Happy New Year! Here's to a fabulous 2018!
Whether you're resolving to go vegan for the new year or whether you're already vegan and plan to up your healthy eating game--here are 5 easy ways to keep your plate green in 2018.
Be sure to eat these 5 foods every single day:
Fruit (especially berries, fresh or frozen)
Greens (especially dark leafy greens twice a day)
Whole Grains (muffins, quinoa, brown rice, spelt toast)
Beans (hummus, lentils, black beans, tempeh)
Nuts (flax seeds, walnuts, pecans, almond butter)
Here's how to easily add these foods to your plate each day.
Add a 1/2 cup of fresh or frozen blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, raspberries or other berries (because they're among the healthiest and lowest-sugar fruits) to a smoothie in the morning or eat them fresh as a snack in the afternoon. Then eat 3 other pieces of whole fruit or 3 cups of cut-up fruit, like an apple, orange, pear, banana, persimmon, or others.
Twice a day, make sure that 1/2 of your plate or bowl is filled with dark leafy greens (at least one cup of chopped greens), including kale, collards, chard, spinach, mustards, arugula, or others). You can also add a 1/2 cup of fresh or frozen spinach or kale to your morning smoothie. Then add one cup of other veggies, like cabbage, carrots, string beans, corn or others to your plate for lunch or dinner. Don't be afraid to have more than one vegetable at a meal. You do it with salads all the time!
This one's easy. Just make sure you swap out a cup of white rice for wild rice, brown rice, red rice or black rice. And swap out white pasta for a 100% whole grain pasta. And for more variety, swap out a cup of quinoa and millet instead of rice and pasta. And when baking or buying bread, muffins, cupcakes, and more, make sure they're made with 100% whole grain ingredients. Whole grain tortillas and wraps count, too.
Yes, you should eat beans every single day! Whether it's in the form of lentil soup, hummus, tofu, tempeh, curried chickpeas, bean dip for baked chips, bean burritos, or just tossing some cannelini beans into your salad, you want to be sure you're getting at least 1 1/2 cups worth a day. I usually buy organic pre-cooked beans that come in a box or pouch and contain water as the only other ingredient.
If you're worried that eating nuts every day will make you gain weight, don't be. In fact, the opposite is true. Having a 1/2 cup of nuts or 2 tablespoons of nut butter each day is not only healthy for you, it can help manage your appetite by making you feel full and satisfied longer, especially as a snack between meals. Just make sure you eat a variety of raw, unsalted nuts or nut butters throughout the week.
So there you have it--the 5 foods you should eat each day. If you get this one thing right, you'll know that you're getting good nutrition each day and keeping your plate green in 2018.
Have you resolved to go vegan in 2018? Or if you're already vegan, have you committed to upping your healthy eating game? Let me know in the comments below. I'd love to hear from you!
And for more great tips, don't forget to check out the free, 40-page African American Vegan Starter Guide and share it with your family, friends, and community.