Have you heard of the term plant based? What exactly does it mean? It means different things to different people which can be very confusing. Some people who are plant based are vegetarian or vegan. These can be very scary words.
Vegetarian and vegan makes us think of eating nuts, seeds and green things but not ever feeling full and satisfied. Worse yet, it may imply that we have to eat tofu or tempeh (not that there is anything wrong with that). But you don't have to classify yourself as vegetarian or vegan if you want to experiment with eating plant based meals.
That is the beauty of eating plant based. You can define how you want to do it! Try it one meal a week or one full day a week. You may be surprised how a healthy habit such as reducing the amount of meat, fish, chicken and pork you eat in a week can impact your health.
Here are some of the health benefits of eating plant based one day a week:
You'll add more fiber to your diet, helping to keep your digestive system moving and eliminating waste in a timely manner. Did you know only about 5% of adults in the United States eat the recommended amount of fiber in a single day? (Source: US News) That is way too few of us eating to support good health.
Your cardiovascular system will benefit since you won't be eating as much saturated fat. This can translate into lower cholesterol levels.
You may lose weight since you'll be eating more fruits, grains, beans and vegetables, which are low in calories and high in fiber. Eating low calorie foods that have a lot of nutrients help us stay fuller longer.
You won't get sick as often since fruits and vegetables will be giving your cells much needed nutrients to keep your body healthy. Did you know 70% of our immune system is in our gut? When you eat foods full of fiber, you are helping to feed the good bacteria in your gut. The good bacteria in turn helps the immune system stay strong to fight pathogens.
With those types of health benefits, why not eat plant based once a week?
Does any of this sound like you?
👉Diarrhea and/or constipation
👉Bloating and gas
👉Congestion, coughing, wheezing
👉Brain fog, difficulty recalling words, short term memory issues
👉Headaches and migraines
👉Acne and itchy skin
👉Tired all the time
👉Sensitivity to fragrances and chemicals
If you said yes to just one of the above, your body is telling you something is not right. Eating a plant based diet can help but discovering the root cause and how to eliminate it can be confusing and hard! I am here to help.
I am a Certified Holistic Nutritionist obsessed with teaching people just like you how to heal their gut so you can stop suffering and get back to living!
I offer a FREE 30 minute strategy session where we will talk about your specific symptoms and how the Simply Great Health program can help.
How would eliminating your symptoms improve your life? You could:
✅Be more present with your children
✅Focus at work
✅Have more energy
✅Stop running to the bathroom
✅Workout without fear of an accident or farting
✅Restore your confidence
✅Be able to cook healthy meals for you and your family
✅Take an active vacation
✅Reclaim your life!
Simply Great Health is a customized 5 Step plan that heals your body and fits your busy lifestyle.
It’s very simple. No jumping through hoops and NO PRESSURE.
If we determine it’s not a fit, we’ll go our separate ways for now.
If it is a fit, we can take the next step and get you started on the path to healing.
Now you may be thinking that eating plant based means only eating salads but that is not true! There are a ton of quick and easy recipes you can use to stay satisfied and not eat meat or fish.
In fact, when you start getting into the routine of eating plant based once a week, you won't even miss meat or fish. It just takes time to incorporate the recipes into your routine. After all, the way you've been eating has been a habit that developed over a long period of time. Changing how you eat will take a little time to get used to it. That is why I always recommend starting slow. It only takes 21 days to create a new habit!
Here is what a typical plant-based day looks like for me:
Overnight oatmeal made with almond milk (I am diary free) and blueberries. Rice cake topped with either nut butter or avocado.
Cooked vegetables and beans on top of arugula. The vegetables are typically, zucchini, mushrooms, red onions and broccoli. The beans are usually canned chickpeas, pinto beans or white beans.
Vegetable stir-fry over rice. The sauce will vary, either a balsamic reduction, a teriyaki or just spices and coconut oil.
That doesn't seem so hard, does it? There are so many ways to eat plant based meals one day a week. Even if you don't cook, there are some great products that are simply heat and eat. A standard in my house is using frozen organic vegetables. They make cooking simple because they cook quickly, are already chopped and are usually inexpensive.
Here are some other ideas for eating plant based one day a week along with some of my favorite products.
Yogurt mixed with almond butter and a healthy cereal/granola. The yogurt can be dairy or non-dairy, depending on your needs. Cascadian Farms has a variety of organic cereals.18 Rabbits organic granola is grain-free, has very few ingredients and not a lot of fillers. If you don't want to use the cereals as a mix in with yogurt, you can eat them alone with nut-milk.
Instant organic oatmeal. My time is very limited in the morning because I have a long commute and I workout before work. Overnight oatmeal works for me. But if you don't care for it, there are organic instant oatmeal cups that you can take with you for breakfast. Bob's Red Mill, Nature's Path, and Quaker Oats all have instant single serve cups. Perfect for busy mornings.
Chopped mixed fruit with yogurt, almond butter or granola. I love mixed fruit! I make it on the weekends to either snack on during the week or eat as a meal. I combine whatever is seasonal and on sale. This week it was apples, grapes and pineapple. Chopped fruit is easier for me to eat at the office and does take a little planning. But some supermarkets have the fruit already chopped for you if you don't have a lot of time.
Protein bars. There are organic protein bars that can be eaten for breakfast. Orgain is a plant-based protein bar that does not have a lot of sugar and has 10 grams of protein per bar. Another great option for a quick breakfast.
A favorite plant based lunch that my significant other likes is a twice-baked potato. I will make this on the weekend, mash the potato, stir in cooked broccoli and spinach and then stuff the potato skins. This lunch is so filling he can only eat half a potato at a time. While he prefers white potatoes, I like sweet potatoes. I make myself a stuffed sweet potato. I will cook red onions, chickpeas, spinach and broccoli. After baking the sweet potato, I will slice it in half and top it with the bean and veggie mixture.
Veggie wraps. What I like about wraps is that I can cook the veggies on the weekend, pack them up in a container and simply make the wrap at lunch. I get a healthy sandwich without a lot of work.
Veggie stir-fry. The most time intensive part of veggie stir-fry's can be the chopping of veggies. You can cut down on the time in two ways: use frozen for some of the veggies or chop up the veggies on the weekend and store them in the refrigerator until you want to use them. Serve over rice or pasta.
Veggie burgers. I rely on veggie burgers when I have had a really long day at work and the commute is hectic. By the time I get home, I really may not want to cook. Veggie burgers cook up in about 15 minutes. I serve them with a veggie side dish like organic canned green beans or corn and a salad. A fast dinner that is satisfying.
Vegetable casseroles. I like making casseroles on the weekend because all we have to do is reheat them during the week. No further thinking required! Below are some classic vegetable casserole recipes.
I hope this post inspired you to start eating a plant-based meal once a week. I started eating plant based once a week. Several years later I am up to 4 days per week. I find the variety of the foods I eat is so much greater than what it was when I only ate meat. There are so many more vegetable options than meat and fish options, that I have really expanded my cooking routine.
Do you think you can challenge yourself to eat one meatless meal a week? Let me know by leaving a comment below.