Medical professionals are starting to understand and recommend the whole-food plant-based lifestyle to their patients. But when Google says, WFPB eliminates or severely limits all animal products, (including beef, pork, chicken, turkey, fish, dairy and eggs) and all processed foods (including all packaged foods, oils and sugars) most people reply, “What’s left to eat?!?!”
There is A LOT left. It’s simply a matter of changing the way your brain categorizes food. This is a short list of some yummy things on the WFPB lifestyle:
- Fresh or frozen Vegetables: beets, peppers, radishes, onions, potatoes, rhubarb, tomatoes, butternut squash, carrots, pumpkin, rutabagas, summer squash, corn, winter squash, cauliflower, garlic, ginger, artichokes, mushrooms, parsnips, sweet potatoes, yams, shallots, turnips, artichokes, arugula, asparagus, broccoli, broccoli rabe, brussel sprouts, green beans, cabbage, celery, cucumbers, endive, kale, spinach, swish chard, leeks, lettuce, green onions, okra, peas, snow peas, sugar snap peas, watercress, zucchini, black olives, cabbage, eggplant, etc.
- Fresh, dried or frozen fruit: apples, apricots, avocado, bananas, blueberries, blackberries, cantaloupe, cherries, cranberries, dates, figs, grapes, grapefruit, honeydew melons, kiwis, lemons, limes, mangos, nectarines, oranges, papaya, peaches, pears, pineapple, plums/prunes, pomegranate, raspberries, strawberries, tangerines, watermelons
- Whole grains: barley, brown rice, buckwheat, bulgur (cracked wheat), millet, rolled and steel cut oatmeal, and popcorn, etc.
- Beans/lentils: black beans, black-eyed peas, cannellini beans, edamame, fava beans, garbanzo beans, green beans, kidney beans, lima beans, mung beans, navy beans, green peas, pinto beans, red beans, soy beans, wax beans, white beans, etc.
- Nuts/legumes: walnuts, brazil nuts, almonds, peanuts, pistachios, pecans and cashews, etc.)
- Seeds: pumpkin, sunflower, chia, flaxseed, etc.
- Minimally processed foods such as whole wheat bread and pasta
- More spices than we could possibly list.
As you can see, it’s not a matter of not having anything left to eat, but rather thinking about what’s left as main dishes rather than “sides.” You will also find that as your taste buds "unclog" from the fats and oils, plant foods will taste different and better. Foods you thought you didn’t like, you suddenly might enjoy.
Where to start.
You don’t have to jump off the cliff, throw everything in your house away and start eating only plants tomorrow. We were “veganish” for about 6 months as we educated ourselves about being whole-food plant-based. Being only about 75% WFPB we both lost 15 pounds and lowered our cholesterol under 200 in 10 weeks. You don’t have to be 100% to see benefits.
Look at what and how you’re eating now. Can you replace some of your snacks with fruit? Maybe switch out bacon and eggs for oatmeal loaded with fruit (we like blueberries, raspberries, bananas nd raisins on ours). What about making your favorite dish with beans instead of hamburger? If you use all the same spices it will taste really similar.
Dairy and eggs need the boot
Dairy products (milk, cheese, yogurt, ice cream) are really hard on the human system and science shows that they promotes cancer. Cheese is the number one source of saturated fat in the American diet. Start weaning yourself off of it. Switch to plant milks and give up cheese and yogurt (Even vegan substitutes are loaded with oil. Members can see a discussion about that on the community page). You can replace ice cream with frozen, blended fruit. Just add a little plant milk and vanilla extract. Yum!
We did a Facebook live about eggs on 3/13/18. They are the number one source of cholesterol in the American diet. Plus, they are animal protein so all the commentary on animal protein promoting disease applies. For baking there are a host of plant-based alternatives (There is a list of them on the community page under WFPB). Be wary of egg substitutes as many of them do contain egg whites.
Oils were the last to go
For us, oil was the last thing we let go of in the house but turned out to be the easiest. We just cook with veggie broth or water. But if you’re stressed thinking about that, just start to cut back on how much and how often you use it.
Start by eliminating dairy and eggs and then start replacing other animal products and processed foods with plant-foods.
If you would like to have a personal conversation about your situation and get ideas what might work for you, book a consultation with Dr Robyn.
Dr Robyn is a former competitive volleyball player turned psychologist with continuing education in nutrition. Russ is a former competitive bodybuilder and trainer on the Mr. Olympia Tour. They are the co-founders of Whole Food Muscle and the authors of How to Feed a Human The Whole Food Muscle Way. To work with them one on one to improve your health and fitness or to have them speak at your event or organization email them at Health@RnRJourney.com.