Let's face it, whatever diet you chose to follow, eating more plants in the form of vegetables, fruits, grains and beans is great for everyone.
Plants are a great source of vitamins and minerals such as calcium, vitamin C and potassium. They provide us with fibre which ensures a healthy gut whilst reducing the risk of heart disease, stroke and some cancers. The other great news about vegetables, particularly when comparing them to meat and dairy, is that you can eat more of them and get 'full' on less calories all while taking on no additional cholesterol.
However, not everyone adores artichokes, loves legumes or craves carrots, so how can you get more on your plate without sacrificing on taste?
#1 Substitute where you can
When making a spaghetti bolongnese for example substitute beef for soy mince or mushrooms, or maybe try 50/50 to start with. When making fajitas, think about switching the chicken for black beans. If you love cheese sprinkled over a salad try switching it for creamy avocado and salty capers to get a similar flavour profile.
#2 My favorite recipe sites
On average we all have about 10 "go-to" dishes that we continually recycle and turn to when we want to rustle something up. If you can make a few of these quick, easy, delicious and healthy plant-based versions of your favourites you'll find yourself eating and enjoying more vegetables, grains and beans in no time. How about starting off with adding in two new meals each week? My favourite recipe sites are Veganuary, Oh She Glows and Post Punk Kitchen (oh and there are lots of recipe in my eBook here too of course ;)
#3 Eating Out
If you're eating out why not try the restaurant's meat-free option. The high-street favourites have you covered - Zizzi's, Pizza Express and Dim T also cater perfectly and then the wonderful Jason Atherton's Pollen Street Social even has a plant-based menu to choose from! You'll be opening yourself up to new ideas and new flavours and this could go on to help inform your own recipes.
If you're going for pizza try leaving the cheese off and asking for avocado and rocket to be added when it comes out of the oven. If you're going for Indian food, try a lentil based Dahl and ask them to reduce/hold the oil. Eating Thai? Try the tofu made from soy beans. Be open to giving new dishes a try :)
#4 Prepare in advance
Pre-cut and prepare, think about blanching vegetables such as broccoli and a cauliflower and then incorporating them into dishes during the week. You could precook a bowl of lentils and then throw them into salads. You could also buy pre-cut vegetables like carrots from the super market and then have them on hand to snack on. These are all quick, time saving ways to add extra vitamins to a dish - who doesn't want that?!
#5 Eating habits take time to change
A good thing to remember is that the way we eat is generally based on habits and these take time to form, change and unlearn. After about 3 weeks things you might start to notice a difference, that's how long it takes for tastes buds to regenerate. Why not challenge yourself a little, take a look at your plate and have a go at making 75% of it from plants. If you need more ideas comment below, check out my new eBook here or why not work with me 1-2-1?
See you soon!
"Through practical one-to-one sessions, I change the way people engage with food, empowering them to make healthy choices for life" - click here to work with me