Easy Steps For Going Plant Based
With so many people asking me “How do you go vegan?”, I figured it’s a good time to share some tips that really helped me along my journey.
Now these aren’t hard rules you have to follow. And you don’t have to be 100% plant based to apply these steps in your daily lives. Maybe you just want to incorporate more plant based options in your meal plans for health reasons, or maybe you know someone who is vegan and you want to be able to understand their lifestyle and be apart of it.
In any capacity, if you’re interested in venturing off and trying a more natural way of living, these simple steps really helped my transition to be as smooth as possible.
1. Figure out Your Why
What is your reasoning for going plant based? If you’re contemplating on making such a drastic lifestyle change, you have to have some type of motivation to get you through the transition. My why was, and still is, the health of my family, myself and our planet. I want my kids to grow up in a household that values their bodies and taking care of themselves from the inside out. When we nourish our bodies with proper nutrition, we are saying we not only care about our well being, but we care about our earth and the well being of others. Our motto is – eat to live, don’t live to eat. So find your “why” and constantly remind yourself of it!
2. Go at Your Own Pace
Some people go vegan cold turkey over night (how ironic to have vegan and turkey in the same sentence), while others need some time to slowly transition. There is no right or wrong way, do what suits you best and what is going to be most effective for you. Some people feel cutting out all animal products at once is the only way to get the job done, others like my husband slowly transitioned over time (took him approximately 6-8 months). If you are going to transition slowly, try taking out one new animal product from your diet every week (dairy, beef, poultry, seafood) until you have eliminated them all. Doesn’t matter the order, it just matters that your are making changes to better yourself and your health.
3. Do Your Research
This step is extremely important. Read books, find articles, follow fellow vegans on Instagram. Do whatever you have to do to get as much information as you possibly can. Since the internet can be weary and sometimes we don’t know which articles are legit, I started by reading books. One that I highly recommend is Main Street Vegan by Victoria Moran (I downloaded it right onto my kindle app from Amazon). If you need more of a visual, documentaries are a great way of learning a lot of facts on the food industry. Some you can watch either on Netflix or online are What the Health, Earlings, Food Inc., Cowspiracy and Forks over Knives.
4. Meal Prep
You are less likely to fall off track during the week if you prep your meals ahead of time. Whether you do all of your cooking for the week Sunday night, or simply prep a day’s worth of meals the night before, any form of prep will help keep you focused, especially during the first couple of weeks until you adjust.
5. Eat at Home
Eating out at restaurants can be extremely tricky if you’re not use to quickly putting together vegan meals for yourself. When we first went vegan we started by eating home…ALOT. It is much easier to make your own food than going out, feeling overwhelmed and not knowing what to order. When you do go out, always check the menu beforehand. Even to this day, if we go to a restaurant we aren’t familiar with, we check the menu online first so we are prepared with options. Same goes for eating at family and friend’s homes. Call ahead and ask whats on the menu. Even offer to bring a dish to contribute so you have something you know you are willing to eat.
6. Be Prepared for Judgement
Not everyone will understand, nor will everyone agree with you. You can spit facts out to your family and friends all you want, but don’t be pushy. Share what you are compassionate about, but at the same time don’t continuously bash what you don’t agree with. Tell your loved ones all the amazing benefits of a plant based diet, but also respect their opinions and know your limits on the matter. Many will judge and make fun of you – it’s because they just don’t understand. People often judge what they know nothing or little about. Don’t let it get in the way of you bettering yourself.
7. Embrace Set Backs
So you slip and have a day when you couldn’t resist the whole milk ice cream, or maybe you even ate something not aware it contained animal products – it’s ok! Keep it moving! None of us are perfect. If you fall off track, no biggie. Don’t beat yourself up over it, just do better the next day. Letting minor mishaps get the best of you will just hold you back and blind you from the bigger picture.
8. Try More Ethnic Foods
Think of going plant based as a way to experiment with different foods and cultures you might not have considered before. Plenty of ethnic foods (Asian, Indian, Mexican) already have so many plant based dishes! And they’re absolutely delicious! Also experiment with different herbs and spices. You won’t regret it.
9. Continue to Educate Yourself
Don’t stop your research. It’s easy to fall off track when you’re not keeping up with new information. Invest in some new cook books, engage with other vegan foodies on social media, and share tips and tricks. Do whatever it takes to keep yourself active in the vegan community.
10. Remember Your Why
This is the most important piece of advise I can give, go back to tip #1 – always keep your why in mind. When times get tough, when you want to quit, when you get frustrated and tired and want to run to the nearest burger king (my fast food place of choice back in the day), remember why you are doing this. It’s very easy to loose sight of your original intentions when the going gets tough. I promise, it gets easier! Until then, hold onto your why for dear life and enjoy the process.
I hope you enjoyed these tips – Happy Blogging!
For more information, please leave a reply below or feel free to contact me directly.