Transition from Meat to a Wholefoods Plant Based Diet
Transition from Meat to a Wholefoods Plant Based Diet
Making Change – Quick & Easy
I suggest to all of my clients and students who desire to change from a meat based diet that they begin by setting themselves a direction and move towards a goal that they feel is possible to reach. Write down the steps you need to take to get you there. Something like in 3 months’ time I will have a dairy and animal food free kitchen (or whatever it is you desire).
Check out the local supermarket and natural food store for healthy alternatives. Start reading labels. Many of the foods labeled ‘healthy’ have fructose and other forms of processed chemicals and additives so most ingredients with more than 3 or 4 syallables in it is made by a chemist and not Mother Nature. Connect with people who are also eating a healthy diet and are moving away from meat.
It is not always possible to make an immediate change especially when families are involved who might have differing views.
You can move slowly towards your goal by introducing new foods weekly. Some clients prefer to start full on whilst others prefer to take it more slowly, decide what suits you.
When it comes to cooking the meals, begin to include more vegetables and whole grains. There is such huge diversity in eating this way you will be amazed at the many ways you can cook with tofu, tempeh, seitan, beans, lentils, etc.,
Try a new recipe that would appeal to your family such as fried noodles or fried rice once or twice a week. Incorporate quick basic recipes to get you started. I have listed some for you below to get you started.
Soups also are always a popular choice. You can add miso to almost any bean or vegetable soup. You will be surprised how a small shift in direction will start to have great results. If your family are willing to try the new foods, they will also begin to change their diet naturally without it being forced upon them.
Change often seems more difficult than it actually is and the constant thinking about it is what gets us stuck.
Once you create action by starting to put things into practice, life becomes much easier. There is no correct way to change your diet and lifestyle. It is what suits you and your family. Suggest to your family that they also become involved in this new way of eating and research the effect of food on their health. It is widely viewed that we need to make more effort to provide a healthy diet for our families and ourselves.
Ingredients list for a healthy transition to a natural wholefoods diet.
Instead of Meat – Transition to the recommendations that follow;
Seitan (Wheat gluten)
Most commonly called ‘wheat meat’ Seitan is made from wheat gluten. Made by kneading the bran and starch out of flour, raw Seitan is rather bland, so most commercial brands are simmered in savoury broth before sale. A wonderful source of protein, it is low in calories and fat and is very popular in Asian ‘mock’meat’ dishes as well as in hearty stews and casseroles.
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 medium onions, finely chopped
10 medium shitake mushrooms (fresh) chopped, stems discarded
1 package seitan
Jarred organic tomato sauce
2 tbsp. tahini
1 tbsp. white miso
½ teaspoon salt
Dash of tamari
1 tablespoon dried parsley
Heat a large pan over medium heat, add the olive oil, and sauté the onions for about 5 minutes or until they’re soft and translucent.
Add the mushrooms and sauté for 5 minutes. Carve the seitan into small squares and add it to the pan. Mix the tahini and miso with the tomato sauce and stir gently. This reduces the sharp taste of the tomatoe sauce and reduces the acidity. Add this to the pan and cook everything in the pan for about 15 minutes covered on a low heat.
Cook the udon according to the directions on the packet.
Drain the udon, rinse with cold water to stop it from becoming ‘sticky’ and return it to the empty pot. Serve in white bowls topped with the seitan. Add the dried parsley and serve.
Tofu (Soybean curd)
Tofu is a wonderful source of protein and phytoestrogens, and is very versatile. Rich in calcium and cholesterol-free, tofu is made by extracting curd from coagulated soymilk and then pressing it into bricks. For use in everything from soups and stews to salads, casseroles and quiches or as the creamy base to sauces and dressings.
This richly flavoured and attractive tofu dish is quick and simple to prepare.
1 pack fresh tofu
2 tablespoons mirin
1 tablespoon sake or dry white wine
3 tablespoons Shoyu
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
2 spring onions, finely chopped
Cut the tofu into equal slices, and put in a shallow dish. Mix the mirin, sake or wine and Shoyu, then pour this marinade over the tofu. Turn the tofu to coat all sides and leave to marinate for 30minutes, turning it now and then.
Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium to low heat. Remove the tofu and fry on one side until lightly browned, be careful not to burn it. Turn and cook for 2 or 3 minutes more. Add the remaining marinade and cook for another few minutes.
Place a slice of tofu on each plate, spreading a little of the liquid left in the pan over each slice. Squeeze a few drops of juice out of the grated ginger onto each serving, and sprinkle some of the chopped spring onion over the top. Serve with green salad, soba or udon noodles, tossed in toasted sesame oil.
A traditional Indonesian soy product created by fermenting split cooked soybeans with a starter. As the tempeh ferments, a white mycelium of enzymes develops on the surface, making the soybeans more digestible, as well as providing a healthy range of B Vitamins. Can be used for everything from sandwiches to salads to stews to casseroles.
1 pack tempeh
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus extra to oil the pan for frying
1 chopped red onion
1 stalk celery, chopped fine
1 clove garlic chopped fine
1 tbsp shoyu
½ tsp paprika
½ tsp ground cumin
¼ cup tahini
2 teaspoons finely chopped herbs of your choice
Barley flour to bind
Cut the tempeh into cubes and steam for ten minutes. Crumble into a mixing bowl. Heat olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat, and cook onion, celery and garlic for 5 minutes, or until soft. Add vegetables to tempeh along with the remaining ingredients, and stir well. When the mixture is cool enough to handle take one heaped tablespoon of mixture, roll into a ball and then flatten to a burger shape. Cook burgers over medium high heat in a lightly oiled pan until each side is golden brown.
Serve on toasted sourdough or wholegrain rolls, tope with salad greens, avocado slices, relish and sauerkraut.
Beans, pulses and legumes are not only great sources of protein (keeping you fuller for longer), they also contain an abundance of fibre, which slows down digestion and staves off hunger pangs. Eating a handful of beans every day will also provide you with lots of lovely vitamins and minerals to keep energy levels high.
2 tbsp olive oil
1 bunch spring onions chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 cup lentils rinsed
½ cup brown rice rinsed
½ cup wild rice rinsed
2 tbsp flaked almonds
½ tsp dried thyme
3 cups dashi or vegetable stock
In a large saucepan, sauté the onions, garlic, lentils and both types of rice in the olive oil until the onion is tender, abut 5 minutes. Add the almonds, thyme and dashi stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer covered for about 30 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed
My book ‘Macrobiotics for all Seasons’ has over 200 delicious vegan/vegetarian recipes available world-wide on amazon.
How do we create incredible energy in our food?
1. Use the highest-quality, locally grown, seasonally available, freshest ingredients
2. Use organically grown food
3. Cook whole grains or beans under pressure i.e. pressure cooker
4. Cook with stainless steel, and natural cookware (no aluminum pots or pans)
5. Cooking with gas is preferable- no microwaves
6. Use a slightly higher flame
7. Use a slightly longer cooking or aging
8. Use only sea salt or natural seasonings like tamari or Shoyu
9. Cook dynamically with a variety of foods/styles/colours/tastes, textures, creamy, crunchy, chewy and other energies
10. Cook with love and a calm peaceful mind
11. Chew each mouthful thoroughly
12. Eat with gratitude
The way of eating is as important as the food itself. Keeping meals peaceful and relaxed and eating at regular times is important.
I wish you all good health and would love to hear how you go transitioning to a wholefoods plant based diet.
In good health