When I tell people I eat a mostly plant based diet, they immediately think I don't eat any meat or fish at all. They are surprised when I tell them that I eat plant based foods 4 days a week and the other 3 days, I will eat meat, chicken, fish or pork.
I believe in variety and moderation. Balancing days that I eat only fruits, vegetables, whole grains and beans with meat eating days, allows me to try new foods and rely on old favorites.This routine has really worked for me because I eat a much larger variety of foods than if I only ate meat 7 days a week.
I started eating plant based simply because I was reading a lot of articles stating how bad it is for our bodies to rely so heavily on meat. I didn't have a specific health issue I was trying to manage, such as a weak immune system, fatigue, frequent colds and brain fog. Little did I know how life changing it would become!
Like most people, I was living my busy life and not really noticing how bad my body felt. Tired? Of course I was! I get up at 4:30 AM to get to the gym, before work, drive an hour or more to work, work 9-10 hours, drive an hour and a half to two hours to get home, make dinner, see my husband for an hour or so and then do it all over again.
My body was fatigued! My mind was foggy! I would get colds, allergies, bronchitis, be bloated, have excess gas and wouldn't have a bowel movement for days. I just didn't realize these symptoms were signals that my gut was unhealthy.
As I started eating an organic, plant based diet more than once a week, my body started to change. I started to have a bowel movement every day like clock work! Seasonal allergies are gone. The bloating and excess gas reduced significantly. I had more energy - I mean a lot more. I lost weight and have kept it off without a lot of work.
Also, the first year I started eating a plant based diet, my cholesterol levels dropped 20 points! My cholesterol wasn't high to begin with. I was blown away that by simply making a few dietary changes in my life, I could impact my health.
When I started feeling so good, I realized that food really is medicine. I wanted to know more! I studied to become a Certified Holistic Nutritionist. With that knowledge, I continue to improve my health and help others.
Does any of this sound like you?
👉Diarrhea and/or constipation, and intestinal discomfort
👉Congestion, coughing, wheezing
👉Brain fog, difficulty recalling words, short term memory issues
👉Headaches and migraines
👉Hives, flushing, and itchy skin
👉Fatigue and malaise
👉Sensitivity to fragrances and chemicals
If you said yes to just one of the above, your gut is unhealthy! Following a plant based diet is just one of several activities for improving gut health. Not sure where to start? I am here to help!
I teach people just like you how to stop suffering from the embarrassing effects of an unhealthy gut so you can 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
✅Thrive in your career
✅Improve your communication and your relationships
✅Have more fun!
✅Move your body and improve your fitness
✅Lose weight and feel better about yourself
✅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 gut 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 are probably wondering, what can I eat on a plant based diet? The answer is very simple: anything that does not come from an animal. It may sound scary, but it really isn't.
Plant based diets are very flexible. If you don't like specific foods, you can substitute what you like. For example, if black beans aren't appealing to you, eat pinto beans. If you don't like sweet potatoes, eat white, yellow or red potatoes. Are you gluten sensitive? Eat gluten free pasta and grains instead of gluten containing ones.
To start eating plant based, I advise going slow if you are not trying to manage a health issue. Learning how to cook without serving meat can take a little time. Especially if you are used to eating meat for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Some recipes are simple, such as stuffed peppers. Leave out the meat and simply chop up mushrooms and zucchini instead.
Other recipes are a little more daring, like a plant based Alfredo sauce. It uses cashews to create the sauce. If you haven't had this before, you might need some time to get used to it. Over time, you will come to love meat substitutes and new ways of cooking. It only takes 21 days to make a new habit! So starting with one day a week and working your way up, is admirable. It means the new habit will stick with you.
Below are 10 plant-based dinners to try.
Kale and Chickpea Stew from Naturally Ella. I would make this over the weekend and then heat and eat. This recipe makes a perfect leftover lunch as well. Click here for the recipe.
30 minute Vegetarian Chili from Belle of the Kitchen. Chili is an easy and hearty meal. Especially during holiday season. A lot of the canned vegetables and beans called for in this recipe can be purchased organic. Click here for the recipe.
30 minute Vegan Breakfast Burrito from Veggies Don't Bite. Plant based breakfast burritos are filling and a great way to get more vegetables into your day. This recipe does not disappoint! My recipe hack is to buy organic shredded bagged cabbage at the grocery store. It is a great way to add the cabbage without the work! Click here for the recipe.
Brown Rice Stir-Fry with Vegetables from Simple Vegan Blog. Stir-fry is an easy dish for busy weeknights. You can either make this over the weekend or pre-chop the veggies on the weekend so all you have to do is cook them. Click here for the recipe.
Roasted Cauliflower Enchiladas from Gimme Some Oven. This is a unique way to make enchiladas healthier. Cauliflower is a dense vegetable that makes a great substitute for meat. Frozen cauliflower would work with this recipe because frozen vegetables tend to have a very bland flavor. Great for recipes that have sauces. Click here for the recipe.
One Pot Vegetarian Spaghetti from Family Food on the Table.This spaghetti uses mushrooms and spinach with tomatoes to maximize veggie content. Click here for the recipe.
Broccoli Quinoa Skillet from Well Plated by Erin. This skillet recipe incorporates beans to add more substance to the dish. I find quinoa to be very light in texture which may make you feel like you have to eat more to get full. Adding the beans gives the dish more bulk. Click here for the recipe.
Vegan Alfredo Sauce from Downshiftology. Eating a plant based diet does not mean you have to give up rich sauces. You just have to learn a new way of making them! This vegan Alfredo sauce is rich and holds up to any pasta you love to eat. You can also use it on spiralized vegetables, such as zucchini or sweet potatoes. Click here for the recipe.
Crock-pot Mexican Stuffed Peppers from Happy Healthy Mama. This is a great fix it and forget recipe. Cook it on slow in the crock-pot for 3 and 1/2 hours, leaving you time to do something else! Click here for the recipe.
Vegetarian Red Beans and Rice from A Couple Cooks. This is the easiest recipe and it reheats perfectly. Serve with a green salad to get more veggies into dinnertime. Click here for the recipe.
I hope this post inspired you to start eating a plant based diet. Start slow by cooking plant based foods once a week. When that becomes routine, add another day. Before you know it, you will be mostly plant based and enjoying the health benefits just like me!
Do you think you will try any of the above recipes? Let me know by leaving a comment below.