Summary

If you want to incorporate more plant-based foods into your diet, we are here for you every step of the way. Here’s our four-step approach to ensure that you’re set up for success.

Step 1: Prep Your Thistle Account

If you already receive deliveries from Thistle, check your upcoming deliveries to make sure you stock up on meals, snacks, and juices. And if you don't subscribe yet, sign up now. We include around 20 plant-based foods in each lunch and dinner. This is the easiest way to eat plant-based meals because all your meals are prepared and delivered right to your door.

Step 2: Prep Your Kitchen 

Imagine a pantry, fridge, and freezer stocked with plenty of plant-based foods that will serve as the foundation for delicious and healthy meals and snacks. If your kitchen isn’t quite ready, here are some tips to get started.

First: Purge & Clean

To prepare your kitchen, begin with purging and cleaning your pantry, fridge, and freezer. Toss anything that’s expired or stale. Pass on what you’re unlikely to use (if it’s dusty, get rid of it). Have too many sweets or processed foods laying around? Share some with friends. Optional: Give your shelves and fridge interior a good scrub. The bathtub is a great place to wash all your fridge drawers and shelves!

Second: Meal Plan

In our meal planning and meal prep post, we outline a good approach that will help you get started with this task that’s so important to your health. Here are some of the key takeaways:

  • Decide what you’re going to eat on different days. Remember to account for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks - we have a ton of recipes you can use.
  • Schedule a meal prep day to do as much chopping and cooking as possible
  • Think about preparing a few items that can be used for several different meals
  • Cook at least one new meal per week to beat burnout
  • Rely on Thistle’s plant-forward meal subscription whenever you’re too busy to cook (we put at least 20 plant-based foods into our lunches and dinners)

Next: Shop

Now you’re ready to fill your fridge, freezer, and pantry with tasty items that will ensure you’re regularly eating plant-based meals. Time to go shopping! Make sure you’ve looked at your recipes and checked your kitchen to see what you need. Here’s a grocery list full of staples for any plant-based kitchen. It’s simple and flexible, and will lay a great foundation for you to build on.

Plant Challenge Shopping List

Baking
  • Almond meal
  • Apple sauce
  • Arrowroot or cornstarch
  • Baking powder
  • Baking soda
  • Chickpea flour
  • Cocoa powder
  • Coconut or date sugar
  • Dark chocolate
  • Maple Syrup
  • Oat flour or brown rice flour
  • Raisins, dates, dried cranberries, and/or dried cherries
Canned, Bottled, & Jarred Goods
  • 100% fruit jam
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Avocado or safflower oil
  • Canned tomatoes
  • Coconut milk
  • Condiments and staples of your favorite cuisines
  • Extra virgin coconut oil
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Hot sauce
  • Nut butter (almond or cashew are great)
  • Salsa
  • Tamari
  • Tomato paste
  • Veggie broth or bouillon cubes
Frozen
  • Fruit — a few different varieties
  • Spinach or other greens
Grains
  • Brown rice
  • Millet and/or quinoa
  • Rolled oats and/or steel-cut oats
  • Whole-grain bread & tortillas (store in freezer)
  • Whole-grain pasta (brown rice, quinoa, and chickpea flour-based varieties are some of our favorites)
  • Legumes (canned or dried)
  • Black Beans
  • Chickpeas
  • Lentils — a few different varieties
Nuts & Seeds (raw & unsalted is best)
  • Almonds
  • Cashews
  • Chia or hemp seeds
  • Ground flax
  • Pepitas or sunflower seeds
  • Walnuts or pecans
Produce
  • Avocado
  • Bananas
  • Berries
  • Broccoli and/or cauliflower
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Citrus
  • Fresh ginger
  • Fresh herbs
  • Garlic
  • Leafy greens
  • Onions
  • Seasonal fruit & veggies
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • And any other fruits and vegetables that you like!
Refrigerated
  • Cold-pressed juices
  • Extra firm tofu
  • Miso
  • Non-dairy mylks & other dairy alternatives, like coconut oil
Spices
  • Basil
  • Cayenne
  • Chili powder
  • Cinnamon
  • Cumin
  • Curry powder
  • Garlic powder
  • Nutritional Yeast
  • Onion powder
  • Oregano
  • Paprika
  • Peppercorns
  • Rosemary
  • Sea salt or pink Himalayan salt
  • Thyme
  • Turmeric

For more tips on creating a plant-based pantry, check out our culinary team’s favorite pantry organization ideas.

