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  • Writer's pictureJustin G Nelson

Welcome to the Plant-Based Party!

Hey everyone, and welcome to my little corner of the internet dedicated to all things plant-based! Whether you're a seasoned vegan or just dipping your toes into a more plant "forward" lifestyle, there's always something new to learn and explore.

Today's post is for my people who are curious about plant-based eating but maybe a little unsure where to start. We'll cover some delicious meat substitutes, things to consider as you embark on this journey, and some key nutritional info to keep you on track.

Meat Substitutes: Swapping Out Your Favorites

One of the biggest concerns for people considering a plant-based diet is replacing meat in their favorite dishes. But look at your neighbor and say "FEAR NOT"! There are tons of amazing plant-based options out there that can satisfy any craving. Here are a few of my favorites:

  • Lentils and Beans: These powerhouses are packed with protein and fiber, making them perfect for hearty stews, chili, burgers, and even tacos! They come in a variety of textures and flavors, so you can experiment and find what works best for you.

  • Tofu and Tempeh: These soy-based options are incredibly versatile. Tofu can be marinated, baked, scrambled, or fried to take on all sorts of flavors. Tempeh has a firmer texture and a nuttier flavor, making it great for grilling or crumbles.

  • Seitan (Wheat Gluten): This protein powerhouse is made from wheat gluten and can be seasoned and cooked to mimic the texture of meat. It's great for stir-fries, fajitas, or even plant-based "pulled pork."

  • Beyond Meat and Impossible Burgers: For those who crave the familiar taste and texture of meat, there are a number of plant-based burger options available that come pretty darn close to the real thing! (I know some people are all about "non processed", but half of yall can't cook water, so start somewhere and sit down somewhere.)

Things to Consider Before Going Plant-Based

  • Make Gradual Changes: Don't feel overwhelmed! Start by incorporating more plant-based meals into your routine a few times a week.

  • Explore New Recipes: There's a whole world of delicious plant-based cuisine waiting to be discovered! Explore cookbooks, blogs, and online resources for inspiration. Go out to eat and let someone cook for you!

  • Focus on Whole Foods: The core of a healthy plant-based diet is whole, unprocessed foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds.

  • Talk to Your Doctor: If you have any underlying health conditions, be sure to consult with your doctor before making any major dietary changes.

Plant-Based Nutrition: Getting What You Need

While a plant-based diet can be incredibly nourishing, there are a few nutrients to keep an eye on:

  • Protein: There are plenty of plant-based sources of protein, but it's important to include a variety in your diet.

  • Iron: Leafy greens, beans, lentils, and fortified cereals are all great sources of iron.

  • Vitamin B12: This vitamin is naturally found in animal products, but there are fortified plant-based milks and cereals, or you can take a supplement.

  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Walnuts, flaxseeds, and chia seeds are all rich in omega-3s.

Remember, this is just a starting point! With a little planning and exploration, you can easily transition to a plant-based lifestyle that is both delicious and nutritious.

So what are you waiting for? Dive into the world of plant-based eating and discover a whole new way of enjoying food!

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