This blog post was written in partnership with Nestlé. All opinions are my own and I’m happy that you are here!
Chances are you’ve heard the words “plant-based” diet around the internet, but with many different adaptations of the approach, it can be very confusing to know exactly what it means for others and what it means for you. A plant-based diet is based on fruits, vegetables, grains, beans, nuts and seeds but does not necessarily mean you are vegetarian. Plant-based eating for some can be as simple as choosing to include more plant-based options into their diet on a regular basis without eliminating any other food groups.
Plants are not only a great source of fiber, vitamins and minerals, but they are also great sources of protein. When I was growing up it was definitely understood that the meat on the plate was the protein and that you needed to eat that to get big and strong. Fast-forward to studying nutrition and food and my eyes were open to a whole other world of protein coming from plant-based sources. While I do enjoy meat and poultry, there are days when I am simply satisfied with a grain bowl bursting with vegetables and hummus.
Because it’s not an all or nothing approach, plant-based nutrition is really revolutionizing the way we think about healthy eating and allowing people to practice it in a variety of ways big and small. Nestlé is also doing their part to help us find more ways to love plant-based based choices. They offer a variety of ways, like by providing access to simple and delicious plant-based options through brands people know and love like COFFEE-MATE natural bliss, Häagen-Dazs, Lean Cuisine Origins, and Sweet Earth.
I like that they make it easy for me to find those options and realize that people should have the choice for plant-based options, even for their coffee creamer. When I’m not enjoying the pumpkin spice seasonal flavor, I opt for natural bliss Vanilla Almond Milk Coffee Creamer, which is made with real almonds, pure cane sugar and natural vanilla flavor that includes extracts from real Madagascar vanilla beans. COFFEE-MATE natural bliss coffee creamers are made with real, all-natural, no GMO ingredients which offers people an all-natural alternative to traditional creamers. These creamers are available at local grocery stores. The line features flavors such as: Vanilla Almond Milk, Caramel Almond Milk, Hazelnut Almond Milk, and Sweet Crème Coconut Milk.
I had the opportunity to visit the Nestlé offices in Solon, Ohio earlier this year and learned more about their values, innovations and initiatives aimed at leveraging nutrition needs, culinary expertise and consumer trends to renovate the delicious products they offer in the marketplace. It was exciting to hear firsthand just how in tune they strive to be with the changing food and nutrition landscape to provide options that help all consumers make the best possible choices for themselves. Here are a couple of pictures straight from the trip!
Their #BalanceYourPlate education program helps Americans build nutritious and delicious meals that fit into an overall healthy eating pattern. It has easy-to-follow recipes and meal inspiration, and shows how frozen and refrigerated entrées can be paired with vegetables, fruits, proteins, whole grains, and low-fat dairy to build meals that are balanced and convenient. I very much believe that all foods fit and that enjoyment must also be part of the eating equation, which is why practicing #BalanceYourPlate is how I go about most of my meals. The three pillars that make up the backbone of #BalanceYourPlate are:
- Nutritious: The Balance Your Plate concept helps consumers to boost intake of fruits and vegetables (and other foods to encourage) through thoughtful side dish pairings.
- Delicious: With the right portions and colorful side dishes, #BalanceYourPlate shows the consumer how they can eat healthfully and still enjoy the foods they love.
- Convenient: Cut time in the kitchen by using prepared entrées as your base.
Whether you’re a meatless Monday warrior or you simply choose to use an almond milk coffee creamer, there are countless ways to make plant-based nutrition work for you. I also find that it challenges me to try new fruits and vegetables, explore cooking new beans and grains and switching up my protein sources in more ways than one. This time of year is a great time to explore the seasonal produce and incorporate it into weeknight meals or food for fun holiday get togethers. Be sure to check out my nutritional guide to fall produce for more on the fruit and veggie superstars of the season, and look for plant-based options from Nestlé on your next trip to the grocery store to help balance your plate!
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Nestlé.