Plant Based Diet for Beginners – In-depth How to Guide 2022

Have you decided that this is the time for you to begin the healthy, plant based diet?

If so, it couldn’t be at a better time considering the whole world has gone mad for this hugely popular lifestyle. Everywhere you go you will now find menus with plant based and vegan dishes, so you never usually have a reason to eat any other way.

You will also find help in the form of our Weekly Fast & Easy Meal Plans should you need guidance in what ad how to cook.

This plant based diet for beginners – in-depth how to guide will show you everything you need to know about transitioning to a way of life that will boost both your health and vitality.

The Power Of Plants

Do you get cheesed off with feeling pretty rubbish the majority of the time? It’s the plight of many on the typical Western diet, but it doesn’t have to be that way any more.

Plant based Doctors, Nutritionist, and even many plant based athletes all recommend the whole foods plant based diet as one of the best ways to keep the body and mind healthy. This is due to the many antioxidants and anti inflammatory benefits that plants naturally give you.

Plant based diet for athletes

Woman eating in gym

Have you seen the documentary “The Game Changers” on Netflix yet?

In this program, the makers have researched many athletes of all kinds consuming a plant based diet. They have discovered that plant eating athletes are not only getting their best times ever with this diet, but some are also doing it at an age when previously it was thought impossible.

You will find one of the strongest men in the world looks like an ox and has the strength of an ox, an olympic cycling athlete who won medals at the ripe old age of 39, and a guy who ran over 2,000 miles in 40 odd days ALL ON PLANTS!

Yes, perceptions are changing FAST. Everything is changing fast. What we once believed about diet and nutrition may not be as it seems as new research comes to the for front.

How to put together a Nutritionally Complete Meal

It’s absolutely vital, that before entering into this healthful lifestyle, you know the basics of food combining and putting together a complete meal. This means understanding the value of plant based amino acids, low GI carbohydrates, healthy fats, fruits and vegetables.

For instance, you will keep yourself much more sustained and full if you make sure you have protein, complex carbohydrates, and a little healthy fat with your meals and snacks. Eating in this way will help to keep your blood sugar levels more stable, which will result in less snacking and bad food cravings.

Learn As You Go

You don’t need to put pressure on yourself to learn everything at once; or even change everything at once.

You’ll find that you will learn as you go along. It’s a journey, and by the time you’re a year down the line, you’ll be a plant pro.

You’ll be whipping up healthy meals at a moments notice from bits and bobs left in the cupboard. And, you’ll know exactly how to order in restaurants that don’t have plant based options.  

In the beginning, you may find eating out (or family occasions) can be one of the hardest things about plant based eating. But, fortunately now that veganism has exploded and become much more popular worldwide, it means most restaurants, and even fast food chains are keeping up with the demand and putting out new and exciting plant based menus.

plant based meal plans

 The whole foods plant based diet

A lot of people are asking the difference between what is a plant based diet and a whole foods plant based diet, and it’s pretty simple. ‘Whole’ foods by definition means anything that hasn’t been extracted from it’s original and whole source.

This means plant foods such as isolated protein powders, oils, sweeteners, sugars and syrups including maple, agave, and brown rice syrup (though these are marginally healthier than white sugar). Also, many of the meat-free burgers, sausages, hams, cheeses, and myco-protein products are out of bounds on the whole foods diet.

Don’t Get Over-Whelmed When starting out

If you’re starting out, this may become over-whelming for you. To make things easier, you may wish to take advantage of these easy and fast products whilst you are learning to find healthier versions. It’s better to do it this way than to give up quickly due to lack of knowing what to eat.

If you do wish to go straight in with the whole foods diet, then you will find recipes everywhere online and even in our subscription meal plans.

But, you may want to go somewhere in the middle, and just eat mostly whole foods. The 90/10 rule of thumb will still keep you healthy, but gives you some leeway. However, you should most definitely stay away from ALL refined sugars as much as possible if you want to get healthy fast.

The 90/10 Rule

The key to beginning your plant based diet is NOT to beat yourself up if you cave or give in sometimes. Just dust yourself off and keep going at it. After all, you’re trying to change a lifetime of conditioned and habitual thinking patterns around food. Patterns that your mind isn’t going to give up without a fight, so just go easy on yourself.

