As consumer preferences evolve and our collective awareness shifts toward better health, animal welfare, and environmental stewardship, plant-based eating has become increasingly popular in recent years.
But while many people have an appetite for incorporating some degree of plant-based eating into their lifestyles, it can often feel challenging to understand where to start.
To help bridge the gap, we spoke with J Rosen, Chief Marketing Officer at KULA FOODS, about the benefits of plant-based foods and how you can easily incorporate them into your daily life.
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4 Key Benefits of Plant-Based Eating
From improved human well-being to reduced ecological ramifications and the minimization of demand for animal products, eating plant-based foods offers significant personal, societal, and environmental benefits.
On a fundamental level, plant-based eating is a form of sustainable nourishment because it focuses on consuming foods that can be regrown in a natural way.
While food production of any kind has an impact on the environment, producing plant-based foods typically requires less energy in terms of emissions and environmental detriments than non-plant-based methods.
Ultimately, it’s a softer touch on the world.
KULA FOODS is working to achieve zero waste and to become up to 80% sustainable and focuses on tracking its environmental footprint in order to offset the emissions it puts into the world through producing its products.
2. Health and Wellness
When you’re eating a plant-based diet, you’re consuming a higher volume of foods that contain an abundance of nutrients and antioxidants–many of which even offer anticarcinogenic properties.
And, contrary to popular misconception, having a plant-based diet isn’t just about eating raw vegetables. It can be abundant in protein and the essential vitamins and nutrients you need to ensure your body is able to perform at its best.
Beyond that, plant-based eating offers the peace of mind that comes with understanding exactly what you’re putting into your body. Every KULA FOODS product is made with simple, easily understandable ingredients, giving you full control over what you’re consuming–and what you’re not.
If you’re feeling the effects of surging grocery prices, incorporating more plant-based foods into your shopping list can help lower your bill by replacing expensive meat-based products with more cost-effective alternatives.
In fact, studies have shown that vegans and vegetarians save an average of $23 every time they visit the grocery store.
4. Time Efficiency
Preparing and cooking meat-based products is often a time-consuming process. On the other hand, plant-based foods can generally be eaten raw (or quickly heated), allowing you to prepare nutritious meals in a significantly shorter period of time and with less labour required to do so.
The Most Common Inhibitors to Plant-Based Eating
One of the biggest challenges people encounter when it comes to plant-based eating is a lack of awareness as it pertains to taste, types of protein, and nutrition.
Many people don’t realize that plant-based dishes can be incredibly flavourful and filling. And, as a result, shifting towards a plant-based diet can sometimes feel unapproachable.
But it doesn’t have to be. Like any food, the key is in the ingredients you choose and how you put them all together.
That’s why KULA FOODS’s mission is to make plant-based eating accessible for everyone through education and awareness initiatives that highlight the culinary opportunities it offers.
6 Tips to Easily Incorporate Plant-Based Eating Into Your Diet
If you’ve never experimented with plant-based eating, it can feel daunting to get started. But there are a few foundational steps you can take to simplify the process.
1. Know It’s Not “All or Nothing”
The first thing to know is that incorporating plant-based eating into your life doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing, high-pressure endeavour.
If you’re curious about plant-based eating, start small. Experiment, learn, and decide whether it works for you.
A good way to start is by opting to eat one plant-based meal per day and then adding more over time. You don’t have to go all in, all at once.
2. Replace a Protein with a Protein
Another easy way to start incorporating plant-based foods into your diet is by simply substituting a protein for a protein.
For example, if you’re making a stir fry, you can seamlessly replace chicken with a plant-based alternative like KULA CHIK-UN, a high-protein chicken alternative which is gluten-free, soy-free, vegan, and made with all-natural ingredients. High protein as well.
Many of the main foundational ingredients people use in their favourite dishes can be replaced with plant-based products that taste just as good and provide the same nutritional benefits.
3. Incorporate More Smoothies Into Your Diet
Making smoothies using oat or almond milk is an easy way to incorporate plant-based foods into your day, especially for busy professionals. They can pack a ton of flavour and provide a lot of nutrients.
Try blending together a variety of fruits, vegetables, and plant-based protein powders as well.
4. Find Plant-Based Alternatives to Your Favourite Foods
Moving to a plant-based diet doesn’t mean sacrificing the foods you love. Rather, it’s a matter of finding alternative ingredient options so you can continue enjoying your favourite meals.
