How to Get Started
Drastically changing your diet overnight can seem overwhelming (and rarely leads to lasting change), so take it one step at a time. Start with one food substitution and slowly add in others. As my friend andNew York Timesbestselling author Kathy Freston, says, “Leaning in is about setting an intention for what you want, and then nudging yourself ever so gently in that direction, even if getting there seems impossible… It’s all about crowding out, not cutting out.”
Here are a few simple swaps to get more plant-based foods into your diet:
Instead of:Dairy milk
Drink more:Almond, rice, hemp, soy, or coconut milk (unsweetened)
Eat more: Beans, legumes, tempeh, or non-GMO tofu
Eat more:Hummus, olive oil and balsamic (with veggies), baba ganoush
Eat more:Plant-based protein shakes, almond butter, oatmeal…….
Top 5 Tips for Lasting Results
1. Always Eat Breakfast
Eating breakfast provides your body with energy to fuel physical activity throughout the morning. Plus, eating a healthy meal in the morning may help you avoid the temptation to reach for a quick-fix at the vending machine when your stomach starts growling around 11:00 a.m.
Try: A quinoa or oatmeal bowl to get a combination of complex carbs, protein, fiber, and healthy fat. Start with one half cup of hot grains (of your choice) and add almond milk, walnuts, berries, cinnamon, and honey. If this is not convenient, try a piece of multi-grain toast with almond butter and banana.
2. Snack Smarter.
The best snacks to keep you feeling energized are a combination of protein and carbs. Just like eating breakfast, snacking on nutrient-packed foods throughout the day can help you avoid becoming so hungry that you’ll reach for anything. (Trust me, your body would rather you eat an apple and an ounce of cheese than a bag of chips from the convenience store).
Try: Snacking on small amounts of nuts, fresh fruit, or veggies and hummus every two or three hours.
3. Choose Complex Carbohydrates
Yes, youcaneat carbs and have a knockout body, just make sure you eat theright carbs. Avoid processed and refined carbs (the white stuff) and choose complex carbohydrates such as brown rice, oats, and legumes. Complex carbs provide dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals, which slow down digestion and make you feel fuller longer (the key to weight-loss success). Refined carbs are highly processed and often full of added sugars. These foods break down easily to supply quick energy in the form of glucose. This is a good thing if your body needs quick energy (if you’re running a race or playing a sport), but most people are better off choosing unprocessed or minimally processed whole foods that contain natural sugars, like fructose in fruit.
Try: Find ways to fit more vegetables, fruits, and whole grains (brown rice, quinoa, millet, oats) into your everyday diet. Some refined carbs to limit: white bread, white pasta, and sugary baked goods.
4. Enjoy the Good Fats
Just like carbohydrates, not all fats are created equal either. The “good” fats (omega-3 fatty acids, particularly EPA and DHA) are very beneficial to your health. Research shows strong evidence that the omega-3s EPA and DHA can boost heart, brain, joint, eye, and skin health.
Try: Fatty fish like salmon and tuna and fish oil supplements are the easiest significant sources of omega-3 fatty acids.
5. Drink Water All Day Long
Water is the elixir of good health. Staying hydrated does everything from boosting energy levels to promoting healthy, glowing skin. Drinking water also helps to flush out toxins and waste products in the body.
Try: Drink two, 8-ounce glasses of water before every meal. You’ll not only hydrate your body, but you’ll be less likely to overeat during the meal.