Andrea Seppinni shares healthy living ideas, recipes and tips on her website, Plant Chef
It’s a new year and a new opportunity to retool your eating habits! This idea may seem a bit overwhelming, but by easing into the change with these simple tips, you can do a lot to create a better you.
- Embrace your carbs! Yes, I said it, and I mean it. No, I don’t mean grabbing white-flour greasy doughnuts and refined breads, candy bars, crackers and alcohol. What I do mean is eat your sweet potatoes, 100-percent whole wheat/whole grain bread, whole grains such as oats, quinoa, teff, amaranth, farro, some brown rice and potatoes with their skins on and whole fruit. Whole food carbohydrates digest much more slowly than highly refined flours and sugars, while providing a steady stream of energy, fiber and nutrients. Your tongue and body will thank you! To learn more about this, read The Starch Solution.
- Ditch dairy products for good. Get rid of them, despite the heavy-handed advertising the dairy industry uses to convince you it’s products are healthy. Say you can’t live without cheese? Well, there is mounting evidence that you won’t live long with it, since a variety of inflammatory diseases are aggravated by dairy, from cancer to coronary artery disease to diabetes, to name a few.
Fortunately, there are now wonderful alternatives to traditional dairy products in the huge variety of nut, seed and grain milks available. And, if you choose, there are some vastly improved artisanal non-dairy cheeses available as well (Miyoko’s Creamery, Kite Hill, Chao Field Roast Cheeses). You can also make your own delish cheez sauces.
- Let go of the idea that the more protein you eat, the better. First, it just isn’t true and may actually be harmful, depending on the protein source and the amount. It is virtually impossible to be protein deficient with a plant-based diet if you are eating enough food. To learn more about this, check out The China Study.
Simply put, grains, legumes and even green leafy vegetables contain protein, without all the artery-clogging cholesterol.
- Enlist loved ones and friends to join you in the happy healthful changes you are making. Support is huge in determining long-term success when making changes. You can find healthy recipes together (plantchef.com), go on group shopping trips and do bulk prep of meals and snacks. Plus, sharing challenges and successes with each other is an immeasurable benefit.
The more healthful delish foods you add into your diet, the less room there is for inflammatory foods which contribute to weight gain and disease. So, rather than taking the view that you can’t have certain foods, think of ALL the spectacular new foods you now have room to add!