Going plant based can seem overwhelming, we’ve tried. Whatever the reason for your transition- environmental, ethical or health, we have got you covered. Some people have no problem making the switch overnight, but for others, it may take longer. Whether you choose to go fully plant based or you want to incorporate smaller plant based items into your meals, we have 5 tips from real life experiences to help you go plant based:
1. Find your motivation
Why are you going plant based? What’s your “Why?” Start with that. Is it to improve your health? Is it to moderate your environmental impact? Is it to reduce your animal consumption? Make sure you define your reason clearly to yourself. You can expect to revisit this when the doubts start creeping in. Those who try it as a part of a trend usually tend to fail. When you find your “why?”, it will be easier to stick to your decision of going plant based.
2. Educate yourself
It’s important to understand how to navigate through this. Huge dietary changes require you to know about the impact it will have on your body.
Some points to keep in mind:
a) Understand your nutrition requirements:
Break down your nutrient requirements and chart it out to understand if you’re getting an adequate amount of it.
b) Recognise alternatives
You also need to understand how to find vegan products and replacements. Identify your consumption habits and work through it.
c) Read labels
Find out how to read labels to identify if it is plant based. Milk solids tend to sneak up on you in ways you would not predict. You can also download an app called “vegan additives” to read if products used in your purchase are plant based.
3. Gather support
It’s challenging to go plant based, the last thing you need is a discouraging household. Find groups who are encouraging of your decision. Talk to the people you live with – be it your partner, you parents, your friends or loved ones on why you decided to do this and encourage them to try this with you. It can be as simple as switching one meal a week or trying to avoid a particular food item like white meat.
4. Change your pantry
You probably won’t be used to shopping plant based. It’s helpful to stock up your pantry with plant based items. However, ensure that you aren’t limiting yourself. Open yourself up to a balanced diet. Eat the cookie(s) you want (Trust me, there’s a vegan version for your favourite one. Oreos are plant based!) but also ensure you’re eating your greens and getting your nutrients. You’re changing to a plant based diet, don’t make your plate restrictive!
5. Plan, plan, plan!
The best way to change your pantry is to plan your meals. You can start off with planning your meals for a week. If you have an idea on what you want to eat during the week, you can buy products based on your plan. This way when you are hungry, you won’t go scrambling for meat and you will have a plethora of options to choose from.
You can also meal prep. Have a few vegetables chopped and ready beforehand for a quick meal. You can do this on the weekend or wake up early in the morning and have your meal for the rest of the day planned.
We hope these tips help you in your journey. We encourage what works for you and if a plant based diet isn’t for you, there are other options that make your choices healthy , sustainable and ethical! More on that in our coming blogs.