So you’re thinking about going plant based but you don’t know how or where to start? Well you’ve come to the right place! I am no expert by any means and I don’t claim that I am. I am simply just wanting to share some advice for those who don’t know where to begin because at one point I was a beginner too.
FIGURE OUT YOUR WHY: As with any “diet” you have to know your reasons before you begin something new as that’s typically the only way something will truly stick long-term. It should also be because YOU want to not because someone else told you that you should. Plant based diets have been proven to be better for the environment, animal welfare, and our health. So what brings YOU here?
KNOW YOUR PROTEIN: I am sure you have heard people say many times that “Vegans are protein deficient”. I am going to tell you.. we are not… I know, crazy right? Here is the thing about protein.. you actually don’t need as much as you think you do. I would love to just give you a number but unfortunately it does depend on the person for exactly what you need as we are all different. It will depend a lot on how active you are, what your goal is, your height and current weight. I recommend you use a macro calculator (you can find a ton online) to figure out what your body needs. See below a list of plant based protein you can add into your daily meals!
- Tofu, Tempeh, Edamame and Seitan. These 4 are high in protein and can be cooked in many different ways. When I ate meat my staple meal was (Chicken, Rice, and greens or instead of chicken I use to do ground turkey) I simply switched out my chicken/ground turkey with Tempeh or Tofu and seasoned it. It’s honestly THAT simple and much more tasty!
- Lentils, Chickpeas, Black Beans and Pinto Beans (the list could go on). All good sources of some extra protein. I absolutely love to make tacos or quesadilla’s using any of these beans as my main source of protein. You can even make a few different kinds of soups with this!
- Did someone say snacks? Almonds, Peanuts, Cashews, Pistachios, Walnuts… the list can go on but I feel you get the point.
Many people will say a plant based diet is “limited” but I truly believe we are totally not limited in what we can create on our plate. We have so many options and can create tons of different dishes.
DAIRY IS SCARY: Yes, you have to quit eating dairy in order to be “plant based”. It’s really not as difficult as so many people make it out to be. I promise. There are a million and one things I could say about dairy but honestly I feel that should have its entire own blog post (probably will write one, one of these days on just dairy). I think when first starting out you should focus on replacing your milk… 1% , 2%, skim whatever you drink… get rid of it. Start buying any of the nut milks available – Almond Milk, Soy Milk, Cashew Milk, Coconut Milk, Rice Milk, Oat Milk, Hemp Milk, and Flax Milk. There are so many out there that you are bound to find at least ONE that you like.
HOW TO START: I recommend starting out with 1 plant based meal a day. This will help you get more comfortable creating new meals. As the weeks go by and you are finding this lifestyle to be easier and easier start adding in more plant based meals. Maybe even try 1-2 whole days of plant based meals a week! If you can, replace your milk with one of the plant based milks above during this time. Use the dairy-free milk in your coffee, cereal, oatmeal, baking etc. Again, keep in mind this is NOT a race to see how fast you can go 100% plant based. Take all the time you need transition into lifestyle it’s an adjustment to what you are used to but its worth it in the end.
DOCUMENTARIES: Knowledge is power. I highly recommend you watch some Netflix documentaries that will help you understand what is going on in the world today when it comes to our meat industry…. how it is causing so many diseases and why changing your diet (even if its only a few plant based meals a week) can help you in the long run. Here are three of the movies I recommend you start out with – “What The Health”, “Forks Over Knives” and “Cowspiracy.”
PINTEREST: Please take advantage of this FREE website for plant based recipes. I feel this social media app can sometimes be forgotten between Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. You will come across 1000000’s of ideas on what to eat. You can actually find a plant based grocery list on there to just copy from which you can use up until I get one posted for you 😉
OKAY FOLKS: I tried to make this post as simple as possible as I know if I get too detailed people can begin to get confused which just leads to those not even wanting to give the idea a try. If you have any questions at all PLEASE DO NOT HESITATE TO REACH OUT TO ME on any of my social media platforms. Being plant based has become my passion and I absolutely love helping others incorporate plant based into their daily routine.