Plant-based eating is having a moment, but it’s not just a passing fad. Thanks to growing awareness around the health benefits of eating simple, whole foods, many Canadians are looking to transition to a diet that is high in fruits and veggies and low in animal ingredients.
An increased demand for ethical food and plant-based products means that brands like Coffee-mate are expanding their offerings, even creating coffee enhancers to complement a plant-based lifestyle. Here’s why this eating pattern might be for you and how to make smart changes to your routine that will help you stick with it.
Every plant-based meal plan is different because it can be tailored to the individual. In general, it will be high in vegetables, fruits, beans, lentils, seeds and nuts and lower in meat, dairy and eggs. It gives the environment a break (since animal products tend to have a large carbon footprint) and minimizes sodium, processed sugar and saturated fat while increasing intake of fibre, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals.
Take the time to understand your goals and determine how to make plant-based eating a sustainable choice in your lifestyle.
Giving up all of your favourite foods at once is a recipe for disaster. If you want to make long-term changes to your eating habits, attempt a slow transition. For example, if you love to bake, you could try swapping butter for mashed avocado. Or if creamy coffee brightens your day, you have a few options: keep it as a treat, reduce your consumption, or swap your splash of cream for a non-dairy coffee enhancer you feel good about. Coffee-mate Bliss ™ has five new blends that are not made with genetically modified ingredients and are free of artificial flavours, colours and preservatives. Vanilla, Sweet Cream and Hazelnut are creamers made with real milk from cows not treated with added growth hormones, while Almond Vanilla and Coconut Sweet Crème are dairy-free and made from simple, plant-based ingredients.
Taking the time to plan ahead is important for meeting just about any health objective. If you have specific goals for the amount of meat, vegetables or grains that you want to consume, plan out your meals for the week before heading to the grocery store. Research recipes that are high in fruits and veggies—from healthy snacks to full breakfasts, lunches and dinners—that you actually look forward to eating. Make sure you stock up on all of the ingredients.
Batch-cooking meals a couple of times a week and dividing them into containers that you can take for lunch or heat up for dinner may also help you stick with your plant-based eating goals.
Reduce meat consumption
If you usually eat meat or animal products at every meal, start by replacing them one day a week—say Meatless Mondays. Gradually move to two or three days a week, or try only eating meat products at one meal daily. Whatever you choose, make sure that it’s done in a sustainable way that fits you and your lifestyle.
Make the change with family and friends
Any life change is more fun when it involves other people. Make meal-planning and prep a family endeavour a couple times a week, or find a friend who wants to plan healthy lunch dates and swap plant-based meal ideas. Finally, follow @coffeematebliss for fun recipe suggestions.