Plant-Based Basics

Learn about how to go plant-based. This covers what to eat and other guidelines to follow to transform your life!

welcome to the journey

I’m sure if you’ve found your way to this page you have a little bit of an inkling that plant-based living might be your answer to a healthier, happier life! So congrats for making your way here. 

Going plant-based was the LAST thing I tried after paleo, anti-candida, fodmap, low-carb diets, high-fat diets, whole 30, avoiding this, avoiding that, trying this remedy, tons of cleanses,  tons of supplements, enemas, colonic hydrotherapy, you name it, i’ve tried it….

AND IF I COULD GO BACK AND DO IT ALL AGAIN,  THE PLANT-BASED DIET WOULD BE THE FIRST THING I TRIED…..because it truly transformed my life and actually made me into a functioning human.


forget everything you know

Okay well, not everything you know! But you do pretty much have to start from square one on the nutrition front. Most of us grew up eating whatever our parents fed us without thinking twice about it. Maybe we deviated a little once we left home but the basics were still ingrained.

I don’t know about you but I grew up eating Wonder Bread sandwiches filled with Miracle Whip, pre-packaged deli meat (I always envied the kids with the fresh-cut deli meat and seedy multigrain bread), margarine, Kraft Singles Slices and cucumbers! 

Let’s not forget about fruit roll-ups, Dunk-a-roos, Captn’ Crunch and Corn Pops for breakfast. Our dinner plate thankfully was a little closer to whole foods. Meat/Fish + Rice/Potatoes + vegetable/salad was pretty standard. 

Soo I grew up eating like that. I didn’t feel good my whole childhood and teenage years. Teenage years were the worst. You finally get money so you’re eating all your home food plus spending all your dollars at Tim Hortons (a Canadian fast-food cafe) and McDonalds. Yuckkk.

 

 

Wait I take it back, young adult years were the worst. You have full freedom to eat whatever you choose. Which often means a lot more unhealthy than you were at home plus you get to legal drinking age and if you’ve moved out of home and onto a university campus (or just out of home in general) and you’re anything like me you’re probably drinking lots, binge eating all the junk food on campus, and barely sleeping because you don’t know how to say ‘no’ to all the fun things happening in your new life away from home. Wow, freedom can be oh so good but ohh so bad.

If I had figured out earlier in life that a plant-based lifestyle could fix most of my problems, the energy, money, emotional distress and time spent in pain that I could have saved would be insurmountable. I would have realized what it was like to feel like an actual real energetic and healthy human so much earlier!  But then, I probably wouldn’t be so passionate about sharing this lifestyle with you so there is a reason for everything! 

Remember everybody is different so look around, do your research and decide if plant-based living is for you (but I’m pretty sure you’re gonna love it and it’s gonna bring you hectic results)! Check out the resource section for other great websites, podcasts, and documentaries to inspire and fill yourself with knowledge on plant-based diets/veganism <3.

My point here is to say if you don’t feel good (or you feel like you could feel better) right now, it’s about time to drop everything you know about eating. Start with a fresh mind. Pretend you’re back in kindergarten and we’re learning how to eat to live a long healthy nutritious life without harming anyone- not that we’re taught this but we should be! I think your kindergarten self would be pretty stoked on not harming any animals and having the energy to achieve your dreams 🙂 . 

basics of plant-based diet

A plant-based diet  focuses on eating fruits, vegetables, legumes, grains, nuts and seeds and excludes eating animal products and anything derived from an animal. 

I try to focus on eating a whole-food plant based diet (WFPB) the majority of the time. This means, consuming foods closest to their natural form. A WFPB diet, does not include heavily processed foods, like plant-based chips, fake meats, candybars, pre-packaged granola bars, refined sugar, ice cream, oil, vegan mayo etc. 

WFPB avoids using oil and added refined sugars (and for some people added salt 😮 )!

