One of the biggest questions I get – aside from “where do you get your protein?” is “What foods can I have, just fruits and vegetables?!?”
First off, the answer to the first one I love to give is “I get MY protein where YOUR protein gets ITS protein.” In other words, cows and chickens aren’t carnivorous – they eat grass and grains. Yet look how muscular they are. People are often surprised just how much protein exists in plants, beans and legumes. Often times as much as if not more than what you’d find in meat.
I digress. People then assume to be healthier, eating gluten-free, sugar-free, avoiding processed foods means that they have to eat “diet” foods or only fruits and vegetables. Let me first clarify, gluten-free and/or sugar-free is NOT the same thing as diet. Things that are gluten-free do not taste like things that typically are marketed as diet foods. They taste THE SAME as regular foods – they just don’t have gluten as a binding agent. That’s all.
Now, I’ve been on a plant-based diet for over 4 years, and have avoided processed foods for around 7 years. In these past couple of years, I’ve found a LOT of great options that will help people ease into a plant-based diet. These are what I like to refer to as “analogs.” Similar to products you may already eat or drink now (yes, even some processed), but are much healthier.
If you are afraid to jump into a more plant-based, vegetarian or vegan lifestyle, you can at least try to transition into using these products (or similar) first.
I will be listing brands only to give ideas of what people may currently be having, and things I have found that taste closest to the regular options. You may find other brands you like better, but these will give you a place to start.
|Food/DrinkCategory||Regular versions||Healthier versions|
|Bread||Mrs. Baird’s||Ezekial 4:9|
|Breakfast bar||Most brands||NuGo Smart Carb(recommend Peanut Butter Crunch)|
|Breakfast sausage||Jimmy Dean’s||Applegate|
|Cereal||Most brands||Erewhon, Perky’s, Nature’s Path|
|Milk/creamers||Any dairy||So Delicious Coconut milk; Almond milk;
Silk soy milk;
Rice Dream rice milk(most come in creamers as well)
|Waffles||Eggo||Van’s brand (wheat, gluten, dairy & egg free)|
|Chips||Doritos, Tostitos, Cheetos||Terra chips;
Food Should Taste Good brand tortilla chips;
Beanitos brand chips;
Michael Season’s brand cheddar cheese puffs
Fruit flavored sodas
Cascade Ice (recommend Black Currant)
|Energy drink/electrolytes||Vitamin Water Gatorade/Powerade||Vitamin Water Zero;
ONE coconut water
|Beer||Most brands||Redbridge, Bard’s, Green’s|
|Hot dogs||Oscar Meyer||Boarshead(gluten & sugar free)|
|Pizza||Most brands||Amy’s, Glutino|
|French fries||Most brands||Alexia, OreIda—both have sweet potato fries|
|Shredded cheese||Dairy-based||Rice or soy based “cheddar” or “mozzarella” cheeses|
|Ice cream||Most brands||Coconut BlissSO DeliciousNada Moo|
|Sugar||Any brand||Truvia (stevia)Xylosweet (xylitol)|
|Condiments||Heinz ketchupSalsaSalad dressingPancake syrup||Organicville ketchupAmy’s organic salsaOrganicville salad dressingsMaple Grove Farms salad dressing;Maple Grove FarmsVermont pancake syrup|
|Soy sauce||Kikkoman||San-J,Coconut Secret|