Whole Food Plant-Based Resources & Recipes
Note: Before I start I will say the resources I am listing in this are just ones I have seen be helpful, i am not making any money out of them and I don’t necessarily recommend them – Always consult with your physician or dietitian prior to adopting a vegetarian or vegan diet or making other intensive dietary changes especially if you are pregnant. In addition to a health professional if you want to track your calories and nutrient intake yourself check out Cronometer which is free and very easy to use. https://cronometer.com/
Please note that this video is discussing the benefit of more plant foods, not recommending veganism or vegetarianism. You can have animal sources e.g. wild game, regenerative agriculture meat, fish, eggs as well. However, if you decide to go vegan (which is fine) then please note there are risks associated with it include vitamin b12 deficiency and if you have an unbalanced vegan diet then protein, zinc, and iron deficiencies (generally not a problem if you have a well balanced vegan diet). Hence it is recommended to regularly see your doctor to check for any nutrient deficiencies or other concerns.
There are MANY benefits to eating more plants and whole foods in addition to weight loss, in particular non-starchy plants like: Tomatoes, leafy greens, broccoli, bok choy, cauliflower, celery, cabbage, cucumber, capsicum, onion, garlic, shallots, asparagus, carrots, sprouts, beets, mushroom, artichoke, spinach, brussel sprouts, nuts, seeds, berries, herbs and spices. It is one of the best things you can do for yourself. So check out some of the meal plans and recipes below and get going. As I will specify in later videos – even if you add in some animal products and reduce your carbs depending on your preferences – it is still key to ensure a diet rich in vegetables, spices, herbs, nuts, seeds and other plants.
Meal plans and recipe resources:
Meal Plan (pdf): Dietitian designed, 1000 calories per day, one week long meal plan with Macronutrient Profile (pdf)
- Please note: Whilst this meal plan is dietician designed, it is for general information only and is not tailored to your specific medical needs. It is recommended this is used in conjunction with your doctor or dietitian and is not designed for long term use
Additional meal plans + recipes
One of the simplest, cheapest yet most effective things you can do to lose weight and be healthier is eating more plants like vegetables, lentils, legumes and beans.
There are a number of reasons for this. But let’s look at the evidence first – there have been a few really great weight loss studies done over the years showing that those people who did NOT count calories, but just ate a whole food plant based diet can very effectively lose weight long term. I will repeat this point – they did NOT have to count calories or restrict their food intake, they just had to eat a whole food plant based diet which is a diet of whole foods like whole fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans, legumes and avoid processed and refined foods like bread, soft drink, oils, processed meat and so on. Though of course for most people some healthy unprocessed oils are good like flaxseed oil, olive oil and so on. Keep in mind that many other vegetable oils are processed and we should avoid them.
A great study called the BROAD study, done in New Zealand in 2017 showed that those people who were put on a whole food plant based diet and did not, I repeat NOT, have to restrict their calories or food, lost on average 11.5 kgs, some even losing up to 28kg after 12 months. Which is really fantastic. The great thing about this is because it was not a restrictive diet, people could stick to it.
We also know that having diets high in vegetables, nuts, seeds, slow carbohydrates is good for you in the long term. Studies from around the world on over 450,000 people over 25 years showed that diets high in highly refined carbs like sugar and bread are bad, and diets low in whole food carbs are bad but that the healthiest is a diet that has around 50–55% from whole food carbohydrates like fruit, berries, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, quinoa, brown rice, buckwheat, sorghum and so on. They also found that dietary patterns favouring animal-derived protein and fat sources were associated with higher death rates, whereas those that favoured plant-derived protein and fat intake, from sources such as vegetables and nuts, were associated with lower death from all causes. In fact multiple studies have shown that this way of eating, called whole food plant based may reverse types of heart disease and cellular ageing which is the only diet shown in good quality studies to be able to do this, so for many reasons, this way of eating is a winner.
The good thing about plant-based whole foods is that per calorie they keep yourself full and satisfied. Have you ever noticed that you have a biscuit or bit of bread when you are hungry, and then 30 minutes later you are hungry again? That’s because those foods are low in fibre and protein which normally makes you feel more full. In this picture is a stomach with different types of food, each representing a certain number of calories. So each stomach has the same number of calories in it but obviously, some stomachs are much more full than others. It is an oversimplification of the biological process of what foods make you feel full, but it will do for our purposes. If your 500 calories a day is lots of plant foods that are high in protein and fibre but low in calories like certain vegetables, fruits, legumes, beans, lentils you are going to feel much more satisfied and full. If you have 500 calories of biscuits, oils and meat and you are probably going to feel hungry again in a few hours.
Sometimes I come across people who say “I don’t like vegetables”. Ok, I am going to assume that you have had experiences of overcooked, mushy and boring veggies, and then I can understand why you don’t like them. But let me tell you – this is not a fair comparison. If I overcooked steak, and it was tough and burnt and plain, I bet you wouldn’t like it either. Hence I really encourage you to eat some properly cooked tasty vegetables, a mix of colours, flavours, fresh, vibrant, beautiful. Add in some spices, ginger, herbs or lemon juice and you can make such a tasty meal. Just try it. I have put some recipes and meal plans below..
So a really simple practical step here is to not count calories, but simply to most meals just simply increase the amount of vegetables in your food, and reduce the amount of everything else so that your overall food quantity is still satisfying you. It’s a simple thing to do and very effective.