Written by: Alicia Yuhas, Health Fitness Program Manager
Why Switch to Plant Powered Eating?
The most frequently cited reasons for switching from the traditional “meat and potatoes” American diet are compassion for animals, reducing environmental impact, and improving health and longevity. A less common reason is improving athletic performance. Professional athletes, including Scott Jurek (ultramarathoner), Venus Williams (tennis), and Carl Lewis (sprinter), claim that fueling their bodies with plants has improved their performance. It is important to ask yourself why YOU want to make this lifestyle change. Overhauling your diet can be challenging, but there are ways to make the transition easier. Whatever your reasons, start small, keep it simple, and get support.
It is not necessary to become a vegetarian or vegan to follow a plant-based diet. Simply consuming animal products at a lower frequency can offer significant benefits.
Tips to start small include:
- Fill more of your plate with plants
- Explore substitutes for animal products – such as black bean burgers or almond milk.
- Experiment with new foods and different preparation methods
- Plan one day each week to focus on plant-based meals
- Plan one meal each day without animal products
Keep it Simple
It is not necessary to become a gourmet chef or spend hours preparing plant-based meals. In fact, you may even save time in the kitchen if you keep it simple.
- Toss fresh or frozen fruits and veggies in a blender for a smoothie – add nuts and seeds for a bigger nutritional boost. Use plant-based milk or coconut water as a base.
- Grab whole fruits for easy and portable snacks – bananas, apples, peaches, etc.
- Experiment with unconventional salad ingredients – try adding hearty grains, vegetables, and legumes in such as quinoa, sweet potatoes, beans, or beets.
- Try adding different spices to change the flavor of meals.
- Subscribe to a meal subscription service – many offer plant-based meal options.
For best results, gather a support team before embarking on this journey. Friends, family, and medical professionals can offer guidance and accountability. As with any decisions that affect your health, discuss your diet with your health care provider.
This month our content writers are bringing you information on plant powered eating.