Whole foods on a plant basis menu plans

Beginner's Guide + 20 Tips for Starting a Whole Food Plant-Based Diet

Make the transition to a whole plant-based diet easier

Have you heard of the whole food plant based diet? This diet has its origins in America and is basically nothing more than a whole food on a plant basis.

This wfpb diet minimizes the consumption of highly processed foods like oils, sugar and white flour products and animal products like meat, fish and dairy products.

If you've found this article, you've probably heard of this oil-free, sugar-free vegan diet with whole foods. And did it spark your interest?

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Nutrition is not necessarily a diet in the traditional sense, but rather a lifestyle.

The whole food plant based lifestyle is not only ideal if you are looking for a short-term solution to perhaps reduce weight.

Numerous studies have also shown that a predominantly plant-oriented (vegan) lifestyle has significant benefits for your health, and not just in the short-term.

This type of diet can reduce the risk of various chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.

Not only can you reduce the risk, many diseases can even be reversed with this diet.

Many people, including myself, report that they have more energy, feel better, and are in better health.

As with me, my pollen allergy has improved herbal and my overall health has improved.

Our immune system is stronger, we rarely get sick. And if we do get a cold or the flu, the symptoms are gone after about 2 days and we feel fit again.

Doesn't that sound incredibly good?

This is not my opinion that a whole food plant-based diet is one of the healthiest in the world.

Below I link to resources where you can train yourself.

In addition, with this lifestyle you are not only doing something for your health, but also doing something good for the environment and the animals.

I know sometimes something new can be daunting and confusing at the same time.

And maybe like me you are quickly overwhelmed and don't even know where to start?

Then you've come to the right place. I have put together a guide for you here and listed 20 tips that will help you transition to a healthier plant-based diet.

After thinking long and hard about what helped me to consistently eat plant-based foods, I have broken down these points.

As with many things, humans are a creature of getting used to and so a new diet first needs a little time before it becomes a routine.

A gradual change can be a smart approach for long-term success.

definition

So what is a plant-based diet, or rather a whole food plant-based diet?

Vegan is often used as a synonym. Although the two diets differ somewhat, they are not identical.

Highly processed products are also eaten on a vegan diet, the focus being that absolutely no animal products are consumed.

It's not as complicated as you might think. The whole food plant based diet is based on two simple and clear principles:

Natural foods that are not heavily processed are in the foreground here.

This means that you should be more likely to choose foods that are whole, unrefined, or minimally processed.

Plant-based foods that, as the name suggests, are based on plants and contain no animal ingredients.

So no meat, fish, milk, eggs, honey and animal by-products such as gelatine.

Allowed foods

Now let's take a closer look at which food categories are allowed in a plant-based diet.

Basically, you can remember, the fresher the better. And packaged processed foods should only have a few ingredients listed that don't sound like a chemistry lab.

Here I give you a brief overview of what you can eat:

Fruits and fruits:

There are no limits here, you can eat all kinds of fruit, from apples, grapes, bananas, berries, citrus fruits, everything is allowed.

Vegetables: Here too you can eat as much as you want. All vegetables are allowed: green leafy vegetables, peppers, lettuce, peas, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, tuber vegetables and much more.

Whole grain products: a plant-based diet is not a low carb diet, but rather a low fat diet.

Here you can consume full grain products such as quinio, brown rice, millet, wholemeal flours, oats, barley, green spelled. Popcorn is also one of the whole grains.

Legumes:

Legumes are roughly divided into beans and lentils. Here you can enjoy all kinds of beans and lentils.

You can use cooked lentils or dried beans / lentils to cook yourself.

Other products:

It doesn't just stop at these foods. You can also use nuts, seeds, tofu, plant-based unsweetened milk, tempeh.

Make sure that you use high-calorie ingredients such as nuts and seeds in moderation and that you mainly use the other food groups.

Not allowed foods

To what extent you consistently eat a plant-based diet is up to you. But the following foods should be avoided or reduced.

All animal products and by-products

No matter what it is. As soon as it comes from an animal such as meat or gelatine (bones from pork), it should not be consumed.

Studies have shown that animal products are as carcinogenic as smoking.

