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  • Writer's pictureJacqui Grant

Nutrition - Cultivating Wellness: A New Beginning with Plant-Based Nutrition in the New Year

Connect and Grow Magazine - Edition 5 January 2024

As the calendar turns, the new year offers an invaluable opportunity for individuals to re-evaluate their lifestyle choices and embark on a journey of self-improvement. In the realm of nutrition, a growing trend that aligns with personal well-being and environmental consciousness is adopting a plant-based diet. This article explores the concept of new beginnings through the lens of plant-based nutrition, emphasising the benefits and practical tips for incorporating more plant-based foods into daily life.


Reflecting on Dietary Choices:

Before embracing a plant-based approach, take a moment to reflect on current dietary habits. Consider the sources of protein, the variety of fruits and vegetables consumed, and the overall balance of nutrients in your diet. This reflective step provides insight into areas where plant-based choices can be seamlessly integrated.


Setting Realistic Plant-Based Goals:

Transitioning to a plant-based diet doesn't necessarily mean an overnight transformation. Begin by setting realistic and achievable goals, such as incorporating more plant-based meals each week or designating certain days as "plant-powered" days.


Gradual changes are more likely to become sustainable habits, and small changes reap great rewards, trust me.



Embracing the Abundance of Plant Foods:

Plant-based nutrition celebrates the rich tapestry of fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, and whole grains. Explore the vibrant array of plant foods available, experiment with different cooking methods, and discover the diverse flavours and textures that can be incorporated into satisfying and nourishing meals.



Health Benefits of a Plant-Based Lifestyle:

a. Heart Health: Plant-based diets are associated with lower cholesterol levels and a reduced risk of heart disease.


b. Weight Management: The abundance of fibre in plant-based foods promotes satiety and may contribute to weight management.


c. Digestive Health: A plant-based diet rich in fibre supports a healthy digestive system and promotes regular bowel movements.

d. Nutrient Density: Plant-based foods are often rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, providing essential nutrients for overall well-being. Aiding weight loss, as plants are lower in calories and rich in nutrients.


e. Environmental Impact: Plant-based diets have a lower environmental footprint, contributing to sustainability and reducing the carbon footprint.



Trying Plant-Based Culinary Adventures:

Expand your culinary horizons by exploring plant-based recipes and cooking techniques. From hearty salads to flavourful grain bowls and protein-packed plant alternatives, there's a world of delicious and nutritious plant-based options to discover.


Staying Hydrated with Plant-Powered Beverages:

In addition to plant-based meals, consider incorporating plant-powered beverages into your routine. Freshly squeezed juices, herbal teas, and plant-based milk alternatives offer hydration with added nutritional benefits.


Building a Plant-Based Support System:

Connect with like-minded individuals who are on a similar plant-based journey. Joining online communities, attending local plant-based events, or participating in cooking classes can provide valuable support and shared experiences.


Adopting a plant-based dietary regime has shown promising potential in contributing to the well-being of individuals with disabilities, particularly those grappling with issues related to inflammation and pain. Plant-based diets, rich in fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains, offer an abundance of anti-inflammatory compounds, such as phytochemicals and antioxidants. These elements have been associated with a reduction in inflammation and may alleviate symptoms commonly experienced by individuals with disabilities, including pain and discomfort.


Moreover, the anti-inflammatory properties of plant-based diets have the potential to impact conditions such as arthritis and autoimmune disorders positively. By focusing on plant-powered nutrition, individuals with disabilities may enhance their overall health and experience a meaningful reduction in inflammation-related challenges, fostering a greater sense of comfort and well-being in their daily lives.



Embarking on a journey of wellness in the new year can be elevated by embracing the principles of plant-based nutrition. Reflect on current dietary choices, set realistic goals, celebrate the abundance of plant foods, and savour the health benefits that come with a plant-based lifestyle.

Recipe from Kathy

"Citrus Avocado Salad with Mixed Greens and Toasted Almonds



4 cups mixed salad greens (e.g., rocket, spinach, and watercress)

1 large orange, peeled and segmented

1 grapefruit, peeled and segmented

1 avocado, sliced

1/3 cup sliced red onion

1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, torn

1/3 cup toasted almonds, roughly chopped


For the dressing:

5 tablespoons fresh orange juice

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1 tablespoon maple syrup or agave nectar

Salt and pepper to taste



In a large salad bowl, combine the mixed greens, orange segments, grapefruit segments, sliced avocado, red onion, and torn mint leaves.


In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients: fresh orange juice, fresh lime juice, maple syrup or agave nectar, salt, and pepper.


Drizzle the dressing over the salad and toss gently to coat the ingredients evenly.


Sprinkle the toasted almonds over the salad just before serving to maintain their crunch.


Serve immediately and enjoy the refreshing combination of citrus, creamy avocado, and the satisfying crunch of toasted almonds.


This Citrus Avocado Salad is visually appealing and packed with vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats. It's a fantastic way to celebrate the new year with fresh, vibrant flavours that will energise and satisfy you.



With a mindful and gradual approach, you can discover the joy and vitality that a plant-powered diet brings, contributing to personal well-being and a sustainable and vibrant future.


If you are ready to embark on a plant-based diet and unsure where to start, why not book a time with Kathy.


Kathy Ashton

Registered Clinical/Medicinal Nutritionist



T: 1300 003 082 

F: (03) 8488 9934

104 Canterbury Rd, Middle Park VIC 3206

Website:  Health 104

(C) 2024 Break Free Consultancy

Disclaimer All information is correct at the time of publication

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