Is a whole food plant-based diet right for you?

People living with chronic conditions such as diabetes type 2, heart disease, hypertension or obesity may benefit from a plant-based diet. Some people experience different benefits from a plant-based diet, such as:

  • Weight loss
  • Increased energy
  • Decreased cravings for food with empty calories
  • Overall feeling of improved wellness

What is a whole food plant-based diet?

A plant-based diet is focused on food that comes primarily from plants—fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, oils, whole grains, and legumes.

Is this a vegan diet?

No. A plant-based diet is not the same thing as being a vegetarian or vegan.

Our team of plant-based diet experts

Heidi L. Benavides MSN, RN, CMSRN

Heidi Benavides is a registered nurse/health coach and a clinical assistant professor in the School of Nursing at UT Heath San Antonio.  She is the program director of Green Wellness program who earned a plant-based diet certificate from e-Cornell.  Heidi earned her Master of Science in Nursing Education at the Medical University of South Carolina.  She is currently enrolled at Baylor University in the Doctor of Nursing Practice-Family Nurse Practitioner track.  Heidi became a registered nurse in 2005 and has practiced in several inpatient and outpatient settings caring for patients living with chronic disease.

Christiane Meireles PhD, RD, LD

Christiane Meireles is a registered dietitian and a clinical assistant professor in the School of Nursing at UT Health San Antonio. Dr. Meireles earned her Bachelor of Science and Nutrition degree and Master in experimental nutrition degree in Brazil. She earned her Ph.D. in a dual program with the Federal University of Sao Paulo-Brazil and Emory University, Atlanta, GA. She continued her postdoctoral training at the Department of Nephrology, Emory University by working with mechanisms involved with protein degradation in renal disease. Dr. Meireles became a registered dietitian in 2006 after an internship at the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio. She is currently a registered and licensed dietitian in the state of Texas with 30 years of experience.

Paula Christianson-Silva, DNP, FNP-BC, ANP-BC

Dr. Christianson-Silva is a board-certified family nurse practitioner
with experience working in outpatient clinics and in hospital settings.
She earned a Doctor of Nursing Practice at the University of Arizona.
She is also an Assistant Professor/Clinical and teaches at the
University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio School of
Nursing. Dr. Christianson-Silva is serving as the health care provider for the program participants.

What to expect

Green Wellness Program: Plants2Plate is a 6-month program incorporating individual and group classes. The team works with the client to support and measure individual goals.  In-person group classes will help the client build support systems with their group, incorporate a solid foundation of plant-based nutrition and lifestyle changes to promote better sleep, social connections, physical activity, and stress reduction.

How to schedule a consultation

For a customized consultation on a plant-based diet, please schedule a meeting with your primary provider and request a referral to La Planta Lifestyle Program with the team of experts.  Clients may also self-refer and provide a notification to their provider they will be starting the program.  To sign up, complete the form online.