- Eliminate processed food from your kitchen and replace it with whole- or minimally-processed food. Processed food often appears healthful, thanks to clever marketing labels, but it's anything but. A good example is bread. Bread requires four ingredients: yeast, water, flour and salt. Now open your pantry and read how many ingredients your bread contains. Oftentimes, bread we believe is healthy (because it’s marketed as such) has upwards of 25 ingredients listed! This means it’s so far removed from its natural state that it’s no longer providing nutritional benefits to us. It’s actually doing more harm than good. When it comes to ingredients, less is definitely more. As author Michael Pollan put it, "If it came from a plant, eat it. If it was made in a plant, don't." (If you’re looking for healthful bread, we have a love affair with Ezekiel Food for Life products. Check the organic, freezer section of your local grocery store. Here are some additional tips for choosing bread.)
- Read ingredients … for everything. If a food item contains added sugar or ingredients you can’t pronounce, understand or buy on your own, avoid it at all costs!
- Use the Internet to familiarize yourself with a whole-food, plant-based lifestyle (look for new ingredients, foods, menu options and recipes beyond what you are accustomed to and start trying them out), or buy a whole-food, plant-based cookbook and begin making different recipes. Commit to cooking one whole-food, plant-based dinner per week.
- Reduce dairy consumption. Choose a non-dairy milk alternative such as Unsweetened Almond Milk by Silk (it tastes the most like cow’s).
- Research healthful dairy-free methods of baking. For example, did you know that you can replace one egg with 1 tablespoon flaxseed meal + 3 tablespoons warm water?
- Commit to preparing three whole-food, plant-based dinners per week.
- Try something new. For example, my entire first year of being plant-based, I refused to cook with tofu. There was no rational reason for this. It simply looked slimy to me and I didn’t want to touch it. Once I learned what a culinary chameleon tofu is and then how to cook with it, I fell madly in love!
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