Over the years, more and more people have started switching to the plant-based diet. More than a third of American consumers are more intentional with their plant-based lifestyle, making the diet the biggest dining trend since 2018. Several celebrities are also backing the plant-based lifestyle, diving into social media trends like Meatless Monday.
Why is a plant-based diet good for you?
Studies have shown that a plant-based diet can prevent and reverse the advanced stages of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.
These studies also suggest that plant-based eating promotes weight management, lowers the risk of heart disease. and lowers the risk of mortality. It has also been shown to prevent and treat hypertension, high cholesterol, as well as reduce the risk of certain types of cancer.
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics says that a properly planned plant-based diet is appropriate for everyone, including infants, children, pregnant women, lactating moms, adolescents, older adults, and even athletes.
However, keep in mind that going plant-based requires a huge deal of discipline, planning, and effort. Below are ten simple strategies to help you smoothly transition to a wholesome, plant-based diet and help you avoid going cold turkey after day one.
As mentioned from the start, a plant-based diet has several benefits. Whether you want to feel stronger, manage your weight, or help the environment through a plant-based diet, the most important thing is that you’re taking a step towards something that excites you. Write it down and research it regularly. There are endless reasons to not eat animal products, and the more you discover them, the more you stay in touch with your motivation.
This can sometimes be confusing to many people who are in the beginning stages of their plant-based diet, especially if they were previously on a calorie-deficit diet. Likewise, if you came from a diet that was focused on consuming animal protein, your body will undergo an adjustment period once you switch to eating veggies instead.
Most plant-based foods are rich in fiber and water and lower in calories compared to the same volume of steak, eggs, butter, or cheese. Your meals should provide you with sufficient energy, so make sure to eat enough hearty plant-based foods like bread, nuts, seeds, potatoes, beans, pasta, and tofu!
A simple fact: you cannot eat what you don’t have. That said, strive to surround yourself with healthy foods. As much as possible, keep your home free from animal products and highly processed foods. Start by browsing your kitchen and getting rid of any food that isn’t beneficial for your plant-based diet.
You can either donate it or simply toss it so you won’t be tempted. The next step is to fill your kitchen with fruits and vegetables, potatoes and rice, beans, or nuts, so you always have something to use when preparing healthy meals and snacks.
You can buy frozen produce to prevent food waste. They have a pretty long shelf life and can help you easily prepare a healthy meal.
Prepare a healthy snack you can easily grab before going out
Sticking to a plant-based diet can be twice as challenging when you’re out and about. You may be tempted to grab an animal-based or highly-processed option, so make sure to always prepare a healthy snack you can quickly grab before heading out. Some of your easiest options are homemade wraps, sandwiches, grain-based salads, or fruits and nuts. It’s also a good idea to leave the house on a full stomach and to have a handy list of a few places where you can grab plant-based meals.
Make food swaps
We recommend taking a slow and steady approach when transitioning to a plant-based diet. The key is to replace, instead of restrict. Swap your favorite animal-based or highly-processed food for healthier alternatives. For example, swap out butter for avocado, chicken for tofu, or beef for kidney bean burgers. Snack on fruits, and use dates instead of sugar, and whole-grain instead of white flour spaghetti.
Gradually increase the amount of plant-based ingredients in your meals until you’re using them more than the bad stuff.
Start with a Plant-Based Breakfast
For beginners on the plant-based diet, preparing three vegan meals per day can be a bit daunting. A good strategy to help you ease into the plant-based diet is by making a healthy plant-based meal to start your day. Breakfast food is usually the easiest to veganize, thanks to avocado toast, pancakes, chia pudding, peanut butter, and jelly sandwich.
These plant-based breakfasts are very easy to make and will inspire you to make another healthy plant-based dish for your next meal. Once you are confident in having fully plant-based dishes for breakfast and lunch, you are now more motivated to try making a healthy, plant-based dinner meal. Continue doing so until all your meals and snacks are fully plant-based!
There is a lot of information you can find on the internet about a plant-based diet. However, not all of them are factual. There’s also a good chance you will be told by some people about how unhealthy or complicated a plant-based diet is. As kids, we were taught that animal products are part of a proper diet, so it’s understandable how some people are against the idea of not eating animal products. That is why it’s a good idea to have a few facts on hand.
Research about what reputable nutrition experts say about the plant-based diet and the benefits it provides.
Find your plant-based tribe
All of us are social creatures who are highly impacted by the people who surround us, and many people who go back to consuming animal products again do so because of social pressure. A lot of “ex-vegans” say that the lack of support from their home and families is one of the major reasons why they turned their backs on the plant-based diet, which is why it’s a good idea to reach out for support.
At Pick Plants 4 Life, we can provide you with encouragement, support, and accountability to ensure the success of your transition to the plant-based lifestyle. It’s invaluable to have someone to talk to about plant-based food or ask for help if you need some tips on meal preparation.
Be consistent with your diet and let the results speak for themselves. At some point, people will be curious about your diet, and that may even pave the way for their own plant-based journey.
Equip your kitchen
In addition to filling your kitchen with plant-based staple foods, it’s also crucial to ensure that you have some basic kitchen tools at home to help you create healthy and plant-based foods more easily. These tools can include sharp knives, a cutting board, baking sheets, pots, a nonstick pan, a blender, or a food processor.
Gradually create new habits
Last but not the least, remember to be kind to yourself. Don’t beat yourself up for not doing things perfectly or if you haven’t reached your goals yet. Remember that slow progress is still progress. The way you think can significantly impact your perception and reality. The key is to create new habits that will support a plant-based lifestyle. Adjust your goals and expectations according to your pace, and be your biggest fan.
Online Plant-Based Lifestyle Consultation
Having a support system is crucial to the success of your transition to a plant-based lifestyle. If you’re looking for expert support to help you take the initial steps towards the plant-based lifestyle, contact Pick Plants 4 Life today! Our certified plant-based lifestyle coach can provide you with customized service to ensure that your move towards a sustainable plant-based lifestyle will be done with ease. We can support your journey wherever you are in the world. The first step is to schedule a free initial consultation with us today.