Our advice? Go slow. This isn’t a sprint! You don’t have to throw out everything in your cupboards that doesn’t fit the “plant-based” mold. Instead focus on what to include on those shelves.
Let’s start with the basics:
While great for snacking on-the-go, there’s a lot more to nuts than trail mix. Did you know cashews are often used as the base for plant-based cream sauces (like in our kid-approved mac and “cheese”)?
Unlike refined grains, whole grains are unprocessed and still have all those important nutrients in tact. Try whole grains as a base for stir fries, a hearty addition to soups, or on their own as a fiber-filled side dish.
OK, bathroom jokes aside, beans really are a magical fruit. They’re filled with fiber to keep your digestion on track and your tummy happy. Plus, they rank low on the glycemic index, which makes beans a healthy choice for folks with type 2 diabetes. Did we mention there’s about a zillion varieties to choose from? Some of our favorites include:
Good news — you don’t have to deny yourself the sweet things in life to be healthy. You can satisfy your sweet tooth and your blood sugar by sticking to natural sweeteners over refined, processed ones.
Fresh produce is something you'll want to replenish every week, however, most of these (minus the leafy greens) will last for a while in your pantry.
When you transition to a whole food plant-based diet, you'll find that spices become a big deal. Without the super salty and sweet processed foods we're used to, we rely on spices to flavor our food. Chances are you may have a few of these spices on hand already.
There’s more to the condiment aisle than ketchup, we promise! Whether you’re looking for a dash of heat or a quick salad dressing, these condiments bring life to your next veggie-inspired dish. You can also make some oil-free dressings with these ingredients.
No plant-based pantry is complete without nutritional yeast. Found at most natural food stores (we recommend buying in bulk), this inactive yeast gives your favorite foods a nutty, cheesy flavor — without the sodium or dairy. Sprinkle on some popcorn for a savory, healthy movie night snack.
By Ali Brown
Ali is a nutrition and lifestyle writer and editor, with a Plant-Based Nutrition Certificate from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies.
Some plant-based newbies find that their food waste increases as they ramp up the number of fruits and veggies they eat. Here are our tips for using your fruits and veggie from root to stem.