After nearly two years of pandemic worry (and probably pandemic stress eating), it is time to prioritize our physical and mental health. Since it is a new year, we have a fresh start to making this happen.
A more plant based diet for better health (which does not need to be entirely vegetarian or vegan) is a great method to help you reach your health objectives while living a more sustainable lifestyle. This is a way that you can really kick it.
And if you have no idea why, where, when, or how to get started, what should you do to start 2 week plant-based diet? You don't need to worry about a thing.
Diets that are predominantly composed of plant foods provide several advantages, the most important of which are health and environmental benefits. Will we go into each of these a little bit further, shall we?
When compared to a more traditional Western diet, vegetarian diets provide several advantages from a health perspective, particularly when they consist of largely whole foods and less processed ingredients.
For instance, there is some evidence to suggest that vegetarian diets are associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes, and obesity.
In addition to this, they contain an abundance of beneficial antioxidants, fiber, and certain vitamins and minerals.
All of those vegetables are also great for the health of your digestive tract. The fiber acts as a source of food for the beneficial bacteria that are found in your large intestine, allowing those bacteria to function at their highest potential, which in turn promotes improved cognitive function, immune health, blood sugar control, digestive ease, and a variety of other health benefits.
When opposed to meals that are composed of meat that has been raised using traditional farming methods, vegetarian diets may also be a more environmentally friendly option.
According to a review of research conducted in 2016, broad adoption of eating more plant-based patterns could possibly lower greenhouse gas emissions by up to 80 percent while reducing water usage by up to 50 percent.
In addition, if you are concerned about animal welfare or animal rights, switching to a plant-based diet may be one of the most important things you can do for yourself. Even while more compassionate farming practices are making their way into the mainstream, conventional farming practices continue to pose a significant threat to the health and well-being of the animals that are kept on these farms.
A more stringent vegan diet is the obvious way to go if you wish to steer clear of doing anything that may be considered cruel to, exploitative of, or even lethal to animals.
Similar to omnivorous diets, plant-based diets may be as healthy or as unhealthy as the individual chooses to make them. If a significant portion of your diet consists of highly processed or sugary foods, it is unlikely that ANY adjustment you make to how you eat would improve your health.
On the other hand, if your objectives are to improve your general health, lose weight, or lead a lifestyle that is more environmentally friendly, a high-quality plant-based diet can be the perfect choice for you.
In addition, consuming a plant-based diet does not necessarily need you to adhere to a vegan or vegetarian diet in its purest form. On a diet that is mostly plant-based, consuming meat and dairy products occasionally are not incompatible with reaping the health benefits associated with eating a predominantly plant-based diet. (Here's a little secret: if you do consume meat, seek humanely reared, grass-fed, or pastured options rather than conventionally farmed meats for a more environmentally friendly alternative.)
They were packed with a variety of fruits, vegetables, and grains.
Maybe less costly than a diet consisting primarily of meat.
high in beneficial antioxidants
rich in dietary fiber
includes a wide range of nutrients, including vitamins and minerals
more environmentally responsible and kind to animals
maybe beneficial to one's general health as well as their weight
It may not be advantageous if you rely on vegetable foods that have undergone a great deal of processing.
Will most likely demand more time spent in the kitchen at home.
necessitates the addition of certain vitamins
For beginners, there is a certain amount of steep learning curve.
How you used to eat has a significant role in determining how you will feel after switching to a plant-based diet since it is the single most important factor.
If you were already eating a diet that was high in plants and whole foods, you might not see any dramatic improvements immediately away, even if you reduce the amount of meat you eat. However, many people report that their skin improves once they stop consuming dairy products.
If you are coming from a diet that is very processed (one that is high in things like fast food or highly processed snacks, for example), you may go through a bit of an adjustment phase when you are a little bit grumpier than you normally are when you first begin a whole food plant-based diet. These meals could have some addictive qualities, and you might feel the need to "detox" from them at some point.
