How to eat more plant-based

We all know that eating more fruit and vegetables are good for us. But, sometimes it can be quite intimidating and daunting to switch to a majority, or full-on plant-based diet. It doesn’t need to be that way and transitioning to a plant-based diet can be made so easy. There are so many resources and ideas out there, these are just some of my tips and what helped me adopt a plant-based lifestyle.

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There are so many benefits to eating a plant-based diet. Some of these include lowering your cholesterol and blood pressure, decreasing your risk of cancer, building a better immune system and aiding in digestion. The benefits are endless, and I really found that eating plant-based has changed the way my body functions. (in the beginning it was the main reason why I went vegan) I have more energy than before, my digestion has improved dramatically, I have lost weight and overall I feel “lighter”. Not necessarily just lighter in weight, but lighter in the sense of eating better quality, high fiber living food, makes you feel energetic and alive! I know all bodies are different and might require different things, but adding in more whole plant-based foods can only be beneficial to your diet and lifestyle.

Often people have the concern, of how do you ensure that you get enough protein in your diet? You know what, in my experience, if you eat enough calories from nutrient dense, whole, plant-based food, you are more than likely getting in enough protein. I love making sure I get enough protein in by adding plenty of the following foods in my diet; Quinoa, lentils, black beans, hummus (chickpeas), tofu, tempeh, broccoli, chia seeds and hemp seeds. Bulking up you meals with enough food will fill you up and sustain you. I also like having a plant-based protein powder in my house, to add to smoothies (making  it creamy and delish and it also gives a little protein boost) And also seeds! Seeds in and on everything! Sunflower seeds, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds! Sprinkled on breakfast, salads and pasta!

When I started to eat plant-based I would walk in the grocery store and roam around the fruit and vegetables section. I would see what I was drawn to and what looked good to me. I would also take note of what was in season and more available. I would buy colorful food and start experimenting with it. I never enjoyed cooking, and was not comfortable cooking meats. When it comes to cooking plants, there is no fear of eating raw food, getting sick or under-cooking my broccoli. Now, I really enjoy making food, trying out and creating new easy recipes. It is amazing to me how much I can do with plant based foods! Filling up my plate with sweet potatoes, stir fries, brown rice and beans is so tasty, eating food in their original form and feeling it nourish and sustain me is so rewarding. Enjoying every flavour!

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Making the transition try and focus on one meal at a time. See what foods you enjoy to eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner and see how you can adjust, change or incorporate more whole foods to them.

For  breakfast, I really enjoy smoothies,  which can be packed and filled with whatever you want. Fruit based, veggies based, dessert for breakfast (think cacao nibs, dates, frozen bananas and berries) and even loaded with superfoods. Experiment with that you like, make sure smoothies are packed with nutrient dense foods and some healthy fats to keep you satiated. I like smoothies because they suit my lifestyle and climate I live in, but sometimes one also feels like something more wholesome, warm and comforting. Oats is such an awesome and versatile base for any delicious plant-based brekkie. Overnight oats with plant milk, chia seeds and berries, warm oats with nut butter and cinnamon and bananas. I also love making oats -based pancakes with berries and fruit on the weekends when I have time.

For lunch I like to have a greens and leaves as the base of my lunch. Lots of lettuce, spinach, rocket with some broccoli, cauliflower or beans. I load it up with quinoa cooked with some carrots and potatoes. Maybe add a wholewheat bun to make a sandwich or yummy burger or some rice spaghetti or pasta to make a pasta salad. I always make sure I have some fruit and berries if I am craving something sweet, and right now I am indulging in granadilla (passion fruit).

For dinner I enjoy experimenting with sauces and stir fries. I love making fresh tomato sauce or a creamy cheese sauce. ( Easy week night dinner idea – Creamy Rosé Sauce , Vegan Cheese sauce ) I love making curries over a bed of spinach and lentils. I use quinoa as a base as it is so versatile and I can use it to add substance and bulk to any veggie plate. I really enjoy sweet potatoes, and sometimes just eat them with some tahini and a big salad. Nutritious, satisfying and packed full of flavour. Creamy carrot and pumpkin soup with coconut milk is also one of my easiest and favourite go-to dinners.

