Adopting a Plant-Based Lifestyle? Consider These Tips From a Cardiologist
There are many reasons why people consider transitioning to a plant-based lifestyle. Some do it to lower their blood pressure and cholesterol. Others have an emotional attachment with animals or the environment. Whether you’re passionate about living a greener life or you’d prefer to be healthier, when you do decide to shift to a plant-based lifestyle, the first step can be difficult. Although the concept of changing the way you eat may sound daunting, the reality is that, once you make a few adjustments, your new way of eating will become second nature.
Jesal V. Popat, M.D., FACC, is a nutrition-focused cardiologist that treats patients suffering from cardiac disease. Dr. Popat is not only a heart specialist in Tampa, he’s committed to helping his patients find their path to a healthier and happier life. As part of his treatment plan, Dr. Popat helps transform his patients' lifestyle by recommending daily exercise and a shift to whole-food, plant-based nutritious meals. As the best heart doctor in Tampa Bay, Dr. Popat educates his patients on all their options for cardiovascular nutrition and he’s there to help them every step of the way as they discover the benefits of a plant-based lifestyle.
The goal of a plant-based lifestyle is to lose weight, eat healthier, and reach your peak health through a nutritional diet. In this editorial, a physician committed to heart care in Tampa will provide you with some ways you can get on the right track to a healthier tomorrow.
Educating Yourself on the Benefits of a Plant-Based Lifestyle
The first step of transitioning to a plant-based lifestyle is to learn as much as you can about plant-based meal options. If you live in the Tampa Bay community, we encourage you to reach out to Dr. Popat and schedule an appointment to learn exactly how a plant-based diet can benefit your health and lifestyle long term. You can also learn more about cardiovascular nutrition through several articles featured on our resources section.
Along with helpful articles on the benefits of plant-based options, there are also a variety of amazing plant-based documentaries that can provide incredible insight on the benefits of plant-based diets. You can learn more about Dr. Popat’s favorite plant-based documentaries here. Whether it’s books, blogs, documentaries, or other forms of media, we encourage anyone interested in learning more about the advantages of a plant-based lifestyle to review as many educational resources as they can before they begin this transition.
Resources: See These Plant-Based Documentaries
Putting Your Education into Practice
The next step in your plant-based education is to begin to put yourself to work on ways you can apply this newfound knowledge. There are dozens of great recipe websites out there for plant-based enthusiasts, Just Google plant-based recipes and get lost in a neverending list of options. There’s also plenty of helpful apps available for your smartphone. Whether it’s browsing through Pinterest or following a variety of plant-based influencers on Instagram, there are nearly endless options to learn the best ingredients and recipes you can use to create delicious plant-based meals.
Some other things a new plant-based lifestyler should consider include:
Research your favorite meals and find a creative spin that turns that tempting dish into a savory plant-based alternative. For example, if you love to eat burgers, you may want to see what all the buzz is about with the extremely popular Impossible Burger, a plant-based burger that’s sold at restaurants across the country, including Burger King.
We encourage our patients to go beyond the burger and learn more about other forms of meat replacements, including eggplant, tofu, jackfruit, lentils, tempeh, quonah, and portobello mushrooms. You would be amazed at how you can blend any of these plant-based ingredients into a hearty meat-replacement dish that fills you up.
For dairy lovers, you can kick this habit with a variety of amazing non-dairy alternatives. Substitute vegan margarine in your baked dishes, sprinkle some rice milk cheese on your pizza, or enjoy a dish of vegan ice cream when you want to reward yourself for sticking to your meal plan.
Snack lovers have tons of great meatless options to choose from too. Along with fresh fruits and vegetables, many plant-based enthusiasts dig into crisp-roasted chickpeas, dried fruit, vegetable chips, popcorn, and granola, to name a few healthy snack foods to hold you over until supper.
Related: 3 Heath Goals for 2020
In the Kitchen and Venturing Out to Eat
Once you learn the basics, you can devise a plan. Begin by mapping out the sections that offer the best plant-based products and alternatives in your favorite grocery store. Ask friends about the best markets to shop at too. Research the plant-based foods you love and the best way to preserve their shelf life at home. After you have created a plant-based grocery list and gameplan, get what you need and begin experimenting with ingredients in your kitchen. When cooking and meal prepping with plant-based meals, it’s best to start with a few reliable dishes that are quick and easy options that you can whip up in little time. This way cooking won’t seem like a hassle. At the same time, you can focus on preparing a few ambitious meals that will take a little more love to prepare.
Of course, we all need a night away from the kitchen too, so we encourage you to research some of the best plant-based dining options in your area. You may be surprised to learn that one of your favorite places to eat has plant-based options that are just as delicious as your past go-to meals. Whether it’s cooking in, eating out, or enjoying curbside pickup or delivery, we encourage you to research options for all of the above and find the right meal plan for you.
A Cardiologist Can Help Every Step of the Way
We understand that transitioning to a plant-based lifestyle can have some challenges at first, but there’s a reason why we say “plant-based lifestyle” and not “diet.” The goal is to transform your health long-term so that you can achieve all of your health goals and live your best life. As you take this journey, we want you to learn as much about the advantages of a plant-based lifestyle as you can. We also want you to feel proud of your accomplishments and your health. The goal is to take a step in the right direction everyday and to transition to a plant-based diet at a pace that is sustainable for you. For the best heart care in Tampa, consult Jesal V. Popat, M.D., FACC.
To consult Jesal V. Popat, M.D., FACC, a heart doctor in Tampa, please call (813) 344-0934 or fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment.
Disclaimer: The contents of this website are for general educational purposes only. All content and media on the Jesal V. Popat, M.D., FACC website does not constitute professional medical advice nor is the information intended to replace the services of Jesal V. Popat, M.D., FACC or other qualified medical professionals. If you believe you are having a medical emergency, call 911 immediately.
The content, views, and opinions communicated on this website do not represent the views of Jesal V. Popat, M.D., FACC. Reliance on any information provided by this website is solely at your own risk. Although this website contains links to other medical websites, this is strictly for informational purposes. Jesal V. Popat, M.D., FACC is not responsible nor does the medical practice approve of the content featured on any third party linked websites referenced on this website.