How to upgrade your diet with plant-based foods
If you’re wondering how to upgrade your diet with more plant based food, it’s is much easier than you think. This post is all about how we can make long lasting healthy changes to our diet by swapping some of the foods we eat for healthier alternatives. At the bottom of the post grab my cheat sheet Ultimate Plant-Based Food Swaps to pin to your fridge.
It’s all about taking your time to introduce new recipes, flavours and foods into your life which you haven’t been paying much attention to until now. Plus, it can actually be really fun.
I’m sure you can appreciate that we’re constantly being bombarded in the news, and just about everywhere else we look, with information about food and diet.
And when you’re looking to do something simple so that you can eat better, sleep better, feel better and just generally make better choices for yourself it seems that everyone has an opinion.
I’m not going to tell you what or how you should be eating, that’s your business and we all enjoy different things after all.
But what I’d love to do is provide a place where you can grab simple, fun recipes to make without always having to cook.
It can feel overwhelming thinking of all the things you want to do, wondering where the heck you should start especially when you’re so busy and constantly on the go. But, what I found personally was, it felt a whole lot easier when I broke it all down into smaller steps as I went along.
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I knew that I absolutely needed to do something to take more responsibility for my health but, felt totally overwhelmed at the idea of it.
Breaking it down gave me a fun way to just make small changes when I felt like it, which was really easy to do.
And because doing this gave me such a lift, I felt confident in trying more new recipes and foods than I ever did previously. Then I just kept going with it.
What did I do to upgrade my diet?
I researched plant based foods that were great alternatives to the ones I was already using in my diet. So I looked for different sweeteners like maple syrup for example to replace table sugar, then looked for gluten free flour alternatives and wheat free grains etc. to see what I could find.
Then I made the whole thing into a kind of game so those times when I was feeling a bit bored with my routine I could always swap things up a little in my own cheeky way…
Well, I felt it was cheeky anyway. I mean, why tell the kids I was making brownies with beetroot or a tin of black beans? I made cakes with coconut flour, ice cream with week-old bananas that had begun to go brown (they’re sweeter like this). I started making raw sweets for fun using de-stoned dates and almond-meal left over from trying to make my own nut milk.
Each food swap had to be an upgrade from my usual ingredients and also had to be gluten free, refined sugar free and dairy free. So I started up a list of things which with time, just grew and grew.
I ended up creating a small chart which I stuck to the front of our fridge with our oh-so-typical-fridge magnets (I’m sure you must have some!)
At the bottom of this blog post I’ve popped in a link to my (new and much prettier) free chart for you to grab, if you’d like to. It’s my ‘Ultimate Plant-Based Food Swaps’.
Hope do you like it!
10 Easy-To-Do Ultimate Plant-Based Food Swaps
1 - Simplify Fats
Instead of reaching into the cupboard to find all sorts fats I simplified to just these three:
Extra Virgin Olive Oil - for dips, sauces and drizzling
2 - Sugars
There are so many different names given to the sugar in our foods. I like to stick to these:
3 - Table Salt
I swap this with unrefined sea salt/celtic sea salt because table salt has been stripped during processing of its natural mineral content and sea salt hasn’t.
4 - Bread
Now that we have much better sources of gluten-free bread available to us this can be a fab alternative - I like the Genius brand. Crackers, oatcakes, and sprouted grain breads can make a delightful change. There are so many to choose from now and do look out for those with no additives, preservatives or added flavours.
5 - Breakfast cereal
Make your own cereal using gluten free alternatives such as oats, buckwheat, amaranth, millet and quinoa. You can also use nuts and seeds - I love chia seeds, hemp, almonds and hazelnuts. What favourites do you have?
Ultimate plant-based food swaps
by Juliette Young
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6 - Cakes and cookies
Have you discovered chocolate coconut bliss balls? They’re gorgeous! You can make cookies and cakes with raw ingredients and you’ll be amazed at how simple and delicious they are.
Gluten free flours such as coconut flour and ground almonds can be used make wonderful cakes and tartes.
7 - Croutons
How about using your favourite nuts and seeds instead?
8 - Dairy milk
Non dairy milks such as almond, tiger nut, hazelnut, coconut etc. are easily available now in most supermarkets but you need to watch out for added ingredients in some brands.
I love the taste of my own freshly made nut milk, especially almond milk, but I do sometimes buy pre-made alternatives from the supermarket when I’m pushed for time but they HAVE TO avoid using thickeners, flavourings, additives and preservatives in their produce.
9 - Eggs
Aquafaba (the liquid from tins of chickpeas), psyllium husk powder, ground flax seed, chia seeds.
10 - wheat Flour
Almond flour, buckwheat flour, coconut flour, chickpea flour, gluten free flour, sprouted flour.
As with any change in your diet you should always speak to your doctor or qualified healthcare professional before making changes and to discuss if including more plant-based and raw foods would be suitable for you.
grab yourself my free food swaps cheat sheet below
If you enjoyed this post, I’d be so very grateful if you’d help it spread by emailing it to a friend, or sharing it on Facebook. Thank you!
Fresh cuppa anyone?
Bye for now.
mum, dog owner, lover of raw food