If you try too hard to be perfect straight away, then you will more than likely fail. Sticking to a 90/10 rule works fine: 90% good stuff, and 10% leeway for those things you really enjoy and don’t want to give up, and why should you?

However, we do like to stress that the 90/10 rules is still only there for just for plant based products. If you go plant based, you’ll more than likely find that you are either in or out. Once you have cleaned your body out from inflammation causing meat and dairy, you will find that if you do eat them, you will feel it. You may feel sick or just ‘not quite right‘.

10 Plant Based Diet Possible Benefits

Here are some of the truly amazing things you may noticed about your body and health once you start a eating a mostly whole foods plant based diet. 

1. MORE ENERGY

jumping for joy

You may definitely find you have more energy than EVER!

The plant based diet is so high in nutrition, antioxidants and superfoods that you will notice more energy almost immediately. It really is one of the biggest benefits to this lifestyle.

Maybe you didn’t even notice you were low on energy before, but once you go plant based you will feel the difference.

2. CLEAR SKIN AND SPARKLING EYES

This is another major benefit you will notice very quickly. Big changes in your skin tone and texture. 

This is due to eating a lot more antioxidant rich fruits and vegetables, which comes naturally with the plant based lifestyle. But it really isn’t just that, you could eat the same amount of veggies whilst still eating animal products, but it’s when you stop eating animal products that the real magic began to happen.

This is most likely due to inflammation; and if you do watch ‘The Game Changers’ you will see the exact science behind this.

3. FEELING LESS BLOATED AND PUFFY

And, we mean less bloated all over! In fact, you may not even realise that you are always slightly bloated and puffy until suddenly you’re not. People will actually notice the difference, and so will you.

Again, experts say this is down to inflammation or animal fats, but you will soon get a keen eye for who is plant based and who isn’t.

4. BETTER SLEEP

man sleeping in bed

You will sleep better when you have adequate nutrients in your body. And, you will get those nutrients with ease through the eating of lots of fruits and veggies.

Also, on a healthy plant based diet you will automatically be cutting down on sugar and refined carbohydrates. That in itself will help to keep your blood sugar more stable, and studies show can have the benefit of much deeper and better quality sleep.

The benefit of better quality sleep alone will obviously have a huge positive impact on your health and well-being.

5. FEWER ACHES AND PAINS

As animal products can contribute to inflammation, you may very well notice that you have fewer aches and pains than before. This can be specially true for arthritic type pains caused by chronic inflammation.

Though research is still being done, it is thought that chronic inflammation may well be one of the root causes of many Modern day diseases. Therefore we should all be trying to eat more plants for this reason alone.

You may notice the anti inflammatory effects of a plant based diet mostly after a hard workout by feeling less achy. You will also recover faster too, the reason why there are so many athletes getting their best times on the plant based diet.

6. LESS, OR NO PMS

Again, the anti inflammatory effect of a whole foods plant based diet can work wonders for your hormones and PAIN in general.

I have personally experienced this myself. I hardly ever get the PMS symptoms I used to get when I was a meat-eater. It’s totally different now. I barely even know when that time of the month is coming, and I know 100% this is because of the plant based diet.

7. FEELING HAPPIER IN GENERAL

happy woman by sea

The plant based diet is good for your mood in so many way. It’s low GI, which keeps blood sugar more stable. Stable blood sugar helps ease anxiety and jitteryness due to the slow release of sugar into the blood stream.

Omega 3 oils

You may still need to supplement with high strength omega 3 oils with both the EPA and DHA that are derived from the same plankton that the fish feed from. It is vitally important that you get the supplements that contain the DHA, as this is the compound that works specifically on mood.

Most omega 3 DHA from nuts and seeds do not contain this in negligible amounts to have an effect on mood, and also cannot easily cross the blood-brain barrier. So, always make sure you get the algae derived DHA.

Fitness and Mood

For the absolute best results on your plant based diet, you should always make sure you make time for fitness. Fitness has a marked effect on mood and pretty much every other function of the body.

A good Plant Based Diet & Fitness Program will really boost your healthy and vitality to higher levels.

9. BETTER MEMORY

Again, this can be down to having less inflammation (and studies show the same), evened out blood sugar, and a more detoxified body in general.

You’re memory may become more like a sponge now. Whereas brain fog can mean you forget something as soon as it goes in, which can often be quite embarrassing. 

