Eating a Plant-Based Diet

On February 1st, Oprah and the rest of her crew decided to go vegan for a week in her Harpo “Vegan Challenge”. Her show had several health and wellness experts discussing the benefits of a plant-based diet. See this link HERE for a recap if you missed the show and several resources including meal plans.

As for myself, I have followed a vegan diet for almost three years. A vegan diet is one that does not include any foods derived from an animal (meat, fish, poultry, eggs, dairy). I will say it is not for everyone, but it is what works for me. I have been able to stay within a healthy weight range, have felt more energetic, and have expanded my taste buds with foods I probably wouldn’t have even known existed. The new Dietary Guidelines 2010 recommend consuming more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes/nuts/seeds. By following a more plant-based diet, these recommendations are easy to meet!
If you are up for the challenge, do your research first. It is just as important as when following a balance meal plan with meat, to make sure you are consuming the right nutrients and choosing the healthiest option. French fries and Oreos are vegan and obviously not health foods! Today, it is easy to find plant-based alternatives to your favorite non-vegan foods.
Here are a few resources from Kathy Freston’s new book, Veganist.
If you have any questions about how to start or follow a vegan diet, such as the most popular question, “How do you get your protein,” please don’t hesitate to ask!
Also, you don’t have to completely give up animal products. You may simply just want to include more plant-based meals in your diet.
Krista Haynes, R.D.