This article is for anyone who is looking to improve the foods they eat with some suggestions based on my own experience on how to eat plant based.
Are you a vegan who eats lots of processed vegan food and you're wanting to eat a much healthier whole foods plant based diet? Or you might consider yourself to have an ordinary diet but you're keen to reduce your consumption of animal products for ethical, health or environmental reasons.
Try new plant based food, one at a time
I rarely ate any fruit or vegetables when I was younger, apart from potatoes, carrots and sometimes strawberries. Looking back, I definitely classed myself as an unhealthy, fussy eater!
The one thing I realised since going vegan and eating more of a plant based diet is that there are so many processed food adverts in our faces. It is easy lose sight of the fact that we are just mammals. We are supposed to eat freshly grown food from trees and the ground, and simply drink water. After all, do you know any other animals that drink milk as adults, or even fizzy drinks?
So, how did I go from eating hardly any fruit or vegetables... to eating every single fruit, vegetable, nuts and legumes available? I started with fruit. In the past, I was always scared to eat bananas. Therefore, I made it my challenge to eat a banana once a day for at least a week. After that time, I conquered my fear and now I eat a banana in my cereal on most days!
Once starting this process, I found it so easy and really motivating to try other foods too. Before long, I was eating so many new exciting foods, that I had never thought to eat in the past as a fussy meat and dairy eater! Lots of plant based foods such as: figs, dates (with peanut butter inside mmmm), avocados, lentils, chickpeas, kiwi and mushrooms (which I used to hate and now love!), the list goes on and on...
Use easy plant based cookbooks and a weekly meal plan
Are you someone that likes cooking food with convenience? One of the main questions I often get asked about eating a plant based and vegan diet, is how do you get time to cook all the various meals? I get it, most people prefer cooking easy meals. Well eating plant based food, doesn't have to be hard work!
I remember when eating animal products in the past, it was usually always the main portion of the meal. My family would mostly cook what you would consider to be traditional meals.
A plant based diet can still be full of traditional meals. It just involves swapping out the animal products with healthier and tastier alternatives! Here's some simple examples below:
Chicken curry - Instead of chicken used chickpeas and mixed vegetables
Macaroni cheese - Instead of cheese, blend sweet potato or butternut squash into a sauce
Spaghetti bolognese - Replace mince meat with red lentils
Lasagne - Make cheese sauce using nutritional yeast and use lentils as meat substitue
Fish and chips - Use tofu and even seaweed instead
Beef Steak - Grilled mushroom
My main advice at minimum is to plan your main meals throughout the week. This is great for saving money and means you are more likely to stick at trying new plant based foods.
This then leads on to investing in a few quick and easy plant based cookbooks. Most of my main meals are fresh and with a cookbook such as '15 minute vegan' they take no longer then 30 minutes. Pinterest is also fantastic for finding and saving lots of plant based recipe ideas, so well worth checking out. Taking ownership of the healthy food you put in your body, makes the process of cooking vegan food alot more enjoyable and less like a chore.
Eating heaIthy also educates you into learning about what the food benefits are of each plant based food, such as blueberries which are really great for eye health. If you enjoy reading and learning, I also recommend the book 'How not to die' or at least visit the related website 'nutritionfacts.org' which is a not for profit website, by food nutritionists.
Learn more from food & vegan documentaries
There are some fantastic plant based documentaries on netflix and the internet such as: Forks over knives, vegucated and fat, sick and nearly dead. These are a great start to seeing how eating healthier foods can cause positive changes in our bodies.
I definitely always recommend watching more ethical focused documentaries as well, such as Cowspiracy and seaspiracy. From a vegan point of view these add more strength and reasoning to why you're eating more plant based foods.
Thank you for reading my few tips on how to go plant based
I would love if you can share this post and feel free to let me know what journey you are on in the path to a healthier and more ethical diet choice.
Also see my top 8 benefits of a plant based diet and if you get chance, look at my vegan gift ideas. I have a large variety of funny vegan birthday cards. Also don't forget to subscribe to my once a month email.