Making a radical change in eating habits is a challenge! Transitioning to a whole food plant-based diet is a big shift – but easier than you think! I’ve been researching the science-backed reasons for going whole food plant-based and I’ve been dabbling with whole food plant-based recipes. I’ve even scouted out some restaurants in my area that serve these kinds of foods. I’ve been more than pleasantly surprised with the lovely tastes and textures of the foods I’ve been eating. I’ve been delighted with how easy it is to plan meals and prepare recipes. My food cravings have lessened and best of all, I feel so much better!
Why Make the Change
There are lots of reasons I’m making the effort to change my diet to a whole food plant-based way of eating. Here are some of the reasons:
- Prevent and even reverse disease. Whole-food, plant-based eating can prevent, halt, or even reverse chronic diseases, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes.
- Live longer. Populations whose diets are based on plants live longer and healthier lives.
- Lower cholesterol. Removing animal products and processed foods from your diet will lower cholesterol.
- Lower blood pressure. High blood pressure is associated with many chronic illnesses. Keeping blood pressure low is vital.
- Natural, easy weight loss. Many people transition to a whole food plant-based diet for reasons other than weight loss. Weight loss is a happy result of plant-based eating.
- A delicious variety of foods. The number of ways you can prepare meat and fish pales in comparison to the sheer number and variety of plants. The combinations of plants into dishes, bowls, smoothies, etc. make diet boredom a thing of the past.
- Feel great. Eating processed foods, animal products filled with toxins and dairy products can cause digestive issues, migraines, sluggishness and obesity. I’ll eliminate brain fog. I will simply feel better and healthier free of those effects.
- Experience sustained, high energy. Meats and processed foods can slow your metabolism. Processed foods and sugary foods will spike your blood sugar and have you crashing soon after. Plant-based foods prevent these issues and give you tons of energy that is sustained without the lows and crashes.
- Avoid food cravings. Food cravings are what have derailed me time and time again on other eating plans. With a whole food plant-based diet, my blood sugar will be regulated throughout the day. My taste buds will be tickled with the delicious variety of flavors and textures of my foods. I don’t need to feel hungry. The complex carbohydrates will satiate my hunger and keep me feeling full.
I am challenging myself to eat a whole food plant-based diet for 31 days throughout March, my birthday month.
For the last several weeks, I have attempted to transition to this way of eating and have largely succeeded, but I’ve fallen off the plan when I’ve gone out to dinner with friends, been in a hurry or on the go, or simply failed to plan and purchase the foods in advance that I need to prepare healthy meals at home.
This challenge, if I succeed, will jump start me on a path to better health and greater energy. I have many goals and I find that I need high energy, sustained energy throughout the day to keep going.
How to Prepare for the Challenge
I know from experience that failing to plan means planning to fail. And no where is that more true than when starting a new way of eating.
I’ve been slowly clearing foods from my kitchen that I no longer want to put into my body. My shelves have been emptied of boxes of processed and sugary foods. I’m also affected by gluten, so I’m moving away from those foods too. If you are just getting started, you may want to clear your kitchen cupboards and refrigerator, in one fell swoop, of the foods that will tempt you away from your goals.
I now keep these items handy in the kitchen to help me prepare meals quickly:
- Slow cooker
- Instant Pot
- Vitamix blender
- Nutribullet blender
- Sharp set of knives
- Measuring cups and spoons
- A variety of cutting boards
- Sheet pans
- On the Wishlist: Food processor! I have not invested in a food processor yet. I don’t feel I need one yet because there are so many recipes where a food processor is not needed. I plan to get one in the near future because there are many recipes that call for a food processor and meal prep will be that much simpler if I have one.
Whole Food Plant-Based Blueberry Pancakes
It’s not quite March yet and so officially my challenge has not yet started, but I wanted to get a head start. Also, I was craving pancakes this morning and have been wanting to try a particularly easy pancake recipe.
Here is my recipe for Easy Blueberry Pancakes with just 3 ingredients.
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1/2 cup almond milk
- 1 large ripe banana
- Frozen blueberries
- Maple syrup
- Walnut pieces
Blend all 3 batter ingredients in a high speed blender. Pour even amounts of batter into hot non-stick pan to make pancakes approximately 3 inches in diameter. (I sprayed Pam on the pan to prevent sticking.) Pancakes need only about 1 to 2 minutes per side. Look for the top to start bubbling and check the underside for brown-ness.
Meanwhile, defrost a handful of frozen blueberries in the microwave at half power for about 1-2 minutes until warm.
When pancakes are cooked, pour warm blueberries with their juice over pancake stack. Drizzle with maple syrup. Add walnut pieces. Instead of maple syrup, applesauce is also delicious with these pancakes.
Makes 1-2 servings.
My inspiration for this recipe: 3 Ingredient Pancakes
At breakfast, I want to get into my body as many nutrients as possible so I’ll be set for the day with a good portion of the essentials I need daily. Flaxseed is one nutrient I could easily add to these pancakes.
Flaxseed can easily replace oil or shortening in a recipe because of its high oil content. Just replace 1/3 cup of oil with 1 cup of milled flaxseed for a 3:1 substitution ratio. Similarly, a flaxseed mixture can be used as an egg substitute in selected recipes like pancakes, muffins and cookies. For every egg, replace with 1 teaspoon of milled flaxseed and 3 tablespoon of water. Mix milled flaxseed and water in a small bowl and let sit for 1 to 2 minutes. The result will be a slightly gummier and chewier baked good, with a slight decrease in volume.
Given this, I am going to try adding 1 teaspoon of ground flaxseed per serving of pancakes soaked in 3 Tablespoons of water. I would expect this to make the pancakes fluffier than they are in the original recipe and slightly less fluffy than if I had added an egg.
After eating these delicious pancakes, I feel great! I don’t feel the least bit guilty for indulging in a breakfast that satisfied my craving for something pancakey, sweet and fruity! Because all the ingredients are health-boosting, I can go about my morning feeling energized, knowing that I just treated myself to something good – tasty and healthy!
Want to Join the Challenge?
I hope you’ll join me in this challenge! I would love to have some company on my journey. It is completely free! You can sign up for the challenge here:
I’d love to hear your comments about whole food plant- based eating and especially if you made these pancakes for your breakfast!