[Image: Sweet potato, squash and lentil curry.]
Regardless of how you define your diet, including more plants can make you healthier, provide important nutrients, and possibly help conserve environmental resources. More and more people are opening up to the idea of vegetarianism and veganism. Celebrities such as Jessica Chastain, Miley Cyrus, Ariana Grande, Joaquin Phoenix, Ellen DeGeneres and Liam Hemsworth are just some advocates.
But what exactly is a plant-based diet? Plant-based diets, usually called “vegetarian” diets, consist of vegetables, fruits, beans or legumes, whole grains, nuts, seeds and sometimes animal products such as dairy and eggs. A total vegetarian, also known as a vegan, includes only foods from the plant or fungi kingdom without the addition of dairy or egg products. It’s widely documented that if we all ate more plants, there would be significantly less disease in the world. Pretty important stuff to take note of!
[Image: Date and pecan banana loaf.]
Although changing your diet can be difficult, there are an abundance of plant foods that most people never or rarely eat. Eating a plant-based diet means you might widen the variety of foods you consume. For example, trying tempeh, seitan, tofu, kale, quinoa, ground flaxseeds, ground chia seeds, raw almond butter, lentils, black beans, spirulina, hemp seeds, almond milk or coconut milk, amongst many other things. But also it’s important to be careful to consume enough vitamin B-12, calcium, iodine, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamin D that you may lack in this type of diet. However, the results of a plant based diet is being slimmer, healthier, stronger and more energetic.
Dubai based food blogger and wellness advocate, Lucy Bettoney, said: “I was 16, I began to suffer with bouts of IBS. I suffered for years, determined not to give in to my body – which I now know was crying out to be listened to. It was a long time before I started to let my body make my food decisions, rather than my stubborn mind. This transformation began when I embarked on a health kick before my wedding, and discovered all of the delicious dishes you can make from plant-based ingredients. I hadn’t realised the damage that processed food and sugar does to your body. I began to experiment with different ways of eating and my digestive problems reduced significantly. I was fascinated – and I learned to love food in a whole new way.
“Now that I’ve embraced a largely plant-based diet, I no longer believe you have to eat less to maintain your ideal weight. Previously, I thought going hungry was the price you paid to lose weight. If I was trying to be ‘good’, I’d go to bed hungry and wake up ravenous – not fun. Following my change in eating habits over two years ago, I now weigh less than I did in my early twenties,” she added.
For recipes and more information on plant-based food, go to www.fitfoodcollective.com.
[Image: Pistachio and almond mousse.]