Updated: Aug 17
Now that you have read Step 1 of how to start a whole food, plant-based diet and understand what the diet is, let's go over the basics of what to eat. The beauty of the whole food, plant-based diet is its simplicity. The "rules of the game" are not complicated.
The Eating Plan
No foods that came from an animal (no dairy (that includes milk, cheese, butter, sour cream, whey, casein), no eggs, no chicken, no fish, no beef).
No oil of any kind (no cooking oil, no oil added to foods, no salad dressing with oil, no sprinkling on vegetables, etc). Oil is the most calorie dense food on the planet and has virtually no nutrients.
No added sugar (fruit is perfectly fine!).
Minimal salt (no added salt if blood pressure is a concern).
Eat all the fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes (peas, beans, lentils) that you want. Think of these as your new four food groups. Not sure what grains are "whole"? Check out this resource.
Eat nuts and seeds sparingly - no more than 2 tablespoons a day. Nuts and seeds are very calorie dense as we learned in step 1.
Eat salads and soups before the main course as this pre-fills you up.
In the beginning, keep meals as simple as possible. I will provide a meal plan in step 3. All recipes for the meal plan can be found on this website and most have short demo videos. You can find many of the ingredients already prepared (cut up, cooked etc) at the grocery store.
The thing about a whole foods, plant-based diet is that you get to eat a lot of food and never go hungry. But that also means there is a lot of things to buy - salad greens, lots of vegetables, cans of beans. The best thing to do is to go through all the recipes and make a list and do one shopping trip for the week.
Ok, but what do you eat really? One of the biggest hurdles for people wanting to make the shift to a whole foods, plant-based diet is what to make for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Many people want to be told exactly what to eat. That's where Step 3 comes in - I've got you covered with a simple one week meal plan. You can also arm yourself with some great cookbooks such as: The China Study Cookbook, Forks Over Knives the Cookbook, The Plant Pure Nation Cookbook.