Going Plant-Based: Benefits, Tips, and Where to Shop

Lose weight, feel more energetic, live longer – these are some of the supposed benefits of going on a plant-based diet. Read on if you’re interested in trying it out. By Maita De Jesus

Very few diets can claim to be as fresh and healthy as a plant-based one.

At its core, a plant-based diet consists of a majority of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts, and legumes. Vegetarians and vegans will stick only to these ingredients, while others allow themselves a bit of meat, poultry or fish — adherence to the diet depends on each person’s wants and needs.

But, just like with anything, this diet yields better results when one sticks to it and does the work!

Why go plant-based?

Nothing else beats the nutritional value of fruits and vegetables.

A plant-based diet means you get your fill of fiber, which helps flush out the toxins from your body. The high-H2O content of most fruits and vegetables will also increase your water intake, keeping you hydrated for longer.

Consuming less meat and processed food also means that your Body Mass Index (BMI) will likely go down, and the numbers on the scale will move down, too!

Where to Begin

The key to turning an action into a habit is by taking one small step a time. It’s highly unlikely that you’ll be able to give up meat right away, so start by filling half of your plate with plant-based options during every meal.

Once you’ve gotten used to eating this way, turn one full meal into an all-plant-based plate, until you can swap out all the meat and processed food with plants.

Where to Shop

People think that going plant-based is too time-consuming, since fruits and vegetables have a short shelf life, and so you need to keep on buying your produce fresh.

But with the proper meal prep done on a weekly basis, you can save time and money. Packs of frozen produce retain their nutritional benefits too — just thaw and serve, and keep the rest in the freezer for more than a month.

Read our related article on making meals to go for more details.

Where do you buy the ingredients? Your local palengke or supermarket is your best bet. Local fruits and vegetables that are in season are always the most affordable ones.

When it comes to nuts and grains, these have a long shelf life as long as they’re stored properly. (For a great addition to the list, read our article on adlai, the healthier alternative to rice.)

If you’re craving for meat, here are a few good options that can fool even the most discerning of plant-eaters:

  • Quorn. With a line of veggie burgers, sausages, and the like, a few minutes pan-frying a Quorn burger patty, and it tastes almost like the real thing! Find Quorn products in select supermarkets.
  • Sweet Ecstasy. Surprise! This burger joint known for their flavorful, mouthwatering burgers now has a veggie meat variant. It serves Beyond Burger, a patty made out of 20 grams of plant protein. You can also find burgers that contain this plant-based wonder, but Sweet Ecstasy is the first fast food joint that decided to roll it out. Check out their Makati branch to get a taste.
  • The Vegan Grocer. From cacao nibs to meatless crispy pata, The Vegan Grocer has a plant alternative to almost everything that your cravings. It looks a lot like your usual grocery store, except everything they sell is meat-free. Besides your usual fruits, vegetables, and meat-free alternatives, they offer sauces, oils, drinks — it’s a one-stop-shop! Visit them at 201 Recto, San Juan, Metro Manila.
  • The Good Choices. The store’s focus is on viands, or main courses. Sisig, tapa, bagoong — The Good Choices offer these Filipino dishes, but without the meat. Visit their online store, and get in touch with one of their selling partners, located in different parts of Metro Manila. They also offer home delivery. Visit their site: thegoodchoicesph.com to check out what they have in store for you.
  • Worth the Health Foods. Made of monggo, WTH Food has rolled out their own meat alternative, starting with a Filipino favorite — giniling, or ground beef or pork. You can order by visiting their Facebook page, facebook.com/wthfoodsph.

With stores offering healthy alternatives popping up all over the metro, upgrading your life has become much easier for urbanites. Access to a healthy lifestyle can be even more accessible when you live in a property by Avida: your location can put you right in the middle of everything you need to stay healthy and fit.

Visit the Avida website to find a property that fits your healthy aspirations best.