Peace begins with our plate. Do you agree to this thought? Do you feel what you eat reflects a lot on your health, physically and mentally? The transition isn’t always easy. Well, here is everything you need to know about a plant-based diet. Note that if you suffer from any disease, please talk to your doctor and consult a nutritionist before making any changes.
A healthy lifestyle is something we all aspire to have. But this isn’t an overnight change. It is a habit. A habit of conscious decisions, mindful eating and understanding the impact. A plant-based diet does better for the environment as well. It places much less stress on the environment as it requires less water to produce the food. We consulted an expert, Shruti Sethi who is a plant-based nutritionist and dons many hats in the wellness space.
Here is an excerpt from our talk with her.
What is a plant-based lifestyle?
One of the most powerful steps you can take to improve your health and boost energy levels is to move to a plant-based diet. No, you’ll be eating more than just grass. Plant-based nutritional diet talks about acquiring required nutrient, minerals, vitamins etc. from plant sources. So instead of say chicken being your source of protein, it’ll now be pulses, tofu and nuts. There is another major point here, which is the essential difference between vegan and a plant-based diet. One won’t be depending on any form of processed for like maida any more, instead, there will be plant-based alternatives. This thirsty industry uses a lot of resources, and yields more negative results than positive.
What are the benefits?
Given the fact that we will now be consuming from the most basic source of nutrition, there are a lot of health benefits. You’ll start feeling the changes a month into this diet.
1. Better and easier digestion
2. Boost your immune system
3. Higher consumption of micro and macro-nutrients
4. Helps in disease reversal
5. Lowers the risk of cancer
6. Increase in fibre in-take
There are other benefits like reducing the risk of stroke, diabetes and lower blood pressure. This healthy lifestyle change will surely make your body and mind happy.
How do I shift?
Agreed, all of us are in very different diets. Be in a non-vegetarian, vegetarian or a vegan diet, this transition might take a while. And taking time to make this change is fine, as it’ll be hard for our body and mind to suddenly make these changes. Here are 8 tips to make this transition slowly and steadily:
1. Experiment with vegetable: Before shifting completely, try finding recipes for vegetable and experiment with what suits your taste.
2. Be conscious: find out and understand about the nutrients in what you are eating. Make sure you get an adequate amount of each nutrient.
3. Try eliminating one or more food options from your menu each week
4. Change the way you think. If you are a non-vegetarian, try reducing the portion of meat and consider it as a compliment, not the main ingredient.
5. Add soy or vegan meat options to replace the meat.
6. Find easy and interesting recipes
7. Go for greens. Try a variety of green leafy vegetables such as kale, collards, spinach, and other greens each day. Steam, grill, braise, or stir-fry to preserve their flavour and nutrients.
8. Include whole grains for breakfast. Start with oatmeal, quinoa, buckwheat, or barley. Then add some nuts or seeds along with fresh fruit.
Forming a habit takes time and patience. Trust us when we say this is a habit which will benefit you throughout your lifetime. This lifestyle will mean something to you. We said it before and we are saying it now, know your body and then shift into this diet accordingly. Consult a nutritionist, think and research about it.
About the expert
Shruti Sethi is plant-based nutritionist, lifestyle coach and a fashion designer. She has been living a life of purpose after battling cancer in 2016. She has pledged to make positive changes around her. This transition made her realise a lot about her body and each day was about finding new things. She has organised many retreats, yoga and health classes. Shruti is an active health coach who wishes to bring meaning to lives around her. You can reach out to her at firstname.lastname@example.org