Below are resources that can help you better understand why these foods are taboo

Oils and sugars:

Oils and sugars are highly processed foods that should be avoided.

Because these contain high calories and rather fewer nutrients. Instead, go back to the whole product.

Instead of olive oil, eat whole olives. Instead of avocado oil, eat the whole avocado. You get what I mean don't you?

White flour products:

All foods made from white flour should be avoided. Also white rice with parts removed.

advantages

As already mentioned, there is scientific evidence that supports a plant-based diet.

Let's take a look at the benefits of a plant-based diet.

Easier weight control:

Most people who eat a plant-based diet are leaner than those who don't.

With a whole food plant-based diet in particular, it is easier to lose or maintain weight because you avoid high-calorie foods without paying attention to how much you are eating.

And best of all, you don't have to count calories. You consume more fiber and complex carbohydrates, which boost your metabolism and help burn fat.

I would like to say that this is not a substitute for a visit to the doctor, especially if you should have health problems, always consult your family doctor.

Disease risk minimization:

A plant-based whole food diet can not only prevent, prevent or stop chronic diseases, including heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

Thanks to reduce blood pressure and cholesterol. Even with this diet it is possible to reverse these diseases. Never forget to consult a doctor.

Strong immune system:

Especially at a time when many viruses arise in animal factories, it is good to have a stronger immune system.

The consumption of a lot of vegetables and fruits, which you do with this whole food plant-based diet, supports your immune system and strengthens your immune system.

You take in more antioxidants, phytochemicals.

You eat less inflammatory foods like meat and dairy products, which basically weaken your immune system.

Environmentally friendly:

This diet reduces your ecological footprint and is less of a burden on the environment.

If you maybe have children too and are concerned about your children's future like I do, then you are on the right track.

And if you are reading this article, then you have taken the first step in the right direction.

With this diet you can protect the environment.

Greenhouse gas emissions can be reduced with this sustainable form of nutrition.

The water consumption is less because no factory farming is necessary. Less space is required, which leads to global warming and destroys the planet.

Vegan, vegetarian and also the pescatarian diets have the greatest advantages and benefits for the environment.

Food groups

Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Vegan-Foodpyramid.jpg

vegetables

All kinds of vegetables. Try to include as many colors in your diet as possible.

Eat the rainbow. Vegetables are rich in minerals and vitamins, low in fat and low in calories. And are cholestrol free.

fruit

All types of fruit are healthy and full of vitamins and antioxidants.

Even if fruit is in disrepute due to the sugar it contains. They have natural sugar that has a low glycemic index.

Whole grain cereals

Grains are also often discredited.

It depends here on whether you eat grain products made from whole grain or from extract flour, from which all minerals have been removed.

The following cereals belong to this group: barley, brown rice, millet, oats, bulgur, corn, and all baked goods made from whole grain products, including bread, pasta and more.

Grains are filling but low in fat.

Some studies show that countries where whole grains are staple foods have lower rates of diabetes, heart disease, and certain types of cancer than the United States and Europe.

legumes

This group consists of beans, peas and lentils.

They're great sources of protein and ideal for hearty dishes.

They're high in calcium, iron, and have cholesterol-lowering fiber and omega-3 fatty acids.

Nuts and seeds

Nuts and seeds are also full of minerals and vitamins.

However, these should be eaten in moderation, as they have a high fat content, mostly from unsaturated fats.

Which are healthier than those of meat and dairy products.

Not recommended foods:

If you look at the pyramid above, you can see that there is no place for meat, dairy products, eggs and oils.

As well as highly processed foods are meant not to be consumed.

20 tips to make the transition easier

1. One step at a time

I recommend a slow transition to a plant-based diet.

That means adding more and more plant-based foods to your diet.

It's not that we forbid ourselves food. We are replacing food with healthier foods.

Examples:

Instead of ground beef, use lentils.

Hummus, avocado instead of butter on your bread.

Black bean patties instead of meatballs

Tofu as a meat substitute

Instead of jumping into the deep end, incorporate more and more vegetables, fruits, and whole grains into your diet.

