New Year’s Resolutions You Can Actually Keep

What are your new year’s resolutions?

Do you hope to lose weight? Eat healthier? Start (and continue) exercising?

According to Google, only 8% of people keep their resolutions. You might as well give up now. Or you could rethink your resolutions.

New Year's Resolutions

Instead of choosing crazy out of reach resolutions I have some suggestions for you.

Help Others

Whether you choose to volunteer in your kids class, pick up extra food for the food bank or donate money to a charity choose something that will help others. You don’t have to do something through an organization. Do you know a busy family, volunteer to bring them a dinner or to baby sit so they can get a night out.

One Small Change

Instead of trying to change every bad habit choose something small and doable. Maybe you want to wash your face every night or floss twice a day. Do you want to get rid of clutter? Mark a time every Saturday to remove 2-3 things to donate or throw away. What ever it is make it something small.

For Your Health

January is the perfect time to make healthy changes. I’m not saying go out and join a gym but you can make lasting changes that will help you get healthier. If you’ve been wanting to make the move to a plant-based diet, now is the time.

Any time we want to make changes to the way we eat, it’s difficult but not impossible. I’ve made it my mission to help people make the move from the standard American diet to a plant-based diet.

That is the reason I developed the Plant-Based Basics eCourse! If you are struggling to eat a plant-based or don’t know where to start you really need this eCourse.

The Plant-Based Basics eCourse starts January 1st.

This eCourse is perfect for anyone wanting to make lasting changes and adopt a plant-based diet. (And you can get 50% off from now until January 1st using the code prebuy.)

The lessons will start with the basics and teach you what to eat, help you figure out how to shop, plan and answer those nagging questions about protein, supplements, and more. You’ll also get support and accountability to help you be successful.

You’ll actually be able to keep your resolutions because you will have support.

FAQs about the Plant-Based Basics eCourse

Is this the same eCourse as the 31 Day Plant-Based eCourse last year?

This eCourse has the same foundation but it has been reformatted for ease of use and has been enhanced to help keep you on track for the months to come.  The lessons are in a new order and have been updated.

Last year the lessons were in individual files for you to download each day. The new eCourse is in an ebook format. You’ll have the choice of downloading a printer-friendly PDF or an epub file to use on your phone or tablet. There is also a set of printables for those who use the epub files but want to print the meal plans.

What do I actually get?

You will get:

  • 17 lessons
  • 4 week work out guide
  • 3 week’s of meal plans
  • Meal Planning mini-course
  • 30+ Recipes
  • Adapting Recipes ebook
  • Daily emails for first three weeks, plus bonus emails after that
  • Private Facebook Group
  • and more.

How long is the eCourse?

The eCourse is designed so you can go at your own pace. You don’t have to complete the lessons in a certain amount of time. Those buying now will be part of the January 1st launch date.  You’ll get everything (except the Adapting Recipes ebook) on January 1st.

You can take as long as you want to go through all of the eCourse. I will be leading you through about 5 lessons a week plus bonus materials through email and the Facebook group.

I recommend you take 3-4 weeks to go through this eCourse.

I did the eCourse in 2015, can I do this one too?

Yes! Email me for options! You may be able to take the eCourse with no extra charge.

How much does the eCourse cost?

The eCourse is $49.99 but you can get it for 50% off through December 31, 2015. You must use the code “prebuy” to get the discount.

Still got questions? Leave them below and I’ll answer them as soon as possible! You can also learn more about the Plant-Based Basics eCourse and see what people are saying!

How to Eat More Veggies

This blog post is adapted from one of the lessons in the 31 Day Plant-Based eCourse. The eCourse is designed to walk beginners through everything they need to know to adopt a plant-based diet. 

Easy tips for everyone wondering how to eat more veggies.

Most of us could stand to eat more veggies. Personally, I have a tendency to fill up on beans and grains. Veggies just don’t “do it” for me but I know that they are important so they have to be prioritized or I’ll just skip them.

If you are new to plant-based eating or just trying to add more veggies to your diet these ideas will offer you a variety of options for adding more veggies.

How to Eat More Veggies

I’m not going to spend a lot of time explaining the various nutrients because I think most of us know we should eat them but struggle to actually do it.  Throughout this conversation keep in mind that many veggies can be eaten both raw and cooked and it’s a good idea to eat both.

