If you’re new to the concept of a plant-based diet, it may first sound overwhelming. To many, it may seem like it requires a drastic change to one's lifestyle. Understandably, because culturally, Filipinos are mostly carnivores, and even when ordering a vegetable dish in a restaurant, it will surely be topped up with anchovies or crunchy pork bits.
So if you’ve started considering switching to a plant-based diet but you are unsure on how to start, here are some tips which you can do to jumpstart your plant-based lifestyle.
Take baby steps.
While some people are able to switch to a plant-based diet right away, most people will have to start with baby steps. Taking it slowly will help you achieve your goal in the long run. This may include cooking more beans or tofu and incorporating more vegetables into your meals. Or switching out dairy for more plant-based milk options. By planning ahead of time, you can avoid animal products and avoid grocery shopping stress.
Understand the reason why you are doing it.
There are several reasons why one would like to make the switch to a plant-based diet. Firstly, there is enough scientific proof that a plant-based diet can be the ideal way to improve your health and happiness. Plant-based just have more fiber, vitamins, and nutrients compared to packaged foods that have a lot of salt, preservatives, and chemicals.
Secondly, going plant-based decreased the demand for meat, dairy, and eggs, which in turn reduces animal suffering on factory farms around the world. This is an important factor if you consider animal welfare a huge social issue in this generation.
Thirdly, going plant-based is also better for the environment, as you decrease the carbon footprint by eating less processed food. You can read more on how a plant-based diet can help reduce greenhouse gases, preserve water and land, and save lives here.
Finding out what is the main reason why you are making the switch will help you stick to it.
Do a fridge overhaul.
You can also start by overhauling your fridge. Remove anything that contains animal products and make room for your plant-based foods. This step will help you avoid making any mistakes later on. Also, try new fruits and vegetables every few weeks or so.
Be a part of plant-based groups on Social Media.
A lifestyle change does not come easy. You may be surrounded by the same friends and family members that love their meat, so if you are looking to start a new diet, it is time to also update your network. Start surrounding yourself with people who are on the same path as you. Share insights about what you find challenging, and make friends and connections who have the lifestyle that you want to achieve.
Start reading books or listening to podcasts on plant-based nutrition.
Consider listening to podcasts or reading books on the subject. Getting educated about the benefits of a plant-based diet is an important part of this lifestyle to be able to stick with it.
If you enjoy listening to stories and articles, consider reading The China Study by Colin Campbell, one of the world's largest nutrition studies. The study was conducted by Cornell University and the Chinese Academy of Preventative Medicine and involved millions of people from different cultures. Researchers gathered data over 20 years to determine the best food choices for human health.
If you like podcasts, check out Plant-Based Diet on the Podcast app.
Find Plant-Based versions of your favorite recipe.
One of the hardest things about going plant-based is missing your favorite meat-based recipes. But nowadays, with many people switching to plant-based, there's a whole list of free recipes which you can find online. I for example love adobo, and doing a quick search on Google will give me a load of Vegan Adobo recipes- with ratings too!
Don't be so hard on yourself.
Changing your diet is not an easy task. Some people can go straight to a plant-based diet right away. But others have to take smaller steps. By following the tips above, you will be on your way to a plant-based lifestyle in no time. So, keep these tips in mind to stay on track and succeed. Remember that changing your diet can lead to a healthier you. Don't obsess over the change. Instead, focus on making the change gradually.
Do you have any other suggestions on how to make the diet switch to plant-based? Leave it in the comments below!