10. LONG TERM HEALTH

You can now see just how many valid reasons there are to try the plant based diet for yourself, and these are just some of the benefits. Who knows what the future holds as your body heals further.

Can you also imagine what this could mean for long term health and fitness? The future definitely looks brighter when you look after your body in this manner. 

Make Small Changes One Step at a Time

Here is a list of the things you can easily start changing today. You do not need to do everything at once, but instead incrementally make small changes every day, week and month until they become habits. 

It is vital you consume ALL the foods on this list as much as possible. You will need all of these food groups to ensure a well balanced diet that contains enough nutrients.

SWAPS

  1. Swap your regular milk for almond, hemp, oat, pea, rice, coconut or soy milk. You can use these for anything you would ordinarily use cow’s milk for. This will take some trial and error before you find a milk that suits you best and that you prefer the taste of. For instance, you may like a neutral pea or soy milk in your tea and coffee, and coconut or oat milk in something like these delicious fat burning smoothies. You may find the texture and taste is just better like that, but I guess it’s personal opinion. Sometimes plant milk’s will curdle in certain coffee brands and not others. However, you can buy barista blend plant milks specifically for coffee lovers that are very close to tasting and acting like cow’s milk.
  2. You will want to check labels scrupulously as a lot of these milks are sweetened with refined sugars or concentrated fruit juices. And, ideally, you should go for the unsweetened versions to keep your sugar intake down.
  3. Swap your ordinary dairy products for the vegan versions that can easily be found in most supermarkets these days. There are also a good deal of soy and coconut based versions of cheeses, yogurts, butters and ice creams, so you need never go without.  FYI – buying imitation dairy and other animal products is one thing on the list that you don’t actually need to do. Many of them do not offer much in terms of nutritional benefits. Plus, they are not strictly ‘whole food’ plant based. However, they may stand in as a good substitute while you’re finding your feet.
  4. To keep sugars down, you should shy away from most shop bought cereals. Instead, go for porridge oats, oat bran, or a wholesome homemade protein rich muesli.
  5. Swap meat for tofu, tempeh, seitan, quinoa or pulses. All of these can be added to stir-fries, curries, chillis, or pretty much any dish that you would ordinarily use meat for.
  6. Try to buy and eat foods in their whole form as much possible, rather than fake meats, mycoproteins and all the other newfangled vegan products on the market. They are great when you’re starting out, or when you’re really busy, but ultimately you want to be heading towards a whole plant food eating plan as much as possible.

FOODS TO ADD IN

It’s always important to keep your meals balanced with proteins, low GI carbohydrates and healthy fats, as they will fill you up for longer when combined like this.

Below are lists of each category to help you get a picture of how to combine them together.

We have only bothered mentioning the healthy stuff, as eating junk won’t give you the results we have been raving about in this post. And, we don’t want it to look like we’re telling fibs.

There are of course, lots of vegan junk foods such as crisps, fried food, chips, sweets, all refined carbs, free sugars and confectionery. But, we definitely wouldn’t recommend these too often if you want to feel the true benefits of whole plant foods.

Remember the 90/10 rule!

Just to clarify, some of the foods on this list contain fats, carbs and protein all together in the same food. This is the reason they may be written in more than one section.

HEALTHY FATS

  • Olive, coconut, flax, sesame and avocado oil (not technically ‘whole foods’)
  • Avocados
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Whole coconuts
  • Quinoa

PROTEINS

  • Soya, and soy beans
  • Seitan
  • Tempeh
  • Legumes such as baked beans, chick peas, lentils, sweetcorn, green peas, pinto, cannellini, kidney, butter, borlotti and black beans.
  • Wholegrains such as granary bread, buckwheat, spelt, brown pasta, brown rice, millet, amaranth, and quinoa. These are both proteins and carbohydrates in one, but ideally should have another protein source from the list with them to get adequate amounts.
  • Nutritional yeast
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Some vegetables are higher in proteins, such as broccoli and avocado
  • Certain protein powders may be needed in moderation, depending on your own body and the amount of exercise you do.