Eat More Salads

You can easily get 2-3 servings of veggies in a really well made salad. If you use 2 cups of greens, ½ cup of carrots and ½ cup grape tomatoes you’re doing pretty well. You don’t have to make it that plain though.

Think about some of your favorite salads from restaurants. Most of the salads are beautiful with vibrant colors and have at least 5 ingredients. They consist of greens, two veggies, something crunchy like croutons or nuts/seeds along with dairy and a dressing. Why not use those salads for inspiration, just leave out the unhealthy ingredients. (In the 31 Day Plant-Based eCourse I have lessons about replacing meat and dairy in your favorite dishes.)

Need More Salad Help

When making a salad at home try to incorporate as many colors as possible. Here are some suggestions:

Reds: Tomatoes, Peppers, Radishes

Yellow: Bell and Banana Peppers, Squash, Corn

Greens: Lettuces/Greens, Cucumbers, Peppers, Broccoli

Purple: Red Onions, Beets, Olives, Cabbage

Orange: Carrots, Sweet Peppers

Remember, your salad isn’t limited to veggies, you can also add fruit, beans, grains, and nuts or seeds. Let your imagination run wild.

Soups

My favorite way to get lots of veggies is in soups. I can eat bowl after bowl of soup, each packed with fiber-filled veggies. In fact, soup is my favorite way to eat kale. You can find all of my soups on my Soup and Stew Page or visit my Plant-Based Soup Pinterest Board for inspiration from some of my favorite bloggers but be wary of creamy soups that may contain nuts (if you are trying to lose weight).

Side Dishes

I’m not a big “veggie on the side” kind of gal. If you’ve followed any of my meal plan you know I don’t usually have side dishes. I’d rather have everything mixed together but to each their own. Steamed broccoli is a favorite in our house because it goes well with pasta or baked potatoes.

Carrots, peas, green beans and corn are veggies that are typical side dishes at home-style restaurants. More often than not they are probably pushed to the side in favor of Mac and Cheese. Do yourself a favor and reintroduce a veggie side dish, it can even be a veggie-filled salad.

Starchy Vegetables

Don’t forget your starchy vegetable (yes, I’ve mentioned a few already) potatoes, squash, pumpkin, yams, etc. These veggies are filling, fibrous and low in fat. If you aren’t sure about starches read anything from Dr. John McDougall.

Starchy veggies are great as a side dish or as the main course. My family loves to eat giant baked sweet potatoes, some times I’ll add raisins and cinnamon for a slightly sweet meal. Starchy veggies are great roasted.

Dips

I eat double or triple the amount of raw veggies when I have a dip. Raw veggies are just more appealing to me when I have something to dip them in. They same is true for my kids. I always recommend using dips for parents trying to win their kids over to veggies but there is no reason that adults can’t enjoy dips too.

Hummus is a favorite dip of mine but many store-bought dips contain tahini and oil; both are very high in fat. You can make hummus at home if you aren’t comfortable with what is offered in your local store. My favorite dips and salad dressings can be found here.

Mix It Up

Some people won’t go for it but you can always try mixing veggies into other things like puree them into pasta sauces or on top of pizza. I’ve made many a lentil loaf filled with random veggies and I’ll often create off-the-wall veggie pasta combinations. It doesn’t have to be about hiding veggies either Veggie Pot Pie and Vegan Shepherds Pie are great options loaded with veggies.


 

The most important thing is to keep trying new things. As you adapt to this healthier way of eating things your palate will change. Foods you once hated will become delicious (maybe not every food, but a lot of them will). You just have to keep trying.

What are your veggie eating tips and tricks?

31 Day Plant-Based eCourse

Next Plant-Based eCourse Starts May 1

Summer’s coming and it will be here before you know it. If you’ve been considering getting started on a plant-based diet now is the time to make the commitment and get ready for summer.

Many people are able to reverse disease and eliminate health problems on a plant-based diet. Others lose weight and clear up conditions like acne, asthma, and seasonal allergies. Whatever your reasons the 31 Day Plant-Based eCourse will lead you through a one-month journey that could ultimately change your life.

If you are new to the Plant-Based Diet or struggling to be successful in this new lifestyle you have come to the right place.

