We still have a lot to learn about the microbiome, but one of the things we know for sure is that we diversity.
Probiotics are great for repopulating specific bacteria, but to ensure a diverse, robust microbiome, we can use Food as Medicine instead!
As you're going through your week counting your 30 plants, here are some guidelines:
1. Only count the plant foods (no dairy, eggs, honey, or any meats).
2. Spices and supplements totally count as bonus points for the microbiome, but keep them separate from your 30 plants.
3. Liquids are tricky. Fresh-pressed juices I'd count as a yes because you're getting some fiber in there. Non-dairy milks I tend to vote no because there is no skin of the nut or grain. It's just the watery starch. Coffee and tea I didn't count in my 30, but I put them in the extra bonus section. If you drink matcha, definitely count that because you're drinking the whole tea leaf, not just a dilution!
4. Have fun! You might feel like a rock star on Monday and Tuesday and then realize you eat a lot of leftovers or gravitate to the same veggies 🙋🏽 Be compassionate with yourself, and if you stumble, I'd love to help you become a #planteatingmachine!
One additional piece I like to keep in mind is that eating 30 different types of plants each week means having access to healthy & having the means to pay for healthy foods, and some weeks that can feel hard. In efforts to make healthy eating more accessible, I made this grocery shopping guideline for Eating Healthy on a Budget.
I made this in medical school for people in Portland that were typically underserved in the health community. The average amount of money people receive on ebt cards/food stamps is $50/person/week. It's livable but tight.
This guide helps to break down how to choose healthy food options and stretch that $50. I recommend shopping in the bulk section where possible because it allows for more whole foods eating and it's typically less expensive than buying packaged goods.
For all my mathematicians out there, you might notice this only adds up to $45. I left $5 of wiggle room for price discrepancy depending on location AND for $5 of your favorite snacks and treats.