Each week, when someone finds out that I follow a plant-based diet plan they say, “You don’t eat meat, dairy, or most processed foods?! What in the world do you eat?” I try to explain to them that I eat more variety NOW than I ever did before, but they still seem to think I’m deprived and going to starve myself.
Plant-based diet kitchen
Pictures are worth a thousand words, they say. These pictures of my cupboards are my 1,000+ unspoken words.
Every day, we choose health or sickness with our forks. I choose health. Come take a look at my plant-based medicine cabinet….I mean pantry!
Beans canned and dry
My canned cabinet is about 2′ deep, stacked 2-3 cans high of every kind of bean you can imagine, plus a few other items, like roasted red peppers, mushrooms, sauerkraut, fire-roasted tomatoes, pumpkin, cream corn, mandarin oranges.
Please note that I always drain and thoroughly rinse all my beans before using.
I replace the flavor with my own seasonings. And I cook my own dried beans often in my crockpot and eat throughout the week.
I love making my own legumes in a crockpot with lots of fresh spices like basil, rosemary, thyme, etc. that I grow in a couple of large pots on my dining room table in front of a window.
Nothing better than clipping my own fresh spices and adding them to my recipes!
Grains, grains, and more whole grains
Did you know that on a plant-based diet, 70+% of your plate should be whole grains?
Whole grains are filling but have very little fat. In countries where whole grains are staples, such as rural Asia, diabetes, heart disease, and certain cancers, are much less common than in the States and Europe.
As you can see, we eat a wide variety!
Sauces and seasonings
Don’t judge! It looks messy, but I know where everything is. Notice we eat lots of Asian noodles–rice stick noodles, Udon, etc.–with seaweed, rice wrap paper, and a number of tasty Asian sauces.
I thank my Japanese family members for introducing me to these amazingly healthy flavors and tastes nearly 25 years ago!
Fresh vegetables for health
We hit ALDI’S discount grocery for fresh produce about every-other-week. Having 2 refrigerators (one out in the garage) helps us store lots of veggies and bags of apples, oranges, pears, mangoes, etc.
Veggies Galore! These foods are loaded with vitamins and minerals, are very low in fat, and like all plant foods, have no cholesterol at all.
These are just the ones I happened to have on hand. We eat a HUGE variety from week-to-week, depending on what’s available at the grocery store.
One note, ALDI’S doesn’t have a big variety of veggies, but they do have plenty of the basics. For more variety, I make a weekly run to our local grocery store, Ingles, and get things like leeks, broccoli slaw, Napa cabbage, Bok Choy, chard, turnip greens, collards, sprouts, artichokes, radishes, etc.
Spices are important for seasoning
I have no less than 50 spices in my kitchen at all times. They are an important part of making plant-based foods taste delicious.
These handy spice clips can be placed on cabinet doors or walls. They are great for keeping spices handy.
I always keep lots of dried spices on hand to add tons of flavor to all my recipes. I buy from a local shop that gets theirs from the PA Amish country. They’re fresh and cheap!
For those of you new to the whole food plant-based lifestyle, we’ve created a FREE 7-Day Plant-Based Menu Planner to help you get started!
The articles might be helpful
- Plant-Based Guide for Beginners
- What is a Plant-Based Whole Food
- Plant-Based Meal Planning 101
- Jeff Novick’s 10 Simple Recipes in Less than 20-Minutes
- What’s in My Plant-Based Medicine Cabinet? I Mean Pantry!
- Beginners Guide to Plant-Based Grocery Shopping
- Guide to Dining Out on a Plant-Based Diet
Even if I knew my life would not be extended by one day, I would still make these healthy lifestyle changes, because now I know what feeling truly good at this stage in my life feels like. I don’t want to just live longer, but to live better.