A couple of weeks ago I wrote the blog post How To Transition To A Plant-Based Diet Your Step By Step Guide. Today I want to give you even more tips to help you transition to this new lifestyle.
Transitioning to a plant-based diet doesn't need to be hard. Whether you decide to transition gradually or overnight your biggest question will be "but what do I eat now?" If that is you then you are in the right place, because this is my area of expertise being a plant-based nutritionist. But I know all to well that when I was transitioning to a plant-based lifestyle years ago I had no idea where to begin.
Which is why I want to share as much about the process of transitioning to a plant-based diet as I can.
So here are 9 essential tips for plant-based beginners.
Tip #1 - Prepare yourself
When you have decided to go plant-based, do a little research and prepare yourself. Which hopefully you are already doing if you are reading this blog post. But it is important to do some research so you know what to do. After all, it is really hard to stick with something if you don't know what you are doing.
Here are some of my blog posts that you can use to continue your research.
Tip #2 - Give yourself time to adjust
Remember you are transitioning to a new lifestyle, that could be very different from your current one. Give yourself time to adjust, if you make a mistake don't worry about it, brush it off and keep going.
Everyone is going to be different, some people will adjust in a week, others may take a month. It depends on you and your body, as well as the transition method you have chosen. But I know if you remember you why you will be able to make it through the adjustment period easy.
Tip #3 - Recipes, keep them simple but diverse
When going plant-based people often overcomplicate things. They dive straight into the world of fancy vegan alternatives and complicated recipes. They then beat themselves up when they fail.
Of course, it is fun to be creative every now and again, but you DO NOT need to focus on cooking complicated and time-consuming recipes when you are only just starting out. Keep your meals simple and focus on eating whole foods.
Of course, try lots of different recipes, then pick your favourite go-to ones. I have some recipes on my blog, but another good place to find them is Pinterest. You may not like every plant-based recipe out there, and that is okay, trust me when I say you will find heaps that you will like if you keep trying them.
Tip #4 - Learn to read the food labels
If you focus on eating whole foods you shouldn't need to read many labels. However, you will still need to read some, especially for things like sauces or maybe even salad dressings, if you don't make your own. You will be surprised to find animal products in foods like potato chips, beer and even some orange juice brands! Whilst more and more brands are now putting a special vegan logo or a title saying "suitable for vegans" not all brands do. And sadly some animal ingredients are harder to detect than others. Be aware ingredients like gelatine, albumen (aka egg white), casein, lactose, whey powder and many more. For quick help, download an app Is It Vegan? which scans the ingredient list and tells you whether the product is vegan or not.
Tip #5 - Protein
One of the biggest concerns people have when transitioning to a plant-based lifestyle is protein. But I would like to just say, protein is in all plant-based foods! Just some foods have higher levels of protein compared to others. Some of my favourite high-protein options are edamame, peas, nuts and seeds, legumes and leafy greens.
Tip #6 - Do what works for you
There are heaps of different plans, guides and challenges out there to help you transition. But do what works for you! Everyone's body will react and adjust differently, so pay attention to what your body is telling you. What you need might be different from what the creator of the plan, guide etc. needed.
Tip #7 - Pay attention to your cravings
This tip leads on from the previous one. You don't want to feel like you are depriving yourself with this lifestyle, however, you also don't want to give in to animal product cravings.
But to do this you need to pay attention to your cravings. For example, when you are craving cheese, you could actually be craving salt. Or if you are craving something sweet try, eating some berries or other type of fruit.
Tip #8 - Have fun and don't beat yourself up
So, you slipped up and ate something that's not plant-based; it's okay. Don't beat yourself up; you're still new to the lifestyle. Over time you'll determine if you're invested, but slip-ups are natural. Ultimately, have fun
Tip #9 - Join a community of like-minded people
If you don't have any friends who follow a plant-based lifestyle, transitioning can feel a bit isolating. We all want to share our journey with others - ask questions, be open about our struggles, find some inspiration and seek support when necessary.
This is why I have a free Facebook group that has education, motivation and recipes within it to help you out. You can also follow people on Instagram for inspiration and motivation. Just remember that you’re not alone on this journey. There’s a huge community that keeps growing and is there for you.
Remember that when you are ready to jump on the plant-based path, there are many things you can do to make it an easier transition. But my biggest takeaways from this post is research and find a community. With knowledge and a support system, there is nothing that you can't do!
What you should do now
I have been where you are and I have women all over the world (just like you) transition to eating a plant-based diet. If you are looking for a guide to help you find the healthiest way to eat, check out these blog posts it is a great place to start.
If you are interested in weight loss, download this fantastic FREE Mini Weight Loss Guide and other resources.
If you would like to fast track your weight loss, check out my Weight Loss Starter Kit.
And finally, if you want to join the Where My Footsteps Go Community click here.