CARBOHYDRATES

  • Wholegrains, such as granary bread, buckwheat, spelt, sweetcorn, brown pasta, brown rice, millet, amaranth, lentils, pulses and quinoa.
  • White, red, purple, new, and sweet potatoes
  • Pumpkin and squashes
  • Vegetables such as parsnips, yams, beetroots and carrots
  • High sugar fruits such as bananas, pineapple, mango, grapes and papaya
  • Fat burning dried fruits

FRUITS AND VEGETABLES

  • Every day eat a rainbow of fruits and vegetables, especially nutritionally superior leafy green veg. These should make up a big bulk of your diet as they are full of anti aging and disease fighting phytonutrients, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.
  • Take a shot of one of these powerful green superfood powders every day. They really push your health to another level, and if you can’t (or won’t) get enough greens down you, then this is the perfect way to make up for it. 
  • Don’t forget to add lots of herbs and spices to your food, as they all contain other nutrients and detoxifying elements that you may not find elsewhere. Turmeric, coriander, parsley, cinnamon, cardamon and ginger are among the healthiest. 

Plant Based Diet Meal Plan Examples

BREAKFASTS

stack of pancakes

  • For breakfast, you can make green smoothies with avocado, banana, spinach and nut milk. Or any other combination of fruits and vegetables. Just be sure to add a little healthy fat, such as sugar-free peanut butter, chia seeds, or avocado for smoothness and nutrient absorption.
    You can add frozen fruits straight into your smoothie for convenience. Plus, they will also give you that cold, frothy milkshake texture that is so delicious. Sliced, pre-frozen, really ripe banana works just great for this, as it tastes like ice cream and has a sticky, gooey texture. 
  • Nice-cream bowls are another delicious breakfast or snack, and make you feel like you are eating a delicious treat.
  • Either smashed avocado and tahini on toast; or sugar free peanut butter on sourdough is the perfect low GI, filling breakfast.
  • Add berries, nuts and seeds to porridge or granola with a sliced banana on top.
  • Having a low carbohydrate protein powder shake in the morning will help keep you full. AND, will also keep your body in fat burning mode after fasting through the night. It’s also a great idea to do this if you wish to burn fat and build muscle at an accelerated rate.

Check out these other whole foods plant based breakfast ideas.

LUNCHES AND DINNERS

bowl of soup

  • Make soups and stews from a mixture of root veg, greens, a protein such as lentils (or another legume), plus herbs and spices. You can literally make endless combinations of soups and stews using this basic recipe alone.
  • Make huge salads with lots of greens, grated carrot, chunks of avocado, sweetcorn etc. Then sprinkle with some toasted nuts and seeds.
  • Chocolate and cinnamon chili – Is a chili made of mixed beans such as kidney, chickpea and butter beans, with a few chunks of dark chocolate and cinnamon added. This really makes a difference to the depth of flavour, and is a good replacement for meaty stock cubes, if not better. Just try it and see!
  • Sticky roasted root veg such as parsnips, beetroot, squash, onions and carrots on a bed of highly nutritious quinoa with some steamed broccoli on the side. A favorite way to roast veggies is in a little coconut oil and balsamic vinegar for sweetness. Then tossed with herbs and spices such as vegetables bouillon, paprika, garlic, rosemary, thyme and sage. 

Check out some of our other EASY and SIMPLE lunch ideas.

SNACKS

fruit smoothies

  • Hummus and/or sliced avocado on oatcakes
  • Hummus and vegetable sticks
  • Coconut yogurt with chopped fruit and nuts
  • Dried fruit and a handful of nuts and seeds
  • Dark chocolate
  • Fruit, especially bananas
  • Smoothies
  • Raw deserts
  • Vegetable juices and green superfood powder shots

Check out these other low carb snack ideas

plant based diet plan
QUICK MEAL PLANNER

How much protein do I need?

Don’t panic about it, just be sure to add foods from the above protein list with every meal and you’ll be fine. You want to aim for about 0.8-1.5 grams of protein per 1 kg of body weight, depending on your specific needs. But, don’t get hung up on this if you’re not in intense training or a vegan athlete.

BUT, if you are doing lots of training; or even if you’re trying to lose weight, cut fat or build muscle, then you may need to go for the higher end of the protein spectrum. Some plant foods are much higher than others, so please check out this list of the different amounts of proteins in plant foods.

If you do need higher amounts of protein, you should get your needs if you are eating only whole plant foods. If you’re not, then you can easily supplement with a good quality protein powder to boost your intake.

Possible Weight Gain

Many start the plant based diet thinking they will naturally lose all their unwanted weight and miraculously obtain the body of their dreams, but often this isn’t the case.

