The vegan Power Plate, which is getting a lot of attention lately, was really introduced in 1991 by Dr. Neal Barnard and three colleagues. Using a dinner plate as an icon, it divides meals into four equal parts for legumes, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.
These four food groups provide complete nutrition without using animal or dairy-based products. The only thing that might be lacking with this diet is vitamin B12, which you can easily get in a multivitamin.
Dr. Barnard and the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine set up an eating plan with this breakdown:
Vegetables are full of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and pytochemicals. They are cholesterol-free and animal-fat free. Vegetables include greens like broccoli, collards, kale, mustard and turnip greens, spinach, chicory, and bok choy. They can also be yellow-orange like carrots, winter squash, yams, and pumpkin. (4 servings or more per day are suggested.)
Some tasty dishes: Easy Veggie Fajitas, Stuffed Artichokes, and Roasted Vegetables with Pasta
Fruit is a nutritional bonanza of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals. Blueberries, blackberries, melons, apples, pears, bananas, and strawberries are all good choices, and you’ll find many more in your local supermarket or farmers’ market. (3 servings or more per day are suggested.)
Some tasty dishes: Easy Banana Muffins, Fruited Breakfast Quinoa, and Apple Cranberry Crisp
Whole grains provide protein, fiber, and complex carbohydrates for energy. They also contain B vitamins and minerals. Whole-grain breads, brown rice, whole grain pasta, corn, millet, barley, bulgur, oatmeal, and quinoa are all great choices. (5 servings or more per day are suggested.)
Some tasty dishes: Couscous Salad, Mushroom Barley Soup, and Italian Pasta Marinara
Legumes contain fiber, protein, iron, calcium, zinc, and B vitamins. They are made up of beans, peas, and lentils of many varieties including chickpeas, baked and refried beans, black beans, navy beans, and the full range of soy products — tofu, soymilk, tempeh, and veggie burgers. They help reduce cholesterol and stabilize blood sugar. (2 servings or more per day are suggested.)
Some tasty dishes: Navy Bean Soup, Bean Burritos with Salsa, and Aztec Salad
One serving equals
Cooked = ½ cup
Raw = 1 cup
Dry = 1 ounce
Liquid = 8 ounces
Bread = 1 slice
If you’re new to vegan or vegetarian eating, a great way to learn about it and to detox your body at the same time would be to try Vegan Flush. This is a two-week super-healthy, highly nutritional system cleanse. It is the best possible medicine for your body in the form of low-calorie, high-fiber food. In fourteen days it will leave you happier, healthier, and thinner. You’ll feel so good, you might decide to do it several times a year!
While you’re thinking vegan, be sure to check out Claire Gosse’s amazing Are You Sure That’s Vegan (Breakfasts) and Are You Sure That’s Vegan (Desserts). Vegans and non-vegans alike love these recipes.
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