Frequently Asked Questions

ANSWERS FROM EXPERTS

GETTING STARTED

No, NZ research showed that it needn’t alter the overall food budget. This was the finding of the BROAD study conducted in Gisborne which showed amongst other things that participants eating WFPB lost a significant amount of weight and improved their health
YES! It is entirely in keeping with the latest scientific recommendations and makes common sense. When the food we eat and produce is in harmony with our bodies, we are in harmony with the environment.
If you have been eating the standard western diet which includes processed foods and lots of animal products you are likely to feel different and better within days. Nearly everyone will notice something by the end of 3 weeks. If you are eating this way to cure a disease, it may take longer to achieve success in that regard, but you will still notice benefits on the way. If you have diabetes or high blood pressure you may experience changes very quickly and find that your medication dose needs adjusting. We recommend medical supervision in these instances.
All sorts! The common misconception is that eating this way can be bland in taste and limited in variety. Quite the contrary. As soon as you get going you'll see that the food is incredibly varied, easy to make and tastes great. Breakfast might be whole grain/meal toast with your favourite whole food spread such as avocado, hummus, nut butters, perhaps sprinkled with olives, nutritional yeast or baby spinach. Or you could eat a hot banana porridge made from oats or amaranth sprinkled with blueberries, chia/pumpkin seeds. Or sautéed garlic mushrooms, spinach and tomato on your choice of bread. Try at least once a day to make a super green smoothie which could include dark leafy greens like kale, spinach and chard, beetroot, bananas, blueberries, water or nut milk, chia seeds, hemp seeds or ground flax seeds, maca powder, spirulina powder or acai powder. Lunch might be a nutritional dense salad (the secret to going from a great salad to an amazing out of this world salad is the dressing! Check out our recipes for some ideas). Or it could be an array of sautéed vegetables dressed with an amazing seasoning of herbs, garlic and/or spices. Or a yummy flavoursome soup with a simple 15 min homemade flat bread. Make sure you make enough dinner the night before to grab the next day as leftovers to take to work. If you're time pressured then simple crackers with hummus/avocado with some dates, fruit or sweet potatoes. The end of the day is always a fun time to experiment with recipe ideas but seriously, you can't go wrong - there is enough recipes out there to suit everyone's budget, taste and time.
Absolutely! In fact you could reverse this and ask is the NZ standard diet safe for me and my family and the answer would be no. Eating WFPB will dramatically reduce the incidence of many diseases afflicting society today which are largely dietary related. You don’t need a degree to eat WFPB safely! All you need to do is eat enough calories from as broad a range of whole plant foods as you can. ‘Eat the rainbow’ is the expression often used. We recommend using an oral B12 supplement, and a few tricks like including a tablespoon of ground flaxseed each day, plus a brazil nut to ensure enough omega 3 and selenium, but we aren’t aware of any problems arising for those eating WFPB who don’t. WFPB is safe and tasty and food just becomes food again instead of something to worry about. You eat until you’re full and if you want more then help yourself! Thinking of a halfway house? Relax in the knowledge that there is overwhelming evidence to show that the more plants you eat the healthier you are likely to be. Every little step counts.
Please don’t alter your medication without checking with your doctor that it is safe to do so. If you are on medication to lower your blood sugar or blood pressure we suggest close medical monitoring as you may find that very quickly your dose becomes too strong for your needs, and you end up feeling faint with low blood sugar (hypo) or low blood pressure.
That depends upon circumstances. The best way to find out quickly if this works for you is to do it properly from the start, but this requires preparation and planning. While for others, particularly those who have to inspire family and children, a more gradual approach may work better. If you have bowel trouble like irritable bowel, we recommend a slower transition to allow your gut bacteria time to adjust, otherwise wind can be an issue. For further advice contact one of our team
Explain why WFPB is important to you, and why you believe healthy eating is important for you as a family. Ask in what way they can help you make the change. Start introducing plant based meals gradually and finding out which ones people like. For children make sure there are only healthy snacks or healthy foods in the fridge, such as fruit. Give family members the space to find their own way. Children won’t starve themselves so if they don’t eat what’s in front of them don’t make a big deal of it. As long as the available snacks are healthy they will gradually come round as they get used to eating this way. Always respect a family member’s decision for themselves even if it doesn’t line up with what you want, keep your requests to how they can help you do what you need to do. Over time tastes will change, people find the plant based meals really tasty and new favourites emerge! (we offer coaching to help you with these issues)
We recommend that you chose some recipes you might like the sound of to start with, and trial these first. We suggest you remove none WFPB compliant foods from your fridge and pantry, and stock up with what you need for the next weeks recipes. You can use PSL recipes as a good base to start from and we suggest you explore other sources (books or websites) from our links as you get going. Consider purchasing our food boxes as a simple way to start as we provide you with easy to follow recipes, some nutritional advise and all the goodies you need to create exciting tasty dishes!

