I've been plant-based for roughly 5 years now, whilst I love this lifestyle and would never go back, there are a few things I wish I knew before diving into it all.
If you are considering going plant-based, keep in mind there are heaps of benefits, but there is also a pretty big learning curve as well.
No matter where you are on your plant-based journey here are several facts to consider when debating this lifestyle.
Here are 8 things I wish someone told me when I was transitioning.
#1 - There is a difference between plant-based and vegan
I have already written a blog post about this so I will link it below. But here is the thing to start with I didn't know there was a difference between vegan and plant-based. I thought it was the same thing.
And yes whilst they are very similar, they are also very different lifestyles. Plant-based people eat very similarly to vegan people but they are following it more for health reasons than ethical ones. Some people eating plant-based still may wear and use items that come from animals, such as wool and leather.
#2 - Just because it's vegan doesn't mean its healthy
Many people assume because the packaging says vegan, it must be healthy. This is so far from the truth. Yes, there are heaps of vegan and plant-based foods that are healthy, but there are also some that aren't.
Did you know Skittles and Sour Patch Kids are vegan? Most breads are vegan, they even have vegan chocolate, cookies and cakes. But I wouldn't call these foods health foods. They can still have heaps of refined sugar and fat in them, so it is important to be mindful about what goes in your body on a plant-based diet as you did previously.
#3 - Everyone has an opinion
As soon as you start following any lifestyle that isn't the norm, everyone seems to become a doctor and have an opinion about what you should be eating.
I even found that people were more likely to tell me about their meat-based dishes because I was vegan!
Basically there is a huge stigma around vegetarians, vegans and plant-based individuals. It is just something you need to be aware of if you choose to follow this lifestyle. People will get over it eventually but to start with there will be lots of questions and comments around your food choices.
#4 - Detox can be rough
When going plant-based your body will go through a bit of a detox period. You honestly won't realise all the nasty stuff that is in your body, until you start flushing it out. Some people won't get any side effects and others will get them all.
Some common detox symptoms include:
Bloating or stomach aches
How severe your detox will be, depends on a few things, such as your diet before transitioning, how you transition and how your body handles different foods. But it will be over before you know it, and once you are on the other side you will wonder why you didn't transition sooner.
#5 - Your taste buds will change
There are so many fruits and vegetables I wasn't the biggest fans of before going plant-based. However now I love them. I think you also find better ways to eat them.
Before going plant-based I would have the classic meat and three veg kind of meal. However I never really gave much thought on how to cook the vegetables it was either steamed or maybe baked. Whereas now, I know how to cook them all different ways with different herbs and spices to make them taste extra good.
#6 - I like cooking for myself than eating out
Of course, I still love to eat out, however, I often find I like my own cooking better than the restaurant. There are exceptions but I just find my meals more flavourful and satisfying. I am by no means a master chef, but I think chefs that aren't vegan or plant-based themselves just don't understand how to cook without meat as much.
#7 - You will become healthier
Going plant-based is so good for your health. In most people, it will clear up their skin, improve their digestion and even give them more energy. And as an added bonus a lot of people lose weight eating this way.
#8 - It gets easier as your confidence grows
Whenever you try something new, you're not going to be 100% confident in what you are going. And going plant-based is no different. There is a bit of a learning curve, but once you find out what works for you, it will suddenly become so much easier.
If you make a mistake or two don't worry, learn from it. In time, you will gain new skills and confidence for this lifestyle, and you will wonder why you ever thought it was so hard. You just need to hang in there long enough to get to that point.
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.