Has the new year encouraged you to reflect on your health?
There’s something about the fresh start of a new year that encourages us to take concrete steps to bettering ourselves. While improvement only comes with intentional choices — and not a calendar date — there’s something to be said about our desire to make goals at the start of a new year.
Maybe this year, you’re exploring the idea of a plant-based diet and whether it’s possible for your own lifestyle. Earth knows what it’s doing, giving us whole, healthy foods right from its soil — foods meant to nourish and sustain us.
Research has shown that a plant-based diet, when practiced correctly, has significant health benefits, including lowering our risk of cardiovascular problems. Given that heart disease is the #1 cause of mortality among Americans, this is a serious benefit!
In this blog post, we’ll show you why you should consider switching to a plant-based diet — or at least incorporating a lot more plant based in your meals — and tips for how to incorporate this type of diet into your life — including 2 yummy recipes!
Improve your cholesterol, blood pressure, and heart health with a plant-based diet.
The more fruit and veggies you eat, the better your body functions. And it’s not just a better doctor’s report that you’re after — you’ll feel better too as your body operates at a higher capacity.
Based on several studies, researchers have concluded that plant-based diets can help folks improve their cholesterol levels and lower their risk of developing high blood pressure.
And our hearts love fruits and veggies: the more you eat, the less your risk of cardiovascular disease or chronic heart problems. Apples, pears, citrus, and leafy greens are all good options for making your heart happy.
To recap, a plant-based diet can help:
- Lower cholesterol levels
- Reduce your risk of high blood pressure
- Lessen your risk of cardiovascular disease
- Lower your chance of developing chronic heart problems
Those are reasons enough to consider switching to a plant-based diet!
4 Tips for Switching to a Plant-Based Diet
When it comes to lifestyle shifts, big sweeping changes made all at once rarely lead to long-term success. Instead, start small.
How many servings of vegetables and fruits are you currently getting in your daily diet? Try gradually increasing these servings before you go all-in to switching over to a plant-based lifestyle.
For instance, can you add a bowl of fruit to your breakfast routine? If you usually eat a frozen meal for lunch, can you switch to making a fresh salad loaded with produce? Do you already incorporate a side or two of veggies for dinner? Gradually build up your plant dependency before going cold-turkey on, well, turkey and other meats.
Make a meal plan.
All successful goals involve a plan. Don’t rush to the store and fill your basket full of perishable produce without first creating a game plan for what you will eat at each meal. Do your research to find tasty plant-based recipes so you won’t get bored munching on raw vegetables every day.
Trust us, you can enjoy truly delicious and healthy plant-based meals! You just have to be willing to do the research to find the recipes that appeal to you. (Hint: we’ve included a couple of recipes in this post to get you started.)
Avoid highly-processed foods.
Switching to a plant-based diet doesn’t mean relying on processed foods, like white bread and pasta, to fill your plate. It’s called “plant-based” for a reason: plants should be the focal point of your diet. Avoid foods high in processed sugars and fats, since these do a serious disservice to your body.
Supplement with other nutrition-heavy foods.
Without meat as part of your diet, you’ll need to make intentional choices to ensure you’re getting enough protein and other important nutrients in your diet. Legumes, beans, lentils, nuts, and seeds are all recommended additions to your plant-based diet.
2 Delicious Plant-Based Recipes to Entice Your Palate
Think plant-based recipes can’t be tasty? These 2 delicious and healthy plant-based recipes will convince you otherwise.
Vegan Lentil Tortilla Soup
We’ve tested this recipe out for ourselves and can confirm — it’s full of flavor. At a cook time of just about 20 minutes, it’s quick, too!
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 red onion, diced
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1–3 teaspoons chiles in adobo, optional
- 1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 (15 oz.) can corn, drained
- 1 (15 oz.) can fire roasted diced tomatoes
- ¾ cup split red lentils
- 32 oz. V8 or other brand vegetable juice
- 1 (13.5 oz.) can full fat coconut milk
- juice of 1 lime
- Kosher salt
- fresh cracked pepper
Best Buddha Bowl
These bowls are so bursting with flavor, you honestly won’t miss the meat. Buddha Bowls are a great choice for when you want a veggie-packed meal that isn’t just a salad.
- 1 large sweet potato, cubed
- Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
- 1 watermelon radish or 2 red radishes
- 2 medium carrots
- 1 cup shredded red cabbage
- Squeeze of lemon
- 8 kale leaves, chopped
- 2 cups cooked brown rice or quinoa
- 1 cup cooked chickpeas or cooked lentils
- ¾ cup sauerkraut or other fermented veggie
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds or hemp seeds
- Turmeric Tahini Sauce, for serving
- Microgreens, optional
- Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
Join us at Stoney Creek Farm
Learn how to easily incorporate a plant-based diet into your life through prep and recipe guidance.
If you’re local to Middle Tennessee, we have classes in our farm kitchen in Franklin, TN. join us right here on the farm in Franklin, TN on Saturday, February 5, 2022 for our class, Easy Prep and Recipes for a Plant Based Diet.
There are only a few seats remaining — so don’t wait to register!
In this class, you’ll learn creative ways to use common ingredients to make tasty, wholesome, plant-based meals. The best part? These can be prepared ahead of time for easy lunches and quick dinners during the work week.
Led by Nicolette Maio, an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, you’ll leave the class feeling prepared and inspired to make a plant-based diet a reality for your own life.
View class info + get tickets here. (only a few seats remaining!)