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Here’s what you need to know about how to eat a whole food plant based diet (WFPB)! We’ve got tips, guidance, and recipes for every meal of the day.

Whole food plant based diet
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Looking to eat more whole food plant based (WFPB) recipes? You’ve come to the right place. Alex and I are authors of a vegan and vegetarian cookbook and started this website as a resource for whole food plant based recipes when we made the transition to eating this way!

Turns out, a plant based diet includes some of the most delicious, satisfying and fun recipes out there! Here’s a bit more on what a WFPB diet is, how to transition, and some of our favorite recipes for getting started.

What is a whole food plant based diet?

What’s the WFPB diet? Is it the same as vegan? There’s a bit of contention around exactly what “this “whole food plant based” means, so let’s look at each piece of the term:

  • Whole food: Whole foods are minimally processed foods like vegetables and whole grains. Refined flours, sugars, and processed foods are not whole foods.
  • Plant based: Plant based is eating foods that are mainly derived from plants and not animal products.

So, a whole food plant based diet is a diet that focuses on fresh, minimally processed foods that are mainly made of plants. It’s more of a healthy lifestyle than a strict diet.

According to various sources including Harvard Medical School, a plant based diet has the flexibility to include some animal products. The focus is that it’s mainly plants, not that it’s strictly vegan in avoiding all animal products.

What do you eat in a whole food plant based diet?

What’s important with the WFPB diet is focusing on the fresh foods you lean towards eating, versus the foods you try to avoid. Here are the types of foods in a whole food plant based diet:

  • Fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Whole grains like rice, quinoa, farro, and bulgur wheat (instead of pastas and breads, though they are fine in moderation)
  • Plant based proteins like legumes, nuts, seeds, and tofu (instead of processed meats and plant-based meats)
  • Healthy fats like olive oil
  • Minimal sugar

How to transition to a whole food plant based diet

How to start a healthy whole food plant based diet? Here are our top tips:

  • Decide what’s right for you. Figure out how to make your diet sustainable. Alex and I eat about 90% vegetarian and vegan, and eat sustainable seafood or meat on occasion. We also eat about 90 to 95% whole foods, leaving room for occasional treats. Decide the percentages that are right for you.
  • Start small. Find one or two of the recipes below that seem interesting, and make them to see if you like them. If not, move onto new ones!
  • Stay on the path. It’s all about small steps. Don’t feel like you have to make a major change overnight. If you don’t find recipes you like at first, don’t worry! This is process; stay the course.
  • Find a buddy. Some of our best advice for making a diet change is to find someone to hold you accountable! Alex and I transitioned to a mostly whole food plant based diet over a few months by doing it together. If you don’t have a spouse or life partner who is interested, find a friend who you can share recipes with.

And now, our top whole food plant based recipes

Let’s get to the recipes! Here are some recipes we recommend for starting out with a WFPB diet, from main courses to whole food plant based breakfast and snacks.

What is a whole food plant-based diet?

A whole food plant-based (WFPB) diet focuses on unrefined, minimally processed plant foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds. It limits or avoids animal products, added sugars, white flour, and processed oils.

How is it different from a vegan diet?

While both diets exclude animal products, a WFPB diet emphasizes whole, unprocessed foods. Vegan diets can include processed foods like vegan meats and cheeses, which are typically avoided on a WFPB diet.

Will I get enough protein on a WFPB diet?

Yes! Plant foods like beans, lentils, tofu, tempeh, nuts, and seeds are excellent sources of protein. A balanced WFPB diet can easily meet your protein needs.

What are some examples of WFPB meals?

WFPB meals focus on whole foods, so think lentil soup, vegetable stir-fries, quinoa bowls with roasted vegetables, hearty salads with beans or tofu, and fruit-based desserts.

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes and the joy of cooking! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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1 Comment

  1. Betty E Stanford says:

    Great, looking recipes!!! I am inspired and looking forward to trying these great recipes!!! Thank you so much for your inspiration and creativity.
    Be BLESSED!!!