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If you’re a plant-powered eater, chances are people constantly question your eating habits. Having short, concise, and well researched answers at the ready is one of the best ways to help educate others about your lifestyle choice:

1. Why a plant-based diet?

There are three big reasons to move towards a plant-based diet:

– Animals are living, feeling individuals that don’t need to be exploited and killed for us to eat

– It’s better for the environment and it’s a more sustainable way of living

– Plant-based food is healthier for the body and aids in the recovery of disease and illness

2. Where do you get your protein?

Plants have protein, and with a well chosen, well balanced diet filled with a variety of fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and seeds, you can get everything you need, even if you’re an athlete.

3. Don’t you need milk to get calcium?

Cows milk does contain 300 mg of calcium per cup, however, it actually has an adverse effect on calcium levels in the body as it acidifies the body PH. The most effective way for the body to neutralize the PH level after drinking milk is to extract calcium from the bones, which leaves the body with less than it started with.

4. What supplements are needed for a plant-based diet?

Regardless of diet, everyone can be susceptible to mineral and vitamin deficiencies. Experts advise everyone to supplement with vitamin B12 and vitamin D. For B12, we should all be consuming at least 2 daily servings of fortified foods or taking supplements of 1,000 micrograms twice a week. Sunlight is the best natural form of Vitamin D, but during the winter time, most people are unable to get enough direct sunlight on their skin to keep their levels up which is why supplementation is recommended.

5. What do you eat in a typical day?

There are many different forms of plant-based diets, but as a guide, I eat a fruit (or green) smoothie for breakfast, fruit snacks during the day, a delicious salad or soup for lunch, another smoothie in the afternoon and then a large evening meal usually consisting of legumes, vegetables, nuts, and anything else that takes my fancy.

6. How do you eat plant-based when you’re traveling?

By being prepared and doing a little research on the destination, it’s easy to maintain a plant-based diet when traveling. Take some supplies to keep you going until you find some good shops in the area, and you can always find fresh fruit and veg to snack on as well.

7. How do you cope when eating out?

There are plenty of online resources to find the best veg-friendly restaurants in each location you visit, so eating out can be easy with a little research. Most restaurants will prepare plant-based meals on request with ingredients they have in the kitchen, which could be anything from simple pasta dishes to roasted vegetable platters.

8. Where’s the best place to get food/recipe ideas?

There are tons of online recipe resources to get ideas from, but we highly recommend this site!

9. Where would all the animals go if everyone only ate plants?

Really? If everyone switched over to a plant-based diet and farmers transitioned over to horticulture, then we would not be mass producing millions of animals each year to be eaten, none of which would happen overnight. Without the demand for meat and dairy, the number of animals being born each year would drop dramatically and those who remained from the old farming system would gradually reduce and could be cared for in sanctuaries, farmlands, and as companion animals in rural areas.

10. What’s one step I can take to start eating a more plant based diet today?

There are many things which you could start doing right now in order to eat a more plant-based diet. One easy step is to replace the dairy products in your diet with non dairy alternatives such as almond milk, soy yogurt, and nut cheese. Another easy option is to buy faux meat products such as seitan, veggie mince, and tofurky and substitute them for the meat products in your meals.

Image Source: Alan Turkus/Flickr