A plant-based diet helps our bodies cope with the effects of stress, inflammation, and exposure to environmental toxins. Make plant foods the bedrock of your diet, and you’ll help protect yourself against illness and encourage a healthy weight. Here’s how to up your dose of vegetables, fruit, and plant-based protein. From The Mindful Diet: How to Transform Your Relationship with Food for Lasting Weight Loss and Vibrant Health.
• Shred veggies—such as zucchini, carrots, or broccoli—and add them to sauces, casseroles, salads, and sandwiches.
• Substitute mashed black beans for some or all of the meat in meat loaf, meatballs, or burgers.
• Add baby spinach or other greens, such as kale, to fruit-based smoothies.
• Thicken creamy sauces and soup with silken tofu or amaranth and millet.
• Add chopped nuts to salads, oatmeal, yogurt, cookies, and casseroles, or substitute nut flours for some or all of the wheat flour in recipes.
• Put avocado slices on sandwiches and in salads, or use as a spread in lieu of mayonnaise on sandwiches; mix with eggs for a twist on egg salad.
• Add ground flaxseed (sold pre-ground as flax meal) to smoothies, yogurt, and oatmeal for a healthy dose of plant omega-3s and mixed fibers.
The more you increase your plant base, the less room there is for refined and processed foods. We talk to clients about crowding out: you’re so busy eating the good stuff—vegetables and fruit, whole grains, and legumes—that you’ll crowd out (maybe even forget about) the bad stuff.