What should my plate look like?

Plant-Plate-Infographic

So you want to start eating a healthy, plant-based diet, but where to start?

 

<—Here’s a great graphic!

(by the wonderful vegan RD, Virginia Messina)

http://veganforher.com/nutrition/the-plant-plate/

 

 

Basically, the #1 rule is VARIETY! Eat a variety of colorful foods. Fill most of your plate with vegetables, including a dark, leafy green. Add some whole grains and fruits and make sure to fit in a protein source with every meal (nuts/seeds, tofu, tempeh, legumes). Also, try to get some omega-3’s (from flaxseed, chia seed, hempseed, etc) everyday.

 

Here are some simple rules that I use to guide my daily food choices:

  1. “Beans and Greens” – aim for at least one bean/legume and one green vegetable per meal
  2. More veggies than anything else! For example, don’t eat a whole plate of spaghetti with a few tiny pieces of broccoli on the side.
  3. Not too much fruit or junk food. Junk food should, obviously, be limited but don’t overdo the fruit either!
  4. Avoid fried and processed foods when you can. It’s perfectly okay to indulge sometimes but make sure to maintain balance, so, for example, if you eat a veggie burger with fries for lunch then do a kale, quinoa, black bean bowl for dinner (also delicious!).
  5. Add a source of protein with every meal, more if you are an active person – tofu, tempeh, nuts/seeds, beans, etc.

 

If you feel overwhelmed by the change just start by eating one vegan meal a day or do one vegan day a week. Take it slow and don’t be hard on yourself, it’s a learning process. You can do it!

 
Also, keep in mind that every person is unique. What one person needs might be totally different than another so seek a nutrition expert to help you figure out your personalized diet plan.

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