Eating a healthy diet doesn’t have to mean giving up on convenience and enjoying the beauty of food! In fact, a whole food plant-based (WFPB) diet brings into our life more color, texture, flavor, and variety of fruit and veggies beyond your imagination. How is this possible? With a few simple hacks, we can ease our way into the WFPB diet and start improving our health in no time.
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A whole food plant-based diet, like a vegan diet, does not include meat, dairy, eggs, or other animal products. However, a WFPB diet also steers clear from refined and processed foods (including foods that contain refined sugar or white flour).
Why eat this way?
A plant-based diet can help you…
Reach a healthy weight
Kick chronic inflammation to the curb
Lower your cholesterol
Lower your blood pressure
Prevent and reverse heart disease (a plant-based diet cuts your heart failure risk by almost half!)
Control your blood sugar and prevent and reverse type 2 diabetes
Slow progression of certain types of cancer
Regulate your moods and reduce anxiety and depression
Get your hormones under control
Reduce wrinkles and get clear, smooth, bright skin
Cut down on meds
Lower your foods costs
So why doesn't everyone eat a WFPB diet? In today’s fast-paced world, it is hard to imagine how humans can sustain a balanced life without succumbing to modern conveniences like fast and processed food.
Change is important to human growth but sometimes what humans do in the name of progress can greatly damage our health and leave us struggling to live a balanced lifestyle. Going back to eating food that made humans thrive for millennia — whole, unprocessed, unadulterated food — has helped many people reverse conditions thought impossible to heal.
When we eat whole plant-based foods, we are bringing into our body all the nutrients, energy, and information nature packed up perfectly so that our body knows how to nourish and heal itself.
OK, all this is great news for your life and health — but a plant-based diet for beginners can sometimes feel overwhelming and if being "compliant" feels like a hassle, chances are most won't stick it out long enough to reap its many benefits.
Make the transition to a whole food plant-based lifestyle easy (and delicious) with these beginner hacks.
9 WFPB Diet Beginner Hacks to Make Your Transition to Plants WAY Easier
1. Maximize Flavor with Spices and Herbs
Think a WFPB diet will leave you yearning for more flavor? Think again! The secret to never getting bored on a plant-based diet is to build up a kitchen full of different herbs and spices. Investing in quality spices and seasonings featuring different international flavors is an excellent place to start. You can also buy fresh herbs such as ginger, turmeric, cilantro, parsley, mint, dill, and oregano for an even greater nutrition boost and richer flavor. This is a perfect excuse to create an herb garden anywhere you can, be it on your balcony, your window sill, or in your backyard.
2. Learn Simple Go-To Sauces and Dressings
One of the best-kept secrets to maintaining a healthy WFPB diet? Always have delicious oil-free sauces and dressings on hand. These flavor-enhancers work best when made with some kind of a fat (avocado or seed/nut butter), an acid (lemon, lime, or apple cider vinegar), a sweetener (dates, orange juice, or raisins), and a source of salt (sea salt, liquid aminos, celery, or seaweed).
3. Have Healthy Snacks on Hand
Hunger can sometimes get the best of us! It can tempt us to fall back on familiar foods that maybe aren't great for us — it can also lead to overeating. The best way to combat both of these outcomes is to stock up on healthy plant-based snacks like seeds, nuts and nut butters, dates, avocados, and our favorite fruits.
4. Wash Your Veggies After Shopping
When life gets busy, the greatest barrier to making our favorite healthy meal could be as simple as washing all the fruit and veggies we plan to use in our dish. A simple solution: take some time immediately after bringing your groceries home to wash and store that produce properly so you can grab, chop, cook, and enjoy that healthy food at mealtimes.
5. Use Time-Saving Kitchen Tools for Chopping, Cutting, and Shredding
It's wild how a simple kitchen tool can take meal prep from a chore to an enjoyable experience! And while some kitchen gadgets can get pretty pricey, you don't need to spend a fortune on most of our favorite time-saving kitchen tools.
6. Cook Simple Flavorful Meals with 3 Components
When it comes to a plant-based diet for beginners, or any sustainable diet, simplicity is key! But don't worry — this doesn’t mean your WFPB diet will be devoid of flavor, variety, and nutrition. On the contrary! The best way to keep things delicious, fresh, and simple is to focus on combining three different textures and flavors in one meal. Your body is more likely to feel satisfied and satiated!
One part of your meal could be a simple cucumber and tomato salad with cilantro and lemon juice, the second portion could be fragrant coconut rice, and the third could be an eggplant and chickpea curry. To make your life easier, you can prep these meals (lunch or dinner) twice a week in bulk.
7. Fill your Pantry with Grains, Legumes, Nuts, and Seeds
We often get inspired to cook healthy delicious dishes when we can see, smell, and touch all the possible ingredients. Stocking your plant-based pantry with healthy non-perishables (preferably in glass jars) makes creating quick and healthy recipes so much easier.
8. Meal Prep Twice a Week
The less time you spend thinking about meal prepping, the easier it is to stick with and thrive on your WFPB diet! With all those fruits and veggies washed, your pantry stocked with essentials, you can quickly prepare lunch or dinner in bulk to last a few days! (Don't forget to stock up on quality storage containers if you don't already have them.)
Pro tip: pick two days of the week when you're not feeling rush rushed and prepare enough food for the following three or four days.
Oh, and soaking grains and legumes overnight cuts down on cooking time big time!
9. Learn to Prepare Quick and Easy Refined Sugar–Free Desserts
You don't have to deprive your sweet tooth when you move to a WFPB diet. Contrary to popular belief, dessert can be nourishing and healthy — and including sweets can actually keep you on the WFPB path. The key to having your WFPB cake and eating it, too? Moving away from refined sugar and replacing it with natural sweeteners instead. (Dates are your new BFF!)
Knowing a few simple WFPB dessert recipes satiates those sweet-tooth cravings, and keep you from binge-eating junk later on.
- The WFPB diet provides us with all the nutrition and energy we need to heal ourselves and maintain our good health.
- With just a few simple hacks, we can make the WFPB diet work for us to reverse disease, lose weight, and live a healthier lifestyle overall.
- A WFPB diet doesn't mean a diet of deprivation! On the contrary — learning simple and quick recipes that we can modify with different herbs and spices, sauces, dressings, legumes, grains, fruits, and veggies will save us a lot of time, help us bring a variety of exciting flavors into our diet, and prevent us from falling back on junk food.
By Sebila Kratovac
Sebila is very passionate about plant-based food and how it can help us heal from the inside out. You can often find her creating new vegan dishes and infusing them with healing herbs and spices or just enjoying being in nature. She is also an ardent artist, dancer, performer, writer, and wellness practitioner.