Plant-Based Diet and Meal Planning
Have you been thinking about starting a plant -based diet?
The fascination of changing diets can be very appealing especially when you have social media and experts sharing their knowledge and experience on how important it is to adapt to new diet plans for health benefits.
During lockdown Ive been experimenting with a lot of things and I’ve absolutely enjoyed my veggies and cooking with a feel good feeling that I actually did not miss meat.
Thanks to my collection of cookbooks, watching online trends and talking to my veggies friends, I got to appreciate eating plant based meals which was so satisfying and the whole family was eating a lot more of it and appreciated it.Not that I never ate vegetables before but its was the repetitive or standard expectation of eating the particular vegetable in a format so conditioned in our cooking that led me to cook something different which will benefit all.
Having tried it I can tell you that not only it is good for your mind, body and soul and the comfort of eating healthy and staying fit, it saved me time, energy and money too.I even enrolled in a nutrition course to give me a proper insight to what this actually means through the eyes of science.
Thought I will put my thinking to write up the benefits I’ve found helpful and hopefully inspire you to try and adapt some plant based diet if and when you can.
Disclaimer: I am not an expert on this subject or hold any coaching qualifications on changing diets.Please always consult your doctor before taking up changes in your dietary plan that suits your health.
So the next question is it just about vegetables that mean Plant-based diet?
What is a Plant-based diet?
Plant based diet entirely is what nature offers you in abundance, no processed foods!! the focus is entirely on eating plants like vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lentils, legumes, nuts, seeds.
It’s a different story with Vegans, Keto, Paleo,and vegetarians. Yes it gets a bit confusing as I am not going to talk about these categories as people who follow these know exactly what they need to eat and avoid or prefer to eat.
My thought process here is all about explaining how or what it means to eat and adapt to eating plant based meals.
Keeping in mind that when you say plant based it usually associates with vegetarians! But if you break down this further here’s that logic to get around being a vegetarian .
A vegetarian diet is now largely classified into plant- based which avoids meat, fish and poultry.
It is further subdivided into
- Pesci- vegetarians who eat fish, dairy and eggs but no meat
- Laco vegetarians who avoid meat fish and poultry or eggs or diary products
- Ovo- vegetarians who eat eggs but opt M<F<P
So creating a vegetarian diet can be simple and yet complex to build. A content which has fibre, antioxitends, flavonoids . For those who need an energy balance need a high protein based recipes. So a meatless recipe need to be enjoyed with a the right attitude and a straight forward approach to cooking them with less subsitutes.
So what is Veganism??
Vegans don’t eat meat, no diary, no eggs, no-honey
That leaves us with what is included and excluded in the plant based diet which is almost similar to vegans! to make it simple it’s all a state of mind…to make it tricky it excludes processed foods and that food that remotely states vegan..(fries or Oreos)
If the answer to the above question is to eat or not to eat then we shall consider that as an option to rephrase it saying what we can eat and need to avoid.
While we know what to eat sometimes it how you can cook it which is what most moms/cooks/chefs are after to plan the next meal.
So armed with the knowledge that Using the plant diversity in your life, with greens, beans ,berries and cherries has so many health benefits such as
- improves gut health
- reduced risk of heart disease and lowers blood pressure
- Increase Energy levels and boosts positivity
- Improving Cholesterol and helping with weight loss.
I always think that no matter what diet plan you choose, you got to stick to a plan that works and totally benefits you!
One of ways this can be achieved is to make sure you have a meal plan which will help you organise and save you time and energy to execute it.
My little guide will help you or guide you if you crave that thought to make something new that is easy to cook from scratch!
Whilst helping you to make a good choice to keep your fridge and pantry stocked up and saving your trips to the store.
Spending a few minutes to jot down what you would fancy it…usually depends on cravings, seasonal offers and the inclination to make it!
Ive learnt this a hard way too, as I like randomness and the mood board constantly changes like the weather in Britain.Its nice to be spontaneous, but I can tell you we are humans and sometimes it just doesn’t work. I even made to do lists like ham planing for a Christmas dinner or a birthday lunch. But its a one off planing so you will have to make it work no matter as they are guests to impress. But on day-to-day basis…the plan doesn’t work unless you stick a pen to it!
That is why meal planning works!
How to Meal Plan
How can you make it happen? Meal Planning for a whole week! yes what can usually motivate us these days is an Idea and some of the inspiration comes from the trends and tag lines:
- Meatless Monday
- Taco Tuesday
- Wonder Wednesdays
- Thrifty Thursdays
- Fryday Friday
- Salad bowls
- Soups and Stews
- Stocks and Sauces
Watch your shopping List
- Greens- Spinach,Cabbage,Beans,Peas,Broccoli Sprouts,
- Red-Bell peppers,Betroot,Radish,Tomato,
- Orange-Acorn Squash,Pumpinks,Carrots,Sweet potatoes
- Sesonal- Auberguines, Zucchini,Cauliflower,Mushrooms
- Salad-Lettuce, kale, Cucumber,celery,leeks,Avocado
- Daily- Bananas,Oranges,Apples and citrus fruits
- Oats,Barley,Brown rice,Whole wheat
- Beans, Splitpeas,Chickpeas,Lentils
Cashews, Almonds,Walnuts, Pisthachios,Peanuts,Hazelnut,Pumkinseeds,Sunflower, Chia,Linseed,Flax seeds,Dates
Now you can take the entire fruit and veg list of the world and add to this list, mix and match seasonal with optional or keep it daily or have a content of each as your 5-a Day! Its entirely upto you.
With these categories in place you can build a fruit bowl, a salad bowl, smoothie or soup or a pie or pudding. I have just made a basic list for you as a guide line, but you can make it or choose to group it your way.
I always feel and its easier to have basics and compliment it with what you got to buy to build the meal.
Now that’s a platform built for energy breakfasts,Speedy lunches and dreamy dinners or sassy salad bowls!
I am going to build a few ideas based on the things I’ve tried:
- Easy Chia pudding http://www.feelgoodfoodie.com
- Banana oat pancakeshttp://www.ambitiouskitchen.com
- Zucchini noodlehttp://www.twospoons.ca
- Curried Chickpea said with lettuce wrapshttp://www.naturally.ella
- Lentil Souphttp://cookiesandkate
- Spicy Cauliflower Power bowlhttp://onegreenplanet