If I could make a single dietary recommendation to people looking to get healthier, it would be to move to a plant-based diet.
Eating plants has been the best change I’ve made in my diet — and I’ve made a bunch of them, from intermittent fasting to low-carb experiments to eating 6 meals a day to eating almost all protein to eliminating sugar (all at various times).
Plants have made me slimmer, healthier, stronger, more energetic — and have increased my life expectancy (more on all this below).
Of course, the diet is simple, but moving away from the Standard American Diet to a plant-based one isn’t always so simple for most people.
Changing your diet can be difficult, but in this guide I’ll share a bit about how to change, talk a bit about why, and what you might eat.
What’s a Plant-Based Diet?
The simple answer, of course, is that you eat plants. You eliminate animals and (eventually) animal products like dairy and eggs.
The less simple answer is there is an abundance of plant foods that most people never eat, and eating a plant-based diet means you might widen the variety of foods you eat. For example, some of my favorite foods include: tempeh, seitan, tofu, kale, broccoli, quinoa, ground flaxseeds, ground chia seeds, raw almonds and walnuts, raw almond butter, olive oil, all kinds of berries, figs, avocados, tomatoes, lentils, black beans, spirulina, hemp seeds, nutritional yeast, organic soymilk, sweet potatoes, squash, carrots, apples, peaches, mangoes, pineapple, garlic, red wine, green tea, brown rice, sprouted (flourless) bread, brown rice, steel-cut oats.
A “plant-based diet” can be basically another way to say “vegan”, though many people do use the term to mean that you eat almost all plants with some animal products. In this post, I’ll be focusing on veganism, as I believe it’s the ultimate plant-based diet.