Below we share tips to help you make your plant-based diet sustainable.
Plant-based diet as the name suggests, is a diet solely consisting of foods procured from plants. Meaning, meats, poultry, and dairy products are avoided. This means various food groups are excluded from one’s diet. This is why we need to take steps to make this diet sustainable. Read on as we share tips to help you make your plant-based diet sustainable.
Tips to help you make your plant-based diet sustainable:
1. Plan your meals
Creating a weekly meal plan will help you keep track of your plant-based meals and ensure you have all the necessary ingredients on hand. Use online resources or cookbooks for inspiration. Sit down at the beginning of each week and plan out your meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Consider incorporating a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and plant-based proteins.
2. Shop smart
Make a list of the plant-based foods you need before heading to the grocery store. Stick to the items on your list to avoid impulse purchases of non-plant-based foods. Organise your grocery shopping by sections, such as vegetables, fruits, grains, and proteins. Focus on purchasing fresh produce, whole grain products, and plant-based protein sources like tofu, lentils, or nuts.
3. Choose whole foods
Opt for whole foods instead of processed vegan alternatives to sustain a healthy plant-based diet. Whole foods include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and nuts/seeds. Aim to consume mostly unprocessed plant-based foods. Instead of relying on vegan packaged snacks or processed meat alternatives, focus on incorporating whole fruits, vegetables, whole grains like quinoa or brown rice, legumes like black beans or chickpeas, and nuts/seeds into your diet.
4. Prioritise nutrients
Ensure you are getting all the essential nutrients your body needs on a plant-based diet, such as protein, iron, calcium, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamin B12. Educate yourself about plant-based sources of these nutrients and incorporate them into your meals. For example, include plant-based protein sources like tofu, tempeh, or seitan, iron-rich foods like leafy greens, legumes, and fortified cereals, calcium-rich foods like fortified plant-based milk or leafy greens, omega-3 fatty acids from flaxseeds, chia seeds, or walnuts, and consider taking a vitamin B12 supplement.
5. Cook at home
Preparing meals at home allows you to control the ingredients and ensure they align with a plant-based diet. Experiment with new recipes and flavours. Set aside time each week for meal prep and cooking. Look for plant-based recipes online or in cookbooks to try out new dishes. This way, you can enjoy a wide range of flavours and ingredients while knowing exactly what goes into your meals.
6. Stock up on pantry essentials
Keep your pantry stocked with plant-based staples like legumes, grains, nuts, seeds, and spices. Having these ingredients on hand allows you to whip up a plant-based meal even when fresh produce is limited. Create a pantry checklist of plant-based staples you frequently use. Stock up on these items, such as canned or dried legumes like beans or lentils, whole grains like quinoa or brown rice, nuts, seeds, and spices. This way, you can easily create meals even when you don’t have fresh ingredients available.
7. Seek support and inspiration
Connect with like-minded individuals, join online communities, and seek support from friends and family who understand or are also following a plant-based lifestyle. This provides encouragement and helps sustain your commitment.