How to get started on your wholefood, plant-based lifestyle

Thank you for the amazing comments from my last post. It’s great to see so many of you are looking to start or continue on your plant-based journey.

In my last post I explained how I began my whole food, plant based journey and the amazing benefits I’ve had, and continue to have.

I mentioned that having eczema led me down this path, but when I stopped eating dairy products – milk, cheese, butter, eggs and yoghurts, everyone, and I mean everyone, said I couldn’t cut out this important food group without getting ill. How would I get important nutrients like calcium and protein? What would I eat?

But this food group was making me ill and affecting my chances of getting a job. I wasn’t going to listen to all the naysayers. I even went one step further and cut out all meat, fish and chicken. If it was served I’d eat round it, but not ‘it’. I didn’t want to offend people in the beginning, but this quickly changed once I learnt more!

Today I’m going to tell you exactly how to get started, the foods to eat to keep you feeling fuller for longer and some amazingly quick flavour combinations to help you to start creating delicious plant based meals for you and your family.

Changing our ways

Our understanding of the foods we need have changed. Meat, potato and two veg aren’t what we need any more. Eating fast food and take-aways does nothing for us except give us lifestyle diseases such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol, but, there is a new approach to eating that science has shown us to be amazingly effective at preventing and reversing these horrible diseases. Here’s what you need….

The Power Plate.

This is how YOU start following a whole food, plant based eating pattern.

The Power Plate consists of four food groups: fruits, vegetables, grains and legumes. They provide all the nutrients we need and help us to flourish and thrive. They don’t make us ill with the typical western lifestyle diseases such as heart disease, obesity, stroke and type 2 diabetes.

We positively glow by eating them and we can be as active as we want for as long as we want to if we eat like this. If we change our lifestyle permanently.

So what is this new food guide, the Power Plate? It was developed by Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. [1] and provides optimal health for you and your family and is brilliantly flexible so you can eat in a way that suits your taste and lifestyle whilst getting all the nutrients you need.

This is what it looks like:

PowerPlateThis is a low fat, high fibre way of eating that is supported by a whole lot of science by people such as T. Colin Campbell, MD and Neil Barnard MD.

Eating this way not only helps us prevent disease from happening within our bodies, but it can also reverse the symptoms of our most crushing diseases such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and even some types of cancer.

So if you’re getting confused and overwhelmed by all the information and you don’t know what you should and shouldn’t be eating…

Just choose from each of the new four food groups starting with your vegetables, before moving on to your whole grains then your legumes, finishing off with some lovely fresh whole fruit. (Drinking fruit juice isn’t great as most of the fibre is removed, leaving just the sugars.)

Imagine your plate, fill one half with vegetables, one quarter with brown rice or whole-wheat pasta and the other quarter with beans, peas or lentils. Then finish off your meal with some lovely fresh fruit.

If you eat like this at every mealtime, you’ll experience amazing changes in how you feel, and if you need to lose weight, guess what? You can do that too! You’ll also be tackling the typical lifestyle diseases such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and obesity. It’s all down to what you eat.

This will never fill me up

Don’t you believe it! You’ll be eating lots of beans, fruits, grains and vegetables that are packed full of fibre.

Fibre is brilliant at filling us up and tricking our stomach into thinking we’ve eaten a lot because fibre holds water and is heavy.

It has virtually no calories so your stomach tells your brain that you’re full long before you’ve eaten too much. (Compare that to animal fat that has 9 calories per gram.) But one of the beauties of eating a whole food plant based diet is that you’re unlikely to put weight on. Ever! (Unless of course you’re cheating a bit and having fizzy drinks/sodas, sweets/candy, animal products and oils etc.) Why? Check out my blog post on that very subject by clicking here.

You won’t find fibre in beef, chicken, fish, or dairy. In fact animal products don’t have fibre. So you’re more likely to want more to eat if you eat animal products that you will beans, fruits, grains and vegetables.

Aim for 40 grams a day of fibre.

Keep a note of what you’ve eaten for the day then calculate from the table below to see how much fibre you’ve had. Don’t worry if you’ve not made it to 40, just make a note to get more fibre tomorrow, and then more the next day until after a couple of weeks you’re getting your 40 grams. This gives your digestive tract time to get used to all that lovely extra fibre.

Food group Serving size Fiber g/serving
Beans 0.5 cup 7
Soya milk 1 cup 3
Vegetables 1 cup 4
Fruit e.g. medium apple, banana, orange 1 cup 3
Whole grain bread Slice 2
Cooked whole wheat pasta 1 cup 2
Cooked brown rice 1 cup 3
Cooked oats 1 cup 4
Bran 1 cup 8

But all these type of foods all bland and taste awful

Eating a whole food, plant-based diet can easily carry the flavours of your favourite meal, whether that’s an Indian, Thai,  Mexican, Italian or Latin American meal. There are literally millions of combinations to choose from and they’re all packed with amazing flavours and variety.

Herbs and spices are your friends and are amazing at helping to add not only flavour and texture to your meals, but they can also help you to fight and reverse disease. Just look at the recent research on turmeric for instance, curcumin, the pigment in turmeric that gives it its yellow colour, may sometimes help even in advanced stages of pancreatic cancer. Amazing!

Here are four flavour combinations for you to try:

Mexican: spring onions/scallions, chilli and lime

Thai: spring onions/scallions, ginger, chilli and coriander/cilantro

Chinese: spring onions/scallions, ginger and tamari

Indian: – cumin, ginger and garlic

Add them to your vegetables, fruits, grains and legumes and you have a different dish just like that!

I’ll never get all my protein, calcium, iron and vitamins eating like this. 

If you’re concerned about getting enough protein, calcium, iron and your daily dose of vitamins then don’t. You’ll get all the nutrients you need by following a wholefood, plant based diet.

Start by checking out my recommended articles.

Wishing you lots of good health and happiness,


P.P.S. You’re never too old to change, and you’re definitely never too old to feel better, look better and have more energy to do the things you thought you’d never be able to do again. Look out for my next blog post!