For snacks, I love to bake. (2 years ago I would never have said this!) I really enjoy making afternoon treats and really putting some time and effort into making enjoyable  healthy snack that can tide me over until dinner time. A quick banana and nut loaf, seed crackers or homemade granola. I also enjoying making energy balls that are so handy and easy to make, carry around and enjoy. ( Easy Energy Balls ) Another easy snack is some crackers with hummus. Super filling and packed with protein.

Eating plant based is anything but dull or boring, and for sure not just a diet consisting of leaves and fruit. I have been eating more food than ever before, experimenting with different types of plant-based foods and learning to cook and make food that is delicious and healthy and nourishing for my body. Our food should feed us, nourish us and help heal our bodies. I am so passionate about this and get really excited to see more people adding a bigger variety of plant based food to their diet!

Easy Energy Balls

One of my favourite snacks to make is, for sure, some yummy energy balls.

They are so easy to make, and you can basically add whatever you want (or have in your fridge) in them.

They also last quite long and you can store them in the fridge.

They are super handy to throw in a small container and have as an on-the-go kind of snack, when you are running late, on the way to the gym after work, or as a sweet little treat after lunch. I love preparing them for when I go on vacation, a nice and easy airport or plane treat!

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Easy week night dinner idea – Creamy Rosé Sauce

Sometimes cooking a whole food, plant-based meal can seem intimidating if you don’t know how or you are not use to cooking only plant-based meals.

Vegan dinners don’t need to be fancy and complicated, or on the other hand, it doesn’t need to be just a bowl of leaves and cucumber.

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This is one of my go-to sauces. It is so so easy to make, and it is so versatile. It doesn’t need any fancy ingredients and can be whipped up in about 30 – 35 minutes.

Once the sauce is done, you can add it to some rice spaghetti or pasta, add some of your favourite veggies and even some baked tofu. Continue reading “Easy week night dinner idea – Creamy Rosé Sauce”

Vegan Cheese sauce

I have been dairy free for about a year now,  and I used to love cheese! I mean, the bluer the cheese the better. Eating a lot of cheese never actually made me feel good, but it would be the price I’d pay for some cheesy pizza or creamy pastas.

I went dairy free quite early on in my health journey, and just got used to not eating any cheese or yogurt. Also, living in Asia,  cheese can be quite pricey and was not something I would want to spend a lot of money on.

(After going vegan, I knew there were a lot of vegan cheese options, but they are even harder to find in Thailand. Just this weekend I found some vegan cheese options for the first time in Bangkok in a International supermarket! And as strange as it may seem, I didn’t end up buying any! I was so used to my own delicious cheese sauces that I didn’t feel like spending (way too much) money on, although vegan, processed cheese. It is for sure nice to have it as an option for when I am craving a wine and cheese kind of night, but knowing I can make my own version in abunda

nce is a good feeling. )

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Vegan Basil Pesto

I have always loved Basil Pesto!  It is such a creamy, flavour-packed addition to so many meals. I usually fold it into pasta; add to a salad or veggie bowl, use as a base for burgers or just on some crackers with cucumber and tomato.  Pesto was usually a treat to buy in the shop, and I always ate it quite sparingly as it can be a little oily. And then when I went vegan, I could not buy it anymore as it contains Parmesan cheese.

Becoming more comfortable in the kitchen, I started to make my own basil pesto.

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Some of my favourite staples in my fridge

When buying groceries, there are for sure some staples that always go into my trolley. Items that I use on a daily basis and that I don’t even need to add on my shopping list. Some of these I buy regularly and some are items that last quite long.

  1. Lemons

Although lemons are unfortunately so expensive here in Thailand, I can’t help but buy them regularly. I add half a lemon to a liter of water first thing in the morning. I have a liter of water with lemon, apple cider vinegar and a dash of cayenne pepper every single morning. It is so thirst quenching and re-hydrates me after my sleep.   Also, I make sure I have enough lemons for my weekly hummus!

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