When starting anything new, there are obstacles and challenges that always come up, no matter what you are starting. Adding on a whole new way of eating can be one of the biggest challenges you will face. After all, the food we consume has most likely been a habit for several years, and we all know habits are hard to break. BUT what if I told you there are some really easy steps to take when wanting to eat a more plant based diet? Let’s get to it!
First, what is a plant-based diet?
Whole food, plant-based diets are heart healthy, environment-friendly, lifestyle eating plans that celebrate REAL food and nourish your body. On a plant-based diet, you’ll focus on eating whole or non-processed foods and plants like vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, seeds, and nuts. The benefits are incredible!
Where do we start?
Read up on scientifically based books. These are my favorites:
• How Not to Die by Michael Greger (Use this link: https://amzn.to/2OfHPoO)
• The China Study by T. Colin Campbell (Use this link: https://amzn.to/2Hxr5Jd)
Join Facebook communities to help keep you motivated and accountable if needed. I run a group called ‘How to Shop, Prep, & Cook Your Way Into a Healthy Life’ (Use this link:https://www.facebook.com/groups/shop.prep.cook.tobetterhealth/). I am always sharinghealthy recipes, ideas to stay on track, and food prep ideas. Or, search around to find a specific interest to you.
I have my clients start with 3 easy steps:
1. Don’t give up meat completely if it is something you love. The goal is to eat less; think 90% plants, 10% meat or animal products.
Here are some easy and delicious recipes to start with:
Easy Veggie Breakfast hash (Use this link: https://livingonroots.com/2019/02/24/easy-veggie-breakfast-hash/ )
Loaded Sweet Potato fries (Use this link: https://livingonroots.com/2018/08/12/loaded-sweet-potato-fries/ )
Roasted Potatoes with Herb Pesto (Use this link: https://livingonroots.com/2019/02/10/roasted-potatoes-with-herb-pesto/ )
Roasted Vegetable Buddha Bowl (Use this link: https://livingonroots.com/2018/07/15/roasted-vegetable-buddha-bowl/ )
2. Do what works for you. A gradual staged transition will be the most effective path for some while others will want to go at it at once. Different personalities will seek different paths. If you do decide to gradually change then I suggest start changing one meal a day. Start at breakfast, then lunch, and eventually get to dinner.
3. Want to go all in, and then let’s create a meal plan for you. Start here (Use this link: https://livingonroots.com/7-day-clean-eating-meal-plan-2/ ) with my free 7 days worth of meals provided for you. Focusing on one week first – not anything beyond that. This is a marathon, not a sprint. After the 7 days, start to add in your favorite recipes and research more. You can use Pinterest to search ‘Plant-Based’ recipes and you can find a ton that will suit your preferences.
How to manage the grocery store?
When you’re shopping at the store, it is time to get picky with the labels. Before buying anything, here is what to look for:
• A short ingredient list
• Real ingredients you can pronounce
• A bunch of real food that doesn’t have ingredient labels
Avoid and or minimize foods that:• Have a long ingredient list• Contains anything that says ‘low-fat’, ‘fat-free’, ‘sugar-free’, etc… these will contain nasty chemicals.
• Contains animal products like meat, dairy, or eggs
• Contains refined ingredients like enriched flour, bleached flour, sugar, and canolaoil.
The important thing to remember is this is not a habit that will happen overnight. Take it day by day and with little steps – they will eventually add up to some big and awesome leaps. You’ve got this!