Transitioning to a plant-based diet can seem daunting, but often the idea of a big lifestyle change is a lot scarier than actually doing it. If you focus on making one change at a time, the process of eating more plant-based foods will feel quite natural. It’s important to go at your own pace – it can take days, months or years to cut out meat or dairy completely, it’s completely up to how you feel.
What Is a Plant-Based Diet?
A plant-based diet is any diet that focuses around plant-based food or food derived from plant-based sources.
People often have different interpretations of what plant-based eating looks like. Some people still include small amounts of animal products in their diet, while focusing mainly on vegetarian foods – this is referred to as a flexitarian diet. Diets that cut out meat but still include fish are referred to as pescatarian diets. People who don’t eat meat or fish but still include dairy and eggs are referred to as vegetarian, while those who cut out any animal derived products, including dairy, eggs, honey and gelatin are referred to as vegan. All of these are usually considered to be a part of the ‘plant-based’ category.
Tips for vegan beginners:
Here is a short list of our tips to get you started on your plant-based diet:
1. Don’t go cold turkey
If you don’t have the support of a nutrition coach or dietician – take your time and see this as a journey. It takes time to learn new recipes, try new foods, and adapt to a different way of cooking meals. You could start by eating plant-based on certain days of the week at first, or every day except on weekends. Any change will make a huge difference.
2. Eat a balanced diet
Pasta, bread and potato chips are not the only plant-based foods around. Make sure you are eating a variety of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and grains. This will ensure you are getting all your macro and micro nutrients that your body needs to function and will help you to feel energetic and sustained.
3. Get inspired
Buy yourself a few cookbooks with easy to make plant-based recipes – these will inspire you to get into the kitchen and to experiment with new foods and cooking methods. We suggest Tammy Fry’s book ‘Made with Love and Plants’ as a start. We also have tons of free plant-based recipes and cookbooks on our website here.
4. Stay in touch with your WHY
It’s likely you’ve found going plant-based much easier than you expected, however, there may come a time, whether it’s a week, a month, or a year into your new diet where you could hit a wall. If this happens, just remind yourself why you made the decision in the first place and the benefits you’ve felt since making the choice. Try sticking a post-it note on your fridge with your reasons for going plant-based.
5. Continue to eat the meals you love
There is a misconception that a plant-based mainly consists of only salads and uninspiring bowls of vegetables. Opting for a plant-based diet does not mean you need to sacrifice the things you loved before. From burgers and sausages, to ice cream and pies – there are some brilliant alternatives on the market. You can still make all your old favourites and the change won’t seem so difficult.
Every little bit counts. Whether you go vegetarian, vegan, or simply cut down your consumption of animal products, you’re taking a huge step. Feel free to reach out to us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter if you have any questions.