Ever since Beyonce and Jay Z announced to the world that they were undertaking a 22-day vegan plant-based cleanse, the term “plant-based diet” has garnered as much attention as Lady Gaga’s costumes. But you don’t have to be a celebrity to benefit from or undertake a plant-based diet for yourself. It’s a way to benefit the planet, vary your diet and save money. Find out about the different types of plant-based diets, including tips for tasty treats.
Vegetarians typically eat dairy and eggs. Variations include dairy only or eggs only. Plan on lots of veggies, fruit, legumes, beans, nuts and whole grains to supplement your vegetarian diet. You may want to add a B-12 supplement, so talk with your doctor to determine the right amount for you.
Want to try the vegan version of plant-based diets? Omit dairy and eggs and go for a variety of grains, such as quinoa; legumes, beans, nuts, fruits, vegetables and healthy fats such as coconut oil and avocado. Try brown rice mixed with beans for a protein boost.
If you want room to indulge in an occasional burger dinner or tuna salad lunch (or perchance bacon at breakfast?), this might be the plan for you. Trying to lose weight? One variation includes specific calorie counts in a 3-4-5 plan:
- 300 calories for breakfast
- 400 for lunch
- 500 for dinner
- two 150-calorie snacks
Plant-Based Foods for Feasts
Now that you know the basics of each type of plant-based diet, let’s talk about tips for what to include:
- Legumes and beans play an important role in providing enough protein. Consider Eden Foods Organic Black Beans, which have 7 grams of protein in just half a cup.
- Groove on grains. For example, Arrowhead Mills Organic Quinoa has 18 grams of protein per cup. Try using it for breakfast or in place of rice at dinner.
- If you’re seeking for a way to get more protein in your diet, turn to vegan protein powder such as Sunwarrior Warrior Blend Raw Vegan Protein.
- Are you accustomed to putting milk in your coffee or tea or on your cereal? Say hello to non-dairy beverages, such as Blue Diamond Almond Breeze.
- Be sure to include enough healthy fats in your diet. Try a stir fry with California Olive Ranch Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
- What’s life without chocolate? Indulge in a small amount of good quality vegan chocolate, such as Alter Eco Dark Quinoa Organic Chocolate with 60% cocoa.
Joanne Eglash, Vitacost.com’s Diet Diva, has a master of science in holistic nutrition and more than 15 years experience as a nutrition consultant, blogger, author and journalist. She has written for a wide range of publications and websites, including ediets.com, Natural Health magazine, Shape magazine, Success magazine, Energy for Women and Chefs. Joanne is currently the national Diets columnist for the online news and entertainment site, Examiner.com, and a features food columnist for Yahoo.