What is a Plant-Based diet?
Defined As: A diet based on fruits, vegetables, tubers, whole grains, and legumes; and it excludes or minimizes meat (including chicken and fish), dairy products, and eggs, as well as highly refined foods like bleached flour, refined sugar, and oil.
Why should I try a Plant-Based diet?
You can prevent eye disease (and other life threatening illnesses) with a whole-foods and plant-based diet!
You can get all of the vitamins and minerals you need from your plate rather than from a pill!
How Do I Start a Plant-Based diet?
Start simple. Follow the easy steps below, and start feeling the difference! Little by little you can build simple habits that will make a noticeable difference in your overall health, including: weight loss, improved sleep, less bloating and inflammation, satisfied appetite, and a happy doctor!
1. GET HYDRATED
Our bodies need a lot of water to function properly. Make it a habit to start your morning with a large glass of water. Keep a water bottle near your work station, and drink a glass of water before your meals. Staying hydrated will help kick cravings – don’t mistake hunger for thirst! (Read this eye-opening post about the benefits of water).
2. START WITH GREENS
Every meal should include a hearty leafy green! Kale, collards, chard, and more!
3. EAT THE RAINBOW
Getting a variety of colored vegetables will ensure you are getting your share of vitamins and minerals!
4. BATCH COOK BEANS & LEGUMES
The best source of plant-based protein and fiber! Try replacing your meat entrees with beans, legumes, or brown rice. The best part? They are easy to cook and store in large quantities for faster meals throughout the week!
5. ALTERNATIVE MILK
Experiment with different milk alternatives such as soy, almond, or coconut milk. Dr. Giebel and his family have found soy milk the easiest to bake with, and the best for foaming and drinking with tea (Dr. Giebel’s daughter loves adding some almond or vanilla extract to her foamed soy milk and adding it to her earl gray tea for a cozy drink). Almond milk is delicious with cereals and oats. Find which milk alternative is your favorite!
6. TRANSFORM YOUR FAVORITE RECIPES
Update your go-to meals into plant-based favorites! Pizza? Dr. Giebel and his family make pizza at home without cheese – lathered in tomato sauce, stacked high with vegetables like fresh tomatoes and arugula. Tacos are delicious with whole beans, steamed and zucchini (our staff suggest chipotle or chili powder for a nice kick), piled high with avocado, lettuce, tomatoes and salsa.
7. SWITCH YOUR SNACKS
Instead of the refined, sugar-packed granola bar and 2pm latte, prepare snack bags in advance to grab and go than include healthy and satisfying munchies like carrot sticks and almonds, or a piece of fresh fruit to enjoy with a glass of ice water.
8. STAY INSPIRED
Stay motivated by educating yourself about the health benefits. We have created a list of books and DVDs we have found the most inspiring and helpful. Share your experiences with others, swap recipes, share tips and stay connected!
9. GET YOUR HEART PUMPING
Try and get your heart rate up every day! In our office at Lifestyle Eye Center, our staff participate in a friendly competition that we call the “Health Challenge”. We challenge each other to get our heart rates up, and KEEP them up for at least 15 minutes every day. Whether that is working in the garden, walking up and down the stairs, going for a bike ride, or chasing the kids around the yard – get your heart pumping!
Need some inspiration? Check our our Resources Page!