A plant-based diet can mean something different for everyone. No matter what your definition of plant-based is, there is power to adding more plant foods to your meals.
What is plant-based eating?
Plant-based eating puts the focus of meals and snacks on plant foods. This includes foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds. For some, that can mean replacing some animal-based foods like meat and dairy with plant-based options. For others, it can mean avoiding all animal products, such as with a vegan or vegetarian diet. Plant-based eating is not “one size fits all.” Finding the foods you enjoy and work for your personal needs is key to making lasting changes to your lifestyle.
How to add more plant-based foods to your day
Looking for ways to add more plant foods to your meals and snacks? We’re here to help! Here are 12 ideas to add more plant foods to your day.
- Add extra vegetables to your eggs. You can also substitute eggs for a tofu scramble.
- Swap breakfast meat for a serving of fruit.
- Make a fruit smoothie. As a bonus, add a serving of vegetables like spinach, zucchini or cauliflower.
- Use salad as a base. Fill a bowl with salad greens. Top with colorful vegetables. Add a serving of protein. Drizzle with your favorite dressing. Add optional flavor or crunch with foods like chopped nuts, sliced avocado or fresh fruit.
- Add volume to a sandwich with vegetables. Make your sandwich fully plant-powered by taking out the deli meat and cheese. Fill your sandwich with beans, cooked tofu, mashed avocado or hummus instead.
- Make a grain bowl. Start with a serving of whole grains like brown rice, barley or quinoa. Top with a serving or two of vegetables. Add a serving of protein. Drizzle with dressing or sauce. Add optional flavor boosters like fresh herbs, a squeeze of lemon or lime, or chopped nuts.
- Add vegetables or beans to favorite meals. Stir fresh or frozen vegetables or cooked beans into soup, pasta or stir-fry. Top pizza with extra veggies. Add beans or vegetables to tacos or burrito bowls. Focus on adding more plant foods to meals you already enjoy rather than trying completely new dishes all the time.
- Batch-cook vegetables. Roast, steam or bake vegetables for the week ahead. This saves time and energy when schedules get busy. Adding more vegetables to meals is easier when they are already cooked and ready to go.
- Cook a meat-free meal once a week. Use the balanced plate method. Use plant-based proteins like tofu, tempeh, edamame or beans in place of meat or fish.
- Keep fruits visible for easy snacking. Have a fruit bowl on your counter or table. Keep cut fruit front and center in your fridge.
- Snack on trail mix. Make your own or buy premade. Portion out for snacks on the go.
- Chop or buy pre-cut fruits and vegetables. Keep them visible in your fridge for snacking or adding to meals.