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

Generally speaking we suggest that as long as most of the time you are eating WFPB e.g. 95% plus, then you don’t need to worry if a tiny amount of none compliant food creeps in. We advise always making the healthiest choice which is available to you at any time. IF YOU ARE TREATING A CHRONIC ILLNESS, then we advise to stick to WFPB if you can. People have found that small slips may result in recurrence of symptoms, which you want to avoid. Also avoid eating foods which will trigger your old cravings, e.g. fish and chips, cakes, chocolates , biscuits, potato chips and so on)
Did you know that calcium is more bioavailable from some leafy greens like kale and bok choy than it is from milk? (55-60% vs 30%) As long as you consume a calorie sufficient diet for you that includes a wide variety of fruits vegetables, beans legumes and whole grains you will be getting enough calcium.
Definitely. As a population we consume more protein than we need today and that has been shown to be the cause of or related to multiple medical conditions which afflict our society. This seems specific to animal proteins and there is no correlation or link with plant based protein sources. On a calorie sufficient wide ranging WFPB eating plan, you will easily consume enough protein for your needs. In particular this applies to athletes who need more calories and they automatically get more protein while doing that. You don’t even have to think about it! Fruits vegetables, legumes and whole grains will provide all that you need. Calculations based upon body weight and estimated protein requirements consistently show that calories sufficient WFPB diets provide more than enough!
Just like other nutrients, you will get plenty of iron in a calorie sufficient WFPB diet. Good sources of iron are legumes, lentils, tofu, tempeh, green vegetables such as broccoli, silver beet, bok choy, spinach, sweet potato, potatoes, fresh fruits and dark chocolate.
Firstly you should have a check-up with your doctor to make sure that you are not losing iron internally from your body. Common causes can be microscopic bleeding from your bowel, plus for some women very heavy periods. Also you may have problems with your bowel which are affecting iron absorption. Once you are sure that you don’t have a medical issue which requires dealing with, then simply make sure that you have plenty of the iron containing foods in your diet (legumes, lentils, tofu, tempeh, green vegetables such as broccoli, silver beet, bok-choy, spinach, sweet potato, potatoes, fresh fruits and dark chocolate) and ensure you are eating these with foods like fruit which contain plenty of vitamin C. Vitamin C enhances the bodies absorption of iron so we recommend the 2 together. You will be pleased to learn that your body can regulate the amount of plant based iron you absorb and when you are short it improves its capability of taking in more. Also avoid consuming foods like plant based milks which may have calcium added alongside your iron rich meal as the calcium can get in the way of your iron. Coffee, teas, cacao and red wine can interfere with iron absorption too. However for most people simply eating a calories sufficient wide range of WFPB foods does the trick and no extra effort is required!
Oils damage the cells lining our arteries, even the “good” oils. They also affect our gut bacteria and promote the growth of less healthy varieties which induce the mild chronic inflammatory state which underlies most of our chronic diseases. They are relatively nutrient deficient and completely absent in fibre, while being calorie dense so they predispose to obesity and all the diseases which are linked to that. We recommend the whole foods like olives in small amounts to get the full benefits of the fibre and the wonderful plant nutrients within. Consuming a table spoon of ground flax seed along with walnuts will meet your essential fatty acid needs.
This depends. The answer is yes if you are looking to lose weight or improve your heart disease, and the health of your blood vessels. Caldwell Esselstyn, one of the doctors who has huge experience in the successful treatment of heart disease with WFPB nutrition, has found it best to avoid fatty plant foods altogether to achieve success. For most of us however it’s healthy to consume nuts and avocado as part of our WFPB nutrition plan.
Yes, they are safe, especially if you make them, so there are no additives. If you purchase we recommend the low fat and no added sugar varieties. They are not in any way a complete food however and only complement a WFPB diet while not being a main source of calories or nutrients.
Some people need these products to get started and that’s OK but we advise that you phase them out as commercial vegan burgers and sausages are processed with all the disadvantages that brings. So we say they don’t form part of a healthy WFPB nutrition plan. We recommend learning to enjoy plant based foods for what they are rather than trying to perpetuate the 'meat and 3 veg' habits of old.
You can explore our website and the links with other useful sites and grow your knowledge to suit.

