Why does transitioning to a plant based diet feel so difficult? It might be because you’re taking an all-or-nothing approach. The key to switching to vegan, vegetarian or plant based meals is easier than you think when you take it baby step by baby step. The key is confidence through consistency.
Here are five steps to make your plant based lifestyle transition easier:
1. Be a Student.
Learn as much as you can about the differences between being vegan, vegetarian and plant based. Some people choose vegan meals for health but don’t live a completely vegan lifestyle. Some choose to be fully plant based while others adhere to a 75-25 plan. Read up on the differences, the benefits and the stories others have shared about how they’ve transitioned and why. There are thousands upon thousands of blogs, videos, online groups and podcasts to learn more about the new lifestyle you desire. You can even consider taking plant-based, vegan or vegetarian cooking classes. Educating yourself will help you overcome the myths associated with vegan, vegetarian and plantbased eating and will also help you learn a whole new set of skills.
Use what I call the 10 x 10 x 30 method. Start experimenting with simple recipes that incorporate no more than 10 basic ingredients, with no more than 10 steps and no more than 30 minutes from start to finish. If Sundays are your day for meal prep then plan some time on Saturdays to leisurely look for new recipes. Be sure to bookmark your favorite sites online so they’ll be easy to refer back to. Here’s just one of my favorite resources on The Food Network
3. Get organized.
Review the recipes you’ve collected and notice the similarities. For example, many delicious plant based recipes call for whole grains, beans and certain types of seeds and nuts. Maintaining a good supply of quinoa, rolled oats, barley and wild rice on hand is a great way to keep frustration at bay and have important staples at your fingertips. Take inventory of what you have on your pantry, refrigerator and freezer and remember to update your list weekly.
4. Upgrade your tools.
New recipes often call for new methods of cooking and new methods may call for new equipment. A good blender, food processor, grinder and grater will help cut your prep time in half and also help you broaden the number of recipes to choose from. Two of my must-have favorite tools are the Vitamix Blender and the KitchenAid Food Processor .
5. Track your success.
Too often we don’t give ourselves the credit we deserve for the progress we’ve made. We get discouraged when we have days that make different choices and ‘fall off the wagon.’ Don’t be hard on yourself. You’re taking control in one of the most important areas of your life — your health! Celebrate your wins, take pictures of beautiful meals you’ve prepared and keep track of all of the positives so that you can be a source of encouragement to someone else.
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