What’s in my Plant-Based Diet Plan Medicine Cabinet?

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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 Medicine Cabinet

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. I cook my own dried beans often in my crockpot and eat them throughout the week.

dry beans

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?

Yep! This group includes brown rice, millet, oats, barley, bulgur, quinoa, spelt, corn, and all products made from whole grains including bread, cereals, pasta, and more. We have a whole guide that explains what foods a plant-based diet includes.

whole grains and pastas on counter top
Whole grains and whole-grain pasta provide health-promoting complex carbohydrates.

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!

Plant-based diet cabinet full of sauces and seasonings
Plant-based diet cabinets can get messy too.

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.

Fresh veggies for a plant-based lifestyle.
Fresh veggies for a plant-based lifestyle.

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.

spice jars hanging on wall
Spices are an important part of cooking on a plant-based diet plan. Affiliate link.

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

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.

About Terri Edwards

Hi guys! I am the content creator behind EatPlant-Based and a licensed Food for Life instructor with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. I am passionate about sharing healthy recipes and tips to empower others to get healthy.  I’m so glad you’re here! Read More…



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    1. Hey Lexi! You just made my day! I love that you are checking my website out. Love you too sweet girl, and hope to see you before too long. 🙂

  1. Do you feed an army? My goodness, we can’t have that much fresh produce in our house. It tends to rot in 3 days. Seems I am always going to the store. Living in northwestern Wisconsin has its advantages. Being able to have FRESH PRODUCE is not one of them unfortunately. I do love seeing what staples you keep on hand. Looking like a Costco run is in store for this gal! 🙂

    1. Ha! Yes, I do indeed feed an army, because I usually teach 2 Food for Life classes each week. In addition to my family, I regularly make a meal for up to 30-40 people (15-20 people/ x2, and even sometimes 35 in a class). You should see my grocery shopping trips to 3 stores weekly! Happy Costco shopping to you! 🙂

  2. Love the article. FYI, spices come from trees, cinnamon, cloves, pepper, nutmeg, etc. Herbs are soil based plants like oregano, basil, parsley, and thyme. So, your dining room plants are not spices.

  3. Love your pantry pics Terri–very similiar to mine; although I do have some small bags of beans, I mostly buy my beans in bulk, which is much more cost effective for me.

    1. Yes, I use Worcestershire sauce that is vegan. We are luck that our local big grocery store chain (Ingles) carries their off-brand (Laura Lynn) that is very inexpensive and happens to be vegan.

  4. I prefer to stick with whole, natural foods and avoid processed (e.g., pastas, condiments, etc., which your pantry is brimming with) and never buy canned products (again, which your pantry is brimming with) due to the prevalence of BPA still in use by canned goods manufacturers — all the canned beans and tomatoes you stock up with can be prepped from dry, organic beans and from fresh organic tomatoes (none of your canned versions are likely organic) — which it is much less expensive, better tasting and more nutritious than the canned counterparts.

  5. Thanks for sharing a peek into your pantry. It’s nice to see someone else who keeps as many beans on hand as we do!

  6. What a neat article! I really enjoy reading your blog and recipes. I’ve been eating this way for a year now and it really is my medicine. Thanks so much for sharing! Di

  7. In response to GMOs and pesticides nullifying the benefits of plant, it’s not entirely true. Modeling was done a few years back and according to the models, the number of lives saved in 10 years of eating a plant based diet would be about 20,000 and the number of deaths caused by eating conventional would be about 10. Sucks to be that 10 for sure but I think the numbers speak for themselves. If you can afford it, sure, you should absolutely do organic and even better, support your local farmers. But if you can’t afford it, you should still pack in the fruits and vegetables.

  8. I only wish you were choosing organic labels.many of your foods have toxic chemicals involved in the growing and or processing,not to mention the companies that are using GMO foods,also added sugar which is also poison.Plant based is wonderful, but those other factors I have mentioned can nullify the benefits.If you investigate these things I am certain you will agree. All the best to you in your healing foods journey!~ Sincerely…

    1. Hi Nancy,
      I agree that organic is the best, and thankfully becoming more affordable very recently with some discount stores jumping on the bandwagon. When it is not affordable, though, I agree with Dr. Tom Campbell and other physicians and nutrition experts that the number one goal is to eat whole food, plant-based because some have to choose which battles to take on as they come. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hngr8OwSj-Q For me, it is much more affordable to buy organic in the summer months at local farmers markets, which I love to do. Summer is around the corner; I can almost see it! 🙂

      I do not agree that not eating organic nullifies any benefits of eating plant-based, as evidenced by success stories I see with my own eyes each week from teaching nutrition/cooking classes at cancer centers, hospitals, and other medical centers. I have my own personal story of the benefits to my health as well. https://eatplant-based.com/about-2/

  9. This looks very inspirational – any chance you can go the next step & recommend some cookbooks for us folks new to this way of life? Thank you!

    1. KZK, I really like the Forks Over Knives cookbook. Many of the books on plant-based nutrition that I recommend also have recipes in the back. I like the recipes in the back of Dr. Neal Barnard’s books like Dr. Barnard’s Program for Diabetes Reversal, 21-Day KickStart Your Health, and The Cancer Survivor’s Guide. Dr. Esselysten’s book, Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease also has great recipes. Happy cooking!

  10. Hello,
    I just came across your page & have subscribed on FB. My pantry & fridge is very much the same. However, I also try to balance my plant-based eating to be as alkaline as possible so I leave out much of the whole grains as they tend to be more acidic & my body lets me know immediately! Quinoa is a staple though & helps me balance the acid in some meals.
    Looking forward to seeing more on your page!

    1. Hi Jennifer! It is amazing how similar our plant-based cabinets look–so much like a rainbow! Welcome, and I hope you find lots of helpful information and recipes here.

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