Over the last year or so, the rise of a plant based lifestyle has been nothing short of phenomenal. This has been Kez’s Kitchen's motivation to create more plant based snacks. There are many reasons people are choosing to embrace this way of living; to reduce their environmental impact, to powerhouse their health, to live by their personal and ethical values, and even just to mix it up and try something new!
As a result, the demand for plant based products, not only in supermarkets but also in restaurants and cafes has also increased! Now with more and more products readily available in Australia, making a transition to a more plant based lifestyle is not only easy, but also delicious.
So…just what is a plant based diet?
A plant based lifestyle is just that, it’s a lifestyle and not a strict diet. The lifestyle favours fresh and whole foods and tries to avoid a large amount of overly processed and animal derived ingredients. Essentially, what this looks like is eating predominately foods that come from plants; fruit and veggies, nuts, seeds and whole grains. You’ll find these in abundance at your local farmers market, or the fresh foods section of the supermarket. Because a plant based lifestyle focuses on increasing your intake of plants, it differs from a vegan or vegetarian diet. Advocates for this lifestyle don’t necessarily entirely cut out animal and processed products (but this is ok too!), they simply eat less and make more conscious decisions.
Okay… and is the processing of plant foods important?
Avoiding overly processed foods as often as you can is ultimately better for your health. But it’s not a strict rule, because as with everything, maintaining a healthy balance is the most important thing. The processing or ‘refining’ of whole foods often reduces the nutrient value of the original plant, so be aware of this when looking for plant based products. You can also be more aware by ensuring you are checking the labels to see if anything unnecessary or with an unrecognisable name has been added to the product. If you are looking for quick and easy options, frozen vegetables are a great choice as they are often snap frozen when their nutrient levels are the highest!
Sounds good, but what actually are the health benefits of plants?
Plants are essentially the best place for you to get all the nutrients you need to live a strong and healthy life. Some of these crucial nutrients include unsaturated fats, vitamins (such as folate), minerals (such as potassium), fibre and protein. Studies have shown that increasing your consumption of plants can help aid in a decreased risk of chronic diseases.
I’m keen, how should I start a plant-based lifestyle?
The easiest way to start living a plant based lifestyle is to start flipping the scale towards favouring fruit, veggies, wholegrains, nuts and seeds. To do this, the first step is to aim to fill your shopping cart with an abundance of fresh and colourful vegetables. Get creative here, buy lots of different vegetables, even if you’ve never eaten them before. Then when you are whipping up your next meal, start to think about what extra vegetables you can sneak into the dish. If you are enjoying the lifestyle, you can choose to make vegetables the entire star of the show! Other great things to include in your meals are legumes like chickpeas and lentils or tofu and tempeh. If you are craving a traditional meat dish, consider doing a plant based meat swap. When it comes to a sweet treat, there is no shortage of options; think beautiful and tasty seasonal fruits with coconut yoghurt, bliss balls, and products made from natural ingredients like dates, nuts, seeds, cacao, coconut...the list goes on.
Easy, so what should I look for in plant based products?
Kez’s Kitchen began creating plant based snacks to provide consumers with delicious yet nutritious snacks. The most important thing to notice with Kez’s Kitchen is that when you read the label of our Brownie Bars, you actually know what each of the ingredients are and that the list of ingredients isn’t a long one.
Disclaimer – Kez’s Kitchen understands that choosing a plant based diet is not for everyone and encourages you to always consult your medical practitioner before making any decision regarding your health.