With people being more health conscious than ever a “Plant-Based” diet is becoming increasingly popular. Whether you’re on Instagram or Twitter you can easily run into vegan, vegetarian and Plant based food accounts sharing recipes and tips! That being said, there seems to be a little bit of confusion about what exactly constitutes as a “Plant-based Diet” so I wanted to clear that up first.
A lot of people hear PLANT based and automatically think “That must mean Vegan?!”but actually, it doesn’t automatically mean that! By definition, a Plant-Based diet is consisting mostly or entirely of foods derived from plants, including vegetables, grains, nuts, seeds, legumes and fruits, and with few or no animal products. Basically, when you eat Plant-Based your meal is BASED around Plants. Plants are the main attraction, the entree and any animal product IF ANY is more like a very small side, not the focus. A Plant Based person could eat meat once a week, once a month, or never, it’s up to that individual. A lot of people also go by Plant Based because they don’t meet the “requirements” of being 100% Vegan because they wear leather or use Non vegan make up etc. People take the word vegan EXTREMELY seriously and expect you to be vegan in every single aspect of your life to claim the term.
I personally don’t love labels when it comes to the way I eat but I can say that I identify with the term Plant Based diet the most, and so I do mention that as my way of eating when people ask. I’ve found for my body, I personally thrive off eating lots of local organic fruits and vegetables and not consuming ANY meat or Dairy.
Since committing to a strictly Plant-Based way of eating, I have found certain things that have made this journey a lot easier that I would love to share with anyone else also interested in this. Below are FOUR things that I think are MUST HAVES for your journey to clean eating!
1. Any form of Nut Milk
Although by definition Plant Based eating doesn’t say anything about not consuming dairy, I think it’s safe to assume that most people in this life style do not want to consume Cow Milk..lol a GREAT milk replacement that you will find is various forms of nut milk! From Almond, to Coconut, to Cashew Milk, there are more than enough Nut milks to choose from as a Cow Milk substitute and they even have flavors!
2. HAPPY COW
If you’ve never heard of Happy Cow, it’s an app (and website) that helps you to find vegan and vegetarian restaurants in your area!! Anywhere you go you can type in the zip code and it’ll bring up all the vegetarian and vegan restaurants near where you are! Perfect for when you’re out of town and need help finding a place or if you’re just looking for new veggie friendly restaurants to eat at in your area!
3. Instagram and Youtube pages
Following other accounts that also eat Plant Based will help you to figure out different meals you’d like to try to make. You’ll get inspired through the recipes that people create and post! Let these videos and recipes guide you on your journey. Search the hashtag “PlantBased”.
One of my favorite Health Conscious accounts to follow on Instagram is @HealthyHyna who is a Vegan (She doesn’t technically call herself Plant-Based but it’s so similar that it doesn’t need to be differentiated at this point) Mexican woman living in California who teaches people how to still eat authentic yet vegan Mexican cuisine (which is my fave) while on a budget! And she calls herself the Hood Vegan which I think is super cute lol.
Since I gave up meat I like to make sure that I’ve always got some sort of vegetable protein on my plate. Beans are my go to!! More specifically, Chickpeas, Garbanzo beans, whatever you want to call them! lol. These have quickly become a staple in all my meals for that extra boost of protein that I no longer get from meat. Chickpeas take on the flavor of basically anything you season them with, which I LOVE. My favorite thing to make with chickpeas currently is a yellow chickpea curry made with coconut milk. You can make SO many things with chickpeas too! Hummus, Chickpea salad, and so many more dishes! They’re also super cheap and convenient when bought in the can.
I hope everyone has a better understanding of what exactly a Plant-Based diet looks like now! If you’re thinking about switching the way you eat to be more like this, just know it gets easier!! Adopting this life style has gotten me excited about food again! It allows you to be adventurous and try new things! Above all, eat what fuels YOUR body and makes you feel amazing!!