31 day plant-based ecourse 500x750

I created a 31 Day Plant-Based eCourse that will lead you through everything you need to know to start a plant-based diet.

There are two options:

  • Self-paced eCourse that you can start immediately, or
  • The group eCourse that starts May 1st

Susan took the January eCourse and says:

The simplicity yet thoroughness of the eCourse allowed even a novice Plant-Based person to educate themselves about why this lifestyle is better than the Standard American Diet and to implement steps to take to eat and be healthier. The meal plans were great and included a variety of recipes to suit many different sorts of tastes. I found many recipes that I can incorporate into my meal rotations and I would do this eCourse again, just to solidify my knowledge and share with others. The fact that there was a group of us all doing the same thing meant for a great camaraderie.

Jennifer says:

The eCourse helped me stay focused and gave me the encouragement to never bring anything non-Plant-Based into the house. The meal plans were wonderful ways to jump-start my shopping list and give me ideas of where I wanted to take my week in food and nutrition. The workout routines kept me motivated the first couple weeks when I was stuck in a hotel for 10 days. Overall it was a fun month and I really appreciate the hard work the design team put into the 31 Day Challenge eCourse.

Whether you decided to start on May 1st with the group or go at your own pace the 31 Day Plant-Based eCourse provides you with everything you need to be successful with the plant-based lifestyle. You’ll have the additional benefit of a private Facebook community for support.

This 31 day class is less than $1 a day!

You’ll get:

  • The Plant-Based Diet Starter Guide ebook
  • Weekly Meal Plans
  • optional Weekly Exercise Guides
  • Daily lessons that will teach you the basics of plant-based living
  • Group support in a private Facebook group

All of that for only $30!

Find out about the limited-time individual coaching opportunities!

Buy Now

Need Extra Help?

For those participating in the 31 Day eCourse that need a little extra help consider purchasing the 31 Day Coaching add-on!

The 31 Day Coaching add-on is an individualized coaching program that will:

  • Help you set and track goals
  • Assist in Meal Plan development (work together to customize a meal plan to meet your goals)
  • Daily accountability via email/messaging and a daily food log
  • Weekly 20 minute phone call/skype/google hangout (only one) to discuss progress and next steps.

Whether your goal is to lose weight, eliminate processed foods or finally go plant-based this 31 Day Coaching add-on can give you the individualized help that you need.

Space is limited!

Add this one-on-one coaching to your 31 Day eCourse experience for only $95 dollars. Email me at myplantbasedfamily @ gmail.com (remove spaces) to purchase or inquire about the one-on-one coaching.

Buy Now

Keeping it Simple on a Whole Foods Plant-Based Diet

Today we have a wonderful guest post, please welcome Emma Roche of PlantPlate.com.

When I tell people how much I enjoy the simplicity of my diet, often they look confused.

“But it’s so complicated, there’s so much that you don’t eat!”

“It must be so difficult to eat out though, right?”

“All those recipes seem so time-consuming. There’s nothing simple about making every meal yourself!”

Top 5 Tips

While I can understand these statements, and the fact that many people may view a whole foods plant-based diet as an incredibly complicated venture (even the name’s not easy to say!), this couldn’t be further from the truth. Fundamentally, this is a diet based on fruits, vegetables, grains and legumes. It’s that simple. But, due to the massive volume of dietary information- and misinformation- that we are bombarded with each day, it’s easy to get caught up in over-complicating our ideas about what we should put in our shopping carts, on our plates, or in our mouths.

For this reason, I’d like to share my top 5 tips for “Keeping it Simple” on a healthy plant-based diet. My hope is that this will benefit those of you currently transitioning to this way of eating, and help experienced plant-based eaters save themselves some time and confusion too.

1. If it’s a whole, plant-based food, you can eat it

produce

If it’s a whole grain, a legume, a starchy vegetable, a non-starchy vegetable, or a fruit, then it’s considered part of a healthy plant-based diet. If it comes from an animal, or contains oils or highly processed and refined ingredients, it’s not. It’s not really necessary, or beneficial, to spend time researching if quinoa is better for you than brown rice, or which legume is higher in protein, or which fruit has slightly more vitamin C than another. Unless you have specific dietary requirements that require you to avoid things like gluten, wheat, or legumes, your health will benefit greatly from any variety of foods you choose to eat within these five groups.

