As more is reported about the vulnerable state of our planet and the mistreatment of animals, more and more people are turning towards a plant based diet, and I am one of them.
Western society relies heavily on meat and animal derived products such as dairy and eggs to make up a large portion of their diet. It can be hard to change that habit but if you care about the environment, animal welfare or your own health, you should.
First things first, let’s clarify what I mean. I’m not saying you have to go vegan, I myself still consume eggs, fish and occasionally meat, I just believe that everyone should make a conscious effort to increase their consumption of plant based foods.
One day a week, or even one meal a week, where you don’t really on animal products to fuel your body will make a HUGE difference. Plus, I guarantee you’ll learn new skills; new flavour combinations, discover new protein sources and new recipes.
Plant based means vegan
False. Plant based means relying less on animal products and eating a diet rich in plant based foods but, that can be anything from 60% plant based to 100%.
Plants taste gross
False. Anything can taste ‘gross’ if it’s prepped or cooked wrong and vice versa. For example, there are many ways to prepare greens: raw, sautéed, fried, boiled, grilled or roasted, you just have to find a method that YOU like the taste of. Furthermore, flavour is your friend; herbs and spices can transform a dish.
My options will be limited
False. Your options are endless! Take the simple falafel for example, there are so many combinations you can experiment with: beet falafels, spiced carrot, spinach etc. Plus, there are a billion spices, sauces, marinades etc you can make to breathe new life into your favourite dishes.
I’ll be hungry
False. I guarantee you will not go hungry. As plant based foods generally have less calories it means you get to fill your plate with colourful fruit and vegetables, a good amount of whole grains, protein and some fat.
I can’t have my favourites
False. You can still have allllll your favourites, you’ll just have to adapt the ingredients a little but I promise they’ll still taste delicious.
I won’t be able to get enough protein!!!
False. Getting enough protein really isn’t an issue; beans, legumes, nuts, seeds, quinoa, spirulina are all high in plant based protein. My favourites are chickpeas and bean/lentil pasta.
Still not convinced? A portion of steak = 25 g protein BUT so does a portion of blackbean pasta!
If you’re really concerned there are loads of great vegan protein powders out there, my favourite is Pureblend by Form Nutrition.
Plant based is expensive
False. Meat is usually the most expensive item on our family shopping bill. Sure avocados and certain ‘extras’ like fancy nut butter or raw chocolate can be expensive but the basics like canned beans, legumes, wholegrains, seasonal fruit and vegetables are super cheap.
Reasons to love plant based
For the planet 🌍🌊🌱
The livestock industry uses 8% of the world’s water resources and is responsible for emitting up to 50% of the planet’s greenhouse gases.
For animals 🐄🐥🐖
We are not the only creatures on this planet and we are not above anyone or anything else. All living organisms are equal and should be treated with respect, kindness and dignity.
For your health 🙆💗👍
Studies have found that those who rely less on animal derived products and follow a more plant based diet, have a significantly lower risk of developing diseases such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and cancer.
Secondly, plants are rich in fibre, for healthy digestion, vitamins, minerals, unsaturated fats and protein.
For your mental health 🧠😊🙏
When you start thinking about how you are fueling your body, you become very aware of the ingredients you’re consuming and you’ll find yourself becoming a more mindful, intuitive eater.
In addition, some people find that when they switch to a more plant based diet, a sense of guilt is lifted and they feel lighter and more content with their choices.
For your wallet 👛💷💰
The basics of a plant based diet are shoe string cheap; we’re talking fruit and vegetables from 45 p, 49 p for a can of chickpeas, £1.20 for 1 kg rice and if you’re feeling fancy, £2 for a block of tofu or a bag of Quorn mince.
“The future is about a plant based diet” – Jamie Oliver