What does it mean to be plant-based?
It means that the majority of what you eat comes from plant-based whole foods instead of from the less nutritional foods that you would typically get from the Standard American Diet (SAD). In this way you will be lessoning your risks of major debilitating diseases that come from a sedentary lifestyle filled with processed sugar, oil, fat, meat, and dairy.
“Chronic diseases and conditions—such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and arthritis—are among the most common, costly, and preventable of all health problems.” The majority of chronic illnesses in the US are related to diet, and the SAD diet is predominantly processed foods, meat, and dairy (think of food that requires you to open a package or box before you eat). These processed foods hide more fat, sugar, and salt (used to flavor and to preserve the food in a way to produce a longer shelf life) then you could possibly know. It is far more then what would be added if you were to do prepare the foods yourself. Being plant-based means utilizing unprocessed or minimally processed plants as your foundational source of nutrition. By default this will cause you to limit your intake of these processed foods that are the source of the problem. Eat more plants.
What are plant-based whole foods?
These are foods that have had little to no processing. An example of a whole food would be an orange while a more processed version of it would be orange juice. Another example would be eating a bowl of wheat berries (or oatmeal or quinoa or amaranth or any other unprocessed whole grain) instead of whole wheat flour products like breads, crackers, and pastas (or gluten free versions of the same). By eating whole unprocessed foods you will be able to eat enough food to feel full while eating LESS calories and that way you will naturally lose weight, feel better, have more energy, reduce your risk of debilitating chronic diseases, become more regular (craplikeachamp), and live longer with life, vitality, and energy!
The whole food plant-based lifestyle does not have to be expensive.
You don’t have to shop at the Whole Foods Market (where you can easily overindulge on all their varieties of processed vegan junk food) and while organic and non-GMO products are great you don’t have to stick to only these food items. These items can be expensive and it would be better for you to just eat more plants regardless of their history [or regardless of their labels] rather then giving up because it is “to hard” or “too expensive.” Do the best that you can.
Why plant based?
Research shows that eating more plants can help you lose weight, get off medications, and even reverse chronic disease! The best part is that you don’t have to STARVE yourself! You can eat as much as you need to feel full and yet still lose weight! You don’t have to be a vegan. You don’t have to be a raw foodie or give up gluten. Just incorporating more whole unprocessed plant foods into your diet will do just the trick. You will be able to weigh less, feel great, and yet still have time to have a life!
For a Few Helpful Plant-Based Resources (Click Here)
Header Image Credit: Pxhere. All other photos from author.