health and nutrition

5 ways to eat more plants

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You don’t have to be vegan to enjoy a plant-based diet. I think we often focus too much on the labels in life when the real goal should be maintaining a healthy food lifestyle. Healthy eating is definitely just that – a lifestyle, a mindset – and it should be enjoyable, not difficult! Not everyone loves vegetables as much as I do (I credit this to my yummy garden growing up) but we can all eat more plants every day with these tips:

plan meals around produce

Eating a plant-based diet begins with changing your mentality. Instead of planning meals around a protein, make produce the star. Celebrate plants by choosing fresh, seasonal produce and then pairing a protein with it, not the other way around. This sounds simple but it is a life-changing mindset!

fill your pantry with plants

The only way to succeed at a new diet/food lifestyle is to make it convenient. Your intentions are good now and you may feel energized about this new change, but busy days are ahead. Make sure you have plant-based convenience foods on hand. Keep your pantry stocked with dried and canned plants (both for quick meals and handy snacks) and have plants at the ready in your fridge and freezer. Choose wisely – skip the processed junk!

reinvent your favorite meals with plants

One fun part of eating a plant-based diet is trying all of the vegan/vegetarian substitute foods. It’s kind of insane how many amazing options are available and sometimes I like the substitute better than the animal version! Take your favorite animal-based meals and give them a plant twist.

Meatless Mondays

For those who don’t want to be 100% vegan, you can still pretend to be one once a week! Meatless Mondays are the perfect way to eat a little less animal protein and more plants. Committing to a scheduled meat-free day helps keep you dedicated to eating more plants, plus themed dinners are always fun for families.

swap this for that

When you switch over to the green side (aka become vegan) there are lots of swaps that happen. You don’t have to be vegan to make some better-for-you swaps though like cutting out dairy. Dairy has never agreed with my body so I was dairy free long before I committed to becoming vegan. Nut milks are the perfect opportunity to load up on plant protein, calcium and antioxidants, no cows needed. In the vegan world, there are product swaps for everything from cheese and butter to fish and steak… try some plant swaps this year!

Silk Almond has long been a constant in our family’s fridge. Well actually, not just the almond but all of their varieties. My favorite for morning cereal is Silk Almond Vanilla which takes every bowl of cereal to the moon with its creamy texture and yummy taste! It has 50% more calcium than cow’s milk and is a perfect low calorie swap.

Another favorite around here is Silk Almond Coconut Blend, which gives a subtle exotic flavor and flair to an everyday cup of milk! By switching to Silk, you get a milk with ZERO cholesterol and less saturated fat than cow milk. Plus, no lactose to aggravate your digestive system!

While I definitely do not love the whole idea of new year’s resolutions (why wait until the new year??) a new year does re-energize me and encourages me to be a better version of myself. Last year I had a health scare that pushed me into being vegan 100%. It was what my body needed, and I couldn’t imagine going back because I feel seriously amazing since the change. When you take away animal proteins, it forces you to eat more plants and we could all benefit from eating more plants!

Like I said before, you don’t need to be vegan to eat a lot of plants. Small changes are still changes and every one counts! Commit to the New Year, New You mantra for 2018 by getting more plants in your diet. Add them, swap them for animal proteins/dairy and see the benefits when your body is getting more vitamins, minerals and nutrients! Click here for some really great recipes using Silk.

Find a wide range of Silk milk products at Walmart in the refrigerated milk section.

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