Step 3: Prep Your Meals

Now that you’ve stocked up on plant-based essentials, it’s time to start preparing your meals. 

Chop, Prep, and Chill

Check your recipes to see how each ingredient will be used over the next few days. Prepare anything you can in advance - washing greens, marinating, chopping, etc. No use chopping broccoli twice for two different recipes. Chop it all at once and store in the fridge. This is when selecting meals with similar ingredients comes in really handy. (Pro tip: store them in see-through containers so you can easily see what’s inside). If you really want to get ahead, make whole meals ahead of time.

Meal prep takes more time upfront, but you’ll save so much time in the long run. Having healthy meals and snacks on hand and ready to go will make it easier for you on this journey. Start small if you need to and build on your successes each week. 

Quick Boosts

If you’re not much of a planner, there are still plenty of quick and easy ways to eat more plants throughout your day in preparation for the plant empowered challenge. Beverages, smoothies, and snacks are all great places to start.

  • Beverages: Cold-pressed juices are the way to go. In just a few sips, a pile of veggies are yours for the drinking. Find some simple green juice recipes here and learn about the immune-boosting benefits of Thistle’s many cold-pressed juices here.
  • Smoothies: Even if you like your smoothies fruity and sweet, there’s room to sneak in some veggies. Stash spinach and other leafy greens in your freezer. Whenever you make a smoothie, throw in a handful.
  • Snacks: Did somebody say “guacamole”? Great news, one of everyone’s favorite snack combos, chips and guacamole, is already plant-based. Fresh and vibrant plants can satisfy cravings for all things crunchy, creamy, and savory. Dip carrots, celery, and radishes in hummus or enjoy a handful of your favorite nuts. Want something sweet? Try one of Thistle’s plant-based dessert-y recipes: Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies, Peanut Butter Mousse Cup or Candy Corn Chia Parfait, anyone?

Step 4: Prep Yourself

Just as you’ve prepared your kitchen and your meals for more plant-based foods, your body needs some preparation, too. A sudden change in diet — even when it’s a positive one, like eating more plants — can have temporary effects on you. To help your body more comfortably transition toward a plant-based diet try these suggestions:

Gradually Increase Your Fiber Intake

One excuse people often give for not eating many plants is that they cause bloating and gas. For anything you don’t eat on a regular basis and suddenly eat a lot of, your body will likely respond in this way. Don’t blame the beans! Instead, take it slow. Plant-based foods contain lots of beneficial fiber, and your body may need time to adjust.

Hydrate Hydrate Hydrate

Make water your new BFF. It’s what your body needs to properly digest all the extra fiber in your diet. Drink enough water to help move fiber through your digestive system. Aim to drink eight to nine glasses of water per day. You can do it!

Movement

Exercise is the final way to help prepare your body to eat more plant. Movement and gravity get your blood flowing and speed up digestion. In one study, regularly jogging or cycling increased digestion speed by 30%. And even certain yoga moves can help you feel less bloated. So, as you gradually eat more plants and up your water intake, don’t neglect the added benefit of moving your body. 

Overall, gearing up for the challenge to eat more plants is not unlike the bodily adjustments you can expect to go through during your first four weeks with a Thistle subscription. We share tips and tricks for that transition here.

Throughout January 2021, check back here on the blog for more plant empowered challenge posts — including reasons to eat more plants, the best baking substitutes, and encouraging stories from Thistle subscribers. And keep an eye out for the brand new Thistle Facebook group, a community of like-minded people offering information, inspiration, and support. Until then, follow our steps to gear up for eating more plants. See you in January!