You will more than likely go into it without the understanding required to put nutritionally complete meals together that actually fill you up. Or, maybe at first you will just plain be eating too many carbohydrates, fats and vegan junk foods.

Don’t Live On Carbs & Oils!

This means newbies to this lifestyle often skip the meat and dairy and replace it with EXTRA fats and carbs in the form of potatoes, pasta, bread, fries, refined flours and oils. All of which will make you pile on the pounds.

This is why adding lots of fully rounded plant proteins to your meals will make all the difference. There are 5 plant foods that contain a good mix of all the essential amino acids that should ideally frequently (though not necessarily at every meal). These are:-

  1. SOY
  2. QUINOA
  3. BUCKWHEAT
  4. HEMP
  5. AMARANTH

Check out more information on the plant based diet and weight gain.

MEAL PANS

Fats and weight gain

You may also find yourself chomping down on lots of nuts, seeds and other ‘healthy fats’,  believing that because they are plant based they must be fine to eat in abundance. They are, to an extent, but a calorie is still a calorie no matter where you obtain it from. And, it still needs to be burnt off as energy if you’re to avoid gaining weight.

Plant based diet and weigh gain is a real thing. Stick to single portions only, and all in moderation. For example, a small handful is a portion in the nut and seed world. This is due to the fact that they contain such high amounts of fat and calories. And you should always eat them as part of a proper meal or snack and not as an added extra on top.

Nutrient supplements 

According to Patrick Holford, a long-term plant based or vegan diet will usually require some kind of nutritional supplementation due to the fact that you may become deficient in certain nutrients no matter how healthily you try to eat. These include:-

  1. VITAMIN D – To keep bones, teeth and muscles healthy. Vitamin D derived from food comes mostly from fish, seafood and eggs. It is very hard for the body to obtain enough D on a plant based diet, unless you live in a very sunny climate where you are exposed to the sun for at least half an hour a day (sometimes not practical or healthy. due to cancer risk).
  2. LONG CHAIN OMEGA 3 FATTY ACIDS – For brain health and mood. Even though many plant foods contain omega 3’s, studies show that the conversion rate of plant based ALA into essential DHA and EPA is between 0-5%. This makes a specialised vegan supplement essential, especially if you suffer from mood disorders.
  3. VITAMIN B12 – Needed for anemia prevention, mood, brain health, central nervous system health, energy. Plus your hair, skin and nails will all benefit from this essential vitamin. Very few plant foods contain vitamin B12, and the few that do are chlorella, spirulina, certain mushrooms, fortified nutritional yeast, and other specially fortified foods (even then, you probably won’t be getting enough, even if you do eat them daily). This is why a B12 supplement is sometimes vital, even if you only take it every other day or a couple of times a week to top up.

Thank you for reading this plant based diet for beginners guide and supporting ZestForever and the plant based movement.

We hope you now have a greater understanding of this amazing, planet friendly way of living and are able to implement this diet more easily now you have all the information.

Join up at ZestForever!

Before you leave, don’t forget to sign up below↓↓↓ to our newsletter where you’ll receive the latest posts, plus plant based diet plans, hacks and guides. In fact, everything you could possibly need to keep you fit, healthy and feeling fantastic whilst living the awesome plant based lifestyle.

Please help us spread the word for a more plant based world!
Stefanie Taylor
Plant based eating is set to EXPLODE in 2021; not just for health reasons, but also to help keep our beautiful planet thriving too!

Here at ZestForever we pledge to be part of that change to a more plant based world, to help others eat more healthily, purchase more mindfully, and support projects and organisations that wish to have a positive impact on the environment.

On a personal note, I have studied, tried and tested all manner of ways of eating over the past 20 years, but nothing has come close to giving me the buzz that plant based has. I have also studied and worked as a Sports Nutritional Advisor, Nutritional Therapist, and Clinical Weight Loss Advisor, and have a Registered Dietitian, Nutritionist, and Personal Trainer reviewing and contributing to posts to ensure you get the most accurate information possible.

This website is not intended to treat or diagnose any medical diseases or illnesses. It's merely meant to show you ways of potentially boosting your health through the eating of more nutritious plant foods in place of junk foods.

