Your coworker gave up meat, your neighbor has gone vegetarian and now your doctor’s suggesting you follow suit to lower your weight and blood pressure and to possibly prevent chronic diseases. Clearly, plant-based diets are soaring in popularity among Americans.
A plant-based diet has many health benefits and can be simple to start to incorporate. Even if you aren’t quite ready to go vegetarian or vegan, you can still reap the many health benefits of a plant-based eating plan by making just a few small changes.
1. Go veggie at breakfast. Skip the meat and pile your plate with fruits and/or veggies. Many people completely skip fruits or veggies in the morning. Make it your goal to include at least a 1/2 cup to 1 cup serving of fruits or veggies at breakfast.
2. Go meatless one night a week. Maybe you choose Monday and join the Meatless Monday campaign, or some other night of the week. Need some ideas for recipes, visit the Vegan Bikini Doc or go to www.meatlessmonday.com.
3. Shop for plants first. Hit the produce and grain section first and plan your meals around the plant-based foods on your plate instead of the meat. 4. Keep it simple. Non-meat meal options don’t have to be complicated or involve a new recipe. Replace meat in your good old tried and true chili with beans instead and add a veggie. Making quesadillas? Make them veggie based, think mushrooms, spinach, and black beans with cheese instead of ground beef or chicken. Other menu options that are perfect for skipping the meat include pasta primavera, veggie pizza, and veggie lasagna.