PLANT-BASED PRACTICE: Look at the ingredients list. Select items in boxes, bags or packages with just a few whole plant ingredients listed, (like 5 or less), avoiding added sugars, fats and oils, additives like preservatives, coloring or protein powders, sodium or salt, or stuff that you can’t pronounce. Keep it simple.
MAKING THE PLANT-BASED LIFE EASY: A common reason I hear for not sticking with a whole food, plant-based diet is that you have to cook everything from scratch and it’s too complicated and time consuming. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. There is a wide variety of healthy products on the market to choose from nowadays, making quick meals easy. Having said that, there are many more unhealthy foods that are masquerading as healthy. Consumers must be aware of the difference, and understand what’s in that package – so do read labels before assuming.
As an illustration, here are a few meals and snack ideas that can be made in a snap, using staples that can be stocked in the kitchen:
Pasta and sauce with vegetables:
Whole-grain pasta – make sure that it’s WHOLE, with fiber intact to absorb water and calories
Pasta/tomato sauce – look for low-sodium or salt free, as well as cheese- and oil-free
Frozen leafy greens or beans – spinach or kale, or other frozen veggies like edemame – throw them in the sauce!
Beans and rice bowl with tortillas
Canned refried beans of any variety – look for low-sodium or no salt added
Vacuum-packed brown rice, or instant brown rice
Corn tortillas for rolling small burritos or dipping
Salsa – look for low-sodium
Avocado or guacamole – using avocado is a lot quicker than making guacamole
Lettuce mixes in bags
Cut up veggies already prepared – you can make your own salad bar by cutting up veggies beforehand to store in containers
Oil-free dressings, bought (try Whole Foods) or made ahead
Cereal and snacks
Used soaked dried fruits or thawed frozen berries instead of sugary jams or on prepared whole grains for breakfast, with a splash of plant milk