More and more diet-related issues continue to attract concern in the plant-based community, including the importance of eating organically, or avoiding GMOs, or consuming a certain amount raw foods each day, or achieving a specific macronutrient ratio. Some wonder if they should shun gluten (even in the absence of an allergy), others fret about whether they should avoid grains, and many spend hundreds of dollars on ‘superfoods’ with the belief that they are the true key to optimal health. While some of these issues may warrant your attention, don’t let them distract or overwhelm you. Many people progressing to a plant-based diet become so overwhelmed by all these additional ‘rules’ that they immediately feel like giving up because it’s too hard. My advice? Stick with the basics: eat whole, minimally processed, plant-based foods that YOU can afford, and that YOU enjoy eating.

For a full list of the foods you can enjoy freely, check out our plant-based basics guide “So, What CAN I Eat?

2. Fill the majority of your shopping cart with single-ingredient foods

The more foods you buy that contain just one ingredient, the less you’ll have to worry or think about what you’re putting in your mouth. What do I mean by single-ingredient foods? Anything you purchase in the supermarket that is what it is- with nothing else added! A banana, for example, contains just banana; much like a bunch of fresh kale, or a bag of brown rice, or a pack of dry lentils. Even whole wheat pasta generally contains just one ingredient: whole wheat.

Essentially, all fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds and frozen fruits and vegetables are single-ingredient foods, and they should be taking up the vast majority of space in your shopping cart. Any remaining space can be used for additions necessary to complete meals, such as plant-based milks, seasonings, flour-based products like whole grain breads, and condiments that are free of animal products and oils (you can check out our ‘Pantry Staples and Essentials’ guide for a list of these items.)

3. Make use of “convenience” items when necessary

Canned-and-Frozen

In an ideal world, we’d all soak and cook our own legumes, pluck and prep farm fresh vegetables, and bake our own bread from scratch. The reality, however, is that we lead incredibly busy lives nowadays, and many people find it hard to make one home cooked meal a day, let alone prepare all their ingredients from scratch. For this reason, I have found it helpful to have some frozen and canned items on hand for cooking. While some may disagree with me on this, my principle is simple: if having canned beans and frozen prepped veggies is going to help you stick with a whole foods plant-based diet (and stop you from calling for take out instead) then it’s a good thing!

When purchasing these items, however, it’s best to follow these guidelines:

  • Frozen (fruits, vegetables): No added salt, sugar, or oils
  • Canned (legumes, tomato products): No added salt or oils

Many supermarkets also sell washed and pre-sliced vegetables in the refrigerated section of the produce aisle. This usually includes things like grated carrots, shaved brussels sprouts, salad mixes, and stir-fry mixes. These items can be a real blessing when you need to cook dinner after a long work day, saving you time on washing, chopping, and cleaning up, too!

4. Eat simple food combinations, rather than relying only on recipes

This might sound contradictory coming from someone that develops new recipes on a weekly basis, but I feel that this is an important point to make. While I love nothing more that rifling through recipe books on my days off to find something delicious to shop and cook for, on busy days I find it easier to rely on basic combinations of foods. Breakfast might be plain oats with fruit; lunch a baked sweet potato with salad greens, and dinner a mix of brown rice and black beans, with steamed spinach on the side. Pick a grain, a legume, a vegetable, or a fruit, and the possibilities are endless. Season these simple combinations with herbs, spices, or your favourite condiments, and you’ve got flavourful, healthy meals in a matter of minutes.

To make life really simple, I like to batch cook a whole grain, a legume, and a starchy vegetable at the beginning of the week. You can then rotate combinations of these 3 things in the days following, adding different fruits or vegetables at each meal. While this might sound monotonous to some, remember that many of the world’s longest lived populations rely on relatively few dietary staples for the majority of their lives, such as the people of Okinawa on sweet potatoes, and the locals of Nicoya, Costa Rica on rice and beans. Variety may be the spice of life, but simplicity may just help you live longer!