HOW TO COOK

Making any kind of change in your life requires some degree of planning. It's not easy doing a 180 on your eating habits so every bit of preparation helps to keep you from slipping back into old habits - especially when you feel so overwhelmed. Start slowly. Pick a few recipes you like the sound of for all 3 meals and practice with these. Do a pantry cleanse and clean out any unwanted highly processed foods or sauces that might tempt you whilst you get going. Purchase some pantry staples that you know you'll be using a lot of going forward. Prepare meals in large quantities so that you have food ready-to-go in your fridge or freezer. It also helps to prepare food the night before, so you have something to eat for breakfast and lunch the next day. Leftovers are your friends on a plant-based diet! Eventually once new habits are formed, you'll develop a rhythm and a routine that becomes second nature and will no longer feel foreign.
Like any recipe, some do and some don't. There are plenty of WFPB options that take just minutes to throw together and others that require a bit more time and thought to prepare. Soaking nuts, seeds, lentils or legumes is always going to throw a spanner in the works if you're time poor, and if that's the case then tinned options are more than sufficient. Don't be afraid to substitute your ingredients for anything else you might have. These 'play' ingredients make cooking fun and flexible. Going WFPB is a journey and a way of life. You will adapt and overcome the seemingly difficult obstacles and begin an entirely different relationship with food. One that changes not just the body but the mind. What was once a tiresome chore of prepping and cooking meals every day soon becomes a culinary adventure.
We have several recipes you can refer to, but as a quick guide, most recipes start with the alliums; onion and garlic. Chop both of these (Here's a quick tip: if you have time, let them rest for a few minutes before cooking. This enhances the chemical reaction caused by slicing that produces a hydrogen sulfide called allicin. Allicin boosts our body's own natural supply of hydrogen sulfide which stimulates immune responses and reduce inflammation.) Add a small amount of stock and sauté on a very low heat, adding stock as required to prevent drying out. Sauté until the onions (or vegetables) have caramelised.
Roasting is a bit trickier as you can't hydrate every 5 mins like you do when sautéing with no oil. It's a trial and error process because each vegetable behaves differently when roasted with no oil. Courgettes burn whilst potatoes are still under cooked - the trick is to par boil the harder vegetable/s first to soften then, in a jug combine 5 Tbl stock, 2 Tbl balsamic vinegar, finely chopped herbs of your choice like rosemary and season to taste. Baste the vegetables with this and place them in an oven on a high temperature. Check every 5 to 10 mins to check for burning and turn them over, basting them again.
We recommend using normal iodised table salt in preference to salts rock salts and seas salts. The latter offer no advantages while appearing glamorous. The problem with salt in modern diets is the amount added by manufacturers to food products. A WFPB nutrition style cuts these foods out so you can safely add table salt to suit your tastes. New Zealand is naturally low in iodine, and while this doesn’t seem to cause any overt clinical problems, we recommend using iodised table salt to ensure your intake. That’s why it’s iodised in the first place!
Us busy folk could definitely use a helping hand from time to time, and the kitchen is no exception. Here's our must have list which most of our recipes call for:
  • High speed blender (Nutribullet, Vitamix) for smoothies, sauces, dressings etc.
  • A benchtop Mini Processor for Pestos, hummus, nuts, garlic, ginger, etc.
  • A pressure cooker for stews and curries etc.
  • A good quality grater
Please refer to our resource page which is currently under construction. We are currently compiling a resource list for people who are just starting their WFPB journey. In the mean time please get in touch with us if you need some support with this.
When eaten in moderation, pasta can be part of a healthy diet. Whole-grain pasta may be a better choice for many, as it is lower in calories and carbs but higher in fibre and nutrients. Try whole grain penne or fusilli which as a whole grain, aren't as stodgy as spaghetti. Gluten free pastas have also come along way since their inception, with options like red lentil pastas and legume pastas - these not only taste great but cut out the bloating associated with gluten. Try to buy brown rice as opposed to bleached white rice which is more refined. Whilst It's much better for you, make sure it's still rinsed before cooking with it to eliminate dust and grime picked up in production.
The problem with salt and its link with disease comes largely from the excessive amounts in processed foods. As you adjust to WFPB nutrition your taste for salt will settle down to what it should be. At that point after a few weeks you can be guided by your cravings. If you need salt than you can add a small amount to your cooking to taste. This is particularly applicable after heavy exercise or sweating or if you have had vomiting or diarrhoea for any reason. Please use normal table salt which has had iodine added to it. Sea salts and such like are nor more healthy and that valuable iodine is absent.
Many of use used tinned beans and lentils for ease of cooking. This absolutely fine and you will gain all the health benefits from these foods that you would get from fresh sources. We recommend you use beans which have been soaked in brine and nothing else added as many other types have sugars in them. Simply rinse the brine off and you’re good to go. If you invest in an electric pressure cooker you can also use dried beans with little additional effort and this is a great way to prepare many delicious plant based meals.