Preferably as much as possible. And cut down on unhealthy foods until you can leave them out completely.

2. Get committed

Now that you have established a good foundation for a plant-based lifestyle, it is time to set a period, e.g. a few weeks or a month, in which you can implement and persevere with the change in diet.

Did you know that humans have to get used to, and it takes about 66 days to make a habit out of something new?

Clean up your kitchen. And for the time being, write out recipes for your favorite dishes in a plant-based version and enjoy them.

Maybe you know someone who is vegan or plant-based that you can get inspiration from?

3. Motivate yourself

Take a moment and think about the goals you want to achieve when you choose this whole food plant based lifestyle. What is important to you?

Maybe you want to boost your energy, save the planet, or improve your own health?

Or do you think about the animals and you want to save them?

No matter what goal you set yourself, what stimulates you to a plant-based diet, write these goals down and stick them somewhere where you can see them.

This is your motivation to stand firm and see it through.

Do the math more about your motivation to stay motivated.

There are endless reasons why you shouldn't eat animal products, and perhaps through your research you will find more and more reasons to tell you and thus motivate you even more.

4. Celebrate your anniversary

Make a note of the day you decided to change your diet.

And take this as your anniversary and celebrate it. So you can count days, weeks, months, years in which you eat a plant-based diet and actively do something for your health.

The longer you live the whole food plant based lifestyle, the more you feel obliged to carry on.

5. Eat as much as you can

This may confuse you a little. Did you even count calories before?

And limited your portions. With a full plant-based diet, you no longer have to do this.

Depending on how you eat earlier, e.g. you have consumed a lot of animal products, your meals will be larger.

With a plant-based diet, you will eat a lot more without consuming more calories. Especially if you eat a lot of vegetables and low-fat foods.

Fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes have far fewer calories than animal products like meat, eggs, cheese, butter, and milk.

Eat lots of potatoes, beans, lettuce, vegetables, fresh fruit.

If you could even eat all the time like us, then this whole plant-based diet is for you.

You don't have to limit yourself and you can really always eat.

The permitted foods have a high ballast water content, which makes it difficult to gain weight.

It's not about eating everything in moderation, but about eating plenty of the good things. Over time, your body will get used to you eating more.

If you might not get a good feeling for the calorie density of food, it might be very good to write down how many calories you have consumed at the beginning, so you get a feeling of how much you can eat to get within 1,200 - To be 1,600 calories.

With a high number of vegetables, you will see that there is a great deal of what you can eat.

6. Start with breakfast

This is not just about a diet, this is about a change in your lifestyle.

The aim here is to reduce animal consumption more and more.

And breakfast is perhaps the easiest thing you can change at the beginning.

For example, tomorrow you can prepare porridge with lots of fresh fruit. Or make yourself a smoothie too.

You can also make healthy breakfast muffins and eat fresh fruit with them.

Then start with lunch and continue until all of your meals have been switched.

7. Plan your protein source

We humans are obsessed with ingesting enough protein.

However, it is often suggested that we need more proteins than we actually need.

Just start by replacing the animal protein sources like meat from your favorite dishes.

And take a meat-free source of protein, e.g. prepare your vegan lasagna with tofu or lentils.

The best thing to do is to start incorporating protein-rich foods such as beans, lentils, tofu, tempeh, seitan, etc. into your foods in addition to the meat and reduce your meat consumption over time.

This will help you get used to not wanting meat.

8. Surround yourself with healthy foods

If you don't even buy the foods that you don't want to eat, you won't be able to eat them. Or? 😉

It helps if you only have the foods at home that you can / are allowed to eat.

Sometimes it is incredibly difficult to buy only the things you can eat in the grocery store.

Prepare a shopping list and really only buy what is on your list. That helps a lot.

If you have food at home that you no longer want to eat, you can simply give it to someone else as a present before throwing it away.

Always have a supply of potatoes, rice, other whole grains, vegetables, fruits, nuts and legumes to quickly prepare a healthy meal or snack.

You can also buy canned or frozen products. It will last longer and if you don't want to go shopping daily or weekly, this is ideal.