24 thoughts on “Plant Based Diet for Beginners – In-depth How to Guide 2022”

  1. Wow, there are so many benefits of going plant-based. I love how you list tips on how to swap out foods to make the transition and you list food ideas to add to your diet. There are many different food choices, I love that you provide them all. I am going to slowly change more of my diet this year to help with my IBS, so this post came at the perfect timing for me. Thanks for the info!

    Reply
    • Hi Melissa, yes the benefits of going plant based are truly immense and I hope that you try it to see for yourself. In fact, I’m hoping that many people have made it their New Years resolution to start eating more healthily as I believe it will make the world a better place.
      If you have IBS (like I did before) then changing to this kind of diet will completely change your gut flora over time and help alleviate your symptoms. I find that I still suffer it every now and then, but it so much better than it was so it’s well worth it for this reason alone.

      Good luck on your plant based journey and if you ever need more information then please feel free to ask at any point.

      Reply
  2. Hi Stefanie,
    This post is packed with a wealth of information. I have been vegan for about two years and have lost 60 lbs in 1 year. I will visit your site to learn more. Thank you for your passion.

    I noticed that there are a couple of &nbsp near the top that need to be corrected to properly be served by the server.

    The only other thing I noticed is that your menu is pushed all they way to the right.
    I normally see them left justified.

    The banner lemon image is great!

    Thanks again for your post!

    Jesse

    Reply
    • HI Jesse, I’m really glad you are a vegan and have been for two years as you must feel great and understand the benefits as I do. Yes you should take a browse through my website as there is always more to learn. I myself am learning so much every day, but mainly because I research so much for my website.

      I appreciate your comments about my website but not sure what you mean by ‘a couple of &nbsp near the top. What does that mean, I am a newbie and don’t understand tech speak unfortunately. Could you please elaborate more. And which menu is pushed to the right? The main top menu or the side widget thing? Thanks for your help. I have commented on your bike post but I took the link off your comment as I heard this is not good for SEO so sorry about that. Thanks

      Reply
  3. Wow, there is so much benefits JUST from going plant based. I may have to try this out since I’ve been having trouble getting to sleep lately. I now know what to do thanks to your amazing guide for newbies like me! I also like that there’s no depression or anxiety. If I can prevent those as much as possible I’ll be over the moon.

    Cheers and have a great day.

    Reply
    • Hi Brandon, I am so glad my guide has helped you. I can honestly say that all of those benefits on my list are true to the word and I was shocked myself when I started to get them. When I went plant based it started out as an experiment and I never dreamed in a million years I would feel as good as I do.

      I call myself plant based instead of fully vegan because I still take omega 3 fish oils as these really do help with the whole depression/anxiety side and if you suffer from these I recommend you take them too alongside a plant based diet. The thing is that plant based omega 3’s such as flax oil don’t have the same effect on depression as the fish, but fortunately I have heard on the grapevine that there is now a version of omega 3 that is derived from the plankton that the fish feed on (which is how they make their omega 3), and so this may be the future.

      Reply
  4. I can ensure that those benefits are very common when someone decides to switch to a plant based diet- I have felt all the same!

    Thanks for making so abundant guide for beginners, wish that I have found it when I was in the beginning. Had to figure it out all by myself, but luckily got it all just in time!

    It just makes me so happy to see that there are so many people who are promoting plant based diet, since it is something that the world is moving to.
    Future is plant based!!!!

    Melissa

    Reply
    • Hi Melissa, it’s great that you are a plant based eater too! It really is wonderful and this is the reason I promote it, to make others feel great also. You are right about lot’s of people promoting this now, it makes me happy that this is such a big thing and most definitely the way to go for the future, not just for animals but the environment and the whole planet.

      You and I probably had to learn the hard way about this diet, but now there is so much information that makes it easier and easier for people. And isn’t it just fantastic that we can even eat out anywhere now (usually) and have food on the menu we can eat?

      Reply
  5. Wow, I havnt read such a great and detailed article about veg diet yet. I highly recommend it to the people who are vegetarian or thinking of becoming one. Keep up great work…looking forward to read more and more from you…

    Reply
    • Hi Sarah, thanks for that and yes, that is my aim, to help people make that transition as smoothly as possible as it can be really hard to know where to start in the beginning. It is all so worth it though and I highly recommend people to give it a try at least, and reap all the wonderful benefits.

