New Meal Plan, New Me!
If there is a time of the year to wipe the slate clean (excuse us New Year!), that is post-vacation time. Leaving old habits behind and rebuilding routines is in the crosshairs of many of us once we have overcome the mojito beach days and ice cream excess.
At this time, to give a twist to the list of purposes and avoid falling on deaf ears, we are going to redefine diets and think of them as an eating plan / eating style. Think of it as a long-term healthy life plan, instead of a list of restrictions with too many goals to meet and little enjoyment along the way.
Because food is there to make you feel good and feed your mind and body, we should make it an enjoyable everyday experience instead of a checklist of unrealistic holy grails and overwhelming deadlines.
Choosing your Nutrition Style
Diets or as we redefined them: eating plans, should make you feel great and motivate you to learn about better nutrition. Unlike old diets that are based on food restrictions which make it way harder to follow, the best eating plans are oriented towards helping you improve your eating habits by introducing healthier alternatives that will slowly but surely adapt to your lifestyle.
You might have heard about Paleo and Keto diets, and concepts like vegetarian, vegan, pescatarian or gluten-free alternatives might ring a bell. But wait up, before thinking of some of them as a potential new perfect fit for your new meal plans according to your taste and preferences, make sure to learn about their benefits and drawbacks and find your perfect match.
Keep in mind that your habit changes might just need some healthier snack options and ingredients to your daily meals and some exercise). A proper diet and exercise go hand in hand to achieve a balanced physical and emotional state. Start by adding one or two new steps a week and find your inner health guru just by walking for an hour every day and get your heart pumping, or simply drinking one more glass of water every day.
Let’s Talk Options!
The core of most of the plans above is that they’re plant-based: based on vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats, and legumes. These ingredients should be a must-have in your pantry if you are thinking of starting a new eating lifestyle. At Gabfoods we know how to appreciate the unique properties that nature offers and we bring plant-based nutrients to the table so that you only have to worry about choosing the dish you want to enjoy each day.
With so many available meal plan options, how could you choose the one? Which one will work best for you? Starting a new eating plan can be daunting without having the right information at hand, but at Gabfoods we want to make it easy and provide the essential info for you to find your best option.
Keto and Paleo diets share a common point: both are low carb and advise a cutback on cereals and legumes and the intake of their by-products. Basically, the idea is to replace a carb-heavy rice dish with some alternatives like cauliflower rice which is a nice trick to add more veggies to your meal in the process. It’s all about fooling yourself here peeps, until you see the benefits and love it. The great distinction between the Keto and Paleo diets are the metabolic processes that are generated in our body, as well as the proportion of hydrates allowed in each of them.
The paleo diet (which is named after the type of diet that was somewhat followed back in the Palaeolithic.) offers a diverse menu based on:
- Fresh foods: fruits and vegetables, tubers and roots, seeds or nuts, meats in general, and especially lean fish and seafood.
- The suggested fats are extra virgin coconut and olive oils, grated coconut, coconut butter, coconut milk with no added sugar, and olives.
Additionally, seeds and nuts are also a great option to add some healthy fats throughout the day. So your table will be starring: fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, extra virgin olive oil, rice, corn, potatoes, and other tubers, as well as eggs, natural dairy products without sugar, and meat and fish.
On the other hand, the keto diet, a.k.a. ketogenic, encourages you to:
- Eating fruits rich with healthy fats such as avocado or olives instead of others richer in carbs like tubers or roots.
- Include processed foods without sugars or carbohydrates, although of course, you should eat them in moderation.
More Options are on the Table.
If you have celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity or for any other reason you need or want to eliminate wheat, oats, barley, and rye from your menu, you still can enjoy appetizing options. This, in addition to following a healthy diet, will be safer because the risk of contamination is much lower than in processed foods.
Considering something more veggie? The 100% plant-based, vegetarian and vegan options share a similar basis but people differ in the motivation that makes them follow this type of diet, where products of animal origin are restricted to a greater or lesser extent.
Although veggie is the generic term for both options, the difference is quite striking: the vegetarian diet avoids meat but incorporates animal by-products like eggs or dairy products such as yogurts and cheeses. Now if you decide to go vegan, everything animal-related is off the table. Your meals will be plant-based only, and of course, you will include your proteins through processed ingredients like tofu and others. Still need more info on meat & fish protein alternatives? Stay tuned for our next blog post about it.
If you’re ok with all of this except you would really appreciate keeping your weekly salmon poke, you’re definitely the pescatarian type. The diet will exclude meat but allow fish and depending on how strict you want to go, it may even allow dairy or eggs. Pescatarians will have their main source of protein through fish and seafood.
Step in the Change!
There are many options on the table and a motto, to begin with: stop counting calories and start thinking about how many vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, and healthy fats (and maybe lean meats) you can stack in your day. And it is time to think of a diet as a habit for life. Following a plant-based diet is a healthy and sustainable pattern that has been shown to provide health benefits and also be respectful of the environment. Also keep in mind that each body is different and a meal plan that works for one person might not work for another. Make sure to try and mix and match different menus to find the one!
From Gabfoods to you, we promise to take care of you through food, and to be part of your diet with nutritious and tasty foods that are beneficial for your long-term health.