Hands down, one of the greatest things you can do to look and feel better is to eat more plants. But while it’s easy to run out and grab a salad, it takes some practice to get good at eating a balanced plant-based diet most of the time.
Below are some qualities that all successful plant-based eaters share. Follow these tips and you'll start feeling, looking and living your best life!
1. They stray from recipes.
Highly effective plant eaters don't follow recipes all the time. Why? Because when you eat mostly plants, you start to learn how you like your plants cooked (or uncooked if you like them raw).
Once you really learn how you like your fruits and veggies prepared —massaged kale, stuffed sweet potatoes, spiralized apples, boiled edamame, for example — and you learn how to whip up a delightful dressing or smoothie, making yourself a meal will be a breeze.
2. When they grocery shop, they spend most of their time in the produce aisle.
Since fresh produce has a shorter shelf life than canned beans and maca powder, a highly effective plant-eater makes short but frequent stops to pick up a bunch of kale, a single lemon, or a handful of avocados.
3. They're never too far from a blender.
Smoothies are a surefire staple in their diets. A green smoothie (or a green juice) to a highly effective plant eater is like a banana to a monkey.
4. They create meals by colors.
Plant-based eaters tend to paint their plates by color. The nutrients found in fruits and veggies can often be categorized by color, which makes it oh-so-easy to create a balanced meal just by looking at the colors on the plate. You grow to instinctively know when their mostly green plate needs something orange or their very yellow plate needs some purple.
5. They're perfectly happy eating out of one big bowl.
Eating out of one big bowl (or “bowling” if you will) is plant-based-perfection. To create a plant-based bowl meal, think of adding the following:
- Fresh produce (veggies or fruits)
- Fun flavor
For a breakfast bowl, a highly effective plant-eater might start with:
- Quinoa (protein)
- Almond milk (moisture)
- Chopped walnuts (texture)
- Blueberries and bananas (produce)
- Cinnamon and agave (fun flavor)
For a dinner bowl, a highly effective plant-eater might start with:
- A chopped up veggie burger (protein)
- Tahini sauce (moisture)
- Pumpkin seeds (texture)
- Sweet potato
- Kale and cherry tomatoes (produce)
- Parsley, salt and pepper (fun flavor)
See how easy this is? Get this down and you'll be as effective as can be!
6. They get greens at every meal.
Just like a margarita feels off without a lime, or sushi feels off without seaweed, a meal for a highly effective plant-eater feels off without something green. Whether it’s a smoothie, a sandwich, or a side of steamed vegetables, they make sure there’s always a leafy green involved.
7. They plan ahead.
Whether it’s making sure their pantry is fully stocked on a regular basis, or it’s previewing a restaurant menu, or it’s packing snacks for their travels, highly effective plant-based eaters make sure they control their food circumstances, rather than letting circumstances control their food.
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[This article originally appeared on Mindbodygreen.com]