However, after you get beyond this difficult part, you will most likely discover that you are feeling terrific. Oh, and going to the bathroom won't be a chore since all of that fiber will help you maintain regular bowel movements.
When you first start, there are a few things you should be aware of. One of these things is that you might not have as many alternatives for going out to eat, which means that you might have to put in more time cooking at home. Don't worry if you don't feel completely sure about your ability to cook just yet; you will come very soon!
At long last, you'll notice some differences in the proportions of macro- and micronutrients present in the foods you eat. The majority of plant-based diets include less protein than omnivorous diets, which is why it is essential to consume a source of protein with each meal while following a plant-based diet. A plant-based diet may be deficient in certain essential elements, which will be covered in further detail in the following section. Thus it is recommended that you take dietary supplements to make up the difference.
Organize, go shopping, and get ready
Making significant alterations to your diet may at first appear to be an extremely daunting task; however, this need not be the case. To get through the first two weeks of eating a plant-based diet, there are really just three fundamental actions you need to take:
Have you always kept a well-stocked kitchen, even before you started following a plant-based diet? You shouldn't have any problems now.
If making the switch to a plant-based diet this year will also mark your first journey into cooking at home, the following pieces of equipment are absolutely necessary for your success:
Other kitchen appliances such as slow cookers, Instant Pots, food processors, rice cookers, and air fryers can also be incredibly helpful and save a lot of time, but they are not required.
So it's quite clear that you'll be replacing meat with plant-based alternatives, but what about the other goods that are derived from animals that you use on a regular basis?
The following are some simple alternatives to those:
|Instead of||You might like to try|
For baking: a flax egg (1 tbsp flax meal and 2.5 tbsp water)
for scrambling Tofu
|Pudding or flavored gelatin||chia pudding (1 part chia seeds, 1 part plant milk or fruit juice, plus flavors and sweeteners of your choosing — chill overnight before consuming) pudding or flavored gelatin chia pudding|
|Parmesan cheese||Nutritional yeast|
|Milk from cows||Milk from plants (soy, oat, flax, almond, coconut)|
|Mayonnaise||Hummus (or vegan mayo)|
|stock made from chicken or beef||Veggie stock (keep veggie scraps in a bag in your freezer to make it yourself)|
To live a healthy plant-based lifestyle, it is essential to consume an adequate amount of protein. (And to our great good fortune, it's also quite simple.)
Nuts, seeds, goods made from soy, beans, plant-based alternatives to meat, and plant-based protein powders are all good sources of plant-based protein. If you aren't following a strict vegan diet, you can still acquire protein from eggs and dairy products.
Plant proteins, on the other hand, do not individually deliver sufficient quantities of the essential amino acids to fulfill your requirements, in contrast to animal proteins. Eating a wide variety of plant-based proteins throughout the day and week is the easiest way to ensure that you obtain the necessary amount of these key amino acids.
If you make sure to incorporate a wide range of nuts, seeds, beans, and other meat substitutes into your diet, you won't have any trouble consuming enough AAs.
The following is a straightforward method that may be used in the preparation of meals for ANYONE and ANY MEAL (plant-based or not). If you prefer to do a lot of cooking on the weekends, this is a fantastic method to plan out what you will eat for lunch and supper during the week.
To begin, choose your source of protein. Let's use tofu as an illustration for this point.
Next, add a grain. Rice might be the most obvious option, but we could also go with barley, healthy noodles, tortillas, or any number of other options.
Finally, choose a vegetable. Let's do bok choy.
It sounds like a delicious stir fry would be made with tofu, rice, and bok choy. The dish should be seasoned with soy sauce, sesame oil, honey, rice vinegar, ginger, red pepper flakes, and garlic, and it should be garnished with sesame seeds and green onions.
Need to make better use of your time? The following is a list of some of our favorite tricks to make eating a plant-based diet a little bit easier:
Are you in need of something fast and simple? We got you, veg folks. When you just can't be bothered to cook, here are some meals that can be thrown up in five minutes or less, don't require any cooking, and can be eaten on the go.
