Going vegan is not difficult. Especially with so many new foods, community-based groups, and resources available on the interwebz.
Now, don’t get me wrong- I can definitely see how it can appear to be difficult. Even daunting, scary, and overwhelming but that’s only because certain elements of our society influence people to feel that way. Think about this though- we, humans, eat all kinds of things. We have steak dinners with potatoes, chicken and rice with a side of steamed broccoli, pork chops with applesauce and sauerkraut… But, where does all that come from? Plants. It all comes from plants. Those animals eat plants, and we (sadly) eat those animals, with a side of plants, with plant sauces on top…
Dumbing it down to that simple statement (that everything comes from plants) makes veganism much more mentally manageable. That, in turn, helps negate the damage society has ingrained in our brains regarding the ‘necessity’ to eat meat and other animal products. We’re just cutting out the middle man (and saving the world, the animals, and ourselves at the same time 😉 ). So, the question becomes ‘What do we put in that big empty spot on our plates, if not an animal?’ Excellent question, friend. Read on…
What is WFPB (Whole Food Plant Based) Eating?
Now, there are a lot of different types of vegans and vegetarians on this rock. More about that in this post, but here we’ll hone in on the vegan who eats in the manner of what’s called ‘whole food plant-based’ (WFPB). What exactly is a WFPB vegan? Evidently the jury is still out on that one.
Mind, Body, Green states:
“Just like the vegan diet, people who eat a whole food plant-based diet avoid animal-based products, including meat, dairy, and eggs. Unlike the vegan diet, processed foods, including oil, white flour, and refined sugar is not part of the diet.”
The Green Creator is another one of the mindset that animal products are excluded from a WFPB menu while Forks over Knives has similar thoughts on the definition, except they allow for the inclusion of animal products with the verbiage ‘minimizes meat’. “A whole-food, plant-based diet is centered on whole, unrefined, or minimally refined plants. It’s a diet based on fruits, vegetables, tubers, whole grains, and legumes; and it excludes or minimizes meat (including chicken and fish), dairy products, and eggs, as well as highly refined foods like bleached flour, refined sugar, and oil.”
There are many, many more interpretations of the term ‘Whole Food Plant-Based’ out there, so check them out if you’re interested. For this post, however, this is what we consider to be WFPB: A vegan diet (no animal products at all) without refined sugar, white flour, oils, chemicals, or preservatives.
However, we are of the opinion that processed foods are acceptable as long as they are made within the same parameters as the WFPB concept meaning the products could have very well been made in our own kitchen, had we the supplies and time ourselves. Let’s take Ello Raw Brownie Snacks for example. Check out their label:
INGREDIENTS: Almonds, Walnuts, Dates, Cacao Powder, Gogi Berries, Himalayan Pink Salt.
As you can see here, there are only 6 ingredients in this snack. All of which, by themselves, are totally acceptable to be included in a WFPB diet. Just so happens I don’t have the time to configure the recipe, get out the dehydrator, and mess around in the kitchen long enough to make these delicious looking bites of plant-based nutrition from scratch. No sir, I would rather just buy the final product. So, we at the Vegan Zebra, feel that these types of products are just hunky-dory to include in our WFPB vegan meal plans (though we honor and respect the varying opinions on what a WFPB menu might look like).
Now, onto the goodies. We created this little ‘pamphlet’ to help with grocery shopping, meal planning, and even to give to relatives who ask to make us something special for the holidays. If you are on good terms with your printer, you can print on one side, then throw it back in to print on the other, and it makes a handy little trifold to tote around in your purse/wallet. It truly is comprehensive and has the added bonus of some brands of foods that have products in the WFPB fashion. For a closer look at some of those delicious, convenient foods check out some of our favorites here and here.
Whole Foods Plant-Based Food List
If you like the list and find it helpful, please share it with your friends and family! Also, drop us a comment if you have any favorite WFPB vegan products we didn’t list! And, check out some of these highly rated books with tons of information and recipes!