The Beginner’s Guide to Plant-Based Bright Line Eating

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It’s no secret that people are sicker than ever. The obesity rate is at a record high and most of the common diseases are a result of obesity or are exacerbated by it. The diet industry is growing just as fast as our waistlines, and yet our waistlines never seem to shrink, or at least stay that way for very long. So, what is happening? And how can we fix it? I believe that the answer lies in plant-based Bright Line Eating.

What is plant-based Bright Line Eating? 

Plant-based Bright Line Eating is a growing movement. Bright Line Eating (BLE) is a way of eating/lifestyle designed by Dr. Susan Pierce Thompson that helps to heal the brain from sugar and flour addiction while also balancing hormones and achieving a right size body in the process. It does this by drawing strict lines against the consumption of any and all sugars, sweeteners, and flours (including almond flour and gluten free flours). Because BLE excludes sugar and flour it also excludes a lot of (though not all) processed foods.

BLE isn’t strictly plant-based. It simply has categories of foods for each meal that a person can choose from. For example, breakfast is 1 grain, 1 protein, and 1 fruit. One person may choose to have toast, eggs, and strawberries while another may choose oatmeal, hemp hearts, and blueberries. One is plant-based, the other is not, but they are both completely BLE approved. Another breakfast might be hash brown patties, breakfast sausage, and a banana. The sausage and hash browns are processed foods, but they are still BLE foods nonetheless.

After following the BLE way of eating for a time, many people find that they begin to gravitate towards plant-based Bright Line Eating, eventually eliminating animal products and processed foods all together as they find that whole plant foods make them feel so good. If that is why you are here, then keep on reading!

How to get started with plant-based Bright Line Eating

The first thing to know is that you can start out any way you like. You can go all in all at once, or you can slowly transition. Either way you’ll reap the benefits of plant-based BLE. The first thing you’ll want to do is clear out your pantry, fridge, and freezer. Be sure to read labels carefully. For plant-based Bright Line Eating, there should be no sugar or flour in the first three ingredients, and no animal products anywhere on the list. If you also want to choose whole plant foods then you’ll want to make sure the ingredients list is foods you would find in your own kitchen (with the exception of thickeners and preservatives of course), and that it is minimally processed. You can download a list of whole food plant based BLE foods by clicking here. If you’ll be slowly transitioning to plant-based BLE, you may want to organize your food into plant-based and not plant-based so it’s easier to plan plant-based meals and non plant-based meals.

Tips for Success in plant-based Bright Line Eating

Keep it simple. When you first start any new way of eating it can seem overwhelming. The beauty of Bright Line Eating is that the food is all categorized and you can piece together your meals quite easily, no recipes needed. Stay away from recipes until you get the hang of basic meals. Once you’ve gotten your feet wet, the Official Bright Line Eating Cookbook is a great beginner recipe book to show you how to piece together BLE recipes. About half the recipes in the book are plant-based and the back of the book has meal plans you can follow. You can find my review of the book here.

Common Questions/FAQ About plant-based Bright Line Eating

  • What are the 4 bright lines in Bright Line Eating?
    • First, let’s define a “bright line.” A bright line is a clear unambiguous boundary that a person sets and they do not cross. Sort of like how an alcoholic sets a boundary around alcohol, Bright Line Eaters set boundaries around food in order to gain some sanity and get off of the yo-yo diet rollercoaster that most have been on all their lives. The 4 bright lines in Bright Line Eating are no sugar, no flour, no snacks, and bounded quantities. Plant-based BLE has the added bright line of no animal products.
  • What do you eat on plant-based Bright Line Eating?
    • A lot of times the question comes up…. if you can’t eat sugar and flour, then what CAN you eat? Toss in the added exclusion of animal products, and people who are new to both BLE and eating plant-based can become a bit overwhelmed. But don’t worry, there are so many things to eat on the plant-based version of Bright Line Eating that it’s almost impossible to list them all. I have however attempted the impossible by putting together a pretty good list to get you started! Click here to download FREE your copy.
  • Can I eat out at restaurants?
    • Absolutely! While it’s not recommended to eat out in the beginning while you’re still getting the hang of BLE, once you have a firm grasp of BLE you can easily eat out at restaurants and stay within your bright lines.

The Last Thing You Need to Know about plant-based Bright Line Eating

Reading the Bright Line Eating book, or taking the boot camp is a MUST. You can’t simply read a blog post or download the food plan sheet and expect to be successful. Understanding the science behind it, and how your brain reacts to sugar and flour is key to being successful. The book and boot camp also answers questions such as what to do once you get close to your right size body (because you WILL get to your right size body with BLE) and how to maintain it.

I personally recommend reading the book to get started since it’s such a quick read. Most people finish it in about 2 days. Then, if you want a deeper dive with a TON more information, the boot camp is where it’s at. The boot camp is 8 weeks long (plus a couple of bonus weeks) and builds your identity as a lifelong Bright Line Eater.

Get your FREE copy of plant-based BLE foods here