Starter Guide

This Starter Guide is a good first stop for starting on your plant-based journey. It includes the books, blogs, recipes and other resources that were essential when I began my transition. They are also resources I still find valuable today.

This guide may be updated from time-to-time if I learn about new resources or information that may help you, so continue to refer back to it in case there is something new I may have added. Feel free to reach out with any questions!

Caryn

Recommended Resources

  1. Books to Read
    • How Not to Die by Dr. Michael Gregor
      This book focuses on the health aspects of eating plant-based. Dr. Gregor’s research and experience as a doctor has been monumental in the case for eating more plants and this book enhanced our knowledge on plant-based eating immensely. Highly recommend this book, whether you read it or listen to it. We refer back to it on a regular basis.
  1. Websites to Follow
    • NutritionFacts.org
      Run by Dr. Michael Gregor and his team of researchers, this site is my first stop for the latest nutrition information. After reading his book, I subscribed to this site which I visit on a daily basis.  His videos and articles are backed by the latest research and scientific data.  The ‘About’ page of his site gives you a good feel for how he sets it up.
    • Plant Based News
  2. Chefs/ Food Bloggers to Follow
  3.  Podcasts That Will Keep You Informed
    • Rich Roll
      A former lawyer turned vegan and world-class athlete, Rich has done amazing work for the plant-based community. His interviewees are fascinating and centered around all-things wellness. Each of his podcasts are informative for us and inspiring.

Starter Ingredient List

The following document is a good base to start building and thinking about your pantry and refrigerator staples. This is based on my experience and the meals I eat. They are also based on whole-food cooking and eating, so I don’t provide sources of processed/ fake meats or processed meals.

Topics and Blog Posts You Should Read

Meal Prep
Meal prepping is a huge help and we did a blog post if you want to check it out.  You will wax and wane as you figure out the right quantities of all foods for you and what to buy at the store.  I’d track your food in myfitnesspal for a bit just to see what your intake is and adjust as needed since it’s a whole new way of eating.

Plant-based Protein
Try to get plant-based protein in at every meal.  I noticed my muscle was getting weaker because I wasn’t eating enough quinoa, hemp seeds, lentils, etc. Although it is a myth that we need as much protein as the general public thinks we do, we still do need it.  Here’s a good reference but there are a ton out there you can google: http://www.theholykale.com/plant-based-protein-chart/.

Our Typical Meals

My boyfriend, Andrew, and I eat different types and amounts of meals for breakfast and lunch. In the beginning, learning to stay full was especially challenging for Andrew. He’s found that eating more grains helps, as well as incorporating a lot of fats.  He snacks often and makes very filling meals.

A typical day of eating looks like this for us:

Caryn

  • Breakfast is usually a smoothie with fruits such as kiwi and banana, blended with homemade cashew milk, flax seeds or hemps seeds, and cinnamon. On occasion I have warm oatmeal with hemp seeds/ chia seeds, peanut butter, fruit, cinnamon and agave mixed in. On weekends Andrew and I get a little more creative with scrambles or banana pancakes.
  • Lunch is a large veggie bowl with different raw or cooked vegetables over kale or spinach and a homemade dressing such as tahini with lemon, cashew garlic or hummus.

Andrew

  • Breakfast is a big bowl of homemade muesli (uncooked) with almond milk, berries, nuts, seeds and ground flaxseeds.
  • Lunch is either left overs or a veggie power bowl, similar to this.

For dinner we typically eat together and make red lentils bolognese with veggies over pasta, veggie curry, thai noodles with veggies and tofu and veggie pizzas.

You will notice that going out to eat changes a bit depending on where you live. It can be frustrating in the beginning, but you eventually find your groove.  We also eat at home a lot more often which has been better both financially for our health.