Amy Gorin, MS, RDN, is a nationally recognized, award-winning registered dietitian nutritionist, media personality, spokesperson, media coach, writer and owner of Plant Based with Amy, and Master the Media. In this feature, Amy shares insights in inclusive plant-based eating to achieve a healthier lifestyle.
Before I became a dietitian I was a magazine editor at Prevention, Health, Parents, American Baby, and Weight Watchers Magazine. While I was working as an editor, I became inspired to go back to school to become a dietitian. I wanted to understand complicated nutritional topics in minutes, not hours!
If you plan out your meals in terms of incorporating a protein, a healthy fat, a whole grain, and a fruit or vegetable, you will eat much healthier and also stay fuller for longer. I see a lot of people who don’t eat a protein with their meal, and they get so hungry right after eating! Examples of plant-based proteins are tofu, chickpeas, or black beans. Healthy fats and whole grains also help with satiation. Examples of healthy fats include avocado, olive oil, and olives. Whole grains and produce providing filling fiber. Examples of whole grains include quinoa, brown rice, and oatmeal.
1. Eat more fruits and veggies! I advise people to include a fruit or a vegetable with every meal and snack. These plants provide important and beneficial vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that benefit your health. As well, eating a vegetarian diet has been found to help with weight loss—and can help lower your risk of type 2 diabetes and coronary heart disease, per a study in Nutrients.
2. Eat more plant proteins! The beauty of eating plant proteins such as tofu, edamame, and chickpeas is that these plants provide health-helping antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Try baked tofu or add edamame to a smoothie.
3. Make plant-based eating fun. Following a plant-based diet doesn’t have to be boring. Explore fun dishes that the whole family will enjoy, such as a vegan egg roll in a bowl or sweet potato pizza.
Let the kids be part of the menu-planning process. If they help you decide what meals to make—and if they help make those meals—they will feel more invested and more likely to try the meals.
Pre-packaged foods can make meal planning so much easier! Many grocery stores and food delivery services now have healthy meal options. Look for options with lean protein at the center of the plate and that also feature a good amount of produce with the meal.