      Reply
  6. Hello Stefanie. I understand the benefits of a plant based diet both to myself and the environment. My goal for 2018 is to replace everything in my diet with plant and fruit items. This is a great site and I will be back. Thank you

    Reply
    • Hi Trevor, I’m really glad you like my site, my goal in life is to help others get as healthy as possible as I know it feels so good :-). If you need some help with how to clear out your cupboards and start replacing things then I highly recommend you read my post and if you have any questions or need any more advice then i am always happy to help.

      Reply
  7. Hi Stephanie,

    I love all things that are natural and not been destroyed in being processed or left a long time before being sold.

    You always know the bad veg from the good veg just by the deep green = deep green means it has still much of its goodness left to yield.

    I spent one year planting food in my front garden. People probably thought me crazy, but, when it harvested the taste was far greater and my energy levels were far higher from it – no shop could compete with the quality from a soil that was never sown in the last 25-30 years!

    I would ask one thing though Stefanie – if someone is on a budget, could they still afford most or all the items you detailed in your article? I find ‘healthy living food products’ in shops to be so unreasonably high and often wondered why they are so special in terms of pricing.

    Except for the humus (I just do not like it lol) everything else I could very easily seeing as part of my daily diet. So, for those that still need their burgers and sausages, you should definitely look for ‘QUORNE’ version of these items. QUORNE is a brand name for a fungus but that tastes 90% like the real thing and does very much satisfy that ‘meat-craving’ for your meals.

    I read the whole article and I learned much, thank you for that.

    I am sharing this to a family member, she’s so OTT for healthy living tips lol, and I am sure she’d appreciate it as well.

    Regards,

    Philip.

    Reply
    • Hi Phillip, thanks for your comment, I can see you are very much into the healthy life stlye which is great. I love your story about growing your own vegetables, how fantastic! I really want to try this for myself when I finally get a house with a garden, it is my dream. Home grown vegetables do indeed taste far superior to anything else. I buy organic from the supermarket and have an organic veg box delivered from a local farm every week, but there’s still something lacking taste wise and I think you hit the nail on the head when you said about the soil being over used these days.

      That makes such sense, and reminded me of when I once went around a friends house for dinner, and they grew there own fruits and vegetables, it was just amazing and on another level. The food made you feel alive afterwards and I’ve never forgotten it.

      I googled ‘quorne’, but I’m presuming you mean ‘quorn’ as I can’t find it spelt that other way, it’s is made of soy and often used as a meat substitute yes?. Very popular in the vegan/vegetarian world. Sorry to be pedantic, but I was interested to know if it was a product I didn’t know of ha ha.

      Anyway, yes this can be a good substitute for meat, but I wouldn’t go crazy with it (or any other soy products, especially isolated soy such as you find in soy protein powder) as soy is estrogenic and can disrupt hormone balance in both men and women. It’s all a matter of quality over quantity and I would try and go for the non GMO organic stuff.

      To answer your question about prices then yes, I think you can spend a fortune on the highest quality foods, which is great if you are loaded, but as most of us aren’t I did devise a list of healthy foods on a budget . Hope you find it helpful, and it shows that you can still eat healthily regardless of budget.

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  8. Ooh this is just the push I need to go plant based again. Teetering on the edge for so long but ready now. I’m not sure about soy though, it’s estrogen mimicking I’ve read? I’m weary of it. Look forward to seeing the benefits you speak of. Plant based will surely see off the remaining lbs I want off! Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
    • Hi Lace, I’m glad my post has given you the push you need to go plant based, I promise you’ll never look back. I haven’t! Yes, there can be an issue with soy, you’re right. That is why I steer away from it if it is either in it’s isolated from (such as soy protein powder), or if it is in products such as fake meats etc. If I do have it, as you’ll find it sometimes hard to avoid when you go plant based, then I only have a little, and maybe only in the first half of my menstrual cycle because I’ve been told for me that is when my estrogen drops, and I think it is the same for most women. (but don’t quote me on this). I just find that it works for me.

      Also, soy can be quite good for post menopausal and menopausal women as estrogen is lower then, but it does depend on the quality of the soy, so I would always go for non GMO organic if I’m going to have it. And the whole beans are great as they are in a more natural form and so they are processed differently in the body.

      As for men, I think they should probably stay away from too much soy because of the risk of man boobs. But the thing is, the worst kind of cheap GMO soy is hidden in so many things, especially junk foods, so it’s hard to get away from. They say men are becoming more more feminised because of this problem now.

