starkel nutrition seattle nutritionist plant based eating

Do you keep hearing that eating a plant-based diet is healthy for you? Do you like the idea of eating more plants, but don’t want to give up meat? Are you ready to give more plants a try, but aren’t sure how? Well, you’re in luck, because eating more plants is a simple as grabbing the nearest piece of broccoli and munching away! Eating a plant-based diet does not mean only eating plants!

First, what’s healthy about a plant-based diet?

  • High in fiber
  • High in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants
  • High in healthy fats
  • Anti-inflammatory

What health conditions can eating more plants help with?

  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Cancer
  • Arthritis
  • Weight loss
  • Pretty much anything else you can think of!

What do you eat on a plant-based diet?

  • Vegetables and fruit
  • Whole grains
  • Legumes
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Healthy fats like avocados, olive oil and coconut oil

You can also include smaller amounts of:

  • Fish and shellfish
  • Meat and poultry
  • Dairy

 When your goal is to eat more plants, your first job is to consider where your plant-based foods are coming from. The trend in America is to focus on the meat first and fill in the gaps, but if you shift your thinking to “plants first,” you’re guaranteed to eat more. Also, go for variety! If all you can manage in a meal is roasted broccoli (see, we’re back to munching broccoli), then go for it! Your goal is to eat plants, and that’s what you’re doing. But if you have a bit more time, try roasting up some carrots and cauliflower with your broccoli to get a larger variety of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients, and to provide a bigger portion of your meal. Aim to fill half your plate with veggies, a quarter with protein, and a quarter with healthy carbohydrates.

Some veggie-rich foods:

  • Huge salads with salmon
  • Soups with lots of different veggies and some protein (animal or bean)
  • Veggie curry with brown rice
  • Roasted veggies with roasted chicken thighs (one-pan meals for the win!)
  • Pasta with lots and lots of veggies and a little bit of protein

Is there more to plant-based eating? Of course! But the very first step is to start by focusing on the vegetables. Shaping your meal around veggies will invariably lead you to eat more of them. If you need assistance figuring out how to incorporate more veggies into your diet, want ideas for recipes, or need help adjusting a plant-based diet to fit a specific health condition, come see us!

Happy eating!

Written by Autumn Hoverter, MS, RDN