Take the Plant Pledge with DFN
Wherever you are in your journey to a whole food plant-based diet, commit to take the next step with the DFN Plant Pledge! Be sure to share your experience with us on social media by tagging @doctorsfornutrition and using the hashtag: #PlantPledge
What is the Plant Pledge?
Here is the pledge that we are inviting you to make:
I pledge to take one or more of Doctors For Nutrition’s 10 steps towards a healthy whole food plant-based eating pattern, starting from today.
How does it work?
It’s simple: you review our list of achievable but powerful recommended steps to plant-based eating. Then you pledge to take at least one of those steps consistently for at least the next 2 weeks.
You are warmly encouraged to make your pledge more effective by:
Committing to two or more of the recommended steps; the more the better!
Keeping at it for at least 21 days in a row if possible, to reap the best benefits in terms of setting up new habits, re-setting your palate, and experiencing noticeable improvements.
Agreeing for us to share your 'why' on our platforms via the checkbox in the pledge form below.
Telling your family, friends and colleagues about your pledge.
Posting about your #PlantPledge on social media.
Joining the Whole Food Plant Based Australia Facebook Group as a fantastic source of peer support. And if you are a health professional join the Australasian Plant-Based Health Professionals group too.
Learning more at an upcoming webinar or other event.
Getting baseline measurements such as weight, blood pressure, cholesterol taken by your GP at the start of your pledge and repeating them at the end.
We are convinced that you will notice benefits within a short time, so that you’ll be keen to continue from there!
Making a formal written pledge is a commitment to yourself that works as an effective self-motivator
Joining a pledge makes you part of a community of others from all walks of life who share your aims, which provides a great source of support and encouragement
When you tell others about your pledge, you introduce accountability making it more likely you’ll stick to your stated goal as people will ask you how it’s going
And, if you’re a health professional yourself, experiencing the lifestyle gives you a huge head start when it comes to counselling patients about how to make these changes.
Why make a pledge?
Human psychology studies tell us that making a pledge is likely to mean you see better results for three key reasons:
The 10 steps
Here are the top steps that DFN’s medical and dietetic experts recommend to set you up for success. The more of these you are able to do, the better, but remember: every step towards a WFPB diet counts!
Write down your ‘why’
Having this to hand as you explore whole food plant-based eating will help keep you enthused every day. Perhaps even keep a little card on your fridge or mobile phone background to refer back to regularly, together with the DFN Healthy Food Guide for quick reference.
Some of the top reasons are as detailed in our Going plant-based guide. These include:
Gain more energy
Feel more mental clarity
Achieve healthy, sustainable weight loss without complicated rules or calorie restriction
Improve existing health conditions, with the possibility of reducing medications
Optimise blood pressure or cholesterol
Improve your gut microbiome
Enhance mental wellbeing
Maintain good health through all stages of life
Help to protect the health of the planet and future generations
Stock up for success
It may sound obvious, but if you want to eat healthily, you need to have healthy foods on hand!
Our shopping list is the ideal place to start
If you can part company from the undesirable items that are still in your fridge and cupboards (perhaps by giving them away to a household or organisation that currently still uses them) this will make your transition much easier
For more great ways to set yourself up for success, check out our 'Cooking for nutrition' blog article, contributed by dietitian Emma Strutt APD.
