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  • Writer's pictureJacqui Grant

Nutrition - Opting for a plant-based diet offers numerous benefits!

Connect and Grow Magazine - Edition 7 - March 2024

This Month, Kathy has written a great article about the food we can eat as we transition into the cooler weather. The recipe she shares will also be great for those heading into their warmer weather.

As Melbourne, Australia, transitions from the lingering warmth of summer to the cooler embrace of autumn, it's essential to prepare for the coming months while enjoying the last remnants of sunny days. With a three-month window before winter, now is the perfect time to make dietary adjustments that support our health and well-being. Opting for a plant-based diet offers numerous benefits, including an increased intake of essential nutrients, fibre, and antioxidants, all of which are crucial for maintaining optimal health.



During this transitional period, it's essential to incorporate various seasonal fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds into our meals. These plant-based foods provide essential nutrients but also help to strengthen our immune systems and support overall health.



Transition to a Plant–Based diet.


Here are some helpful tips for transitioning to a plant-based diet and preparing for the cooler months:



Embrace Seasonal Produce: Take advantage of the abundance of autumn fruits and vegetables available in Melbourne markets. Incorporate seasonal favorites such as apples, pears, squash, sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts, and kale into your meals for a nutrient-packed boost.

 Stock Up on Staples: Make sure your pantry is stocked with plant-based staples like beans, lentils, quinoa, brown rice, oats, nuts, and seeds. These versatile ingredients form the foundation of many plant-based dishes and provide essential nutrients and protein.

Experiment with New Recipes: Use this time to explore new plant-based recipes and cooking techniques. Use seasonal vegetables and legumes to make hearty soups, stews, and chili. Experiment with different spices and herbs to add flavour and depth to your dishes.


Meal Prep: Spend some time meal prepping each week to ensure you have nutritious plant-based meals ready. Prepare large batches of grains, beans, and roasted vegetables that can be used as the base for multiple meals throughout the week. 

Stay Hydrated: As the weather begins to cool, it's easy to forget to stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water throughout the day and incorporate hydrating foods like soups, herbal teas, and juicy fruits into your diet.

Boost Your Immune System: Support your immune system by including immune-boosting foods such as garlic, ginger, turmeric, citrus fruits, and leafy greens in your meals. These foods can help protect against colds and flu as the temperature drops.


Get Outside: Take advantage of the crisp autumn days to get outside and enjoy nature. Go for a hike, take a bike ride, or go for a walk in the park to soak up the last rays of sunshine before winter arrives.

By following these tips and embracing a plant-based diet rich in seasonal produce, you can prepare your body and mind for the cooler months ahead while still savoring the last moments of summer in Melbourne.



Immune Boosting Autumn Lentil Soup



1 cup dried green or brown lentils rinsed and drained.

1 onion, diced

2 carrots, diced

2 celery stalks, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon ground turmeric

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

6 cups vegetable broth

1 bay leaf

2 cups chopped seasonal vegetables (such as pumpkin, sweet potato, kale, or spinach)

Salt and pepper, to taste

Fresh parsley, chopped, for garnish.

Lemon wedges for serving.




Add the onion, carrots, and celery, to a large pan and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.  If they begin to stick, add a splash of water or stock. 


Add the minced garlic, ground turmeric, cumin, coriander, and smoked paprika to the pot. Cook for an additional 1-2 minutes until fragrant.


Add the pot's rinsed lentils, vegetable broth, and bay leaf. Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and let simmer, partially covered, for about 20-25 minutes, or until the lentils are tender.


Once the lentils are tender, add the chopped seasonal vegetables to the pot. Cook for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until the vegetables are cooked to your desired level of tenderness.


Season the soup with salt and pepper, to taste. Remove the bay leaf before serving.


Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with fresh chopped parsley. 


Serve with lemon wedges on the side to squeeze over the soup.




This hearty and flavorful Autumn Lentil Soup is packed with immune-boosting ingredients like garlic, turmeric, and vegetables, making it the perfect meal to support your immune system as you prepare for the cooler months ahead. 




If you are ready to embark on a plant-based diet but are unsure where to start, book a time with Kathy.


Written by 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 - Connect and Grow Magazine

Disclaimer: All information is correct at the time of publication and is general in nature. Always seek a professional for your specific requirements.

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