7 Tips For Transitioning to a Whole Food Plant-Based Diet

Published July 21st, 2016 by Unknown

There are so many health benefits when switching to a whole food plant-based diet. Transitioning to eating plant-based can be overwhelming. There is so much literature out there on the research and science behind a whole food plant-based diet, but not a lot about the initial transition.
We've gathered a list of what we feel are the most important tips when you're transitioning and beginning your whole food plant-based journey!
1. Evaluate Your Approach
First and foremost, decide your approach. Some people find its easiest to immediately dive in, and eliminate all meat, dairy, processed food, and oil. This would be the fastest way to reap all the benefits. Others find it easier to transition at a slower pace. If this is you, try eliminating all animal products 1 day/week or limiting yourself to eating animal products one meal/day. This may help ease some into it and you will begin to reap the great benefits of eating more fruits, vegetables. 

2. Clean House

Go through your pantry, cupboards and refrigerator. Get rid of anything processed. Snack, crackers, chips, cheese, white flour, sugar etc. This will eliminate the temptation to eat these items. Instead buy snacks like apples, blood oranges, pears, chickpeas, and other beans that you can season and toast in the oven or an air fryer. These make a great crunchy snack similar to chips but healthy! 


3. Start With Your Favorites

Experiment with cooking. Start by creating vegetarian or plant-based versions of your favorite meals! Things like BBQ lentil loaf and garlic mashed potatoes, sweet potato and black bean quesadillas, lasagna, grilled portobello burgers, beans and greens. Yes, all of these are plant-based! Eating plant-based does not mean boring or lacking flavor. In fact, there's more flavor than you would've ever imagined! 


3. Play Around With New Ways Of Cooking

Experiment cooking without oil. Sautée an onion and some other vegetables in a little bit of vegetable broth or water. Learn the plant-based substitutions in cooking. For example 1 tablespoon of flax and 2 tablespoons of water create a flax egg, which can be used to replace eggs as binders in several dishes such as muffins and burgers. Nutritional yeast is a great replacement for things such as Parmesan cheese. 


4. Find Some Good Cook Books 

Invest in some plant-based cook books. We started with The China Study cook book, Plant Strong cookbook and The Campbell Plan. There are so many out there! Once you begin cooking, you can experiment and add in your favorite seasonings. 


5. Remember Why You Started

Continue to learn. Continue to read new research and articles regarding the health benefits of going whole food plant-based. Reminding yourself of why you're doing this, whether it's weight-loss or reversing early heart disease, will help you stay on track. 


6. Step Back and Notice The Difference

Approach food differently. Look at what you eat as one of the most important decisions you make each day. Notice the positive difference in your body, and let that also be your motivation to continue. 


7. Focus On Variety to Get The Nutrients Your Body Requires

Make sure you're eating wide variety of fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains. As long as you do this, you will be getting plenty of the nutrients you need. 

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