10 TIPS TO EATING MORE PLANT-BASED FOODS
I often get asked for advice on eating vegan-like meals and some tips on transitioning to a more meat-less way of life. I felt it would be a good time to provide some tips to make it easier for you. I think it’s important to recognize that you don’t need to transition to a full plant-based diet in order to become healthier. I practice a vegan lifestyle primarily because of my beliefs surrounding animals and as time has progressed I’ve gained a stronger understanding of the health benefits, but the lifestyle is not for everyone. Here are 10 tips to incorporating more plant-based foods into your diet.
#1. Have lots of fresh fruits and veggies washed, cut and ready to reach for. This will allow you to make healthier choices when opening the fridge. If you have me on snapchat (elenimcmullin) you probably see my fridge more than you would like to but it’s organized in a way to make healthy foods easy to eat.
#2. Find alternatives for things you love and try a Meatless Monday. Surprisingly, there are some amazing dairy, meat and egg alternatives on the market today as a plant-based diet is trending. Try out a coconut milk yogurt or almond/coconut/soy milk. They are extremely tasty and provide you with more nutrients.
#3. Make it a family mission or ask a friend to try going more plant-based with you. The more people you have on board the easier it will be to make it a lifestyle change.
#4. Educate yourself. It’s amazing all the things I didn’t have to give up that I loved when I became a vegan. Things like oreos, a lot of potato chips and sweets like sour patch kids. These obviously are not the healthiest option but I believe strongly in moderation.
#5. Start your mornings with the greens! I find if I stock up on nutrient dense foods in the morning time I am more likely to commit to making better choices throughout the day. Obviously I never stray from my vegan lifestyle but it definitely helps me make healthier choices. I love a green smoothie with some granola and coconut yogurt or switch it up with avocado toast. One of my favourite smoothies is super easy:
1 Cup of Dairy Free Milk
1 Cup of Spinach
1/2 Cup of Kale
1/2-1 Cup of Frozen Pineapple
1 Frozen Banana
Blend and Enjoy!
#6. Share your goals with others. When you talk about it you’re more likely to stick to it. Make goals and tell them to a friend or your family. When I first started I made a decision, told my husband and stuck to it. I really try to not discuss my eating or lifestyle because I know us vegans can be hella annoying. It becomes hard when you are so passionate about something but I understand that not everyone agrees or feels its right for them–and thats ok! Just do your best to get support from those around you.
#7. Be good to yourself. I used to find one of the most frustrating things is when I would catch myself ughhh why did I eat that, or I can’t believe I caved. The truth is the more positive self talk you do, the healthier and happier you will be. Since letting go of those negative feelings I find I am able to have a treat every single day but still fill my body with nutrient rich foods. Eat clean and green, leave some room to eat what you want, allow yourself to make “mistakes”.
#8. Take your time. I find that unless you have a strong belief in a plant-based lifestyle if you head in 100% you might not be as successful. I personally become vegan overnight but this is also due to my personal beliefs not wanting to be healthier. Slowly start introducing new foods in and old foods out and work with what you’ve got. You don’t need to make the change overnight to become a healthier version of you.
#9. Prepare before you go out to eat. And I don’t mean pack a tupperware full of the healthiest food you can find. Read the menu so you have an idea of what things can be modified or are already vegan. I believe in eating out and I believe in good food. Search your local community for vegan/vegetarian places and what other restaurants can offer you some good options. I can eat EVERYWHERE we go. They always either have something on the menu or make something special for me. Don’t be afraid to ask! You can use the app HappyCow which has all your go to places in your community. We use this app all around the world so it isn’t limiting at all.
#10. Sneak in veggies where you otherwise wouldn’t have. I love this trick! Chop veggies and put them in soups, curry dishes or pasta sauces. It will keep you fuller longer and it’s a lot easier than sitting there eating a head of broccoli.
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