BEGINNER TIPS FOR EATING A PLANT-BASED DIET
I know eating vegan might seem a little intimating when you’re just starting out, but honestly once you get going, it’s actually very easy! Today I’m sharing some of my favourite tips for eating a plant-based diet to get you pointed in the right direction. With a big movement towards eating less meat and more plants, I’m here to ensure you that not only can it be done in a healthy and sustainable way but it can be delicious and a lot of fun!
There are a lot of misconception about eating a plant-based diet. I hope these tips can help clear up some of those misconceptions for plant-based beginners. As people grow more and more aware of their food and lifestyle choices and veganism as a way of life is becoming more and more mainstream. Major companies are taking note and the number and quality of vegan products are the market are increasing all the time. If you’re interested in eating plant-based for your health, the animals and the planet, now is the time to go for it!
TIPS FOR EATING A PLANT-BASED DIET
1. ONE STEP AT A TIME.
If you’re a plant-based beginner, overhauling your diet probably isn’t going to happen overnight. It will take some time to get used to and there’s nothing wrong with a gradual transition.
WHERE TO START
Try starting with 1-2 meatless days per week, then increasing that as you get more comfortable with plant-based eating. Next, start replacing the dairy in your diet. This is easier than you might think. Take things one step at a time. Start by replacing the cream in your coffee with your favourite non-dairy milk then reduce or eliminate cheese by learning about vegan alternatives. Once you’ve got a grasp on living dairy-free, it’s time to tackle eggs. Eggs are easy to replace in your diet, just don’t eat them.
This being said, please note tip #2. If you find yourself falling back on animal products over and over again, at least try to reduce the amount of meat, dairy and eggs you consume. I would rather see you find something sustainable than give up completely. I’ve been eating this way a long time and it comes completely naturally to me now. The best thing to do is just get started one meal at a time. Eventually it will become second nature.
2. DITCH RULES AND LABELS.
People will disagree with me on this one, but I think eating a mostly plant-based is better than not even trying. When you’re just starting out, it’s going to take some time to adjust to not eating and cooking with animal products.
It gets easier, just stick to it, keep learning and eventually it will be hard to imaging eating and cooking with meat and dairy products. If you slip up, don’t stress about it. I believe it’s what you do consistently over the long-term that makes all the difference, so if you eat a bit of cheese or a product that contains milk, don’t beat yourself up, life is too short. Just move on and get back to normal.
THE BEST YOU CAN WITH WHAT YOU HAVE
I don’t eat a 100% strict vegan diet nor do I label myself vegan but I do eat as close to 100% plant-based as reasonably possible. Life is short. There are different views on this mentality, but realistically I want to be able to maintain this diet for the rest of my life, so I just do the best I can. I don’t want what I eat to be a source of stress or restriction. I don’t use this as an excuse and I never eat meat or fish but sometimes dairy and eggs are hard to avoid completely, especially when travelling. Do the best you can with what you have, at any given time.
VOTE WITH YOUR DOLLARS
Another good starting point is just being conscious of where you spend your dollars. Support local food providers where possible and don’t buy mass-produce factory farmed animal products. We eat at least three times a day and every meal is a chance to either stand up for believe in or continue supporting what you don’t, to nourish your body with whole, healthy food or do the opposite. Choose wisely.
3. REMEMBER YOUR WHY.
Why did you decide to live without animal products in your diet? Did you see a factory farming video that affected you? Did you read a book that changed how you think about our food system and the way we treat animals? Is it strictly for your health? Always come back to that why if you find yourself struggling to maintain a healthy, plant-based diet.