How to eat more plants
1st a couple of important pointers about plants in your diet.
· When we think of adding plants to our diet, we should also focus on colour variety.
· Sometimes we fill up lots of fruit (particularly children), believing we are getting the 5 or 10 + a day but the focus should be on different varieties of vegetables as the main plant intake, with some fruit intake.
· Eat plants in their natural whole form as much as possible. i.e. a whole apple or carrot, rather than an apple and carrot juice and lightly steamed, sauteed and raw vegetables rather than blackened crisp vegetables.
· Aim for a minimum of 30 different plants a week (this includes spices and herbs, different types of lettuce and salad leaves, different colours of peppers etc.)
So how can we make adding variety of colourful plants into our diet easy?
1. Herbs and Spices. Add spices and herbs to most of your dishes, these can be added to vegan, vegetarian and meat dishes. Turmeric is particularly powerful. Not only do spices and herbs increase plant intake and colour, but they season our dishes making adding in large amounts of salt and flavour enhances less necessary.
2. Breakfast. Have a couple of colours of plants in your breakfast. This might be having avocado and tomatoes with poached eggs for breakfast; or adding in organic mixed berries on top of a seed, nut & coconut granola (if not making your own then always look for lower carb and sugar free options).
3. Snacks. Ditch the muffin or crisps and take vegetable sticks (yellow peppers, celery, carrots, red tomatoes) with a little pot of nut butter or hummus. Not only are you then adding plants into your daily intake, you will avoid a slump in the mid afternoon that you get some high carb snacks.
4. Lunch. Start taking leftovers and add in some extra mixed salad leaves and avocado to bulk it out, and add some seeds and nuts and a good source of protein (including clean protein and good fats is key)
5. Mix up your vegetables. Grating carrot for a salad? Grate a small beetroot and some courgette or red cabbage in at the same time, immediately you have three colours and three plant types. Making dinner? use a variety of veggies in it, frittatas or stir-fries are a great way to get a variety here! Another easy win to get variety is to use mixed salad leaves, you will get a great variety here which instantly increases diversity of plants in your diet and often colours too.
6. Make a batch of snacks at the beginning of the week. This might be some energy balls, some protein bites (I often mix a nut butter blend with coconut oil/MCT, protein powder, inulin, cacao and seeds… lots of plant goodness in these! And you feel satisfied too)
7. Ground Linseed. Beneficial to most people. Freshly ground linseed is a great plant to include in your diet. Try grinding a batch beginning of the week, place the rest into a glass jar sealed firmly and store in the fridge.