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Tips for plant-based eating

salad bowl tomatoes and greensI’m an omnivore; I eat plant and animal matter. Yet there are days where I don’t eat any meat at all. Our society is a bit on the meat centric side, growing up most of us were taught that we need a lot of protein to maintain our physique and energy levels. Protein requirements will obviously differ from person to person and based on activity levels, but the general rule is 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight per day based on Health Canada guidelines. However, some people eat double or triple that amount in a day, which puts extra stress on the liver and kidneys. I like Michael Pollan’s take on eating:

Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”

If you’re looking to include more plant-based foods in your diet it’s not hard! Many food manufactures have jumped on the plant-based food wagon and are making many meat alternatives. So far, I have tried the much touted Beyond Burger and I really enjoyed it, I found that it did have the texture and taste of meat in my humble opinion. But that’s not all there is to eating when it comes to plant-based dining, there’s a plethora of options out there and many that will fulfill your protein requirements as well. Read on to find out!

Many people worry that by not eating enough meat, they won’t fulfill their amino acid requirements. Amino acids are the building blocks that the body uses to build muscles, synthesize hormones as well as being used for chemical reactions in the body. Many plant-based foods contain protein that fulfill your amino acid needs such as spirulina and other seaweed, pumpkin, beans, rice, avocado, almonds, peanuts, quinoa, figs, seeds, sweet potato. Be sure to check with a dietitian or nutritionist about food combining as different veggies and plants will offer up different amino acid profiles.

Be Friends With Salad

You can be friends with salad and make a meal out of it too! Salad, the green leafy things that accompany the main stuff on your plate because it’s a filler or you needed to add some kind of veggies to your meal. Nowadays salads have become so much more than just your basic lettuce, tomato and cucumber. There are options of adding avocado, nuts, seeds, squash, any type of cheese, beans and peas; the options are endless and yes, these types of salads can be quite filling!

Plant proteins that mimic the taste and mouthfeel of their meat counterparts. Mushrooms for example have a meaty texture and can be used in lieu of meat, for example ground mushrooms may be used for a Bolognese sauce instead of ground beef, portabella mushrooms used as a burger instead of a beef patty. Jackfruit has also been used as a meaty textured substitute, jack fruit “pulled pork” has been a very popular plant version of the pork version.

There is a myriad of recipes out there, it’s just a matter of taking the time to try them out. For the most part I really only eat meat at dinner time and like I said some days I just don’t get around to eating meat at all. Adding more vegetables to one’s diet is not only healthful but also delicious! I have definitely discovered new ways of cooking vegetables as well as trying different varieties of vegetables such as kohlrabi, which reminds me kind of like a non spicy radish or okra which I have recently enjoyed eating.

No matter how one chooses to eat is entirely up to them, with all the information available and producers now offering up plant-based alternatives the option to try plant-based eating has never been easier!

Disclaimer: This article is for information purposes only, it is not intended to diagnose, treat or prevent any illness or disease. Please consult a professional for your healthcare needs.

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