Most of us have heard about plant-based eating, but we’re loving a new term we’re hearing lately — plant-forward eating. You don’t need to be a vegan or even a vegetarian to be a plant-forward eater. This concept is more inclusive to a variety of dietary preferences.
Plant-forward is simply about getting more plants on your plate. This goes beyond fruits and vegetables, to include nuts, seeds, oils, whole grains, legumes and beans. You can embrace the plant-forward approach to eating, and still occasionally eat meat or dairy. It’s just that proportionately you choose more of your food from plant sources.
Let’s talk about personal health benefits first. Recently, researchers have examined plant-forward eating, particularly the Mediterranean diet which has a foundation of plant-based foods. According to an article on Harvard Health, “The Mediterranean diet has been shown in both large population studies and randomized clinical trials to reduce risk of heart disease, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, certain cancers (specifically colon, breast, and prostate cancer), depression, and in older adults, a decreased risk of frailty, along with better mental and physical function.”
Snack on veggies. Have pre-cut veggies ready to snack on — carrots, bell peppers, cucumbers, celery and more. If you need a little protein when you’re on the go, try Toby’s Plant Based Dip & Spread. Made with full fat, eggless mayonnaise, it provides a healthy boost of protein since it’s made with organic, non-GMO soybeans.
Make meat the side dish, instead of the main course. Try making vegetables the star of the meal. You can steam, braise, stir-fry or even grill them to preserve their flavor, like this recipe for Grilled Vegetable Kabobs with Ranch Dressing.
Make a tasty vegetarian meal once a week. Vegetarian doesn’t have to be boring. If you don’t believe us, try our recipe for Tofu Tacos or Stuffed Bell Peppers — they’re so full of flavor you won’t miss the meat. (Psst… Toby’s Seasoning Mix is the perfect way to introduce tofu into your diet.)
Make salad more filling. Yes! You can get full having a salad for dinner. The key is fresh local ingredients topped with a delicious dressing. Take, for example, Brussels Sprouts Pear Salad with Honey Mustard Dressing & Dip. It’s so filling and with just a sprinkle of bacon, you’ll enjoy the flavor without all the calories. If you’re looking for inspiration, look at some of our other salad recipes.
Eat meat from local butchers and farmers. When you do choose to eat meat, try to find sustainably raised beef, chicken, and pork. There’s a huge benefit to finding local farmers that use good practices, like avoiding the addition of hormones, antibiotics, preservatives and chemicals. And since it doesn’t involve shipping long distances, buying local is better for the environment as well.
Sneak in more fruit with juice. It can be hard to find time to eat right when we’re busy juggling a million other things. That’s probably one of the reasons why our Genesis Organic Juice enjoys a such cult following. This raw, organic juice is cold-pressed and handcrafted in small batches, making it a healthy and delicious way for fruit on the go!
Choose healthy fats and protein. Low-fat doesn’t always mean healthy. Instead, try to focus on fats that are good for you like olive oil, olives, nuts and nut butters, seeds, and avocados. Speaking of avocados, you have to try this recipe — Grilled Avocados with Vegetable Quinoa and Blue Cheese Dressing!
We hope you found a few tips to help you and your family ease into plant-forward eating. Here at Toby’s our goal is to provide a pathway to a better diet by inspiring the vegan, the carnivore, and the rest of us in between to eat better and feel better!
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