A plant-based diet (as in the way you eat on a daily basis — not a fad diet) is a lifestyle change. The full transition takes time and patience. The great news is: You can easily start a.s.a.p.! 🌿💪💚
Here are some guidelines:
1) Know why you’re doing it: What is your reason? Is it to improve your health (weight loss, increase your energy, lower your blood pressure, improve your mental health)? Maybe it’s due to your love of animals? If you don’t know why, then you won’t stick with it.
I had to change my diet to improve health. Nobody told me to go vegan or to eat a plant-based diet. I did my own research over time, tested different foods on myself (and removed a lot too) and noticed positive changes in my health (severe chronic eczema, digestive issues, food allergies/allergic reactions).
2) Do it Gradually: Rome wasn’t built in a day, so don’t expect to overhaul your deeply engrained eating habits overnight. Just make 1 small change per day, every day and watch how much progress you can make in 1 month! Drop by drop fills the bucket.
You can easily start today. Baby steps my friends, baby steps! For example:
- Everyday, add at least 1 fruit or veggie to your meal (an apple, grapes, salad, breadfruit, asparagus, carrot sticks, cucumber, spinach, kale, etc)
- Mix things up with one vegetarian meal per week. Start including chickpea, bean, or tofu dishes into your diet 1 or 2 times per month until you get used to it
- Consider a meatless Monday. If that’s too much eat smaller flesh portions or just remove flesh from one meal in your day
- Explore vegan egg options: For eating only (like pancakes & eggs on a beautiful Sunday morning) try vegan egg; and for baking try flax egg or vegan egg
- If you are a visual person (like me) and get motivation from seeing written achievements, write down on your calendar (or wherever) the days you added fruit/veggies/a vegetarian meal (optional suggestion)
- Are you an ice cream addict? No problem. Try non-dairy, coconut based frozen treats or make ‘nice cream’ (made from frozen bananas) at home in your food processor
3) Variety is the spice of life: Delve into other cuisine types to delight your taste buds. If you’re not already a food adventurer…now is a good time to start! Go check out Mexican, Thai, East Indian, Caribbean and Mediterranean foods to begin with. They all have delicious plant-based options to choose from. There’s more and more American cuisine options available now that are plant-based such as burgers, hot dogs and pizza.
4) Be patient and gentle with yourself: You will encounter setbacks at some point. It’s part of the process of change. Don’t beat yourself up because it won’t help you in your journey. Just take it day by day. And if you really do take my advice and make one small change per day, you can really crush the transition period.
5) Health benefits: More energy, weight loss and minimal effort weight maintenance, anti-inflammatory effect on your body, anti-aging clearer mind, better mood, improved digestive health to name a few. The renowned Mayo Clinic in the U.S.A wrote about the benefits of a plant-based diet here.
Always do a bit of research on your own to find out more info about new eating and lifestyle methods you aim to embark on.
Remember that it is still possible to be unhealthy eating a vegan, or gluten-free diet if you are eating a lot of processed foods and are lacking nutrients. Plants is where it’s at!
Let me know if this information was helpful to you. Leave a comment below letting me know where you are at in your dietary adventure (examples: You’re thinking about it? Just starting? Already doing it? You are way advanced? Never happening? lol). If you have questions perhaps I can help 🙂
Health, Peace & Plants 🌿💪🏽,