Spotlight on Green Chef’s Plant-Powered Meal Plan: What’s Plant-Based Eating All About?
If you’ve taken our Green Chef quiz to find out which of the three menus best matches your lifestyle, you may have been paired with the Plant-Based meal plan. If so, you may already follow a vegan or vegetarian diet. But if you’re interested in learning more about whether or not a meat and/or dairy-free lifestyle is right for you, we’ve put together a helpful guide to help you explore what plant-based eating is all about. We’ll look at the benefits, downsides, and difficulties involved in eating less meat, and we’ll take a look at how Green Chef‘s plant-based menu can help make it easy.
Ready to find out more out plant-based eating? Let’s dive in!
What Is Plant-Based Eating?
Plant-based eating prioritizes the consumption of fruits and vegetables, but it also emphasizes nuts, seeds, grains, beans, and more. Some adherents choose to omit all meat and animal byproducts and eat vegan, while others may simply skip or limit their intake of meats. Vegetarians avoid meat but will consume dairy, pescatarians will eat fish but not meat, and flexitarians or semi-vegetarians will eat meat but only occasionally. Regardless of which plant-based diet you choose to follow, there are some potential benefits to consider.
Are There Health Benefits to Eating a Plant-Based Diet?
As long as a plant-based diet is balanced and delivering all the necessary nutrients, vitamins, and minerals, it can offer a number of health benefits. The vegetarian diet has been shown to deliver “a lower risk of developing coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and increased longevity.” Plant-based eating tends to be high in fiber and can support your immune system, reduce inflammation, and help you maintain a healthy weight.
The most important thing to consider if you’d like to reap the benefits of plant-based eating is to make sure your meals are healthy and balanced. (Eating cheese pizza every day just because it’s meat-free is unlikely to deliver any significant health rewards!) If you’re looking for some assistance in coming up with balanced meals that are delicious and healthy, a plant-based meal kit delivery service, like Green Chef, can help.
Are There Downsides to a Plant-Based Diet?
Plant-based eating can require strategic meal planning, and it’s also important to make sure that meals contain the necessary nutritional needs to power the body. Relying on processed foods can result in a higher sugar, fat, and sodium than is healthy, so it’s good to learn how to cook and rely on healthy cooking techniques. (Just because tempura veggies are plant-based, doesn’t mean they’re good for you.) MD Anderson has some additional tips:
Limit sugary desserts as well and make sure you are picking whole grains. Regular pasta, white bread and white rice may be plant products, but they are not made from whole grains. Choose 100% whole wheat pasta and bread, and eat brown rice.
If you choose to go vegan, you should be extra aware of the vitamins and minerals you may be missing out on. In particular, you may need to take a B-12 supplement. B-12 is essential for the nervous system and for making sure metabolic functions run smoothly. Since B-12 is only found in meat, dairy, and eggs, it’s important vegans source it elsewhere.
Which Foods Are Plant-Based?
As the name implies, a plant-based diet is mostly made up of foods derived from plants. Some plant-based eaters may choose to follow a semi-vegetarian diet, pescatarian diet, or vegetarian diet that allows for the consumption of some animal byproducts (like cheese, milk, and butter), fish, or meats; however, all plant-based diets are comprised primarily of fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds. Vegans only choose to eat foods that are plant-based, and many also choose to avoid honey, since it’s made by bees. Less-strict vegetarians may still eat eggs, cheese, and milk, while pescatarians and semi-vegetarians choose to also incorporate fish and the occasional piece of meat. Whichever plant-based eating track you choose, a plant-based meal kit like Green Chef can help introduce you to foods and recipes that will help keep you on the right track.
Is a Plant-Based Diet Difficult to Follow?
Many foods and recipes are plant-based, but if you’re used to eating meat with every meal, switching to a plant-based lifestyle might take a little getting used to. Most restaurants and cafés are likely to offer a few plant-based options, but understanding your nutritional needs and learning how to prepare healthy meals at home can help ensure your diet stays healthy. If you’d like to start eating more plant-based meals, you may want to consider introducing “meat-free Mondays” or only eating meat a few times per week. You can also sign up for a meal subscription that supports plant-based eating.
I’m Ready to Eat More Plants! How Do I Get Started?
If you want to give plant-based eating a try, the first step is to determine which specific diet is right for you. Vegan? Vegetarian? Semi-vegetarian? Regardless of which you choose, a quick Google search should get you started with some sample meal plans and recipe inspiration. Just keep in mind that if you’re going to prepare meals yourself, you’ll need to set aside time for meal planning, shopping, and cooking.
If you’re looking for an easier way to incorporate plant-based meals into your diet, check out Green Chef. When you sign up for a subscription to Green Chef’s Plant-Based Meal Plan, you’ll be able to select from a new menu of recipes each week, and everything you need to make the meals will be sent directly to your front door. Some meals are vegan, but all are vegetarian-friendly and designed to support plant-based eating. All meals are ready in 30 minutes or less.
My Subscription Addiction reviewers have had great experiences with Green Chef, and it’s also one of the highest-rated meal kits as voted by the MSA community. Currently, Green Chef has a community rating of 4.8/5!
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Do you follow a plant-based diet? Have you tried Green Chef? Head to the comments section and let us know!