The Nourish Method in brief
Planning balanced meals can be daunting, so we're excited to share a new tool to support plant-based eating - the Nourish Method! The Nourish Method is essentially a food guide that provides a simple set of targets for different food groups. It's made up of nine groups, including assorted vegetables, dark leafy greens, fruits, grains & starches, nuts & seeds, legumes, dairy alternatives, water, and supplements. It's a system that makes it easier to confidently nourish our cells and keep food exciting.
Filling the gap in traditional food guides
Conventional food guidelines fall short when it comes to catering to the unique needs of plant-based lifestyles. They typically include animal-based foods, and simply eliminating these foods without finding suitable substitutes can lead to an imbalance in nutrition - and even health problems. The Nourish method is meant to fill this gap by providing a framework specifically designed for plant-based eaters. While everyone's different, the Nourish Method can provide a starting point - reminding us to enjoy a variety of foods from these groups without having to strive for perfection.
Backed by science
The Nourish Method was crafted through extensive research and validation by a team of experts. The research phase involved studying more than 100 research papers and gathering insights from various plant-based nutrition specialists. To ensure the method's effectiveness, it underwent a rigorous validation process. This included comparing the Nourish Method to other trusted platforms, and carefully analyzing thousands of meal plans to ensure the most optimal nutrition for different demographics.
The foundational seven
Embracing the Nourish Method empowers us to supply our body with the nutrients it needs to thrive. While the targets are designed for an average adult, they can be personalized to meet specific requirements. For those interested in more tailored targets, the PUL mobile application is able to estimate needs based on factors like age, sex, height, weight, and activity level. In the app, you also have the ability to input your own custom targets for groups if you wish. To make it simpler for us to incorporate these groups in general though, we've summarized sample serving sizes for common items.
01 - Dark leafy green vegetables
Dark leafy greens, such as bok choy, kale, and spinach, are packed with nutrients that are incredibly beneficial for our health. For example, they're particularly rich in calcium, folate, iron, and vitamin K which helps support overall health. One serving is equal to:
- ½ cup (80 g) cooked dark leafy greens
- 1 cup (30 - 90 g) uncooked dark leafy greens
02 - Assorted vegetables
The vibrant colours of vegetables represent different nutrients, which is why it's ideal to enjoy a rainbow of different colours. A serving of assorted vegetables is equal to:
- ½ cup (80 g) diced fresh, frozen, and canned assorted vegetables
- ½ cup (80 g) cooked assorted vegetables
03 - Fruit
Fruits offer a delightful sweetness while also providing nutrients like fibre that promote healthy digestion and gut health. A serving of fruit is equal to:
- ¼ cup (30 g) of dried fruit
- ½ cup (80 g) of fresh, frozen, or canned fruit
- 1 medium-sized fruit
04 - Grains & starches
Grains and starches are filled with nutrients including carbohydrates and B-vitamins that support energy levels and feelings of fullness. Some common staples and their serving sizes include:
- 1 medium slice of bread or ½ bagel (50 g)
- ½ cup (2 oz, 55 g) dry pasta or noodles
- 1 cup (4 oz, 115 g) cooked pasta or noodles
- ½ cup (75 - 120 g) cooked grains, such as rice, quinoa, and oats
- ¾ cup (150 g) starchy vegetables, such as potatoes
05 - Nuts & seeds
Nuts and seeds provide a flavourful and nutritious mix of beneficial fats and minerals, with some sources particularly rich in omega-3 fats. A serving of general nuts and seeds is:
- 2 Tbsp (30 g) nut or seed butter
- ¼ cup (30 - 40 g) nuts or seeds
- ¼ cup (25 g) nut-based flour
A serving of nuts and seeds is considered omega-3 rich if it meets minimum omega-3 fat targets. For example:
- 2 Tbsp (15 - 20 g) flaxseeds
- 2 Tbsp (15 - 20g) chia seeds
- ¼ cup (40 g) hemp seeds
- ⅓ cup (35 g) walnuts
06 - Legumes
Legumes are a wholesome source of protein that support the development and repair of different parts of the body. They include beans, peas, lentils, peanuts, and meat successors. Some serving sizes include:
- 2 Tbsp (30 g) peanut butter
- ½ cup (80 g) tempeh
- ½ cup (30 g) meat successors, such as mock chick’n pieces
- ¾ cup (115 g) edamame and peas
- ¾ cup (125 - 150 g) cooked beans and lentils
- ¾ cup (180 g) tofu
07 - Fortified dairy alternatives
Fortified dairy alternatives provide a reliable supply of nutrients like calcium and vitamin D that promote bone and muscle health. There are other sources of calcium, such as leafy greens, but if fortified products are accessible and desirable, they may be more convenient. A serving is considered:
- ½ cup (70 g) fortified plant-based cheese
- ¾ cup (195 g) fortified yogurt
- 1 cup (240 mL) fortified plant-based milk beverages
Two supporting stars
01 - Water
Our bodies rely on water to function properly, as it is involved in numerous vital processes.
02 - Supplements
While we strive for food first, supplements are helpful to fill in gaps.
- The Nourish Method is a framework: it's a science-backed tool validated to give us a framework to meet our nutrition needs from plants.
- The Nourish Method consists of nine groups: assorted vegetables, dark leafy greens, fruits, grains & starches, nuts & seeds, legumes, dairy alternatives, water, and supplements.
- Embrace imperfection: the Nourish Method encourages enjoying a variety of foods from these groups, but we don't have to be perfect. It's just about being more mindful about our food choices.