After covering the 80/20 eating method in my last blog post, I wanted to cover the Plant Based Diet today.  With some many different opinions and beliefs floating around about the popular plant based diet, I wanted to share some of my thoughts on it with you! While there are a ton of benefits of leaning into a plant based diet, I wanted to not only give you the rundown on the positive benefits of eating more plants & whole foods, but also highlight that plant based doesn’t always mean nutritious. Why go plant based you ask? Most people choose to eat plant based for a variety of different reasons anything from animal activism/environmentalism to weight management and disease prevention.  While eating plant based is a choice for some, it doesn’t always mean it’s the choice for YOU. I always encourage you to try different eating & lifestyle methods in order to understand what your body wants & needs. There is no right or wrong way to eat as long as you’re fueling your body with healthy, clean nutritious whole foods. Essentially, the goal is to leave you with some food for thought (literally!) 

A plant-based diet is a diet that consists of emphasizing clean, whole foods and minimizing the consumption of processed foods, in addition to eliminating animal products (dairy, meat, eggs). While I truly believe everyone is different and will flourish on different nutrition plans, I do also know that we can all benefit from eating more whole foods and less overly processed foods. Adopting a more plant based diet can ultimately boost your overall health, however it’s going to be important for you to still make smart choices when choosing packaged “plant based” foods. 

Unfortunately, many labels & marketing claim highly processed food to be “plant-based,” in hopes that they seem like a healthier choice.  I’m here to tell you – things aren’t always as they seem when it comes to reading food labels, so be sure to do your research. While products like frozen mac and cheese, cookies, etc. may technically be free of animal products or dairy, they are still heavily processed and not the most nutritious meal. Now don’t get me wrong, fun foods can definitely be a part of a balanced diet, but I encourage you to fill your plates with tons of colorful veggies, healthy fats, protein & whole food carbs on a regular basis in order for your body to flourish. For example, the salad on the right is packed with nutrients and is a more accurate depiction of a balanced, whole food, plant-based meal than the frozen pasta, fries, cookie, and broccoli on the right even though both technically “plant based.” 

An important component to this nutritious salad is the addition of @WonderfulPistachios because adding some better-for-you fats to the mix will make sure your body can absorb more of the fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, K & E). 1/4 cup @WonderfulPistachios also adds an additional 6g of protein to your meal, making this a very filling combination.

Whatever lifestyle you follow, I’m here to support you!⁠⠀

Amanda

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