If You want to Start Slower...

If you want to start more slowly to ease into a full plant-based diet, here are a couple suggestions on how to do that:

Focus on One Meal per Day

If you need to take it more slowly, this is a solid way to get started. Imagine how many more plants you’ll consume if you go from eating meat at every meal to abstaining from it one meal per day each week and opting for lots more plants instead. Breakfast is a great meal for this approach, and we have a blog post all about it!  From smoothies to acai bowls to tofu scramble to chickpea flour omelettes, there’s a plethora of plant-based breakfast recipes out there to give you plenty of meat-free and dairy-free meal planning inspiration. To focus on a meal other than breakfast, take a look at our recipes and Thistle’s weekly lunch menu. With most of our meals, not only are they delicious salads, but heat them up in a skillet with some oil and now you have a hot vegetable-rich meal. Thistle lunches and dinners include more plants (around 20) in one meal than most people get in an entire day. 

Try a Flexitarian Approach

If you’re used to regularly eating meat, a flexitarian approach to eating is a great place to start. It’s an incremental lifestyle shift that will help you achieve your goal to eat more plants, and maybe even eventually go 100% plant-based. Flexitarians often begin this eating journey with “meatless Mondays.” But don’t stop there. Give dairy-free Fridays, salad Saturdays, and vegetarian taco Tuesdays a try. With or without alliteration, there are plenty of ways to be a flexitarian meal planner who progressively eats more and more plants. If this is the best transition option for you to on-ramp, but you’re too busy to cook, you’re in luck! Thistle offers a flex plan that allows you to select both vegan and meat entrees in one week’s worth of meals.

Get meals delivered to your door
We believe eating delicious is crucial to a healthy diet. Each week, our team of chefs design a new menu for what's in season, fresh and flavorful.
TRY THISTLE
Posted 
Dec 27, 2020
 in 
Lifestyle
 category.
Summary

If you want to incorporate more plant-based foods into your diet, we are here for you every step of the way. Here’s our four-step approach to ensure that you’re set up for success.

Step 1: Prep Your Thistle Account

If you already receive deliveries from Thistle, check your upcoming deliveries to make sure you stock up on meals, snacks, and juices. And if you don't subscribe yet, sign up now. We include around 20 plant-based foods in each lunch and dinner. This is the easiest way to eat plant-based meals because all your meals are prepared and delivered right to your door.

Step 2: Prep Your Kitchen 

Imagine a pantry, fridge, and freezer stocked with plenty of plant-based foods that will serve as the foundation for delicious and healthy meals and snacks. If your kitchen isn’t quite ready, here are some tips to get started.

First: Purge & Clean

To prepare your kitchen, begin with purging and cleaning your pantry, fridge, and freezer. Toss anything that’s expired or stale. Pass on what you’re unlikely to use (if it’s dusty, get rid of it). Have too many sweets or processed foods laying around? Share some with friends. Optional: Give your shelves and fridge interior a good scrub. The bathtub is a great place to wash all your fridge drawers and shelves!

Second: Meal Plan

In our meal planning and meal prep post, we outline a good approach that will help you get started with this task that’s so important to your health. Here are some of the key takeaways:

  • Decide what you’re going to eat on different days. Remember to account for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks - we have a ton of recipes you can use.
  • Schedule a meal prep day to do as much chopping and cooking as possible
  • Think about preparing a few items that can be used for several different meals
  • Cook at least one new meal per week to beat burnout
  • Rely on Thistle’s plant-forward meal subscription whenever you’re too busy to cook (we put at least 20 plant-based foods into our lunches and dinners)

Next: Shop

Now you’re ready to fill your fridge, freezer, and pantry with tasty items that will ensure you’re regularly eating plant-based meals. Time to go shopping! Make sure you’ve looked at your recipes and checked your kitchen to see what you need. Here’s a grocery list full of staples for any plant-based kitchen. It’s simple and flexible, and will lay a great foundation for you to build on.