9. Cut down on highly processed carbohydrates

In order to adhere to the plant-based wholefood diet, it is important to reduce the consumption of processed and packaged foods until you no longer need them.

This involves the following foods: crackers, muesli, muesli bars, yogurt. Often one thinks that these foods are healthy, but often they are full of refined oils, flours, sugar and more.

It is better to view these foods as occasional treats.

Instead, snack on homemade crispy chickpeas and kale chips.

Use more brown rice, quinoa, potatoes, pumpkin, oats, popcorn.

If you're baking, try using dates instead of sugar.

You can find an example recipe here with the brownies. Buy whole wheat pasta instead of regular pasta.

Incorporate more and more of the healthy ingredients until you no longer use “bad” foods.

10. Try new things

Try new foods every now and then. For example, I never used to eat mushrooms and now I love them.

The same for example with tofu. If you've tried it before but never liked it, try it again.

For example, I can recommend the sweet and sour tofu or Chop Suey with tofu.

Over time, their taste buds will change and you will like foods that you didn't like before.

Or if after a while you try again a food that you used to like, you will notice that it no longer tastes so good to you.

With these whole foods, you'll want more natural flavors than chemical flavors.

11. Look for new recipes

Start a folder with recipes you like. Try simple recipes. e.g. Buddha bowls, salad plates, soups.

Try to make simple dishes that don't take a lot of time.

At the same time, try a plant-based version of the recipes you may have always liked. E.g. spaetzle, cream sauce, red cabbage salad.

Scour the internet for recipes. For example, you can find new recipe ideas here on my blog.

Go to your library and borrow cookbooks with plant-based recipes for you to try.

12. Always bring something to take with you

It is often difficult to eat plant-based foods outside. But are you on the road now and getting hungry?

You can always bring a snack that doesn't consist of highly processed and animal-based foods.

For example, bring home-made bars, energy balls, nuts, fresh fruit, vegetables. Or homemade wraps, sandwiches, salads are ideal for on the go.

You can also eat before you shave and then browse the internet to see what options are available where you are going.

13. Plan your meal

Planning your meals will make your life a lot easier. Make a meal plan for about a week.

And plan each meal in advance. For example, you only buy food that you really need and do not make impulse purchases of food that does not fit into a whole food plant-based diet.

Also, take time to cut and prepare vegetables. So you always have something to eat.

For example, you can prepare recipes in larger quantities and then freeze them or 2-3 times of food. That's how I handle it. And doesn't have to cook every day.

Having ready meals in your freezer means you'll always have a quick meal on hand.

Especially when you don't have time, this is ideal for reducing stress and not having to think about what to eat forever.

Fill your fridge with sliced ​​vegetables, spreads, salads, and soups. So you always have something that you can quickly reach.

14. Stay strong

It may take a while for you to realize that you will feel better when you eat plant-based foods.

Not only will you get a faster metabolism and better digestion, you will also benefit from more energy and clearer skin. Your sleep will get better too.

For example, try out a month first and see how you feel after the month.

It takes about 30 days for dairy products to be broken down from your bloodstream.

Many people react with mild inflammation when consuming dairy products.

You will have less congested sinuses, headaches, joint pain.

According to studies, it can take 66 days for new habits to become part of everyday life. If you have made the 30 days, then you have almost made it halfway.

15. Equip your kitchen

As mentioned above, and only to fill your kitchen with healthy foods.

So is it to fill your kitchen with kitchen utensils that are suitable for this lifestyle and make it easier.

Chopping boards, good knives, baking trays, pots, blenders, pressure cookers and more will make your meals so much easier.

And you can try a lot more and be creative.

You may be able to borrow kitchen utensils from family and friends before you buy it yourself, so you can see whether you need it regularly and need it.

Check online for offers or in your local store to see if certain devices are discounted.

16. Do the math yourself

It is important that you educate yourself.

There is so much misinformation out there and many will try to convince you how unhealthy, complicated a plant-based / vegan diet is.

We all grew up with animal products being an important part of proper nutrition.

If we look at the old food pyramid, we see that a large part consists of animal products.

And for many people, it's hard to imagine feeding on plants only.

If you educate yourself, you can answer with facts and maybe arouse interest in your fellow human being.