SUPPORTING YOUR JOURNEY

While there are so many recipes online to get you going comfortably on your plant based diet, it’s so much easier just to open up a book and have the recipes at your fingertips whenever you need them. And having a good cookbook on hand can also provide as extra guidance on pantry staples along with tools you may need, common substitutions, or even further ways to modify a recipe if you have food allergies for example. We are currently compiling a resource page (coming soon) of our favourite books, inspiring films, informative websites, & transformative products that have impacted us.
We are currently compiling a resource page (coming soon) of our favourite books, inspiring films, informative websites, & transformative products that have impacted us.
Absolutely! Just hit the food box tab and select the order button - at the checkout, you have a choice to make a one time purchase or a subscription. These are billed weekly, so if you want to pause or cancel your subscription you can do so before the date of the next billing cycle.
Don't worry, just get in touch with us and we will help you create an order.
Yes. We recommend that you take an oral B12 supplement or if you are on injections keep going with these. Discuss additional supplementation such as vitamin D, omega 3 fatty acids with Dr Martyn Williamson.
Absolutely! And if you purchase our 21 day challenge to get started on your journey, you are entitled to a 15% discount as part of the package. Otherwise - just get in touch with us and we can organise a time for you to consult with Martyn in person or online.
We are currently compiling a resource page (coming soon) of our favourite books, inspiring films, informative websites, & transformative products that have impacted us.
We are currently compiling a resource page (coming soon) of our favourite books, inspiring films, informative websites, & transformative products that have impacted us.

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