In my line of work here at WholeFoods Magazine, I deal with social media and digital engagement. In a day, I post and come across dozens of stories and content that tout the effectiveness and benefits of Keto, Paleo, Mediterranean, and Plant-Based diets. We’ve covered many of these diets here at WholeFoods Magazine. So when the opportunity to try the plant-based diet came along, I jumped at it. Already exposed to many aspects of this diet as a vegan, I knew that this diet largely focused on incorporating plants and raw ingredients as well as leading the healthiest lifestyle you can. However, I thought it best to get a real definition, so I turned to my favorite search engine and started doing some baseline research. What’s a whole-foods, plant-based diet? Well, according to healthline.com, the plant-based diet “…focuses on minimally processed foods, specifically plants, and is effective at stimulating weight loss and improving health.” However, as the article notes, there is no clear definition of this diet. This particularly captured my interest!
Perhaps the most alluring aspect of this diet is that it’s quite easy, and you can shape it to fit your lifestyle. The fact that there is so much wiggle room gives the dieter the opportunity to broaden their horizons and get creative. My experience with this diet was truly a delight, and for the purpose of this post, I’d like to share with you what made this diet especially pleasant for me.
Incorporating the plant-based philosophy is perfect for people who may want to simply liven up a stale meal plan. Why not try strawberries on your morning avocado toast? What can be the harm in trying mashed potatoes with curry gravy? There’s no way to know unless you try. Sometimes I would even just go to my local store or open my fridge and try to make a meal based on what I could afford/had available in the house. It opened me up to being creative and resourceful with fresh ingredients in a way that I have not explored before. Urge your customers to use their plates as an open canvas when approaching this diet.
This was really what made this diet the most exciting for me. Variety can be applied in this diet in many ways. For me, I would try a Thai dish one night for dinner, then an Italian dish the next. People often allow themselves to fall into lockstep with their diets with the same salad every day for the week, or the same sandwich on Wednesdays. If your customers come to you looking for a way to break free of their plant-based pattern, it may be worth suggesting they try to switch things up, or switch them up more frequently. You can guide your customers towards trying a number of different cultural dishes or mixing and matching meals from their meal plans to keep things interesting.
3. Personalize! Customize! Harmonize!
A point worth driving home: This diet is easy to bend to fit your taste, your goals and your lifestyle. Going into this diet, my goal was to step away from my title as a Certified Lazy Vegan. I simply wanted to step away from my habit of buying frozen and processed foods, and wanted to start incorporating more natural ingredients in my meals that I made myself. So I did just that. If I felt like something wasn’t working for me, then I adjusted. If I didn’t have time to cook, then I was okay if I had to a pre-cooked meal. It’s also very important to create a harmonious relationship between your body and mind and however you choose to embrace this diet. So, when customers come to you for advice, urge them to consider who they are and what their goal is for the plant-based diet before and during their plant-based transition. There are many ways to interpret the definition of this diet, and I strongly encourage anyone who wants to try it to really run with that notion.
After giving this diet a try for a few weeks, I can honestly say that I’m still enjoying it very much. I’ve started incorporating vegetables into more meals. For example, I’ll have carrots and hummus instead of pita bread and hummus. When I do have to grab a quick bite, I’ll throw more vegetables in the mix than I did before starting the diet. In closing, this diet is a wonderful way to not only open your diet up to more vegetables, but also a wonderful way to be more creative with your meals, expose yourself to more cultural dishes, and begin to understand your body and mind.