Food & Drink Magazine

Back to Basics

By Chuck Underwood @brandnewvegan

Now that Thanksgiving has come and gone, I see a lot of people online looking for ways to lose those extra pounds they picked up over the holiday.  

Which is exactly why I decided that rather than try yet another potato diet, or reset, reboot, whatever you want to call it…..  I’m going to keep it simple and just get Back To Basics. 

Back to Basics
Photo by Donny Ray Jones | Flickr

So what do I mean by Back to Basics.  

I mean getting back to the heart of a Whole Foods, Plant-Based Diet.

The basic principles.

Because it really doesn’t matter which of the plant-based doctors you choose to follow, they ALL have basically the SAME basic principles in common.  

And if we could just STICK to those basic principles (for at least a short period of time but hopefully longer…), then in theory – our bodies will begin to heal and our weight will once again start to normalize.

I’ve seen it happen time and time again to a lot of people.  Success story after success story.  Incredible stories of weight loss, blood pressure reduction, cholesterol reduction, type 2 diabetes reversal…..  I could go on for hours but you get the point. 

This way of eating WORKS.  You just have to stick with it.  

So to prove this concept to a lot of my newer followers, I am using myself as a Guinea Pig this week by following what I call my Back to Basics Bootcamp

Seven easy principles to follow  – eating tons of delicious food – using whole unprocessed ingredients –  and moving your body a little bit each day.

Ready to try it?  Let’s DO this!

Back to Basics Bootcamp

Back to Basics

Step 1:  Choose Your Timeframe

For my personal challenge, I chose 7 days.   So for the next week, I am going to stick to these 7 basic steps and see what happens.  I weighed myself and took my blood pressure before I started, and I’ll do the same when I’m finished and compare the results.  Pretty simple. 

Step 2:  Eat plenty of starches, legumes, fruits, greens, and veggies

No restrictions, no mono-diets, no fancy rules – just eat REAL foods.  Salads, greens, veggies, potatoes, corn, beans, bananas, oranges, apples, lentils.  Frozen veggies are ok too.  

My only exceptions will be to not FRY them obviously as we don’t use oil EVER,  and be sure and EAT them….don’t DRINK them.

Step 3: Only eat whole,  intact grains  (no flour products)

The more you process a grain (flaked, shredded, puffed, ground into flours etc) the more nutritional value you lose.  Keep them as whole and as close to nature as possible.  

Examples of acceptable grains would be old-fashioned rolled oats, steel cut oats, barley, quinoa, rice, bulgur, etc. 

Step 4:  No high-calorie foods (nuts, seeds, avocado, soy, oils)

Just during the challenge…..ok?  Yes, nuts, seeds, avocados, and tofu are all healthy foods to eat.  But they also have a very high calorie-density and most of their calories come from fat. 

Yes, some fats are healthy but remember that even oatmeal has fat.  In fact, all real foods have all 3 macronutrients, in just the right amounts so there’s no need to worry about fat or protein or anything like that.

Besides – we’re only talking 7 days here.   You can do it. 

Step 5:  No highly processed frankenfoods

A frankenfood is anything that is man-made, meaning highly processed.  So think Veggie Burgers, Bloody Vegan Burgers, Veggie HotDogs, that sort of thing.  

We’re trying to go a week eating REAL foods here, not some science experiment.

Step 6:  No alcohol or plant milks – drink plenty of water instead

Again, to reiterate, we’re concentrating on FOODs here this week, not drinks.  Leave the booze alone for just this week and watch what happens.

Remember, 1 single gram of carbs has 4 calories.  And a single gram of protein also has just 4 calories.  But fat?  NINE calories per gram.  And alcohol is almost as bad at 7 calories/g.  So if your goal is to lose a little weight, ditch the beer & wine. 

Step 7:  Walk or exercise some every day (at least 15 minutes)

We were not meant to sit.  We need a LITTLE exercise every day to get the blood moving.  Doesn’t have to be a lot – even as little as 10-15 minutes every day is better than none. 

Have that step-counter on your phone?  Use it!  Park a little ways away from the entrance and walk those extra steps.  Take the stairs instead of the elevator.  

Move your behind! Shake it!  Dance, jog, walk, yoga, something! 

And that’s it.  My Back to Basics Bootcamp. 

Pretty simple right?   Eat right and exercise.  Where have we heard THAT before?

I’ll use my recipe box below to capture the 7 basic steps so you can print them out if you want. 

Be sure and join my BNV Community Facebook Group for more inspiration, recipes, support, and photos.  There’s quite a few of us doing this and we’d love to have you join us. 

Again – you ready to get HEALTHY? 


Back to Basics

Back to Basics Bootcamp

  • Author: Brand New Vegan
Back to Basics


A 7 Day Plan to help you get Back to the Basics of a Whole Food, Plant-Based Diet


  1. 7-10 days (or whatever time frame you choose)
  2. Plenty of starches, legumes, fruits, greens, and veggies
  3. Only whole intact grains allowed (no flour products)
  4. No high-calorie foods (nuts, seeds, avocado, soy, oils)
  5. No highly processed frankenfoods
  6. No alcohol or plant milks – drink plenty of water instead
  7. Walk or exercise some every day (at least 15 minutes)

Back to Basics

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