How to be optimally nourished & balanced on every level
Making the right decisions when you’re about to create a meal is an important aspect of your overall health. We have collected both the most healthy and unhealthy foods in clearly arranged lists to make your life a lot easier and better. Eating a plant-based, whole food diet doesn’t have to be complicated if you want to just stick to the basics.
Be aware that the foods to eat listed below are a huge selection of your different choices – eat a nice variety of what you like best and experiment. There’s no need to make extravagant meals out of them, it’s actually a very simple and native diet. Let’s take a look!
FOODS TO EAT
Fill up on healthy staples first whenever you're hungry
Bananas, oranges, kiwi, apples, berries, figs, mangoes, pears, persimmons, papayas, peaches, lemons, cherries, melons, plums, apricots etc.
Dried fruit like apricots, dates, apples, figs, raisins, cranberries, prunes, goji
Apple sauce and other fruit purees
Leafy green vegetables including kale, lettuce, collard greens, spinach
Cruciferous vegetables, such as cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts
Carrots, bell peppers, leek, celery, eggplant, tomatoes, zucchini, fennel, asparagus, mushrooms, avocados
Potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams, parsnips, beets, turnips
Squashes like butternut, acorn, pumpkin
Oats, barley, wheat, spelt, brown rice, white rice, rye, bulgur, quinoa, couscous, amaranth, corn, millet, buckwheat
Products made of these whole grains like bread, oil-free crackers, tortilla, wraps, or pasta
Lentils, peas, chickpeas, edamame
Beans including kidney, mung, pinto, limas, soy etc.
FOODS TO ADD ON
Top your healthy staples with these when you feel like it
Nuts such as almonds, walnuts, cashews, macadamia, hazelnut, pecans, chestnuts, pine, coconut etc.
Seeds like flax, sunflower, sesame, chia etc.
Tahini, nut butter like almond butter, cashew butter etc.
Plant-based milk made from soy, rice, almonds, hazelnut, hemp
Kefir, yogurt or cream made of the ingredients above
Tofu plain, smoked, or spiced but no fake meats, sausages or tofurky
Refined flour products like pasta, bread, soba rice noodles
Cornflakes, sugar-free cold cereal,
Refined flours (rice, rye, wheat, oat, corn, buckwheat, barley)
Natural sweeteners such as date syrup or molasses, cane sugar, acorn/maple syrup, date paste, stevia leaves, agave nectar
Soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, apple cider vinegar, miso, hot sauce, sea salt, vegetable broth, ketchup, sriracha, curry paste, tomato paste, nutritional yeast
Spices like garlic, onion, fresh herbs (basil, parsley, rosemary, oregano, mint etc), scallions, chili, cardamom, curry, ginger, mustard, pepper, cinnamon, coriander, vanilla, garam masala, nutmeg, turmeric etc.
ALL ANIMAL PRODUCTS
Any kind of meat like beef, pork, poultry, turkey, lamb, game meat etc.
Fish, shellfish, eggs, and food made with any of these like mayonnaise
Dairy milk and all food made with them
Cheese, cream cheese, cottage cheese, sour cream, yogurt, ice cream, butter.
Margarine and vegetable oils such as olive oil, coconut oil, sunflower oil, and fish oil etc.
Products containing oils like spreads, cookies, baked goods, sauces etc.
HIGHLY PROCESSED FOODS
High fructose corn syrup, white sugar, honey and foods made with them
Sugary cereals, chocolate bars, soda, artificial sweeteners, doughnuts
Drinking enough water should be a given, no matter what diet someone eats. Depending on the temperature and how much activity you’re getting, try to drink at least 1.5 – 2 liters of water a day. Other possible beverages which you can add to your water are tea, coffee (if you don’t feel any side effects), and fruit or vegetable juices (homemade is best).
Look out for good quality and don’t get concentrates or anything with added sugar! Also, don’t load up your tea or coffee with cream and sugar, opt for some stevia with soy milk instead or drink it plain. Another idea is to make some fruit-infused water by putting some slices of citrus fruit or berries along with fresh herbs like mint into a bottle of water and then drink it. Alcohol won’t do you any favors as well, so stay away from it as much as possible.
GENERAL FOOD GUIDELINES
Think of food as ‘high’ or ‘low’ nutrient dense & strive for maximum nutrition.
Eat as many whole foods as you want, add some minimally processed foods in here and there.
Listen to your hunger and never starve yourself – eat until you’re satisfied but not stuffed.
Don’t neglect hydration, drink mainly pure water as well as fruit/vegetable juice when you feel like it (around 2-3 liters a day).
Don’t be afraid of carbs or whole fats, there is no need to count macronutrients when eating a whole food, plant-based diet.
As long as you meet your caloric needs, you cannot get protein deficient even on purely plant foods.
Both raw and cooked foods have different benefits so feel free to consume them in the ratio that suits you best.
Try to prepare as much food as you can at home and use only very little salt or sugar. Skip the oil.
Don’t get too extreme and try to be very ‘pure’ by eating only green leafy vegetables, since it’s unsustainable and unbalanced.