What is a Plant-Strong Diet


A plant-strong diet is a way of eating that will make you look like the guy in the photo above. Kidding! Not that it couldn’t (if you’re a guy anyway), but you’d also have to hit the gym.

Actually, it’s a diet championed by Rip Esselstyn in the book The Engine 2 Diet. It consists of whole, plant-based foods including fruits, vegetables, beans/legumes, nuts, seeds and whole grains. Foods that are not whole or not plant-based like meat, dairy, processed foods and oils are avoided or used sparingly.

Why follow a plant-strong diet?

People choose a plant-strong diet for their health as there is evidence to show that it reduces the risk of heart disease, some cancers, diabetes, obesity, stroke and dementia. My husband and I have been on this diet for almost a year now and I can tell you that it’s definitely improved our health. My husband no longer has high blood pressure or high cholesterol, we’ve both lost weight, our skin has improved and we have more energy.

My husband and I look and feel so good now that we’ll never go back to eating how we did before. Besides, we love eating this way. But believe me, it wasn’t an easy transition for me. I made a lot of late night runs to Albertsons for Ben & Jerry’s for the first few months.

I kept trying, however; and eventually my cravings for the foods I used to love went away. I also started to enjoy the new foods I was eating. I’ve learned that your taste buds get used to whatever you typically eat, and mine are now attuned to eating plant-strong.

Is eating plant-strong the same as being vegan?

Sometimes people think (like I used to) that a plant-strong diet and a vegan lifestyle are the same; they’re not. I define a vegan as someone who avoids the use of animal products for food, clothing and other purposes to prevent the exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals. Thus, veganism is not just about how you eat, it’s living in a way that avoids using or consuming anything that harms or exploits animals.

There are diet differences between vegans and those eating plant-strong too. Vegans, for example, are typically not opposed to eating processed foods whereas those on a plant-strong diet avoid such foods for health reasons. This is not to say that vegans don’t care about the healthfulness of what they eat, many do. It’s just that it’s possible to be vegan and to follow an unhealthful diet. Oreo’s, Teddy Graham’s and potato chips, for example, are vegan.

In addition to following a plant-strong diet, I also consider myself to be vegan.

If you want to learn more, check out these links: http://www.thechinastudy.com/the-china-study/about/, http://engine2diet.com/, http://www.forksoverknives.com/, and http://www.drfuhrman.com/shop/ETLBook.aspx.

I appreciate anyone who takes the time to say hello! I love receiving your comments and questions, so please contact me. Email: celestedimilla(at)yahoo(dot)com (pardon this funky spelling…it helps prevent spam).

Image courtesy of BrianHolm / http://www.freedigitalphotos.net


About celestedimilla

Hey there. I’m Celeste, California girl, writer, psychotherapist and burgeoning plant-based foodie.
This entry was posted in Health, Plant-Based Diet and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

32 Responses to What is a Plant-Strong Diet

  1. Thanks for following my blog!! And for your comments.

  2. You’re so welcome!

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  11. emmavoberry1 says:

    Thanks for liking my blog post about the cruel dog-eating festival coming up in Yulin, China on June 21 at “The Noble Dog.”
    I am bowled over by the roster of helpful and encouraging posts you’ve written, in such a refreshing style, on the Plant-Strong diet. I will be catching up on all of them and looking forward to the next posts.
    What I like, too, is that you don’t preach; you include facts, cite research, and chronicle your own journey as a way to help others.
    I’m up for change, but yes, I do need support, such as your blog provides–not just moral support, but practical tips, substitutions, a road-map of sorts. You sure do offer same.
    You are teaching me not only about the benefits of a plant-based diet, how it might help improve health, but more important, protect animals, and at the same time, your blog stands as a powerful lesson on blogging about what we care about.
    So thanks on many fronts,

    • I’m touched by your words Emma! It’s rare for someone to write such a thoughtful comment, and it means a lot!! It is my hope that I’m being helpful and encouraging without being preachy, but it’s hard for me to know how my posts are coming across. I appreciate the input! I’m so glad you stopped by. It’s wonderful to e-meet you. Celeste 🙂

  12. bloomlisa says:

    Great post, you are fast becoming my favourite foodie blog!!. I like the breakdown on the differences between PSD and Vegan. I am still fairly new to a plant-based diet and still eat Sockeye Salmon a couple times a week.I call myself a Pescatarian eating a plant based diet. The key for me has been removing as many processed foods as possible. I suffered from a lot of bloating since having my second child and dropping a lot of wheat products & processed food has made all the difference. I too have no interest in going back. I had a seriously life impacting run-in with anemia early in June and am re-addressing my iron needs. I was able to snip my first bit of rainbow chard & kale out of my garden this week for our green smoothies and that felt amazing. Any tips you have on yummy high iron meals would be greatly appreciated earth angel!! Have a wonderful day Celeste!

    • Hey there Lisa! I’m so touched by your kind words! I think it’s wonderful that you’ve gone “almost” plant-based. It’s such healthy way to live. It’s funny that you mention how important removing processed foods was for you because I know that was a biggie for me too. Before my husband and I went plant-based we were living off frozen and canned foods. I didn’t even realize how bad this was for us. I’m so thankful that we happened to take a healthy cooking class at Whole Foods Market that opened our eyes and changed how we were eating. We’ve been following this diet for a year and a half, and I haven’t restricted wheat until recently. Two things changed my mind about wheat. First, I read Fuhrman’s ‘Eat to Live’ and he suggests limiting carbs to one serving a day. Secondly, despite my healthy diet I still suffer from allergies and I read that going gluten-free may help with this. So, I’m experimenting with giving up gluten for the next month to see if it helps me. As far as iron, I’ll see if I can post some high iron recipes or suggestions in the near future. I hope you’re having a wonderful weekend. Celeste AKA – earth angel 🙂

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  14. Good day! Do you use Twitter? I’d like to follow you if
    that would be okay. I’m definitely enjoying your blog and look forward to new posts.

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  24. Marfigs says:

    Interesting post! I’ve been trying to cut out refined/processed goods,and so far it’s not a train smash other than the carb-factor. Even after all this time on a veg then vegan lifestyle diet, it’s still perplexing on how to limit grain-carbs (as opposed to carbs naturally found in fruit & veg) without falling into the “hunger then binge” trap. I guess I should up my protein, but I get really cranky if I don’t have my cereal beside my morning smoothie, or at least one or so rye crackers. Anyway, cutting out sugar is a big step – it’s wonderful to have so many natural alternatives (apple-sauce, dates, etc), but those also carry their own dangers of being sugar- heavy in a different way: it may be natural but if I look at the nutritional profile it’s sometimes shocking to think of whole raw cakes being made with endless cups of nuts & fruit!

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