It’s almost 2018 (woo-hoo!) and that means New Year’s parties, yes, but also New Year’s resolutions.
All jokes about New Year’s resolutions aside, we’ve all created resolutions that were harder to stick to than we may have expected.
If you’ve tried a variety of “diets” to become healthier, look your best, or lose weight, you know what we’re talking about. Many “diets” are difficult to follow or maintain over the long-term, and because of that, fad diets don’t make for the best New Year’s resolutions.
It’s hard to get excited about anything that is super restrictive for a long period of time.
Make a Plant-Based New Years Resolution
If you want to improve your diet in 2018, there is a solution that will help you to achieve your health goals and that you can happily stick to: plant-based eating.
Believe it or not, following a plant-based diet that emphasizes fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and seeds will allow you to focus on delicious, whole foods while being health-conscious.
Plant-based diets don’t require sudden, drastic changes in your eating habits or leave you feeling hungry all the time – you can make a big difference to your health simply by eating more vegetables at every meal. (We’re lookin’ at you, breakfast!)
While a plant-based diet can be vegan or vegetarian, it doesn’t have to be. Animal products such as meat and dairy do not need to be eliminated from your diet; they simply need to be reduced. Think of veggies as the center of your plate rather than as a side dish.
Plant-based Diets & Your Health
Wondering how eating a plant-based diet will impact your health? Here’s 7 awesome benefits of plant-based diets:
1. Sleep improvements
Plant-based foods such as almonds, avocados, bananas, broccoli, kale, spinach, squash, sweet potatoes, unsweetened cashew and peanut butter, and walnuts, all contain vitamin B6, tryptophan, and magnesium, which promote a healthy sleep cycle.
2. Less joint pain
Aching joints? Plants are natural pain-relievers and eating a plant-based diet increases the alkalinity in the body to help soothe inflammation. Focus on plant-based foods rich in omega-3 fats like flax or chia seeds, along with chlorophyll-packed leafy greens such as collards, kale, spinach, and swiss chard.
3. Natural, sustained energy
Eating a plant-based diet is a great way to enhance your energy levels. It’s easier for your body to digest plants compared to animal products so you get an energy boost sooner after eating. Also, plants are packed with natural energy boosting vitamins, minerals, and water.
4. Improved skin tone
Fruits and vegetables provide vitamins such as A, C, E, and K, as well as antioxidants and phytochemicals that are beneficial for skin health and collagen production. The high water content of fruits and vegetables promotes healthy skin by helping to keep us hydrated and providing essential nutrients.
5. Better digestion and “gut” health
Diets high in animal products disrupt the healthy bacteria in our guts—that imbalance can lead to weight gain and gastrointestinal issues. Eating a plant-based diet that reduces the number of animal products consumed can help to alleviate constipation, bloating, heartburn, and gas.
6. Easier weight control and weight loss
Eating plant-based fats and proteins such as olive oil, avocado, nuts, legumes, soy, and quinoa makes it easier to maintain your weight or lose excess weight in a nutritious way.
7. Prevent diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and cancer
In countries and cultures where the majority of people eat a plant-based diet, the rates of diabetes, cancer, obesity, and heart disease are considerably lower than in places that consume a higher level of animal products. The World Health Organization has classified red and processed meat as carcinogens that may cause cancer.
How to Start a Plant-Based Diet in 2018 (or Today!)
So, what’s the best way to begin a plant-based diet?
Our recommendation is to start with some easy-to-make substitutions and gradually continue to modify your food choices over time.
Remember the saying, slow and steady wins the race? If you follow that principle, you’ll begin to see changes in your health, appearance, and energy levels without feeling deprived.
When what you’re eating makes you feel good, you’ll want to stick with those habits for the long-term.
Ideas For Making Your Meals More Plant-Based
Instead of dairy milk with breakfast or your morning coffee or tea, try a nut milk or other non-dairy milk or creamer.
Instead of using butter on your bread or potato, try a healthy, non-dairy “fat” like olive oil or avocado. Want to make it super tasty? Add some super greens and sliced radish.
If you eat meat every night for dinner, give “Meatless Monday” a try and explore meat-alternatives such as Portobello mushroom “meatballs,” grilled tofu, black bean quesadillas, BBQ seitan “wings” or Fiesta Quinoa burgers.
Keep An Open Mind
When you’re starting a plant-based diet, it’s important to have fun and keep an open mind (and mouth!) to trying new fruits, vegetables, meat-alternatives, and whole grains. We’re certain you’ll be pleasantly surprised when you discover how much you enjoy the #PlantPowered choices that are available to you.
Adding more veggies to your diet is the easiest way to make a positive change for your health. Want to make it even easier? Don’t forget to stop by the freezer section at your grocery store and grab a few bags of Tommy’s Superfoods frozen vegetable mixtures – they’re the perfect addition to any plant-based breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Our vegetable medleys are all perfectly seasoned. Non-GMO. Vegan. Low sodium. We’ve taken all the work out of preparing dinner – no washing, peeling, or chopping necessary. Just heat and eat.
Now that’s a New Year’s Resolution you can stick with.