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.

The Difference Between Plant-Based vs. Plant-Exclusive

Plant-based vs. plant-exclusive – It is a misconception that plant-based means plant-exclusive or vegan. Plant-based, in general, can you mean you have a diet that focuses on plant first but also includes moderate amounts of meat, poultry, fish, seafood, eggs and dairy. Plant-exclusive or vegan means you abstain from animal products all together.

Why Some People Choose Plant-Exclusive

Why do some people go plant-exclusive you ask? Most people choose to eat vegan for a variety of different reasons anything from animal activism to a desire to add more plants to their diet.  While eating vegan 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, nutritious whole foods. Essentially, the goal is to leave you with some food for thought (literally!) 

Personally for me, I do incorporate some meats and eggs into my diet because that’s works best for me but I also do eat a TON of plants. When I do incorporate meat and eggs, I try to support regenerative farms because those farming practices are better for us, the planet and the animals.

Why Almost Everyone Can Benefit From Eating More Plants

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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