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Can businesses support a workplace transition to plant-based diets?

Transitioning to plant-based eating is not as radical as it may seem, and as such, there are easy ways that professional services workplaces can assist staff in changing up their dietary habits, argues one nutritionist.

Speaking recently on The Wellness Daily Show, author and nutritionist Simon Hill said there are a multitude of ways that businesses across Australia can better support and encourage people to transition over to plant-based diets.

“I think if an office has a fridge and food on hand, it's about making sure almond milk or soy milk or some form of plant-based milk is in the fridge for coffees and that will help pave. That will encourage people to try. There's always someone in the office that's already sort of transitioned away from dairy milk and whatnot who can usually lead the way there. I definitely encourage people in that situation within their office environment try and push for more plant-based options,” he said.

“Then, you can do neat things as well like maybe once a week or a month, if there are team get-togethers and you're eating together, maybe you're eating plant-based and maybe you're doing it within the context of environmental impact. Some sort of bigger purpose that the collective team is sort of working on together.”

Such a transition may be especially important for Australian workers, Mr Hill noted, given that “95 per cent of people aren’t eating enough fruit and vegetables”.

“We know that from recent surveys. Australians just behind Americans eat the second most amount of meat per year per person. We're over-consuming meat. We're not eating enough fruit and vegetables. Most of us do not get anywhere near enough fibre,” he outlined.

“When I speak to people about making small changes, right? There is a lot of breakfast in Australian culture which are plant-based. Oatmeal, for example. All you need to do is change the dairy milk for whatever plant-based milk you like. Milk is not an essential food. You could replace it for water, or you could replace it for soy milk, almond milk, cashew milk, whatever you like. That's a very quick meal to change.

“Throw some berries and fruit and nuts and seeds on top of it. There's your first meal of the day. That's not too different from what you've always had which is plant-based.

“Other options include any type of beans, whether it's black beans or kidney beans or white beans or chickpeas or lentils or tofu. They're sort of the main ones that I'd be working through in my own diet and essentially, just think of those as beef, chicken, fish. Diversity is key in the diets. If you had black beans last night, and we have chickpeas the next night.”

Mr Hill said he completely understands why such things may be foreign to a lot of Australians in workplaces.

“I never used to cook with these things. I thought they would be tasteless. It's just a matter of working with your flavors that you like, your spices, your seasonings, and giving it a go. You're fine. After two, three, four weeks, this stuff becomes second nature. You do enjoy the flavors. You're not leaving much behind. You're actually gaining a lot.”

To listen to the full conversation with Simon Hill, click below:

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