Food for Thought: Include More Plant-Based Meals

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This monthly feature was written by Nutrition Sciences Services Practice Manager Kaitlin Poillon and Assistant Clinical Professor and Director of the Center for Nutrition & Performance Nyree Dardarian from Drexel’s nutrition counseling and the Department of Nutrition Services in the College of Nursing & Health Professions.

Have you ever wanted to try adding a “Meatless Monday” into your weekly meal rotation but didn’t know where to start? Well, take this as a sign! This month, make a goal to include one to two plant-based meals per week. Meatless alternatives such as beans, legumes, lentils, tofu, nuts, nut butters, and seeds are high in fiber, complex carbohydrates, and protein while they are limited in saturated fat. Incorporate a fresh bean salad, a lentil pasta dish, a falafel bowl, or a black bean veggie burger into your diet to achieve adequate protein intakes as well as ample sources of fiber and complex carbohydrates at mealtimes.

Nervous about sticking to this goal on vacation? Check out our tips on how to pack plant-based snacks for a day at the beach.

Packing Plant-Based for a Day at the Beach

  • Fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, nut butters, and hummus are all easily portable snacks for a long day at the beach. Pack a cooler full of cherries, grapes, and watermelon (or any favorite fruit of yours) along with freshly cut cucumber, carrots, peppers, and celery.
  • Throw in a packet or two of mixed nuts or hummus to pair with the mixed fruit and vegetables.
  • Grab a box of your favorite whole grain crackers or popcorn for a little added crunch.
  • Include Lara Bars, Mini CLIF Bars, and KIND Bar Minis for added sources of energy or to satisfy a sweet tooth.
  • Making sandwiches? Spread your favorite kind of hummus onto two slices of whole grain bread. Add lettuce, tomato, onions, and cucumber (or any veggies of choice), and voila! For increased protein, grab a handful of nuts or include an apple with peanut butter on the side.
  • Don’t forget to hydrate! Water with lemon or lime, seltzer water, or coconut water will quench your thirst and prevent dehydration under the beaming rays.

Want more? Schedule an appointment with a Registered Dietitian at Drexel University for more plant-based meal recipes and tips today at [email protected]! It’s free for Drexel employees!

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