First thing’s first: what’s the difference between “plant-based” and vegan?
Good question! A lot of people ask why I don’t just talk about my diet as vegan, but I have a lot of good reasons for using the phrase “plant-based” instead. The main reason is that philosophy on living fire-driven is all about health. With veganism, the focus is put on avoiding animal products in all forms. This isn’t a bad thing! Veganism is great, but there are a lot of very unhealthy things that are vegan. Did you know Oreos are vegan? Lots of processed, sugary, fatty, and nutritionally empty foods are vegan because they don’t contain animal products, but the catch is that they don’t contain anything good for your health. By living plant-based, the focus is put on what you are eating, where your food comes from, and how it makes you feel.
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The focus on health and nutrition is certainly important, and there are many more reasons why living plant-based is the best thing you can do for your mind, body, and soul, as well as for the earth. Overall, you should live plant-based because you care for yourself and show love and concern through what you put into your body.
Knowing the Fires
The reason that the PlantFire diet is so easy to understand and stick to is because there’s no counting, no gimmicks, and no confusion. It all comes down to eating whole, healthful foods in a vibrant array of colors, and using moderation, or avoidance, for foods that don’t always provide the best, clean-burning fuel for energy and effervescence.
In a (plant-based!) nutshell, these are the categories of PlantFire foods, and how you should use them to take care of your body.
Green-Fire foods can be eaten as much and as often as you like! This includes a huge array of fruits,vegetables,whole grains,beans and legumes. Greens, berries, harvest fruits, root vegetables, squashes, and melons are all green-fire.
Yellow-Fire foods may have some wonderful nutritious properties, but are often high in fat and sugar, higher in calories, or are more processed. These are not the kind of thing you should eat just whenever you want. Yellow-Fire foods include avocados, nuts, seeds, and nut butters, whole wheat breads and rices, and processed whole grains like couscous. Be careful about plant milks (like soy and almond), dried fruits, and natural sweeteners. They have a place in your plant-based diet, but again, should be enjoyed in moderation.
Red-Fire foods are ones that have little to no nutritional value, or are the foods might be used in your transition to a plant-based diet (but shouldn’t be relied on for long-term nutrition). This includes processed white flour foods made with enriched bleached flour, food high in salt/sodium, caffeine, alcohol, and processed “substitute” foods. Examples are things like faux meats, prepared soups that are high in sodium, vegan cheese, coffee, liquor, and white flour muffins.
No-Fire foods are the ones you should just plain get rid of. If they have any nutritional value, it’s not balanced with the detriment they do to your body and inner being. These include trans fats, but also oils like canola and vegetable oil, sugar but also the extra-refined stuff like high fructose corn syrup and molasses, and of course animal products including meat and dairy.
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That’s pretty much it! Of course, there is much more information at VanessaChamberlin.com. I share recipes, blogs, and videos that give more resources and information on how to find your self-love and passion, being happy and healthy living a plant-based life!
Guest Post Bio: Vanessa Chamberlin is a Certified Holistic Health Practitioner and Lifestyle Coach and author of The Fire-Driven Life: How to Ignite the Fire of Self-Worth, Health, and Happiness with a Plant-Based Diet. For more information, please visit, www.vanessachamberlin.com and connect with her on Twitter, @vkchamberlin.