What is a plant based diet?
Unlike most diets, a plant-based diet is defined by what it focuses on, not what it excludes. When you eat a plant based diet, you maximize consumption of nutrient-dense plant based foods while minimizing processed foods, oils, and animal foods. Eat veggies, fruits, beans, seeds, and nuts. Include local and sustainably-raised dairy, eggs, poultry, and meat in smaller amounts if you wish.
Food writer, Michael Pollan, coined a 7 word phrase that makes it easy to know how to eat a plant based diet:
“Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.”
"Eat food" means to eat real food (vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grains, and small amounts of eggs, fish, and meat if you wish), and to avoid what Pollan calls "edible food-like substances.“
You can watch Michael Pollan's take on healthy eating in the wonderful PBS documentary: In Defense of Food. You can also read his book Food Rules, An Eater's Manual.
Here are a handful of food rules from Michael Pollan's book Food Rules that you can start using right away to eat healthier this season.
"Don't eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn't recognize as food."
"Avoid food products containing ingredients that no ordinary human would keep in the pantry."
"Shop the peripheries of the supermarket and stay out of the middle." Real food tends to be on the outer edge of the store near the loading docks, where it can be replaced with fresh foods when it goes bad.
"Eat only foods that will eventually rot."
"Eat foods made from ingredients that you can picture in their raw state or growing in nature."
"If it came from a plant, eat it; if it was made in a plant, don't.
"Treat meat as a special flavoring or special occasion food."
"Eat your colors."
The new year is an opportunity to get out of an eating rut and try some new plant based foods. Head over to your local grocery store, food co-op or farmer’s market and see what’s in season.
Plant-based foods to add to your diet this winter:
Simple plant based meals for winter using the Instant Pot
Nothing beats the cold like a warm bowl of stew or soup. I'm a huge fan of using the Instant Pot to feed my family warm food in the winter. Many of you readers will already know about or own an Instant Pot, but in case you're new to the game, I just came across a great guide in the NY Times: How to Use an Instant Pot.
Once you get the hang of the Instant Pot, you don't really need a recipe, but if you're looking for recipes, the internet is full of Instant Pot recipes. Here are a few that you might want to try this month:
Healthy happy plant based eating!
Treat mat as a flavoring or special occasion
Eat only f
Educator, certified health coach, educator and yoga instructor.