I say most of the time because I’m human and we still like to indulge in tasty plant-based treats a lot of the time! I make my own healthy plant-based treats that fit into WFPB but sometimes I  just really want to curl up with vegan ice cream and a good movie or go out for dinner or have tasty vegan cookies at my favorite cafe and so I do….and I don’t worry too much about the added oil and processed stuff in it!  It’s a balancing act! 

I also like to use slightly processed things like chickpea flour, oat flour, buckwheat flour and tofu, to make amazing meals and I don’t see a problem with that :). 

Starting out though, I ate A LOT of foods that are plant-based but maybe not quite as ‘whole-food’ form.  Remember it’s a journey and if eating fake meat or plant-based frozen dinners sometimes is helping you transition away from animal products than eat it. One step at a time!  

 

vegan vs. plant-based

So some people get confused between the terms vegan and plant-based. In the beginning, I identified as plant-based only because I turned this way for my health and hadn’t put much thought into the animal side of things. A vegan can be eating a healthy plant-based diet or they can live off of vegan junk food or having a combo of both. It totally depends on the individual. A vegan is deeply devoted to animal rights. They don’t wear any animal products and don’t buy any products that were tested on animals or contain animal products. 

I became plant-based for my health first.

As time went on and my health soared we became more interested in how my lifestyle impacted the world outside of myself. I became aware that our plant-based lifestyle was so much better for the environment  it drastically reduces your environmental footprint.

I started looking more into animal cruelty and it really made me more conscious about my choices in buying things. I no longer buy any products made using animal products, such as leather, fur coats, and make sure all of my products are animal cruelty-free.

I do still wear products I had before I went vegan because to me it feels like a waste to just throw them away but I would not purchase them again. The more I looked into it the more I became aware of how cruel animal agriculture is and realized there really is no humane way to kill an animal. 

Knowledge is power you guys! Knowledge helps shape your decisions and makes your commitments easier to keep! The more you learn about plant-based living and veganism the more your mind shifts and you begin looking positively at the idea that plants are for eating and animals deserve to be treated with kindness 🙂 

So if you came here for your health feel free to start your plant-based journey and see where it leads you! We all deserve to feel happy, healthy, and full of energy!

If you came here because you’re vegan already and you want to eat healthier then thank you for being a voice for the voiceless and I am excited for you to improve your health too!

You may find me using the term plant-based and vegan interchangeably because at first I personally identified with the plant-based label because I knew little about animal rights. As time has gone on I have educated myself on animal ethics and do my best to not participate in purchasing or supporting anything that harms animals in any way- and now I  more deeply resonate with the term ‘vegan’. So I use both – to meet you where ever you are at in your journey 🙂

Start for your health. Start for the animals. Start for the environment.

Whatever your reason –  just start to EAT MORE PLANTS everyday.

what don’t we eat?

So you know that plant-based people don’t eat any animal products but you’re kinda like okay what exactly falls into this category.

what exactly do we eat?

We get to eat so many things! Any sort of plant, fruit, vegetable, grain, nut or seed! We actually started eating more different types of food when we quit the animal products. It opens you up to a whole new world of possibility! 

So many things to choose from! If you know how to cook already you can just swap your meat for beans or tofu to start. Or Google ‘vegan’ version of your favourite meal and check out some recipes on the internet. 

I eat a lot of smoothie bowls, buddah bowls (all sorts of variations), tacos, and stir-fries on the regular. I also like to make plant-based pizzas, veggie burgers, noodle bowls, salad wraps, and sushi rolls. I’m honestly always trying new things- it’s hard to keep track!