Plant Challenge Shopping List

Baking
  • Almond meal
  • Apple sauce
  • Arrowroot or cornstarch
  • Baking powder
  • Baking soda
  • Chickpea flour
  • Cocoa powder
  • Coconut or date sugar
  • Dark chocolate
  • Maple Syrup
  • Oat flour or brown rice flour
  • Raisins, dates, dried cranberries, and/or dried cherries
Canned, Bottled, & Jarred Goods
  • 100% fruit jam
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Avocado or safflower oil
  • Canned tomatoes
  • Coconut milk
  • Condiments and staples of your favorite cuisines
  • Extra virgin coconut oil
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Hot sauce
  • Nut butter (almond or cashew are great)
  • Salsa
  • Tamari
  • Tomato paste
  • Veggie broth or bouillon cubes
Frozen
  • Fruit — a few different varieties
  • Spinach or other greens
Grains
  • Brown rice
  • Millet and/or quinoa
  • Rolled oats and/or steel-cut oats
  • Whole-grain bread & tortillas (store in freezer)
  • Whole-grain pasta (brown rice, quinoa, and chickpea flour-based varieties are some of our favorites)
  • Legumes (canned or dried)
  • Black Beans
  • Chickpeas
  • Lentils — a few different varieties
Nuts & Seeds (raw & unsalted is best)
  • Almonds
  • Cashews
  • Chia or hemp seeds
  • Ground flax
  • Pepitas or sunflower seeds
  • Walnuts or pecans
Produce
  • Avocado
  • Bananas
  • Berries
  • Broccoli and/or cauliflower
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Citrus
  • Fresh ginger
  • Fresh herbs
  • Garlic
  • Leafy greens
  • Onions
  • Seasonal fruit & veggies
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • And any other fruits and vegetables that you like!
Refrigerated
  • Cold-pressed juices
  • Extra firm tofu
  • Miso
  • Non-dairy mylks & other dairy alternatives, like coconut oil
Spices
  • Basil
  • Cayenne
  • Chili powder
  • Cinnamon
  • Cumin
  • Curry powder
  • Garlic powder
  • Nutritional Yeast
  • Onion powder
  • Oregano
  • Paprika
  • Peppercorns
  • Rosemary
  • Sea salt or pink Himalayan salt
  • Thyme
  • Turmeric

For more tips on creating a plant-based pantry, check out our culinary team’s favorite pantry organization ideas.

Step 3: Prep Your Meals

Now that you’ve stocked up on plant-based essentials, it’s time to start preparing your meals. 

Chop, Prep, and Chill

Check your recipes to see how each ingredient will be used over the next few days. Prepare anything you can in advance - washing greens, marinating, chopping, etc. No use chopping broccoli twice for two different recipes. Chop it all at once and store in the fridge. This is when selecting meals with similar ingredients comes in really handy. (Pro tip: store them in see-through containers so you can easily see what’s inside). If you really want to get ahead, make whole meals ahead of time.

Meal prep takes more time upfront, but you’ll save so much time in the long run. Having healthy meals and snacks on hand and ready to go will make it easier for you on this journey. Start small if you need to and build on your successes each week. 

Quick Boosts

If you’re not much of a planner, there are still plenty of quick and easy ways to eat more plants throughout your day in preparation for the plant empowered challenge. Beverages, smoothies, and snacks are all great places to start.

  • Beverages: Cold-pressed juices are the way to go. In just a few sips, a pile of veggies are yours for the drinking. Find some simple green juice recipes here and learn about the immune-boosting benefits of Thistle’s many cold-pressed juices here.
  • Smoothies: Even if you like your smoothies fruity and sweet, there’s room to sneak in some veggies. Stash spinach and other leafy greens in your freezer. Whenever you make a smoothie, throw in a handful.
  • Snacks: Did somebody say “guacamole”? Great news, one of everyone’s favorite snack combos, chips and guacamole, is already plant-based. Fresh and vibrant plants can satisfy cravings for all things crunchy, creamy, and savory. Dip carrots, celery, and radishes in hummus or enjoy a handful of your favorite nuts. Want something sweet? Try one of Thistle’s plant-based dessert-y recipes: Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies, Peanut Butter Mousse Cup or Candy Corn Chia Parfait, anyone?

