When you hear the term “plant-based” you may automatically think that it is synonymous with being vegan or vegetarian. You also might associate it with a raw food only diet. That’s not entirely true. As a Plant Based Advocate, I have this conversation quite often. So, I think it’s time I gave ya’ll a little clarification.
Let’s start with my definition:
Plant-Based (adj): An dietary approach that is rooted in the consumption of plants. Fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, nuts and seeds make up the majority, or totality of an individual’s diet. Animal products are either completely eliminated, or consumed less frequently.as defined by Monique Danae, HNC
I often refer to my diet with a percentage attached: ie. “I eat a 90% plant-based diet.” For me, that mean that I spend the majority of my time eating a whole-food plant-based diet, rich in fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, and oils. The other 10% includes seafood, chicken, cheese, and a few of my favorite Jamaican dishes. Oh, it also includes the occasional indulgence in my fast food cravings.
Honestly, there are also times when I find myself closer to 80-85%, which is about where I started my plant-based journey. Just start with what you can maintain.
I leave you with these FIVE thoughts:
- A Plant-Based Diet can be vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian, keto, gluten-free, etc. However, following one of those diets with a high consumption of processed alternatives (think: “junk food vegan”) is not really a plant-based diet.
- A Plant-Based Diet does include a raw food diet, but it is not limited to that. While raw foods are often a part of a plant-based diet, so are nut butters, roasted vegetables, pasta dishes, soups, chowders, sandwiches and many more delicious options.
- A Plant-Based Diet is packed with vitamins, minerals, nutrients, and other properties that promote healing and optimize wellness. The same can’t be said of a diet saturated with animal products and processed foods.
- A Plant-Based Diet has soooo many sources of protein! It’s the same way many animals that we consume get their protein. I’ll discuss this one in a future post.
- A Plant-Based Diet is not boring and bland! unless, you allow it to be. Even when you are being mindful of sodium and sugar intake (as you should), you can keep it interesting and tasty with herbs and spices. Vegetables can be cooked so many different ways. Switch it up with new ingredients, cooking methods, flavors and combinations. What’s boring is having the same chicken, rice, and broccoli meal prep every single week. Your body is craving variety!