What is a Whole Food, Plant Based Diet?
Perhaps the most simple way to break down what a “Whole Food, Plant Based Diet” is would be to put it into four categories: Grains, Greens, Beans, and Fruits. Whole-foods also include of course herbs and spices. And mushrooms are as well even though they don’t fall under any of these categories.
So if Vegan Walk says vegan, or WFPB, or “whole-food, plant based” or “whole-food, plant” or “plant based” or “whole-foods” or any which way we may label it; if we’re talking about what we eat it’s always vegan, whole-food, plant based.
What Specifically Do We Eat
We “eat real food!” It’s that easy! Real food that grows from the ground. To get started on a whole-food, plant based diet visit our “What to Eat” page where we share the tools we use to get on track fast! For a breakdown of the best foods to eat visit our “Best Foods to Eat” page. There we list the core foods by category. From this thousands of recipes can be made! For more information be sure to also check out this great resource by Kaiser Permanente: Plant Based Booklet
Three Quintessential Reasons
These are basically the three profound reasons to be on a whole-food, plant based diet:
- Health: The lives it saves (see health and stories)
- Environment: The planet it saves (see world)
- Compassion: All the animals it saves (see ethics)
Embracing these three reasons fosters complete integrity. The more you know about these three quintessential reasons the more solidified you may feel in everything you do. The more you have a choice to live within the utmost integrity. And the more you most likely will want to advocate. This diet and lifestyle enables you to reach your full potential in everything you do both mentally and physically.
Some people may experience a loss of energy at first when going on a vegan diet. I never have and don’t know anyone personally experiencing this. But in case you do check out (Eating More to Weigh Less). In short, the “lower energy dense food” is more nutrient dense a food. So you may just need to eat more because you can now.
What are the Health Benefits of a WFPB Diet?
Kaiser Permanente is one of, if not the largest health care provider in America. They benefit from promoting health because it means less payouts, more money for them, and of course healthier customers paying insurance for longer lives. They explain in their Plant Based Diet Booklet that benefits of eating a whole-food, plant based diet are:
- Lower cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar
- Reversal or prevention of heart disease and diabetes
- Longer life
- Healthier weight
- Lower risk of developing cancer and diabetes
- May slow the progression of certain types of cancer
- Improved symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis
- Fewer medications
- Lower food costs
- It’s also good for the environment
By chosing a whole-food, plant based diet for every meal you are inspiring others to live healthier. Think about your family and friends. And those are just some of the benefits.
The experience is most often describe as “the best thing I have ever done for my life!” Eating healthier turns you into a totally different, healthier, happier person.
On a whole-food, plant based diet you eat more fiber, nutrients, antioxidants, and water. You start feeling lighter, cleaner, mentally more clear, your taste buds change and become more simplified and sensitive. And overtime you mostly likely will realize more and more the enormous impact your change is making on not only you but the world! (see the amazing results here)
This new you can be so energizing and inspiring. Couple that with being cognizant of the need for change and you have an advocate or activist in the making! Check out our post on Advocacy to learn about how and why we advocate.
Learn about how easy it is to get started on our “what to eat” page!
Transitioning into a Whole Food, Plant Based Diet
For me it was easy to jump right into a vegan diet instantly. I was in my late 30’s. My doctor said my cholesterol was a little high. So I felt I needed to for my health. I did a little research and basically just decided that’s it, from now on no more meat, eggs, or dairy.
It was excellent for me physically as well since it helped me bring my cholesterol down to a perfect level, lose visceral fat, etc… But, I didn’t really know what to eat, only what not to eat. So, it can be a lot of work figuring out what to eat when nobody is there telling you like we are at VeganWalk.com. Our What to Eat page breaks it down easy!
Some may experience a little gas as your gut microbiome adjusts. This typically only takes a couple of weeks. You may want to start off slow, progressively adding more beans every few days until you can eat three servings of legumes a day if you want. There’s a wonderful variety, it’s easy (see “Best Foods to Eat“). Some may soak certain beans to make them “more digestible”. However, I am not sure this is true since some if not most restaurants don’t soak them. I pressure cooker is a great, affordable, invaluable tool to make cooking beans a breeze. We have the Instant Pot.
If you’re truely doing a whole-food, plant based diet, cutting out processed foods, oils, and salt, then it may take a week or two for your taste buds to adjust. And, if you are one of the few that may experience a little loss in energy this may be because you’re eating low energy dense foods, which is a good thing! So, you may just need to eat more. And that’s perfectly fine because you’re eating nutrient dense foods! So enjoy! (s)
The “Based” Debate
One reason I feel inclined to say “based” is that’s what science calls it. The science shows that a whole-food, plant based “vegan” diet benefits us without any of the negative side effects seen in a Western or Standard American Diet (SAD). Meat, eggs and dairy do not provide the plant based benefits and animal produce comes with so many toxic, debilitating side effects up to and including death. (s)
Some people say it’s “plant based” because those populations at about 97 plus percent plants based with less than percent meat (small portions of rats and bugs, or fish and pigs, etc…). But, this is just proving the more plant based the healthier and longer those large populations lived. Keep looking and you’ll see this is completely congruent with other observations, like the more meat, eggs, and dairy people eat the higher their premature mortality rate. Epidemiological population studies provide clear evidence there is no safe level of meat, egg, or dairy consumption. (s)
What does “based” mean really? It’s “the point at which something develops”. When our diet develops out of “plants” then doesn’t “based” include seeds, fruits, legumes, grains, etc…? Why yes! A “whole-food” and “plant based” diet does in fact include fruits, legumes, and grains!
In the end, I just feel more specific explaining what a whole-food, plant based diet is. A vegan diet is just to vague and plagued with stigma when I’m simply trying to tell someone “what to eat“. So, for short I may say WFPB Vegan Diet, or just vegan diet, etc…