Whether you love hamburgers, scrambled eggs, or pizza, the key is to find creative ways to make them plant-based–and with so many plant-based products, meal delivery services, and restaurants available, the opportunities are virtually endless.
5. Understand What You Love About Your Favourite Foods
When you’re considering how to begin with a plant-based diet, it’s wise to start from a place of considering what truly satiates you and what you really love about your favourite dishes–whether it’s textures, flavours, consistency, or nutritional content.
Then work backward to determine how you can recreate those same characteristics with a plant-based alternative.
One of the secondary benefits of this approach is that it will take you away from auto-pilot eating habits and compel you to be more thoughtful about what you eat and why so that you can make healthier and more conscious dietary choices.
6. Identify Your Food Essentials
One of the easiest ways to make plant-based eating easy is to identify some essential base ingredients you love and then finding ways to build on them.
For example, you could pick a base like pasta or rice, choose your favourite produce, and find ways to fuse it all together.
This way, you won’t have to reinvent the wheel with every single meal.
Learn to Create Incredible Plant-Based Meals with Chop It Up
And-Co is currently in the process of attaining its WELL Certification and, as part of our wellness mandate to provide fresh and nutritious food to members, be advocates for nutritional transparency, and encourage healthy eating, we’ve teamed up with KULA FOODS for two exciting initiatives.
The first is that we’ll be offering our members healthy prepared lunches courtesy of KULA FOODS once a week.
The second is that we’ll be hosting KULA FOODS’ Chop It Up, a series of community-based live cooking classes that aim to bring people together through a common love for food and culture.
Chop It Up exists to provide education and accessibility for anyone who’s interested in learning more about plant-based eating.
At each session, you’ll learn how to prepare simple meals with easily accessible ingredients, all demonstrated live by our professional chef and featured guests. Most importantly, it’s a shared experience where everyone can participate rather than trying to figure it out in their kitchen alone.
If you’d like to attend the next Chop It Up session, follow Chop It Up on Instagram to stay up to date about upcoming events.
An Easy Plant-Based Recipes You Can Try Today
If you’d like to try a simple, delicious, and healthy plant-based meal, try out these incredible BBQ Pulled Jackfruit Tacos.
- Makes: 6 soft tacos
- Total time: 30 minutes
Purple Cabbage Slaw
- 1 ½ cups purple cabbage, sliced, about ¼ of a small cabbage
- ½ cup vegan mayonnaise
- Black pepper
- 2 small mangos, diced
- 1 small Roma tomato, diced
- ¼ small red onion, diced, about 2 tbsp
- 2 tbsp lime juice
- 2 tbsp cilantro, chopped
- 6 small corn tortillas (soft), can substitute for flour tortillas
- Lime wedges to serve, optional
- Chopped cilantro to serve, optional
- 1 package BBQ Pulled Jackfruit, defrosted
- Wash and cut all the vegetables.
- To make the creamy purple slaw, combine the sliced cabbage, vegan mayonnaise, and a generous pinch of black pepper in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
- To make the mango salsa, combine all the ingredients under “Mango Salsa” in a large bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
- To heat up the BBQ Pulled Jackfruit, heat a medium skillet on medium heat. Add the package of jackfruit and stir-fry for about 3mins, breaking apart the pieces and stirring constantly to avoid the bottom burning. Remove from heat.
- Assemble the tacos! Divide the BBQ Pulled Jackfruit, purple cabbage slaw, and mango salsa evenly among the 6 soft tortillas. Serve with more fresh cilantro and lime wedges.
To defrost the package of BBQ Pulled Jackfruit from Kula Kitchen, allow it to thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Alternatively, you can let it sit in a bowl of warm water for about 1 hour. Do not refreeze after thawing.
To make a DIY taco divider, simply scrunch up small pieces of aluminum foil and place them between each taco.
For the mango salsa, you can dice the mango and tomato as small or as big as you want.
Depending on how ripe your mangoes are, I would not suggest trying to dice them very small as they would turn into mush when mixed with the other ingredients.
Be sure to wash all of the vegetables well as you are to eat them raw. Refrigerate the slaw and salsa when not in use to maintain freshness.
Want to Attend the Next Chop It Up Session?
To learn more about Chop It Up and to join the next live cooking demonstration, check out Chop It Up on Instagram for upcoming events.
If you’re in search of a modern, full-service, and flexible workspace and community that will create enthusiasm among employees to come back to the office, book a tour of And-Co today.