“So, what can’t I eat on a plant-based diet?”
That’s often one of the first questions I hear. The answer: it depends. And there’s no one right answer.
For some basics, I like this graphic from Forks Over Knives that shows some of the distinctions between plant-based diets.
For a Whole-Foods, Plant-Based (WFPB) diet, there technically aren’t any foods that are strictly disallowed 100% of the time. Rather, some foods including meat, dairy, oils, and processed foods are recommended to be minimized or avoided.
This is distinct from a vegan diet, which avoids all animal products for moral and ethical reasons.
I try to follow a WFPB diet as closely as possible. While I only eat 100% plant-based foods, not everything I eat is considered a “whole food.” I certainly enjoy a tasty Beyond Burger here and there as well as some of Gardein’s frozen foods.
With this in mind, I’m now breaking out recipes in the Weekly into two categories: those that fall under the recommendations for a WFPB diet, and those that are simply plant-based.
All recipes featured in the Weekly will continue to be 100% plant-based. I’ll simply note with “WFPB” which recipes fall into this category.
So, what should you eat or not eat? That’s really up to you and your desires and goals. And seeking guidance from a doctor, dietician, or health professional is always recommended for help in making this choice.
And remember: no matter what your goals are, go easy on yourself! Nobody’s perfect with their eating habits, and beating yourself up doesn’t help. Forgive yourself and keep going.
The Thing About Olive Oil…
Another question I often get: “Aren’t certain oils, like olive oil, good for you?” It’s true, olive oil is part of the Mediterranean Diet, which often gets high grades from some health experts. But oil generally isn’t considered part of a WFPB diet. Here’s one perspective on why.
Why I’ve Finally Stopped Eating Oil from No Meat Athlete
Is No Meat or Less Meat Right for You?
Many think that going plant-based means never eating meat again. But that might not be an easy or realistic or sustainable option for some. Perhaps aiming to eat 80-90% plants and 10-20% meat is a better goal for some. Here’s what that might look like.
The Meat-Lover’s Guide to Eating Less Meat by The New York Times
Bonus: check out The Reducetarian Foundation, an organization dedicated to helping reduce meat consumption.
Asian Veggie Bowl (WFPB) from Monkey and Me Kitchen Adventures
Enjoy this simple and tasty veggie bowl with mushrooms, pepper, onion, and carrots (plus edamame for a little protein). Takes less than 20 minutes to prepare!
Vegan Pork Burger (WFPB) from Plant-Based Gabriel
With just 4 common ingredients, burgers don’t get more simple than this! Just mix the ingredients and cook in your air fryer or on the grill.
African Peanut Stew (WFPB) from NutritionStudies.org
African peanut stew is my go-to recipe when I’m feeling bored with the same old meals. The recipe packs some greens along with tofu for protein.
17 Broccoli Recipes to Try Tonight (WFPB) from Forks Over Knives
Wanna get your veggies on? I dare you to read this and tell me there’s not a single broccoli recipe you like (I’d go Wild Mushroom Pho).
Vegan Eggplant Baked Rigatoni from the full helping
If you’re craving cheese, this recipe utilizes a simple, homemade dairy-free ricotta. Pair it with your favorite sauce, and you have a tasty pasta dinner.
Chicken Salad (Chickpea or Gardein Chick’n) from Kathy’s Vegan Kitchen
Enjoy this lunchtime classic and choose your own adventure: make it with chickpeas or using Gardein brand Chick’n Strips (sold in the grocery freezer section).
Chef Charity’s Nashville Hot Brat from Beyond Meat
For a real treat (and a guaranteed way to fool meat-eaters), check out this brat made with Beyond Sausage. You’ll wonder why you didn’t start eating plant-based sooner after digging into these.