      Anyway, good luck with your plant based diet and please let me know if you have any more questions as I am only too happy to help. You may also find these posts interesting to read and

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  9. Hi there. I’m glad you laid this out for beginners. When I first started a plant-based diet, I didn’t have a guide, so I jumped in with both feet. Oy Vey! I wasn’t accustomed to eating so much fiber! Anyway, I don’t want to be gross on here, but needless to say, my stomach didn’t appreciate it. So, after trial and error, I learned how to replace one meal with a plant-based meal. I did that gradually until I was able to transition to a full plant-based diet. It really is so healthy. Thanks for the article.

    Reply
    • Hi there, that’s awesome you are already following a plant based diet as I know you understand the benefits of it like I do. In fact, you make a valid point about the fiber. If you’re not used to it you can have problems during the adjustment stage; I did too! I may go back and advise people of this in the post or they may be in for a shock.

      It’s definitely a case of trial and error in the beginning, and I had a few issues at first because I wasn’t getting everything I needed in terms of protein considering I do a lot of training, which made it worse. This is what prompted me to do a post with a sample food plan on, so people could get an idea of how they need to put meals together to get all the nutrients they need.

      Reply
  10. I lived all veggie lifestyle once with my Sister and I did feel good, started losing weight, my bowels even became regular, as well as I wasn’t retaining too much fluid with all the water I was pushing in but I’m just a meat lover by nature. So I practice Keto, but for anyone that can live and feel satisfied without a slab of steak from time to time should def. consider this lifestyle. My advice for this way of life: always educate yourself on proper protein substitutes as such has been explained in this article.

    Reply
    • Hi Amanda, that’s cool you lived the plant based lifestyle for a time and felt the benefits. But I understand how hard it can be giving up something that you have done your whole life. This was the issue I faced, but I managed to overcome it on my third attempt and now I just don’t even think about it any more so I guess those days of cravings are well and truly gone for me.

      These’s a lot of misinformation out there about the plant based and vegan diet, and it’s s true that you definitely need to be aware of protein intakes as this is where I came unstuck on my first few attempts. I guess because my body wasn’t getting enough of it and so I ended up going back to eating animal products, but when i got my protein intake sorted I never had a craving for them again. This leads me to believe that maybe it’s the reason why people find it so hard to stick to. Just a thought!

      Anyway, thanks for your comment, it is good to see things from another point of view.

      Reply
  11. I love all this information you provide. I am a vegetarian and I just love the way I feel when I eat healthily. I was very over weight in the past and decided that I want to make a change so I could be around longer for my kids, and changing my lifestyle was the best thing I did for myself. After about a year I lost fifty pounds, and l’m just so happy that I kept it up. I think you share some great information here and anyone who is interested in a plant based diet should consider all the health benefits that come with it. I will be sharing your site with friends. Thanks so much for sharing.

    Reply
    • Hi Jeany, thanks, that would be great if you could share the post as I really do feel that this way of eating makes a difference to people’s lives.

      That’s amazing you lost 50 llbs by going vegetarian and eating healthier. I think at some point everybody has to take stock and look at their diet as we in the Western word are mostly conditioned into eating unhealthy foods.

      Good luck with your future healthy eating!

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  12. I agree with all these benefits listed. While my diet isn’t completely plant-based, it’s predominately plant-based, and like you I’ll never, ever, ever look back since I started incorporating more plant-based nutrients in my nutritional regime back in 2016. More energy is what really jumped out at me, as I can go into my day job and literally run laps around everyone else in there. It’s an amazing feeling, really. While nothing in this world will ever improve my sleep (I just naturally sleep three to six hours a night, especially in the summer) I can also tell you that I haven’t been sick since 2011. Quite a streak and this is ZERO exaggeration.

    Reply
    • Wow Todd, you’ve had an 8 year run without sickness! That’s unbelievable, and just goes to show the true power of healthy eating and it’s great you have shared this information as it confirms what I already know.

      Yes, feeling so healthy is an amazing feeling and I can definitely relate to that. I probably first got into healthy eating and exercise about over 15 years ago and I can still remember now how fast I got hit by that feeling of pure vitality (I was younger then so that probably made a difference). Still, it literally blew me away that I could feel so good and I have never looked back since. Most people don’t understand that feeling so have no idea what they’re missing.

      Reply

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