Step 4: Prep Yourself

Just as you’ve prepared your kitchen and your meals for more plant-based foods, your body needs some preparation, too. A sudden change in diet — even when it’s a positive one, like eating more plants — can have temporary effects on you. To help your body more comfortably transition toward a plant-based diet try these suggestions:

Gradually Increase Your Fiber Intake

One excuse people often give for not eating many plants is that they cause bloating and gas. For anything you don’t eat on a regular basis and suddenly eat a lot of, your body will likely respond in this way. Don’t blame the beans! Instead, take it slow. Plant-based foods contain lots of beneficial fiber, and your body may need time to adjust.

Hydrate Hydrate Hydrate

Make water your new BFF. It’s what your body needs to properly digest all the extra fiber in your diet. Drink enough water to help move fiber through your digestive system. Aim to drink eight to nine glasses of water per day. You can do it!

Movement

Exercise is the final way to help prepare your body to eat more plant. Movement and gravity get your blood flowing and speed up digestion. In one study, regularly jogging or cycling increased digestion speed by 30%. And even certain yoga moves can help you feel less bloated. So, as you gradually eat more plants and up your water intake, don’t neglect the added benefit of moving your body. 

Overall, gearing up for the challenge to eat more plants is not unlike the bodily adjustments you can expect to go through during your first four weeks with a Thistle subscription. We share tips and tricks for that transition here.

Throughout January 2021, check back here on the blog for more plant empowered challenge posts — including reasons to eat more plants, the best baking substitutes, and encouraging stories from Thistle subscribers. And keep an eye out for the brand new Thistle Facebook group, a community of like-minded people offering information, inspiration, and support. Until then, follow our steps to gear up for eating more plants. See you in January!

If You want to Start Slower...

If you want to start more slowly to ease into a full plant-based diet, here are a couple suggestions on how to do that:

Focus on One Meal per Day

If you need to take it more slowly, this is a solid way to get started. Imagine how many more plants you’ll consume if you go from eating meat at every meal to abstaining from it one meal per day each week and opting for lots more plants instead. Breakfast is a great meal for this approach, and we have a blog post all about it!  From smoothies to acai bowls to tofu scramble to chickpea flour omelettes, there’s a plethora of plant-based breakfast recipes out there to give you plenty of meat-free and dairy-free meal planning inspiration. To focus on a meal other than breakfast, take a look at our recipes and Thistle’s weekly lunch menu. With most of our meals, not only are they delicious salads, but heat them up in a skillet with some oil and now you have a hot vegetable-rich meal. Thistle lunches and dinners include more plants (around 20) in one meal than most people get in an entire day. 

Try a Flexitarian Approach

If you’re used to regularly eating meat, a flexitarian approach to eating is a great place to start. It’s an incremental lifestyle shift that will help you achieve your goal to eat more plants, and maybe even eventually go 100% plant-based. Flexitarians often begin this eating journey with “meatless Mondays.” But don’t stop there. Give dairy-free Fridays, salad Saturdays, and vegetarian taco Tuesdays a try. With or without alliteration, there are plenty of ways to be a flexitarian meal planner who progressively eats more and more plants. If this is the best transition option for you to on-ramp, but you’re too busy to cook, you’re in luck! Thistle offers a flex plan that allows you to select both vegan and meat entrees in one week’s worth of meals.

Get meals delivered to your door
We believe eating delicious is crucial to a healthy diet. Each week, our team of chefs design a new menu for what's in season, fresh and flavorful.
TRY THISTLE
Posted 
Dec 27, 2020
 in 
Lifestyle
 category.