5. Don’t make separate meals for everyone.

Lentil Bolognaise

This is a tip for those with families, and it’s something that I’ve learned from experience. If you’re going to go to the effort of preparing a family dinner, plan it so that you don’t end up cooking 2 or 3 or 4 separate meals to suit everyone. This is to help preserve your sanity! While I’m very understanding of parents with picky kids, or those with partners who aren’t so enthusiastic about plant-based eating, things will start to get really complicated if you try to cater to each person individually. In fact, it can make you feel as though a plant-based diet is more trouble than it’s worth. It’s for this reason that I suggest choosing meals that suit (or can be tailored to suit) everyone, at least when you are all eating together.

If you’re looking for ideas, things like tacos or baked potato stations are great. You can serve a number of different fillings and toppings and let everyone customize their meal to their liking. Pasta dishes are usually great crowd-pleasers (including our Lentil Bolognaise, pictured above), as are veggie burgers and oven-baked fries. Talk to your family about what meals they like best, and keep them on rotation, changing the vegetables or seasonings used to keep things interesting.

I do hope that some of this information was useful to you! At the end of the day, how you approach a whole foods plant-based diet will depend largely on your lifestyle. And if you’re like me- busy, on the go, but still trying to keep yourself and your family healthy- then you’ll want to keep it as simple as possible. Find a rhythm, eat foods you enjoy, and don’t sweat the small stuff.

 

Emma-Roche

Emma Roche founded PlantPlate.com in 2013, after attaining her certificate in Plant-Based Nutrition through eCornell and the T Colin Campbell Foundation. A long-time vegan, and even longer-time cooking enthusiast, Emma uses PlantPlate as a platform to share her recipes, and to offer advice on achieving success with a healthy plant-based diet.

 

You can follow PlantPlate on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

Plant-Based Basics: Potatoes

The third installment of the Plant-Based Basics series. This series is designed for those who are new to a plant-based diet but I think this installment will be particularly helpful to everyone. 

I can’t tell you how often people ask me if they can eat potatoes. Even more often I hear, “I can’t eat white potatoes they are so bad for you.” Once a lady emailed me admitting she hadn’t eaten a potato in 15 years. In her attempts to lose weight she had avoided carbs and starchy vegetables but was now embracing a plant-based diet.

Plant Based Basics Potatoes

What do the Plant-Based Experts Say?

I’ll admit that the potato issue isn’t completely cut and dry. There is some disagreement among the plant-based experts. Some doctors like Dr. McDougall practically encourage unlimited potatoes while Dr. Fuhrman and other recommend limiting white potatoes if you are overweight or diabetic.

For most experts it depends on the individuals unique medical situation.

Why you Should Eat Potatoes

1. Potatoes are full of important nutrients like potassium, vitamin B-6, vitamin C and more.

2. Potatoes are fat-free, cholesterol-free, sodium-free and low in sugar.

3. Potatoes are high in fiber and most people don’t get enough fiber.

4. Potatoes are inexpensive and have a long shelf life is stored properly.

Types of Potatoes & Ways to Enjoy Them

There are over 100 varieties of potatoes. I most often eat Russet, White, Red, Sweet Potatoes, and Yams but choices vary by region.

I believe the biggest problem with potatoes is the way we choose to eat them. Most potatoes are fried in oil, served as chips, or topped with added fats in the form of oil or dairy.

Potatoes can easily be baked or roasted in the oven and taste just as good when “baked” in the Crock Pot. Some people prefer to steam or boil potatoes as well.

My Favorite Potato Recipes

I’ll often grab a leftover baked potato as a snack or a quick breakfast. I have lots of potato recipes but some of my favorite meals are happy accidents with leftover potatoes and whatever else is on hand.

plant based basics potatoes

Pictured above you’ll find Taco Potatoes, Dirty Mashed Potatoes, Lentil and Potato Stew and Breakfast Tacos/Burritos.

More favorites (pictured below) include Sweet Potato CasseroleLentil Shepherd’s Pie, Light & Fluffy Mashed Potatoes and Bean & Potato Burritos.

plant based basics potatoes

My most popular potato recipe is my Slow Cooker Potato Soup. It’s really easy to make and absolutely delicious. See my Recipe Page for more recipes featuring potatoes.

Don’t miss the previous installments of the Plant-Based Basics Series.

The Plant-Based Diet Starter Guide

 

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