At this point, I've been plant based for almost two years. Before that, I was vegetarian for two years. If we are being honest, chickadees, I can't believe I am still living this lifestyle. This gal pal comes from a die hard Italian family. I'm talking throws the meatballs, pastrami, pasta, and cheese at you as soon as your little tukus walks in the door. When guys and gals first find out that I eat only plant-based, they immediately jump to the question, "Can you even eat anything?" or make the statement, "I could never imagine doing that." Welp, chickadees, it really isn't as difficult as you think that it is. If you have the mindset to do it, you can. So today, I thought that I would share with you a few tips on what has worked for me personally on my plant-based journey. Perhaps you are interested in trying it out but maybe not. Some are interested in trying a plant-based diet for a short amount of time to detox, others doing it for a lifestyle change or even for environmental purposes. Either way, these are some tips that have worked for me. Let's hop to it, shall we?
1. [Make It A Gradual Change]: Like I stated previously, I was vegetarian for two years before I transitioned to a plant-based diet. Eating plant-based is an entire lifestyle change for many people. The best way to transition is to make it a gradual change. If you eat meat, cut that out. Don't eat meat but eat dairy? Slowly begin to cut that out as well. Maybe start out by cutting out cheese before switching out dairy milk products for non-dairy. Once you have the mindset that your doesn't doesn't have to completely change over night, it will make it a smoother transition for yourself.
2. [Grab A Buddy]: Doing anything challenging can be difficult when your doing it by yourself. Think about exercising- starting to train for a marathon or motivating yourself to get up early for that morning workout before the rest of the world wakes up. Most of the time, it's much easier when you have another human being to keep you accountable. My sweet honeybee made the transition to a plant-based diet with me. It has made it easier to prepare for meals in our home and we have enjoyed whipping up new dishes and trying new ingredients on the daily. While I realize that this is not always ideal, it can make the journey more enjoyable when a pal is with you on the way.
3. [Be Kind To Yourself]: This goes back to my first point in my plant-based journey, but be kind yourself, chickadees. If you slip up and eat a dairy based dessert, be kind to yourself. Know that no one is perfect, far from it actually. Be aware of what you are noticing in your eating habits and pick up where you left off. There is no bible on eating plant-based and ultimately your eating habits are for no one but yourself. You don't have to prove anything to anyone.
4. [Allow Yourself To Be Social]: When we first started our new lifestyle, the idea of going out to meet with our friends was somewhat stressful. I was constantly scoping out the menus to make sure that there was something for me to eat. The truth is, nine times out of ten, I can find something to eat. Don't put yourself in a bubble where you don't allow yourself to engage with your friends or family outside the four walls of your home. There is no fun in that, is there?
5. [Eat Colorfully]: The best meals are the ones that contain all of the colors of the rainbow. Greens are extremely dense in nutrients not to mention quite delectable. When it comes to eating on the daily, I eat mostly fruits, veggies, and grains. I eat good fats and foods that are mostly live. In doing so, I stay fuller longer and am able to get all of the nutrients, ensuring balance in what I eat.
In case you were looking for a few bloggity-blogs to inspire you to whip up some new plant-based dishes in your kitchen, take a peek at some that we peruse on the daily. Just a little word to the bird- Some recipes may require you to substitute dairy items for non-dairy but it's easy-peasy-lemon-squeazy, sweet peas!