Are you planning to switch to a plant-based diet? We have 10 tips to get you started on a healthy plant-based diet.
Do you know your favorite restaurants are thinking of introducing plant-based meats? This trend has been on the rise since the coronavirus pandemic.
But even before this, millions of people around the globe have been following a plant-based diet. It’s healthy and ecologically responsible.
Start by adding green items to your regular diet. Use substitutes that are simple with easy recipes. Add spices to make your vegan dishes more flavorful.
If you want to join the green team and be kinder to the planet, here are ten tips you can follow to start a plant-based diet.
10 Tips for Starting a Plant-Based Diet
If not today, then surely in the future, many people will switch their diets to be completely plant-based. The new era will demand green living. Whether it’s in-house or in restaurants, more people are looking for plant-based dishes.
If you’re among those who want to make a healthy change, we’re here for you.
Here are ten tips that’ll help you start a plant-based diet.
1. Keep Your Existing Plant-Based Items
Most of us have at least one plant-based item on our regular diet. Say, you already eat oatmeal for your breakfast—then there’s nothing to change. Oatmeal is the healthiest cereal for a gluten-free breakfast.
So first, look at your everyday meals. Don’t try to rehash your whole diet if not necessary. It’s okay to keep your old habits as long as it doesn’t keep you from starting new ones. And if you’re a salad fan, then you’re already a step ahead.
2. Find Easy Alternatives
A regular person should have adequate portions of protein, vegetables, and fats in their diet. You may be wondering how to get protein and fat from a plant-based diet?
There’s no need to worry. We don’t need animal-based food as our source of energy. It’s an outdated concept that meat and eggs are essential for life.
If we look at numbers, women only need 46 g of protein, whereas men need 56 g. Getting this level of protein is a lot easier than you might expect with a plant-based meal. All plants have some protein in them.
An easy alternative for protein is tofu. There are some other good proxies as well, like beans, lentils, and tempeh. All these are rich in protein.
Now comes the fat. Nuts are a great source of fat. It’s handy. We can have them at times when we’re hungry but there’s nothing much to eat. Walnuts, pistachios, and almonds are also good.
Other than that, delicious avocado toast can replace fatty fish. Avocado is the only fruit with more than 75 percent of unsaturated fat.
If you need more fat, drink warm water with chia seeds. See, a plant-based diet is much easier and more fun than you thought.
3. Pick Simple Recipes
Some may think you need to buy expensive items to make a vegan meal. This is not true at all. It’s cheaper and more delicious than you’d think.
For example, if you love pizza, you just need whole grain flour and veggies. Make your pizza bread with whole-grain flour. Spread tomato sauce and top it with some fresh green veggies and mushrooms. You can add oregano and a few herbs as well.
Compared to making Moroccan chickpea stew or stuffed potatoes, a vegan pizza is much simpler.
As a newbie, you should focus on building new habits. It would be much harder to start with fancy recipes. Keep it simple and vegan.
4. Spice It Up
You may think green foods are bland. You’re not totally wrong. But what if we said we have a spicy solution for this? Don’t worry; we’re not asking you to add red chilis.
There are a lot of tasty herbs and other spices that can be added to your boring plant-based diet. They are super beneficial for your health too. Since herbs and spices have antioxidants, they protect your cells from damage by free radicals.
Also, you need to add some flavor to your food. You can’t have these nutritious foods without enjoying them. Otherwise, you’ll lose interest and distance yourself from leafy foods.
So, include cinnamon, garlic, onion powder, and more in your next recipe. Thyme and oregano make a good topping for pizza. For sauteing mushrooms, add sage and some smoked paprika as well.
5. Minimize Processed Foods
Processed foods undoubtedly make our lives easier. They are an instant solution to hunger—but they are also a permanent danger to our health.
Who doesn’t love a sandwich? But the bread, cheese, and salami we use in it are all processed.
These processed items can cause obesity and heart disease because they are infused with a high amount of fat, sugar, and sodium.
We know it’s too hard to cut off all processed foods overnight. So let’s take it slowly. You can eat minimally processed food with real ingredients. No extra sugar or preservatives are allowed.
Next time, grab a banana instead of a candy bar.
6. Make Fruits Your Dessert Buddy
We all love desserts. Desserts are delicious and fun to eat. Sadly, even desserts with fruit are not healthy as long as they have added sugar, cream or milk, and chocolate.
You can easily prepare a hundred times tastier desserts with fruits and vegan items only. Let’s look at a vegan fruit crumble recipe. It’s easy and simple. You can make this for your dessert today.
You’ll be needing some berries, apple, water, maple syrup, ground ginger, and cinnamon. Stew all of these ingredients in a pot.
Then for the crumble, grab some seeds, coconut oil, gluten-free oats, and almond flour. Mix them and add some maple syrup as well.
For baking, pour the stewed fruit into an oven-proof dish. Then add the crumble. Bake it for 25 minutes. There you go. Enjoy your easy vegan and completely plant-based dessert.
7. Eat a First Course Before the Meal
As a beginner, your hunger may remain unfulfilled on a plant-based diet. Not everyone becomes full with a leafy lunch or dinner. If you’re not content with your meals, you won’t feel motivated to continue.
That’s why it’s a good idea to have a first course before your lunch, dinner, and breakfast. Once you become a pro, then it’s all your kingdom.
As a first course, you can have a bowl of fruit. Fruits are full of water and low in calories. It’s best to have some before breakfast to start your day on a healthy note.
A salad with green, leafy vegetables with some olive oil is a great starter for lunch. And lastly, for dinner, go for a clear vegetable soup.
These pre-course meals are filled with multivitamins. Also, your main course should include whole grains. It can be whole grain pasta, bread, or brown rice. Snack on whole-grain granola bars or cookies to satisfy your uninvited hunger.
8. Plan Your Meal
Planning your meals beforehand is a must. It keeps you disciplined. Plan your meal according to your personal preferences.
First, figure out how many times a day you’re going to eat. Also, the intervals you’ll take in between meals. If you’re on intermittent fasting, two meals a day is good for you.
But it totally depends on you. If you like to have five to six small meals a day, go for it. It’s also good to have two large meals and a lot of snacks. It should fit your lifestyle.
However, you don’t want to miss these eight essential foods daily. They are whole grains, beans, berries, leafy greens, non-starchy vegetables, nuts, and seeds. Visit Supergut for resistant starch powder to help you reduce on starch.
Don’t take it as a strict routine. Make it fun and advance gradually.
9. Take Your Time
Switching from meat- to a plant-based diet needs time. You can start by eating completely vegan once a week. Then you can level up to thrice a week and so on.
Even some say it’s fine if you never go completely vegan. But a large portion of your diet should be plant-based. Then you can still reap the benefits. And you can always take a cheat day where you can enjoy your favorite meals.
Going plant-based is a choice, so take your time to go completely plant-based.
10. Follow Vegan Influencers to Stay Motivated
One thing you have to do is stay motivated. It’s not easy. When all your friends are eating hamburgers and you’re eating vegan burgers, it’s tough. But remind yourself of the reasons you started eating green in the first place.
Also, follow vegan influencers. Their lifestyle and stories about how they started will definitely help you through.
You’re always encouraged to do your own research and follow a like-minded personality.
That’s all. These are our best tips for living a plant-based lifestyle. We hope you can start putting these tips into practice and move into a green life!
Giving up a meat-based diet may sound tough for you in the beginning. But trust us, going green in your diet will not only help you have a healthier lifestyle, but you will also be kinder to the planet.
With these ten tips to start a plant-based diet, you can soon be on your way to being kinder to your digestive system and switching to a healthier version of yourself.
Till next time, eat green!