lant-based eating may be a buzz phrase
today, but for me it’s more than just
a trendy diet. I grew up cooking with
plants. I bused tables at Amitabul,
my family’s vegan Korean Buddhist restaurant
in Chicago, before working my way up to head
chef. In college, I began making my own
vegetable-based bars when I couldn’t find
vegan snack options. They were such a
hit that I brought them to the mainstream
market. I’ve taught dozens of classes on
plant-based cooking. As someone who’s been
practicing plant-based eating since long before
it was popular, I see it as a long-term lifestyle,
with lasting benefits.
A lifelong exploration
There’s no timeline for plant-based eating.
It’s a lifelong journey to improve your health.
Plant-based foods are low in saturated fat and
cholesterol and rich in fiber, vitamins, miner-
als and antioxidants. They can help you lose
weight and lower your risk of heart disease,
high blood pressure and diabetes.
A plant-based diet consists of eating
vegetables, fruits, seeds, nuts, legumes and
whole grains while limiting animal and refined
products. However, unlike vegetarianism or
veganism, there are no strict rules about which
foods aren’t included.
That’s the great thing about a plant-based
diet—it’s defined by you, not by me or anyone
else. The goal is to make a conscious effort
every day to eat things that are good for your
health. However, there are times when you
want that ice cream or to eat your grandma’s
special Thanksgiving meal, and that is OK.
There’s room to treat yourself.
At the same time, good nutrition is essential for plant-based eaters. The balance of
ingredients just looks a bit different. Proper
plant-based diets should consist of a balance
of fat, protein and carbohydrates. The ratio
can vary depending on your personal goals,
Weighing in on
by DAVID CHOI
is partner/owner of
Phyter, a plant-based
provide a wide
variety of fresh and
frozen foods for
creating your own
Food can also be
click on “Grocery.”