Unless they are particularly carefully planned, plant-based diets can fall short on key nutrients; thus, it is vital to add certain supplements in order to ensure that all of your nutritional needs are met, especially when you are just starting out with a plant-based diet. The following is a list of nutrients that consuming a plant-based diet may cause you to be deficient in:
You should be covered for the most part by a decent multivitamin, but you should check to make sure that it has at least one hundred percent of the Daily Value (DV) for vitamin B12 and is a vegetarian source of omega-3 fatty acids. (You should also munch on seaweed since it is rich in iodine.)
To get you started, here is a sample menu for 14 days that you may follow. For the purpose of diversity, we have included 14 distinct breakfasts, lunches, and dinners, as well as snacks or desserts, for a grand total of 56 different meal and snack options. Having said that, we strongly suggest that you make some adjustments in order to make it your own!
The vast majority of individuals, for example, have no problem with having the same meal day in and day out. Therefore, we suggest choosing the breakfast choice that sounds the most appetizing (or two or three) and sticking with it during these first two weeks. You will also find that this will save you some time in the mornings. The same is true for meals such as snacks and lunches, and even evenings, provided that you are ready to forego some variety in exchange for increased convenience.
In addition, feel free to finish out any one of these dinners with a side salad, some steamed or sautéed vegetables, or both, depending on what kinds of vegetables you have on hand.
|Breakfast||Lunch||Dinner||Snack or Dessert|
|Day 1||vegan strawberry banana smoothie||vegan Greek salad wrap||one-pot vegetarian pasta||trail mix|
|Day 2||Southwest tofu scramble||colorful three-bean salad||sweet potato chickpea Buddha bowl||plant-based yogurt with blueberries|
|Day 3||Plant-based yogurt parfait||chickpea salad sandwich||veggie-loaded stuffed bell peppers||popcorn with nutritional yeast|
|Day 4||vegetarian breakfast burrito||Mediterranean white bean soup||plant-based burge||vegan dark chocolate, and cherries|
|Day 5||overnight oats||everyday lentil soup||roasted vegetable grain bowl||crackers baby carrots and hummus|
|Day 6||vegan apple cinnamon oatmeal||vegan buffalo cauliflower sandwich||vegan pasta with marinara sauce||triple berry protein smoothie.|
|Day 7||cheesy vegan grits||citrus-chipotle chopped salad||grilled tofu||nut butter, and jam on a sandwich|
|Day 8||blueberry muffins||hummus and avocado sandwiches||maple chili chickpea grain bowls||plant-based cheese and almonds|
|Day 9||whole grain porridge with high protein content, plant-based milk||coconut green soup with celery, kale, and ginger||vegan ratatouille||apple slices, and peanut butter|
|Day 10||berry banana smoothie bowl||BBQ pulled jackfruit sliders||creamy cauliflower, mushroom, and kale pasta bake||no-bake energy snacks|
|Day 11||vegetarian breakfast sandwich||vegan Cobb salad||chickpea tikka masala||plant-based protein drink|
|Day 12||vegan breakfast potato hash||PB&J||vegan tacos with five ingredients||protein bar|
|Day 13||Avocado toast||vegan wraps with balsamic tofu and hummus||vegan pumpkin noodles||mushroom jerky|
|Day 14||plant-based protein smoothie||grilled "cheese" sandwich||quinoa Buddha bowl topped with tahini dressing||zucchini brownie|
The following shopping list will serve as your guide to completely filling a pantry with plant-based foods. Almost all of these things are completely stable on the shelf and can be kept for a considerable amount of time, with the exception of dairy alternatives and fresh produce.
It is recommended that you purchase two or three items from this list each week as part of your regular grocery shopping in order to stock your pantry with ingredients that will make plant-based cooking and meal planning incredibly simple.
Any and all of them, depending on your preference!
Any and all of them, depending on your preference!