With all the diet and foodie lifestyle choices out there, determining what to eat is overwhelming. Vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian, paleo, gluten-free, sugar-free, oil-free, high-protein, carb-loading, Mediterranean – the options are endless. And each article, news broadcast, or podcast can’t seem to agree on which lifestyle is the healthiest for every person on the planet.
However, all experts agree that you can’t go wrong increasing the amount of plant-based foods you eat throughout the day. So how can you easily incorporate more of these nutrient dense, power-packed food items?
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Whether you are a cereal kid or full gourmand, it’s easy to bring more fruits and vegetables into your morning.
If you have a sweet tooth, then you can top a bowl of muesli or cereal with fruits such as blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries to add flavor, not processed sugar. Already bite-sized, they make prep a snap. Sneak in more plant power by switching to almond, soy, or rice milk! Looking for something filling? If you love pancakes or waffles, chop up bananas, pineapples, apples, mangoes, or pears and mix them right into the batter. Swap out eggs for a tablespoon of fiber fabulous ground flaxseed and three tablespoons of water. Toss in a handful of walnuts, sliced almonds or pecans and you have a wonderfully filling meal.
As a bonus, you can sprinkle dried goji berries on top. Doing so also gives an extra boost of vitamin C! For those who want a savory meal, you can try cooking quinoa the night before and then heating it up with chopped spinach, mushrooms, and frozen peas. Stir in a couple tablespoons of nutritional yeast and then drizzle some ume vinegar over the top to get a breakfast brimming with flavor and protein.
Let’s face it, many of us pack lunch to either save money or because our mid-day break is too short to go out. If you’re tired of the same old boring sandwich, try this new take instead. Layer fresh spinach for sweetness, portabella mushrooms for the vitamin D, thin slices of radishes for sharpness, and hummus instead of mayo for a sandwich brimming with zest.
More of a peanut butter and jelly fan? Switch it up with almond or cashew butter, and sliced bananas, apples, or even smashed raspberries instead of jelly.
Buddha bowls are also a great alternative for the adventurous types and are easy to put together. Begin by choosing a base from quinoa, barley, brown rice or Kamut. For the fillers, you can put in greens (spinach, kale, cabbage), root vegetables (red potatoes, sweet potatoes, parsnips, carrots) and/or fruits (eggplant, cucumber, squash, corn, peppers, tomatoes, beans). Top them off with seeds, nuts, olives or avocados and then season with cayenne pepper, sliced ginger, fresh herbs (i.e. basil, rosemary, thyme, cilantro), olives, vinegar (i.e. balsamic vinegar, apple cider vinegar, rice vinegar or ume vinegar) or freshly ground pepper for added flavor.
It’s Friday night, you’re tired, and you just want to order take out pizza. No problem. We’ve got you covered with these pizza toppings packed with a plant-powered punch.
Fresh mushrooms (Vitamin D), walnuts (omega-3), spinach (calcium) are great to build stronger bones. If everyone in your surroundings seem to be coming down with a cold, then put in basil, pineapple, red bell peppers and ginger which boost the immune system and have high levels of antioxidants.
Did you overindulge throughout the week? Then take a bite out of these toppings known to help you maintain a healthy weight, including jalapeños (capsaicin is known for speeding up the metabolism), avocados (promotes satiety and lowers cholesterol), and fresh tomatoes (high in Vitamin E, A, and C)
And finally what’s life without a little sweetness? I double downward dog dare you not to fall in love with this refreshing and crunchy decadent snack: the Yogi Delight Dessert.
Prepare the following ingredients:
- 1 cantaloupe diced
- 1 honeydew melon diced
- Cacao nibs (estimate about a tablespoon per serving)
- Mint leaves (to taste)
Mix together, chill for an hour, and then serve!