Grab my free how-to-build a smoothie bowl e-book here to get started. It’s a great way to start eating more plant-based because they are super easy to make, they are nice and sweet and make an awesome meal AND are so good for when you’re craving something sweet.  

other guidelines to follow

I don’t eat ‘x’ amount of this and that per day, or ‘x’ amount of calories. Just focus on getting in as many leafy greens, fruits and vegetables as we can that day and sticking to these basic guidelines below so that you feel full and thrive! You’ll find some days you’ll be really good at eating a ton of fruit and veg, and sometimes you will slack and eat more grains (or processed food) than fruit & veg but overall  do our best to ‘eat tons of plants.’ If you have one less than awesome eating day just try to eat more fruit and veg the next day!

high-carb

My diet is very high carb/starch focused. Eating this way allows me to stay full longer and eat enough calories within the day. Think lots of fruits, grains, quinoa, sweet potato/potatoes and legumes. I add tons of veggies too but the carby foods keep me fuller and veggies provide me with tons of extra micronutrients! A lot of people start out and try to live off salads and become so hungry they fail and reach for the closest piece of food in ravenous hunger. Although we love our salads we don’t eat them for every meal! 

I had to fall in love with carbs again, it was scary at first because the media had taught me that basically all carbs were bad, but our bodies loves HEALTHY carbs/starches. 

I very loosely follow the 80/10/10 rule – 80% of diet from carbs, 10 % protein, 10% fat. Basically  focus on eating lots of carbs/starchy foods and add minimal fat to your food and add tons of fruit and/or veg to each meal.

I get enough fat naturally from the fruits, veggies, tofus, avocados, chia, and flaxseed and other plants I consume! 

low-fat

I find that my skin is the clearest and my energy is the best when I am eating no (or very little) oil and getting most of my fat from healthy sources like nuts, seeds, and avocados in small amounts. After much research, trial and error I continue to eat really low fat because this is when I find the magic really happens.

My symptoms went away when I swapped from a plant-based diet high in coconut oil, coconut butter, tons of nuts and seeds (in the form of spreads, desserts or straight outta the bag) to one low in fat. My skin started to get clearer, my chronic yeast infections disappeared, my mental clarity became better, along with many other things. My body has stayed at the same healthy weight since I quit oil too! Check out my full story here.

 

Oil is really heavily processed and causes inflammation in the body. The nutritional value is very low for the number of calories too. Even if you aren’t going plant-based you can reduce your oil intake today!

Check out his link for more tips about oil-free living.

 

 

 

 

gluten-free

I am gluten-free because I have a very strong gluten intolerance. It took me literally years of knowing I had it before I fully committed to cutting out gluten completely. I didn’t take it seriously for years. Then once I cut it out completely I realized just how much it was ruining my health and well-being.

If you don’t have celiacs disease or a gluten intolerance I see no reason to not eat gluten as long as you are eating it in healthy forms like in the form of spelt flour, whole wheat flour – not processed bleached white flour. Eat things like whole wheat pasta, sour dough/whole wheat bread! The less ingredients on the package the better.

Read more about ‘Going Gluten-Free’ here. 

Make sure to check out  FAQ for more answers to your pressing questions and dive into some of the Resources  from my favourite people in the field <3

 

I realize changing the way you eat, shop and cook isn’t quite that simple. And it’s especially hard if you don’t even know how to grocery shop or cook at all. Don’t be embarrassed, neither did I until a few years ago!

 

I’m creating a video course teaching you how to fill your house with plant-based ingredients and become confident in your kitchen so you can whip up food with ease, without relying on recipes and get in control of your health. This way you can learn to fuel your body with food that’s gonna help you feel good for a lifetime.

 

You have to eat your whole life so you might as well learn to do it in a way that saves your health, the animals, and the planet!

You can sign up (to the right or below if on mobile) to get an update when our course is ready but until that time comes,  Google is your best friend !

AND your second best friend is my Instagram account where I  share the food we eat, how-to make meals, my thoughts, and general inspiration! 

[instagram-feed]

MEDICAL DISCLAIMER

I am not a doctor or dietitian. The information on here is based on what worked for me. There is a lot of research out there on plant-based diets and the positive impact this diet has on health which really made me comfortable with my plant- based lifestyle choice! If you want to dive more into the science/evidence side of things check out our resources section.  Any statements made on these platforms are not intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent any disease or illness. Please consult with your medical practitioner before making any changes to your current diet and lifestyle.

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