Top 5 ways to start a plant based diet
It is impossible to hide from the word vegan and plant based nowadays and that is for a very good reason, it's the future. I believe a plant based diet is the most effective way to reduce your environmental footprint, reduce animal cruelty and live a healthier life. That is why I have created the top 5 ways to start a plant based diet, from my perspective.
When starting out on a plant based diet it can be very daunting; especially if you are only used to eating set types of foods / meals or if you're a fussy eater and scared to try foods, like I was!
Here are my top 5 ways to help you begin the transition onto a much healthier and flavoursome plant based diet:
1 - Substitute for healthy foods
Make it easy for yourself and look for vegan food substitutes or alternatives. A great example would be instead of eating sweets or unhealthy snacks, try medjool dates. Medjool dates I think are best dates and they're chewy and caramel-like. Go further and put peanut butter inside the dates and you'll get an awesome, energetic snack! Lets not forget that dates are packed with potassium, like a banana.
Other plant based substitute examples include:
Lentils instead of mince
Crispy Tofu instead of meat
Oat milk instead of cow milk
Hummus instead of cheese spread
Plain mixed nuts instead of cheap salty nuts
Raw cereal bars or Dark Chocolate instead of milk chocolate
Banana nice cream (frozen banana blended) instead of dairy ice cream
2 - Try new plant based food once a day
Overcome your fruit and vegetable food fears and set yourself easy goals! I didn't used to eat bananas, then one day whilst on holiday, I decided to push through my fear and eat one banana everyday. After the week of being away, I had got used to eating bananas! This changed my mindset and made me try all the different fruits and vegetables that I would normally turn my nose up at. I now love to try new unusual foods. I've actually made a food chart game to help with fussy eaters and conquering food fear, check it out...
3 - Research a plant based diet benefits
It's easy to think 'Oh, I don't know what to believe, they say one thing, then they say another, eat in moderation, so I'll eat anything!' I've heard these words so many times. From doing lots of research, how I view the world has changed. It is clear to see that big food corporations, pharmaceutical organisations and powerful elites like us to be unhealthy. In simple terms, the more unhealthy foods we eat the more likely we are to either die from disease or be put on lifelong medication. There is a solution! Eat healthier, live longer. 'Let food be thy medicine'.
Also there are lots of documentaries such as 'What the Health' 'Gamechangers' and 'forks over knives' that help people see the world of plant based diets.
Just googling 'the benefits of aubergine' for example, you'll see that all plant based foods have different benefits that people are likely missing out on. For more food benefits check out my own benefits of a plant based diet and my vegan top trumps card game, 54 cards with lots of nutritional benefits on!
4 - Make it a healthy habit & plan plant based meals
It takes about 21 days to form a new habit. Try eating new plant based foods and if you're confident go vegan for 21 days and keep track of it. I write a meal list every week before going shopping, so I know what vegan meals I am roughly having every week. Don't be too hard on yourself at first, give yourself a cheat meal, after all there are also plenty of vegan junk foods about, but at least they are cruelty free and will still be better for you!
Here's a fun plant based shopping list pad that I created to encourage meal planning and it's also eye catching for children to be drawn to. Just one of my fun plant based gift ideas...
Here's a great vegan resource to help you try a plant based diet for a month...
5 - Join the plant based community
There are great online plant based communities, facebook groups on transitioning to a plant based diet, many more websites and thousands if not millions of enthusiasts on instagram. Check out my profile @Plantbasedcards and also join my Plant Based Veg Club Group on facebook, full of fun facts, vegan recipes and cute art. People are so helpful and being part of this community, only helps you become even more selfless and you get to meet more like minded, friendly people.
Eventually even go to vegan food & gift shows where you'll see the vast range of vegan and plant based products that are on the market. Believe me, once you join into this way of thinking, it is really exciting to try all these different foods and meet so many lovely people.