Watch an inspiring science-packed documentary
Watch The Game Changers (available on Netflix) or Forks Over Knives, (online streaming available) ideally with a friend or family member, and follow up by choosing at least three recipes from the associated websites to try out. Both sites have gathered plentiful easy and affordable options for all tastes:
Plantify your breakfast
This is one of the easiest moves you can make to start exploring a WFPB lifestyle. It’s a great opportunity to integrate delicious, health-enhancing nutrition upgrades into your daily routine that you can expand on gradually. Find some fabulous breakfast ideas from:
The DFN recipe collection, contributed by our own network of plant-based health professionals, chefs and enthusiasts (filter by course)
Whole Food Plant Based Cooking Show with Jill, US-based mum and vlogger who shows how plant-based living can be a breeze
Cooking with Plants, a vibrant platform with a ton of accessible content by Anja Cass from the Gold Coast
Forks Over Knives, always a go-to site for a wealth of recipe inspiration
Learn 3 new WFPB recipes
Learn at least 3 new whole food plant-based recipes that you will return to again and again. Our top tip is to think of some cuisines you enjoy (e.g. Italian, Indian, Mexican, Thai) and find WFPB versions of some favourite dishes. There are no limits with WFPB eating: all cuisines can be adapted so that animal products and added ‘SOS’ (salt, oil and sugar) are replaced with nutritious alternatives.
For some accessible, enticing recipe inspiration, check out our recipes page.
Top tip: allow for trial and error at first. You might need to try out more than 3 to find 3 that will become staples.
Join a free WFPB kickstart program
Sign up to a free kickstart program specially designed to guide the transition to WFPB eating, and commit to completing it, even if you fall behind by a day or two here and there. Here is a selection of different length programs to choose from, all of which take a WFPB approach:
7-day Plant-Based Kickstart from the T Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies (USA)
7-day Rescue Challenge by firefighter, triathlete and educator Rip Esselstyn, son of physician and researcher, Dr Caldwell Esselstyn (USA)
7-day transition eCourse from Nutriciously (from Germany with all content in English)
14-day NEURO Plan Jumpstart from Team Sherzai’s Neuro Academy (USA)
21-day PCRM Kickstart program (including phone app) from the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (USA)
Start a love affair with beans!
Start a love affair with beans – and all other legumes – by eating them daily. They are great sources of plant protein, iron and zinc. Legumes are also loaded with fibre, which is great for gut health.
Worried about gassiness or bloating? We have this covered over on our FAQs page. In short: you may experience this over the first few days as you transition. This is a sign that your microbiome is adjusting, and you'll soon be reaping the reward, so hang in there!
Eat the rainbow
Think in colour! When you eat a rainbow of different fruit and veg every day, this helps to maximise your intake of phytochemicals, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. The pigments that give food its beautiful, bright colours also provide us with protective components. The benefits of each colour group are all slightly different too.
Once you are hitting a target of at least 5 servings of different veg and 3 different fruits daily, you know you are on track to a vibrant plant-based lifestyle.
The more diversity the better, and there’s no limit when it comes to leafy green veggies. Don’t think you like them? This is where recipes come in.
For even more inspiration, check out 10 ways to get 10 serves by our QLD Lead Dietitian, Emma Strutt APD.
Look into plant-based NDIS meal delivery services
If you are on an Australian NDIS plan, look into an NDIS-registered WFPB meal delivery service that you might be eligible for. We are aware of the following services that are approved NDIS providers:
Herbidoor: Fresh plant-based meal delivery, Australia-wide, including WFPB plans
Garden of Vegan: Fully WFPB no-SOS meals for delivery Australia-wide
(Note we are not affiliated with these businesses: please contact them to discuss your eligibility and requirements.)
Escape the cheese trap!
Quitting dairy is one of the best steps you can take for your health, and you will reap the rewards noticeably and quickly.
Many people think they “can’t live without cheese”, but are amazed to find the cravings disappear within just a few weeks, and they notice a host of benefits, from clearer skin to reduced asthma to weight loss and a better cholesterol profile.
There are healthy whole food adaptations for every kind of meal or snack involving dairy cheese. For example nuts, seeds, silken tofu, boiled potatoes or even steamed cauliflower can be blended with flavoursome herbs, spices and healthy condiments such as miso and nutritional yeast to create tangy cheese alternatives.
Here are 20 Delicious DIY Whole Food Plant-Based Recipes from US dietitian Julieanna Hever RD. For more inspiration on replacing dairy and eggs, see Plant-Based Cooking 101: Substitutions for Eggs, Cheese, and Milk from the Plant Pure team.