Many doctors and nutritionists are now recommending a plant-based diet, and not just to prevent chronic diseases.

You will also read many success stories of a whole food plant based diet on the internet.

17. Make friends with the same lifestyle

We are all social beings and need people around us. We are often affected by the people we surround ourselves with.

This often creates social pressure that prevents you from staying firm.

Having to justify yourself over and over again and explain why you eat this way is tiring and at some point you may give in. You feel alone in the diet.

It helps if you have support at home. For example, your family, partner, children or parents are the first point of contact and may also want to do something for their health.

Then maybe you can also have a look in the circle of friends and maybe there is a vegan group nearby that you can join.

I recommend checking out vegan groups in your area on Facebook.

It helps when you can exchange ideas with someone else, whether to talk about recipes or to ask for help.

Maybe there are meetups in your area that you can join.

You can also just live your lifestyle and maybe people / friends will get curious and want to know more about your new lifestyle.

18. Move! Move!

It is important that you move.

It doesn't matter whether you're doing a workout or just going for a walk. We all know the benefits of exercise. Of course, always consult your doctor before starting any major exercise program.

It helps not to watch too much TV and get more exercise. Housework, gardening, shopping, or just walking the neighborhood.

Especially if you sit a lot at work, for example.

For example, instead of calling a colleague, try going to the colleague's office and discussing your issue there.

Go for a walk during your lunch break and after work. Small things can make a difference.

19. Quality of sleep

Here, too, it is important that you find enough rest. When we are tired we become more vulnerable to things.

Studies have shown that 7-8 hours of sleep is best. But also listen to your body here.

I have to say I'm fitter when I get my 8-9 hours of sleep.

I know it is difficult to turn your head off and calm down at times. I feel the same way sometimes.

If you have a lot of things floating around in your head, white noises may help you to calm down.

20. Cook together

Cook together. Try cooking together with friends or family.

This makes preparing meals more fun and eating afterwards in company all the more.

Even if, for example, your friends do not share the lifestyle with you or you do not share your family with you.

But maybe they want to support you and find it great to learn new things.

Just ask your family and friends who would like to cook with you.

Isn't everything more fun together, isn't it?

Meal plan for a week

It will be easiest if you put together a meal plan right at the beginning until the plant-based whole foods become part of everyday life for you.

We still make a meal plan today so that we always have something to eat at home.

Here I'll show you what a week-long meal plan could look like for you so that you become successful.

All recipes are vegan.

Monday

Breakfast: Brownie Overnight Oats

Lunch: Vegan Tuna Salad Sandwich

Dinner: chickpea curry

Tuesday

Breakfast: strawberry overnight oats

Lunch: pumpkin soup

Dinner: Alfredo tomato sauce with sun-dried tomatoes

Wednesday

Breakfast: cinnamon rolls overnight oats

Lunch: Egg Salad Sandwich (vegan)

Dinner: lentil soup

Thursday

Breakfast: Muesli mix (homemade or bought) with almond milk or oat milk

Lunch: Cobb Salad

Dinner: Sheperds Pie

Friday

Breakfast: omelette

Lunch: cabbage soup

Dinner: fajitas

Saturday

Breakfast: poor knight with fruit

Lunch: Caesar salad

Dinner: Thai Red Curry

Sunday

Breakfast: scrambled tofu with vegetables

Lunch: Salad with wild garlic crepes

Dinner: Hawaiian pizza

As you can see from the above recipes, a vegan diet based on whole foods doesn't have to be complicated.

You can of course integrate a few animal products at the beginning.

resources

Here I would like to show you a few resources that helped me a lot in the beginning and that I am still researching today.

Websites:

forksoverknives.com

nutritionfacts.org

Books:

China Study

How not to die

How not to diet

Documentary:

What the health

Forks over knives

The living proof

Eating you alive

Plant Pure Nation

The Gamechangers

Summary

A wholesome plant-based diet does not contain any animal products or highly processed products such as white flour, sugar and oils. Motivation and commitment make it easier for you to implement a wfpb diet. The 1 week meal plan will help you transition to a plant-based diet.