Where to start when going Plant-based

Updated: Oct 30, 2020

When you decide you want to change how you eat it is more than just not buying meat and cheese anymore. It is a whole new lifestyle. A whole new way of thinking, of how you see food. Sounds complicated and scary, right? Not at all. It can actually be liberating and exciting. It is all in how you approach it. Start out small and tackle the small changes first. Once you master the little things the bigger things won't seem as hard to reach. These changes, big or small, are different for everyone so don't do what others are doing. Do what works for you. This is the only way you will be successful.

Here are a few tips to help you nativage this change:

Meal Prep. - Prepare foods ahead of time so you are less likely to go for a quick unhealthy option. This doesn't mean you have to spend 8 hours every weekend in the kitchen. Do what you can in the time you have. If breakfast is the meal you eat the worst at - make yourself a couple options for the week such as overnight oats or smoothie ingredients premeasured and bagged in the freezer ready to blend. If you are a snacker, cut up some veggies and make a hummus dip. You can make and freeze dinners for the week or just wash and cut your veggies and pre-cook your grains. Any little thing that will help you succeed is a step in the right direction.

Cook in Bulk/Freeze - This ties into meal prepping. This is another way to save you from eating something you shouldn't. If you don't want to make separate meals to freeze, just double the recipe of something you are already making; essentially make 2. Eat one now, freeze the other for later. Making some lentil stew? Double it and freeze. Many stews and casseroles freeze well. You can also make large batches of veggie burgers, falafel, brown rice, quinoa, etc. and freeze. You then have things to grab and reheat as needed.

Some ideas to make ahead:

Veggie-packed Pasta Sauce

Warming Vegetable Lentil Stew

Sweet Potato Chili

Veggie Broth

Keep it Simple - You don't have to make fancy expensive meals. Make what you can afford and make what you can handle. Overwhelming yourself will cause you to get frustrated and ultimately quit and go back to what is quick and comfortable. Sometimes a baked potato with chickpeas, veggies, and a tahini sauce can be the best dinner you've ever had. Make a bowl with rice, veggies, and some baked tofu. And yes, sometimes a frozen veggie burger is all you can handle. So, do what you can. Not what you think you have to.

Do you have other tips? Share in the comments to help others!

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