-Based Diets

While researching the plant-based Mediterranean foods, scientists concluded that the predominantly vegetable-based diet had many health benefits. A Mediterranean diet founded on plant-based foods. Yet, it also includes eggs, poultry, yogurt, cheese, and fish to be made a part of the weekly menu.

The people are consuming the Mediterranean diet benefit by a reduced risk of cardiac diseases, diabetes, cancer, and metabolic syndrome. Psychologically, it impacts the mental health of consumers, leading to reduced anxiety, stress, and depression and an increased amount of energy for the day.

Vegetarian diets have tons of health benefits to support human health:

  1. Control high blood pressure
  2. Control Diabetes
  3. Increase Longevity
  4. Reduced Risk of Heart Diseases
  5. Better Sleep
  6. Better Weight Management
  7. Reduced Inflammation
  8. Increased Energy Levels
  9. Reduced Risk of Type-2 Diabetes

Plant-based diets filled with nutritious vitamins and minerals, as well as necessary proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. They have high fiber content and phytonutrients. Vegetables also contain vital antioxidants that help in healing the wounds and reduced inflammations.

A fellow traveler had to have that classic jumping photo in this amazing place in the middle of the Andes


Why Adopting a Whole-Food Plant-Based Diet Good for the Environment?

Millions of people choose vegan diets only to save the planet. Undoubtedly, our food choices impact our environment as well.

GMOs are destroying the environment and causing more harm than good. Although they have fulfilled the need for food in present times, it is not less than a source of chaos. Now, famines replaced with pollution.

Therefore, adopting sustainable food choices can reduce greenhouse gas emissions, land, and water usage for industrial farming, which is accumulating to cause global warming.

As per studies, environmental benefits largely reaped from vegan diets that depend on the least amount of non-vegan food.

According to a study, there can be a 70% decrease in greenhouse gas emission, and 50% decreased the usage of land and water if the Western diet patterns become more sustainable.

Moreover, local farming reduced the dependency on industrial agriculture and unsustainable food-producing methods.

Final Verdict

All in all, if you are considering to start a whole-food plant-based diet, it’s the best decision you’ve ever taken in life. Not only for yourself, but for your family as well. Reap the amazing health benefits; you’d never wish to go back to processed foods once you understand how to start a whole food plant-based diet.

Is being vegan that “tasteless”? If not, share some great recipes in the comments to help others make a better lifestyle choice.