The days are getting dark and cold. Warm hearty meals may be at the center of your cravings and, trust me, you are not alone. The following tips on how to eat more plant-based this fall will not only satisfy your comfort food craving but nourish your body by helping you succeed in eating more whole foods.
The term plant-based has been buzzing around the internet of late and hopefully, we will continue hearing more about it as time passes. A whole food plant-based diet means that the food you consume is centered around an abundant variety of whole grains, vegetables, legumes, beans, fruit, nuts, and seeds. The aim is to eat food as close to its whole form as possible (e.g. brown rice vs. white rice), choose organic as much as you can, and avoid processed food.
Whole food plant-based diets have been studied and appear to be among the healthiest ways of eating. Let me put it this way, very few people argue against adding more vegetables and fruit to your diet to make you healthier. But wait, a whole food plant-based diet is so much more than just fruit and vegetables (though they are an integral part). It is bolognese-pasta, hearty soups, comforting chili, fluffy pancakes, and deliciously decadent yet sneakily healthful baked goods. And in case you were already thinking of summer; yes, you can grill while eating a whole food plant-based diet.
Lasting energy, clear-mindedness, and comfortable digestion are just a few positive “side effects” I noticed from my personal and anecdotal experience on a plant-based diet. I have gradually increased my food intake to be 95% plant-based. (I leave room for the occasional vegan ice cream or vegan muffin!) I have consistent energy that lasts throughout the day. I never feel tired after eating, and my digestion has improved three-fold. There is significant research to support my own experience and I encourage you to do your own research to find out more.
Elena Hollenhorst is a professional dancer, nutritional researcher, and multidisciplinary artist who also works under the titles of choreographer, writer, photographer, recipe creator, and yoga instructor. She is a 200-hour Yoga Alliance certified yoga teacher (RYT200) and holds a BFA in Dance from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. As a yoga teacher, movement artist, and nutritional researcher, Elena's work is focused on advocating healthy lifestyles through holistic approaches such as mind-body practices and healthful eating. Elena is the founder of Peasful Plate, a holistic web platform that advocates a plant-based vegan diet and other wellness practices. Her work aims to bring people together, engage in thoughtful conversations, and empower individuals to lead more healthy, peaceful, and compassionate lives through food and art.
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