For anyone thinking about taking the plunge into plant-based diets, it's true that there's one question you'll never stop being asked if you decide to make the switch. So, what do you even eat? To many people, a plant based diet conjures up ideas of bland tasting, flavorless meals and a menu full of depravity and restriction; luckily, nothing could be further from the truth.
Personally, I had never found it easy to answer this simple yet persistent question about what I ate, finding it too difficult to sum up what I view as a widely inclusive diet into a few satisfying lines of conversation. Oh, twigs, grass, dandelions. Whatever I come across as I'm walking along, really had become my standard response, a few laughs and the conversation would turn elsewhere. But recently I've realized the importance of taking that question on. After all, a good diet is not defined by what it excludes but rather what it is comprised of. And for anyone looking to navigate this new food environment, it can prove difficult to overcome the conventional idea of a vegetarian diet; provided you don't have a proper roadmap, that is.
Ok this is all great, Sam. But, what the hell do you eat already?
Short answer? I eat everything.
Everything that grows from the ground, of course. No, I don't eat the animals, and I generally avoid mucusey cow secretions. I also try to avoid the food-like substances that line the grocery store isles.
Now I'll stop delaying, let's talk about what I eat. I love to eat healthy food, but it doesn't mean I love living my life in the kitchen. To that end I've modeled a diet that is very low-pre
p and easy to adopt. This is a menu pulled right from my kitchen, it is nutritionally complete, supplies an abundance of protein and at least 5 servings of fruits and veggies, and without fail ramps me up for my all-time favorite hobby of endurance running. I hope you are able to glean an idea or two for your own diet, or at least get a picture of what a healthful plant-based diet looks like. Remember that going veggie, or just generally improving your health, doesn't happen all at once; it is a systematic, slow, and permanent adoption of new habits, one meal at a time.
Breakfast: (3 options)
Every good day starts off with an epic smoothie: coconut water, blueberries, strawberries, kale, spinach, almond milk, chia and hemp seeds Optional: add in powdered supplements like maca, or reishi mushrooms so you'll feel like a champ all day
Parfait time: Plain, Kite-Hill yogurt, chopped strawberries, banana, unsweetened cocoa nibs, and granola Optional: mix in chia and hemp seeds to make it a complete meal
Avocado Toast: Toasted Silver Hill sprouted bread, avocado, sunflower seeds, broccoli sprouts, and (optional) kite hill cream cheese or hummus will add a ton of flavor
Lunch (2 options)
PB&B: Dave's Killer Bread whole wheat bagel with peanut butter, banana, and a touch of agave
TLT for me: Grilled tempeh, spinach, tomato, Hampton Creek Mayo, and Silver Hills sprouted bread. Optional: a small plate of lightly dressed arugula or spinach with some sliced apples as a side salad is a simple way to bring up your fruit and veggie intake at any meal
Dinner (2 options)
Time to get to the Greens: Chopped Kale or spinach, dried cranberries, sunflower seeds, grape tomatoes, and chopped almonds Homemade Dressing is surprisingly easy: avocado, olive oil, lemon juice, and a dash of salt and pepper
Bean and Grain Bowl: Chickpeas, quinoa, chopped radishes, minced jalapenos, cilantro, and pumpkin seeds. A little Hampton Creek mayo, lime juice, and a dash of salt mixed together makes an excellent lime cream sauce to drizzle over dop
Some Rules to Thrive by:
Always keep chia and hemp seeds on hand, they can be sprinkled on top of almost every meal and will all but guarantee an adequate intake of fiber, protein, and many essential minerals and vitamins
Prepare big batches of quinoa and black beans, they make perfect sides or main courses in a pinch and they are loaded with essential nutrients.
Opt for sliced bell pepper and baby carrots with hummus over chips or other processed snacks
Thanks for reading, and good luck in your journey to become healthier.
See you next week,