Here’s what you need to know about how to eat a whole food plant based (WFPB) diet, including recipes for every meal of the day!

Whole food plant based diet

Looking to eat more whole food plant based (WFPB) recipes? You’ve come to the right place. Alex and I started this website as a resource of whole food plant based recipes when we made the transition to eating this way. (We also wrote a cookbook full of them.) Turns out, a plant based diet includes some of the most delicious, satisfying and fun recipes out there! Here’s a bit more on what a WFPB diet is, how to transition, and some of our favorite recipes for getting started.

What is a whole food plant based (WFPB) diet?

What’s the WFPB diet? It’s a term for eating whole food plant based foods. There’s a bit of contention around exactly what this means, so let’s look at each piece of the term:

  • Whole food: Whole foods are minimally processed foods like vegetables and whole grains. Refined flours, sugars, and processed foods are not whole foods.
  • Plant based: Plant based is eating foods that are mainly derived from plants and not animal products.

So, a whole food plant based diet is a diet that focuses on fresh, minimally processed foods that are mainly made of plants. It’s more of a healthy lifestyle than a strict diet. According to various sources including Harvard Medical School, a plant based diet has the flexibility to include some animal products. The focus is that it’s mainly plants, and not that it’s strictly vegan and avoiding all animal products. (See more in our Plant Based Diet for Beginners.)

What do you eat in a whole food plant based diet?

What’s important with the WFPB diet is the good foods you’re leaning towards, not the bad foods you’re trying to avoid. Here’s what kind of healthy foods you’ll lean towards:

  • Fresh fruits and vegetables, legumes, nuts, and seeds (vs. processed foods)
  • Whole grains (vs. pastas and breads — though they are fine in moderation!)
  • Plant based proteins (vs. processed meats and plant-based meats)
  • Healthy fats (like olive oil)
  • Minimal sugar

How to transition to a whole food plant based diet

If you’re not eating this way yet, never fear! It’s actually one of the most delicious, satisfying ways to eat. How to start a healthy whole food plant based diet? Here are our top tips:

  • Decide what’s right for you! First, decide on how you’d like to eat. Alex and I eat about 90% vegetarian and vegan, and then eat sustainable seafood or meat on occasion. We also eat about 90 to 95% whole foods, and leave room for processed treats every now and then. This keeps our overall diet sustainable.
  • Start small. Refer to a few of the recipes below, and pick just a few! Make one or two, see if you like them. If not, move onto new ones!
  • Stay on the path! It’s all about small steps toward the end goal. Don’t feel like you have to make a major change over night. And if you don’t find recipes you like at first, don’t sweat it! This will be a process. Stay the course.
  • Find a buddy. Once of our best tips for making a diet change is to find a buddy to hold you accountable! Alex and I transitioned to a mostly whole food plant based diet over a few months by doing it together. If you don’t have a spouse or life partner who is interested, find a friend who you can share recipes with and mutually encourage each other.

And now, our best whole food plant based recipes!

Let’s get to the recipes! Here are some recipes we recommend for starting out with a WFPB diet, from main courses to whole food plant based breakfast and snacks.

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Meet Sonja and Alex Overhiser: Husband and wife. Expert home cooks. Authors of recipes you'll want to make again and again.

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